Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Storm

Friday Flowers are on hold today as the top story of the day is the winter storm that is gripping the Great Lakes regions of Canada and United States. My niece, Jaspenelle has been writing about the record snowfall in Spokane WA this week where they received 20 inches of snow in a day. We are experiencing heavy snow with blizzard like conditions due to high east winds. Storms with east winds are usually severe and bring lake effect snow from Lake Ontario affecting communities at the west end of the lake. But city schools are open and most people headed off to work today. I went out early this morning to top up the bird feeders.

Tomorrow is the annual Christmas Bird Count and I will be reporting on the birds seen in our yard. I hope the people who will be counting in rural areas and along trails and rivers will be able to go ahead with all the new snow. Our next storm is coming on Sunday so the event cannot be delayed to the next day.

I am cozy and warm indoors but wonder how animals and birds manage in weather like this. Looking out the window as I walked on the track yesterday, I saw a deer resting quietly under a tree in the bush. She was so still and blended in so well with the trees that it was hard to see her.

I have tried to add some shelter for the birds on our deck. We left the picnic table out because birds like to rest underneath it. Juncos and doves prefer to eat from the ground so I always sprinkle some seed around for them.

Last weekend I bought some spruce boughs and have set them on a bench to make a tent like shelter. A number of birds have been behind the branches today eating the sunflower seeds put out there. Other birds are resting between the boards of the fence between visits to the feeders.

Our dog is loving this weather and has been out much of the morning facing the wind, rolling in the snow and defying me when I call him in. He is like the people who are heading to ski hills today to try the fresh powder and others who are getting their snowmobiles ready for the trails. Winter is not going away anytime soon so we might as well enjoy it. And Christmas is certain to be white this year.


  1. I just came in from filling all of my feeders as the snow is supposed to hit here tonight into tomorrow. Aren't we fortunate to know we have safe warm homes?

  2. Glad to see you are taking such good care of your birdies...Your pup is a cutie..

  3. My daughter is in Milwaukee where it has been snowing at 1-2 inches per HOUR since midnight. Another storm is on the way for the weekend. I don't miss that at all!

    I just love the dog in the snow. Our dogs loved it when we were in WI. Nice photographs all around.

  4. It is cold and clear here. -24 as I write and to stay cold for a while yet. We only have chickadees and nuthatches, oh and woodpeckers coming to the feeders but they come all day. We are heading to town to stock up on supplies ourselves as it is too cold to ski ... possible but not preferable. Shortbread and Panforte on tap for when we get home.

  5. Ruth,

    It is 2:30 pm and I haven't ventured outside to tqke photos. The wind is from the east and nasty. The snow is deep and hubby is out shoveling right now. We have about 7 inches on the sidewalk leading to the door.

    I've enjoyed all of your photos and hearing about how you made the shelter for the birds on your deck. When we trim the tree and put it up, I'm going to keep the boughs and do likewise. I saw on another blog where the lady put the boughs in a large pot to give the birds shelter near the bird feeder.

    It's quite a storm. All the birds aroound here are constantly eating from the feeders of us and our neighbors. They huddle in the hedge across the street for shelter. I've seen sparrows, chickadees and another bird I'm not sure of. Also bluejays and cardinals, but they are very quiet today.

    Take care, my friend. Stay safe and warm.


  6. Oh, I love those photos of your doggie!! No hint of snow here so I shall enjoy yours Ruth! :c)

  7. I am sure those of you who have mounds of snow will think me daft--but I wish we were getting snow. Instead, it has been raining here all day. One inch of rain forecast. And last week, there were two days of solid rain--three inches that time. I am sick of rain.
    If we have precipitation, I want snow. SNOW!

  8. I forgot to add--your dog, snow covered nose and all--looks great. My dog loves to bury her nose in the snow also.

  9. Anonymous4:34 pm GMT-5

    Ho..ho..cute photo of the dog. Nice that you provided some shelter. If we were allowed, I would grab the Christmas trees that are going to the curb and use them in the yard..but that wouldn't go over big here. Everything is closed in Buffalo NY..

  10. Anonymous8:37 pm GMT-5

    Another snow/ice storm here today...the second Friday in a row when school has been canceled. We too, are bracing for another round on Sunday.

  11. It is always interesting to see what thers are doing for their birds,the shelter idea is great.I am sure the birds know they have a safe haven at your house.Hope you stay warm and safe as well.

  12. Loved that photo of the deer. Luckily it stayed long enough for you to take it's pic.
    It isn't even officially winter yet, and we certainly are in the midst of it.
    Keep safe and warm.

  13. Lynne- I am very glad I have a home with central heat and hot water!

    Dawn- Our pup is an old man, but the snow brings back his youth :-)

    NCMW- We ended up with about 15 cm today (6 inches) but more is on the way. We have had the snowiest fall in 50 years.

    CS- Our wind chill is -24...I couldn't image what yours would be. Best stay in and avoid frost bite at those temperatures!

    Mary- Our feeders were very busy today, but the squirrels did not venture out. Keep safe in all the snow!

    Jayne- Yes, the doggie made us laugh! Winter would not be so stressful if we didn't drive.

    KGMom- That is a lot of rain and I must say, snow is preferable in the winter. At least it brightens the landscape.

    RW- Do you remember the blizzards of the 1970s? Seems we had a lot that decade and Buffalo was hit hard.

    Becka- You are as crazy as the dog!

    Jan- I am soooo glad we missed the freezing rain that was in the forecast.

    Ruth- The birds have really taken to the little shelters today. Bird feeders are great for us because we can see them, but it is safer for the birds to be sheltered when they are feeding.

    Wendy- That deer stayed there for the 2 hours I was at the recreation centre. It was settled in for the day.

  14. A wonderful little storm. Can't wait for some more of the white stuff.

  15. I love the bird pics in this post! Gosh... I wish we had half as much snow here. We got a bit today... enough to send me scurrying out to fill the feeders.

  16. That is amazing to know you have a bird count. I have never heard of it here. I love the way you think of shelter Ideals. I feed and water. But I will have to think of housing ideals thanks for waking me up to this ideal. We have an out building and open carport that provides some places for them.
    Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by my swf.

  17. Anonymous6:37 am GMT-5

    What lovely pictures of the deer, the birds and your pup!. My Lexie too loves the winter. We never get far on our walks as she spends half the time burying her nose in the snow. I'm sure she is sniffing out the mice.

    I love how the snow lays fallen on the trees and branchs. It is so beautiful.

    Great idea of the bows on the ground. If you don't mind, I would love to use your idea as I have very little shelter/trees for the birds and that will give them more protection.

    Enjoy the warmth of home as we embrace another storm.

  18. I once read its not a good idea to scatter seed on the ground because it may attract uneccicary pests like rats and pigeons. Maybe its a better idea to use a platform feeder instead. I hope your having a good snow day!

  19. Hi Ruth......

    You are so kind to tend your birds so always gladdens my heart when I read posts like this.....

    Your dog photos made me smile.....he has such an adorable face........

  20. Look at his muzzle! LOL! I'm glad you're taking care of the birds. During storms like yours, we used to plow paths to the feeders - a priority.

    I've been watching the northern half of the continent get hammered and will continue to wish the best. Stay warm and safe, Ruth.


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