Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Visitor From the North

Snowy Owls are indeed one of His most beautiful creatures!

We have been blessed the past several late winters here in Western NY to be graced with the presence, even if only briefly, with Snowy Owls as part of their somewhat sporadic "irruption" from the Northern climes of Canada. Having been infatuated with big owls since my teen years, I was more than a bit surprised and elated during a recent encounter with this Snowy Owl.
Is he watching me or scanning the horizon for lunch?
Hunters of wide open country, Snowy Owls are seen in various settings and locations but not that often is one spotted in a tree. When I think about, any photos I’ve seen depicted Snowies on the ground, in flight, perched on roof tops, fence posts, road signs, etc. That being said, I found it something of a treat to not only see one of these visitors from the North Country, but to find it roosted in a spruce tree as well.  

Another Christmas Card in the making - huzaah!!
Not only was I quite pleased to get photos of a Snowy Owl, what really tickled me was the contrast of the white Arctic raptor framed by evergreen boughs. Call it a nature photographer’s bonus!

Until Next Time,
Jim & Claudia

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Memorable Cardinal Winter

A Northern Cardinal lends some much needed color to a Rose of Sharon branch.
As mentioned in our last post, the past two months have seen an abundance of Cardinal activity out our way, both in and around the yard and in the neighboring woodlots. During a time of year that is typically devoid of bright colors it has been a joy to see such an abundance of these lovely avian creatures.

Mrs. Cardinal savors a sunflower seed.

Can’t say we’ve ever before witnessed a winter like this one where Cardinals are concerned. They began showing up just before Christmas and their numbers increased as winter kicked into high gear. In the time since we have taken more Cardinal photos than the previous two years combined.

He sure bears a striking resemblance to one of the "Angry Birds, doesn't he? 

A Goldfinch looks on as a female Cardinal plucks a sunflower seed from the snow.
Switching over to black oil sunflower seeds rather than a seed mix – and a generous application thereof - may have had something to do with our experiencing an influx of Cardinals this winter. And it was well worth it as the “redbirds” sure do help make the winter pass quickly.

Until next time,
Jim & Claudia