Saturday, November 5, 2016

Winter is Coming

The forest is alive with color as the year marches inevitably toward dark winter.  The leaf fall has not yet begun, although the poplars and maples are sending out a few scouts to scatter over the dying lawns and gardens.  The Hostas have yellowed, as  have some of the ferns and the annuals  have stopped producing colorful blooms before they too decay into mush following a frost.

The bird feeder is attracting much attention and our three tier fountain nearby provides water and baths to the chickadees, cardinals, sparrows, two kinds of finches, and an occasional Blue Jay, which seem the size of pterodactyls in comparison.  Mostly the smaller birds are courteous about drinking or bathing, lining up along the nearby branches for their turn in the upper bowl.  The two lower basins are fed by water overflowing from the top bowl and are seldom, if ever, used.  Perhaps the rush of water intimidates the smaller ones, although it is hard to believe that anything could intimidate the feisty chickadees. It was all very civilized and fun to watch.

That is, until a pair of robins showed up.  Now, these birds are three times the size of everything except the Blue Jays and aggressive as hell.  They tend to dominate the fountain even when they are neither drinking or bathing. Sometimes they simply stand in the water and peck an any bird that comes near, giving way only to the squirrel or chipmunk that frequent the place for a drink or two after a busy morning scavenging black sunflower seeds the birds have dropped.

Then, one day there were suddenly four robins, followed by six more and, this morning, over a dozen.  They are a nasty bunch, pecking at one another, squabbling continuously, and fighting for dominance over each of the fountain basins.   They have no problem standing under the waterfalls or crapping all over the surrounding landscape, like a ravaging biker gang sans leather jackets and tattoos.

But, when the brisk winds of winter blow the robins and some of the others away, those that cannot stand the reality the cold weather brings, I will drain the fountain, clean the accumulated detritus, put out the seed and suet for the winter birds, and sequester myself for winter writing when there is little else to amuse me.

And now I have to get back to some serious writing.



  1. Lovely! Our only feeder is the hummingbird one, but the kitchen window overlooks several trees and it's been interesting to watch their populations changing. Only the crows are a constant.


Thanks for reading my blog!