Hot Tub Time


Puffnstuff’s Dugout


The “Hot Tub”

It’s been snowing all the livelong day here and there’s been no respite for the birds. I cleared the deck this morning and put out fresh food, but it was quickly covered with a fresh blanket of snow and the birds have had to work very hard to dig it out from underneath.

I cleaned out the heated birdbath as well and put fresh water in this morning, also chopping off the rim of ice that typically forms around its edge. The deck is now full of the white stuff again and as you can see from the photo, a “hot tub” is the result. It’s actually like an infinity pool the more I look at it. My birds are living the swanky life here at the Junco Junkie’s house.

I saw the rabbit last night before we went to bed. My cat, Prudie was the one who drew it to my attention. She was hanging around the sliding glass doors with very keen interest. You can tell when they are fixed on something; they are dead still and the tail flicks almost imperceptibly. We both looked out and there was the rabbit burrowing its nose in the shallow snow, scavenging for seeds. We startled him when I moved the drape, so he ran off. Despite this, I threw out some shelled peanuts and sunflower seeds and a clump of timothy hay. He didn’t come back, but this is probably because he got himself hunkered down against the storm that was to come. At least I hope that’s what he did.

It sure is nasty out there! The winds are blowing and the snow is coming down at a slant. My husband still has to drive home from the city, so I’ll be saying a few prayers for his trip.

I’ve been outside twice to try and clear some spots for the birds to feed, and I’ve cast out fresh seed periodically, but it’s a losing battle. Within minutes, everything is covered again. There’s a bushel-load of seed on my deck somewhere!

I’ll be back again soon with more from our little house.



Snow on Snow



It just keeps coming. We had a bit of a reprieve yesterday, but it snowed again overnight and a light powder is falling as I write this.

At 7:30 a.m., I dragged myself out of bed, put on my winter gear and went outside to shovel the deck.  It was about a foot deep and my small red shovel was really no match for it.

Almost right away, the juncos started making noises as if from the ether.  I could hear their cheeping in the distance and when I looked up, a trio of them were in the Ash and the Chokecherry trees.

I spoke to them in a hushed voice, yet they still hesitated to come any closer. They seemed quite perturbed that I was in their domain. Little do they know that I’m setting it up for them.

Yesterday, one of them discovered the silo feeder I had stashed in the corner of the deck by the wall. Though they are exclusively ground feeders, juncos will, apparently, eat from a feeder if it is placed on the ground. Who knew? A few of them were pretty happy to have this new food resource, while others jockeyed for position in and around the bunker.

Things are hopping around here! I counted seven of them yesterday.

(By the way, if I have a heart attack while shoveling, this blog may not get off the ground.:))

The Calm After The Storm



The Junco Bunker


Weather-wise, yesterday was a brutal day. Winds were high, snow was blowing, but my junco buddies were undaunted. These tough little birds just kept coming back, to dig furiously with their little back feet until the snow gave way beneath them to reveal the tiny specks of seed.

I donned my parka, hat, scarf, gloves and winter boots, to slip out the sliding doors with my cup of bird-food, not once, but three times. I had shoveled the deck as much as I could first thing in the morning, but the storm forced me to keep clearing space for the juncos, so they could land and dig.

Today, I cleared the deck at 7:00 a.m. The whole time, I could hear the peeps from a neighbour’s tree where a bundle of them were patiently waiting for me to finish.  As soon as I grabbed my shovel and went back inside, six or seven of them landed in the bare willows off the deck and began to alight on the snow to feed.

The sun has been out sporadically today which has been a delight and my friends have been coming and going on and off.  I am gratified.