Friday, January 29, 2010

chickies and bunnies

Apparently 13 above is too cold for the chickens down the street. Their coop door is open, but they're all huddled inside pecking around the fluffy straw.

In my own yard, bunny tracks in the snow lead to the compost pile, while a rotten butternut squash is lightly nibbled upon. Come spring I'll have to cover the kitchen waste better, but for now the bunnies can have a free snack.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

a crow and his apple

Spring-like, sunny and with a warm south wind, temps in the low to mid 30s. I walk along the Lakewalk from 12th E to 43rd E., comfortable in a short-sleeved t-shirt, flannel and ski vest (I had to take off my sweater because I was too warm). Just past the Ugly Condos on Water Street, four robins fly overhead, rocketing out of a little patch of trees and headed up the hill. A bit later, out on the lake, there are 25 to 30 black-and-white somethings, most likely goldeneyes but possibly mergansers (I did not bring my binoculars). The lake is mostly open, but with a small, loose build-up of ice near the shoreline; jangling against the rocks it sounds like toy, plastic coins.

Back in the hillside, a crow plucks a rotten apple from a tree, but then drops it as he takes off. He glaces regretfully over his shoulder and half circles back, then changes his mind and keeps flying.

Friday, January 15, 2010

midwinter chokecherries

Warm, sunny and slushy. In the woods behind Grant Elementary there are chokecherries with fruit still on the tree, looking very desiccated and raisin-like. There's more pit than fruit now, but the flesh is sweeter and milder than any Rainier cherry

Saturday, January 9, 2010

dark arrows

A walk at sunset takes me up to the Coppertop Church. Crows partol the neighborhood, and once I thought I heard a raven croak. From the overlook by the Church, the birds are dark arrows against the dusky rainbow of colors in the sky and lake.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

crossbills in Congdon

In Congdon Park, a flock of about 30 crossbills ransack the spruce trees. They take a bite or two, then let the spent cones trickle down through the trees like raindrops. Red squirrels are more than happy to glean their leftovers. The creek is as yet unfrozen; it gurgles underneath a skin of ice and snow.

Friday, January 1, 2010

the beginning

Cold and bright, clouds just at the horizon. Steam rising up off the lake. Starlings at the feeder and spiraling overhead and perched on the wire, fluffed into little balls. Fresh bunny tracks in the snow. Temps around zero with a light, biting wind.