Today is the official first day of winter and it has been snowing lightly on and off all day. It’s very peaceful and quiet outside, the only sound the birds singing. The birds are the only bright colors in the garden at this time and without them it’s a plain brown and gray everywhere we look. We couldn’t fill the feeders fast enough but we’re not complaining. Here’s my first day of winter outside:
There’s nothing to do in the garden at this time aside from filling the feeders, cleaning and filling birdbaths, and stalking birds with the camera. So, I spend time in the house trimming tropical plants, reading and listening to the music. This time of year the radio stations seem to put Beethoven’s Symphony #9 and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on almost everyday, so far, twice today on our local station. I don’t mind at all especially the Symphony#9 which I always turn up really loud. For some reason this symphony always sounds so much better loud. A friend once told me that Beethoven composed this piece when he was nearly deaf so he needed to feel the music. I don’t know if that’s really true but when I listened to it at Carnegie Hall I could feel the vibration. The same goes for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. When not listening to the radio, our outside chorale is equally good to me. Herewith some of the Avian Chorus’s members:
Though nothing is flowering in the garden, flowering continues in the basement and on the windowsill. Nothing soothes my mood like the scent of jasmine and they are still blooming.
I have always wondered why nature created this bird the way it is, for what purpose. It can literately walk up and down the tree trunk and perch in the upside down position comfortably. I’m talking about the Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis). The upside down part seems to be the most comfortable position for them. Once we saw a Nuthatch spin round and round on one of the feeder perching pins trying to get some seeds from it. Since the seed port is above the perching pin, this little guy had a tough time getting himself right side up to pick a seed out of the feeder. He finally hung on long enough to get one.
A small bird in a tux, the white-breasted Nuthatch looks more like they’re ready for a party, white chest with grey and black streaks on the wings. The Red-breasted Nuthatch which we seldom see in our garden, are less dressy and have a little rust color on their under part.
Anyway, Bill loves the way this bird does everything upside down including eating. We haven’t seen any of them defecate in this position yet, but wonder how they might avoid soiling themselves in the event. OK, just curious.
The good part is that they like to come looking for insects under the patio roof, inspecting every beam while the Wrens work the tiny nooks and crannies that have to be done in an upright position.