Monday, December 10, 2012

For the birds

photo of goldfinches and chickadee at feeders in snowstorm
© harrington
There are 1.3 goldfinches (note the tail sticking out from the rear feeder) and 1 chickadee (the light spot with a tail below the front feeder) in the preceding photo. They are a nano-fraction of the multitudes that descended on our bird feeders yesterday. We also enjoyed visits from red-bellied woodpeckers (which have red heads and what look to me like tan bellies, but what do I know?), hairy and downy woodpeckers, dark-eyed juncos, pine finches, cardinals and probably a couple of species that I missed. All in all it was a day for the birds in My Minnesota. One of winter's pleasures, for me, is keeping half an eye on the birds at the feeder to see who's new in the neighborhood. My wife reported seeing, on her way in to work this morning, a flock of five swans in the air over downtown White Bear Lake. Several years ago we saw a pair of swans emerge from a snow storm along the St. Croix river. Magical sights! Other than the birds, there isn't much sign of activity among the local wildlife. They seem to have enough sense to slow down at this time of year. People have created Slow Food, Slow Money, and even Slow Living. Wouldn't we be as well off by just  following nature's example and slowing down ourselves (or is that slowing ourselves down)?