Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Has NOT Sprung

The view of first light this morning through my ice-encrusted windows.

Then later after lunch it was lighter outside but still frozen.

Squirrels are rare here perhaps because of the hawks? Or maybe because of the lack of oak trees and acorns? Probably because they're starving, several small red squirrels, one of them seen below, were flirting and feeding on viburnum berries. Red squirrels are smaller than fox squirrels and have a white belly. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

One large fox squirrel with the formerly more common color variation of agouti fur on its back with a tan underbelly was foraging for sunflower seeds until the dogs chased him away. It seems that black squirrels have become more common in the city and are merely a color variation but still a member of the same species of fox squirrels. Perhaps black squirrels have an advantage in the winter because their black coloring absorbs the sunlight better and makes them warmer giving them a survival edge.

Time will tell if this frozen corydalis will thaw out and live. In the snow, it looks more like a Holiday decoration that a harbinger of spring, eh?

These rough winds are shaking more buds than the ones expected in May!


Goldfinches, sometimes called wild canaries or American canaries, used to travel south for the winter but many now stay north maybe because of many people keep bird feeders. During the winter both sexes are greenish-brown and are fairly well camouflaged. Around this time of the year males start molting and become the bright, happy canary yellow. They are already staring their happy singing. You can see males in various stages of their molt below while the less conspicuous females in the same photos are harder to spot making nesting safer. They used to nest mostly in late July and August but many may now start breeding earlier because they survive winters more easily thanks to niger seed, thistle, and sunflower oilers.


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