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Sunday, October 25, 2009

SNOW!!!...and EIGHT Different Visitors!!!

We woke up to several surprises yesterday!!!

THIS is what I saw when I opened the curtains!:

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you.

We got four inches of snow.

Where was all the color?

Where are all my yellow, orange and red autumn leaves?????

Oh, and WHERE in the HECK is my bench on the deck????:

Discouraged, I went to make my morning coffee to console myself.

And I looked out the window again.

These little yellow finches were eating at the thistle feeder!:

And a few minutes later, I saw more yellow.

But it wasn't a yellow finch.

THIS time, it was a beautiful yellow Evening Grossbeak!:

And, THEN????

Right beside him, flies in a beautiful Purple Finch!:

I was so excited!

The snow brought all the birds flying through going south to our feeders for the day!

The Evening Grossbeak asked me:

"So, when is this snow going to STOP???:

I told him this was the U.P.

Lord only KNOWS when it will stop.

Maybe April, maybe May.

Then this female and male Purple Finch said (in unison!):

"You have GOT to be kidding!!?":

And I told them:

"Nope. For all the beauty we have here, we pay the price of a very, very long winter season.

To which they panickly said to each other:

"We better eat up and hit the road downstate!":

Then a Junco flew in and said:

"You guys are wimps! I stay here all winter!:

And then a Dove flew in!

She said: "Yeah! I stay here all winter, too! I never used to, but I have hung around here the last two winters, and it really is beautiful in the snow here!

Maybe if you learned to ski you could stay here and you would like it?":

And a little Chickadee stopped by and said:

"I stay here too.

Maybe if you learned how to skate you might stay and like it here too?

This bowl is pretty near ice now and I slide in to eat!:

So, they had a conference to discuss all of this:

And then a Woodpecker stopped by the suet hanging nearby and said:

"If you eat suet, you will fatten up and be able to live here year round.

What do you say, guys?":

And the Blue Jay saw what was happening and stopped by.

He said: "Eat corn, like me. It will sustain you too!

I stay year round now, too...people LOVE to see a flash of color in the winter against the white snow!

You would be LOVED here and welcomed here all year round.

But just don't eat my corn when I am at the feeder, because I will kick your a--.

I am a little aggressive.

I am in Anger Management classes, though.

I am working on it...I really am...":

And then the Blue Jay flew up to talk to the Dove about ways to be more peaceful.

"Back to the loving place!" said the Dove.

That should be your mantra.

Be like ME, and stay year round but don't bother anyone.

Everyone admires my quiet demeanor and pretty, calm face in the winter here.":

"Yeah, right", said the Blue Jay, sarcastically.

"I will just EAT more.

That should calm me down.

Isn't that what the lady does that is taking all these pictures of us?"

"Hey Lady...

How DO you handle living here all winter? Is that how?

By now, all the other seven kinds of birds flew away.

I swear I heard them giggling.

Even the Dove chuckled as he flew out of sight.

I think I may just hate that Blue Jay.


jessica said...

OMG! Glad we are here already. But the mosquitoes are BEASTLY and leave me with huge red blotches that itch incessantly. Other than that... I love the warm weather. It's like being home (Houston) once again.

~Cheryl said...

You are so gifted! You take amazing photos AND you can speak and understand Bird Talk! Wonderful post! I will be smiling the rest of the day.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

OMG! You lost all your autumn colors, but at least you got something instead! The birds are so pretty, and your pictures are great, fantastic, spectacular!

L. D. Burgus said...

Wow, I really like the feeding frenzy. You caught some great shots. I hope you warm up and loose this stuff soon. I remember once getting a snow storm before Halloween and it was so heavy on the leafed branches that it broke branches from my silver maple. By the time Halloween came by, snow was and the parents of spooky kids were gawking at all the broken branches. We almost never see the grossbeak in our area. Maybe in the timber outside of town. It was nice you had the feed all ready for them.

The Retired One said...

Jess: You got outta Dodge just in time. Actually, that melted by about 6p last night..we just have a little dusting left now. But it is cold and rainy today and only in the high 30's.
I hate mosquitos too...isn't there some where in the world without bugs, snakes, alligators, hurricanes, windstorms but warm? I gotta start searching right now for a winter trip. ha

Cheryl: Actually the only thing I hear the birds whisper is "Hey, lady..time to fill the bird feeder". ha

Tatyana: Thank goodness the snow melted later that day..but yes, all the beautiful colors are GONE. I have a few more posts of before it snows coming, so stay tuned. :-)

Jientje said...

Oooh I loved this!!
Winter comes VERY early at your part of the world. But I bet it's pretty?

Brian Miller said...

i am so jealous! i want snow! the birds are so pretty against the snow crusted back drop.

Eva Gallant said...

such beautiful birds!

DJan said...

My feeders are filled every day, and I've got a lot of birds, just noticed the juncos are returning. If only I could discourage those sparrows... My suet is just about gone so I'll have to get another. Great pictures, and fabulous commentary! Thanks for these great shots and the beginning of the story.

This DVM's Wife's Life said...

4 inches of snow eh? Yikes. You can have it although I have grown tired of the rain and mud we are dealing with below you.
Fun pictures and what lucky birds. Reminds me I need to fill up my feeders soon.

Jen said...

What amazing photos! The first snow is depressing but pretty too. Your birds and the flowers etc...great job.

Jenn Jilks said...

That is a brilliant post. I am so glad you are a kindred spirit. I have done a number of similar posts.

You have to embrace the change. And, yes, mosquitoes suck. But the have a purpose.

I say winter, bring it on!

The Retired One said...

L.D.: It all melted away that same day by about 5pm. Then the next day we got a dusting of snow again. Tonight there are flakes in the air, so who knows what we will wake up to.
ha Here it is not uncommon to have snow for Halloween. I remember having to plan what halloween costumes to buy for my kids that would fit over their snowsuits!!

Jientje: It was very pretty to wake up to all white. It melted all away by 5pm that night and then the next day we got a dusting more of snow. It is snowing here now, but not sticking we will see what the next few days brings!

Brian: Yes, I was thrilled to see all the colored birds against the snow. Thankfully, the snow melted and we got a little more over the last few days that comes and goes.

Eva: they really are pretty. I love their faces and expressions, too.

DJan: We had that last year with the Pine Siskins...they were little piglets. ha. Just think of the sparrows you are helping to survive the cold though...that is great.

DVM's Wife: Our snow melted and it has since snowed more and melted again too...I am afraid that is what the next month will be like...snow and rain off and on.

Jen: Thanks. Not many flowers left, though...everything has died. ha

Jenn J: I will try to embrace the change...heck, I will be embracing just about anything to stay warm. ha

grannyann said...

when I read your sentence:
Discouraged, I went to make my morning coffee to console myself.
I thought it was going to say:

Discouraged, I went back to bed.

Snow, lucky you. Your usual beautiful bird pictures.

Lesley said...

haha! Leave it to you, to find the bright side of an early snow. Me, I'd be whining all the way to Spring. Love the birdy-talk! You are so creative.

Ginnymo said...

Ha! I just love this post!! The snow always looks pretty at first. I really like winter. From my window that is..Ha! You sure got a lot of birds coming by. I've never seen a yellow Grosbeak. So pretty. Love your little story to go along with the pics!!!

SquirrelQueen said...

Oh no, snow! That's what my yard will look like before too long, what a way to start the day. Your little visitors are adorable, and who knew you spoke birdie language.

Great post and photos.


Insanitykim said...

Fricken amazing. I just don't know what to say!

Check your email, sharing some photos with ya!!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That is usually about all the snow we get here for a whole winter (expect last winter that is). Don't you love seeing all the bird activity though. Such a nice variety. We've had tons of birds here lately and I've been trying to get some good pictures.
Yours are just great.

Joanna Jenkins said...

As cold as it looks, I can't help but smile. The pictures are fantastic and the birds stunning :-)
Stay warm.

Bernie said...

I just knew you would have these beautiful snowy pictures and they are as lovely as I expected, loved the birds and your story telling, so enjoyed this post....Hugs

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great photos! You did have lots of visitors along with the snow, so it must have been a great day! :)

Merisi said...

Thank you for this wonderful start in the morning!
What a diverse group of birds to come by, and how great that they found all that food at your table! Thank heaven for kind human beings like you.

Btw, the sparrows are - while not an endangered species yet - not as common anymore as they used to be, and they are as needy of our help through the winter as any other bird.

Loree said...

Snow already? It is still so warm and sunny here that I find it hard to imagine it is already winter in the UP. All that whiteness does look beautiful though.

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Joan, do you have trouble keep squirrels away from your birdfeed? I've given up trying to outsmart my squirrels...

I can't believe you have snow, already! You guys need some global warming!!

Cathy M said...

What a beautiful assortment of birds. Great shots and the story was so good. It would make a good book for children.

Gramma Ann said...

What a lovely blog. I loved all the pictures, but, my favorite were the fall photos, they were just beautiful in all their many colors.

Sue said...

The Evening Grosbeaks are the thing my husband misses most about the U.P.
He fed a regular crowd of at least a dozen all winter. He called them the "Ski-Boys", because of their yellow ski goggles!
That snow better be melting--we're visiting friends in Houghton the next couple days!!

A New England Life said...

Hee hee! Those are some talkative and opinionated birds! The Blue Jays are rascals but I love them all the same. Wonderful, wonderful shots Joan. Really great. Made me snicker : )

Man that was a short summer!!!

Gaston Studio said...

OMG, once again your photos are just awesome! For sure, you live in Heaven's garden; lucky you.

The Retired One said...

Grannyann: Oh, I was tempted to go back to bed. I was making coffee to help me stay awake. ha

Lesley: Not to worry..I will whine plenty, too~! After a few months of the white stuff I have to go somewhere tropical to shake off the blues!

Ginnymo: We usually only see the grossbeaks come to our feeder in spring and fall, so I was delighted to see one. He hasn't returned to the feeder since I captured him in those pictures, either.

SquirrelQueen: Oh yes, I can speak Birdie and I know how to swear in Birdie too. Especially around April when we continue to get snow. ha

Insanity: I will check my email right after reading all of these comments and get back to you! How exciting to get photos from you to check out...I'm on it, girlfriend!!

Catherine: Only FOUR inches for the entire winter? When can I move in? ha

Joanna: Thanks. That snow already melted, but we have gotten snow off and on in the air (not sticking to the ground) since then. Today is rainy and foggy and only in the 30's. That is how our autumn sometimes is. Other times, once the snow comes, it stays.

Bernie: Thanks! Birds are such fun because they often have facial expressions that just beg for a story to go along with them. I love birdwatching so I was so excited to see 8 different kinds of birds in my feeders in such a short time!

Far Side: It did make for a great day, despite the snow. Thanks!

Mersi: I feel that way too...I like when all the birds come by..some aren't as pretty as others, but they all have the right to survive and eat at my feeders. A lot of folks don't like the Blue Jays because they are so aggressive, but we are blessed to have them at our feeders too.

Loree: It was has melted already. We had more in the air that didn't stick and today it is rainy and foggy. Such is autumn in the U.P. ha.

Lynn: With us, it is the chipmunks in my feeders...the chipmunks kind of run off the squirrels here. This summer we tried using a super soaker water gun on the chipmunks when they came to our feeders, which scared them away more when they heard any little noise, but we have given up now and let them eat along with the birds. Those little devils!

Cathy M.: haha Except for the eating part. Don't want to contribute to childhood obesity. ha

Gramma Ann: You are new to my blog, right? Did you join on as a Follower? That would be great, I hope you do (did)! Thanks for the nice compliments on my blog, I hope you visit often and leave more comments.

Sue: Ski boys!!! I love it! You are going to Houghton??? You probably drive right by where I live!!! We live on Lake Michigamme in the town of Michigamme. If you have time while you are in the U.P. for coffee, email me and we could meet. Wouldn't that be neat?

New England: It sure WAS a short summer! And our summer here was very cold this it really seemed like we didn't have one at all.

Kearsie said...


These are my favorite posts from you.

Except whenever I see a group of birds, all I can think of is "There's gonna be a whole lot of poo".


The Retired One said...

Gaston: Yep, we do live in Heaven's garden..but sometimes it is Heaven's frozen garden. ha

Kearsie: Yes, bird poo does happen. ha

Shelley said...

Such a beautiful array of visitors! Had to laugh at that one w/ the bluejay w/ a corn kernel in his mouth! Great photos!

The Retired One said...

Shelley: I know! You know how I love my pesky, loud, obnoxious, aggressive bluejays..especially when they are wet....they just seem to have the funniest expressions!!

Gramma Ann said...

Retired One...Yes I did join on as your follower. Did you join on as one of mine? It always amazes me how everyone wants everyone else to be their followers, but, neglect to follow and comment on the other persons blog. But, just the same I do like your blog and have you listed in my sidebar so I don't miss any of your new posts. Have a wonderful day.

Gramma Ann

ashley folkema said...

Oh my! Look at all of that snow. Quite a change from your most recent blog post. ;)

Glad to see the birdies were eating well.

The Retired One said...

Gramma Ann: Thanks so much for joining on as a Follower. I will stop by your blog this week. I literally had to stop following some of my favorite blogs because I did not have time to read them daily and do all the photography and postings that I do...but I am trying to add back some again for the winter.

Ashley: Yes, we had a color bonanza, then a hard, hard frost (which instantly turned all that color into brown, crispy leaves that blew off in two days). Then we had snow. Then that melted and now we are left with barren trees, no color and no snow. ha

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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