When Will It Be Spring?

That is actually the title of a children’s book that I have read to my preschool students many times over the years.  In the story, the bear cub keeps waking up during hibernation thinking spring has come and when his mother tells him not yet, he asks her over and over, “but when will it be spring?” and she has to explain again the first signs of spring’s arrival and make him go back to sleep.  This week I have found myself asking over and over WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING??  (And wishing I could just go to sleep until it gets here!)

The answer – not anytime soon!

This past week was a very trying one.  My boss was on vacation – taking a Caribbean cruise and leaving me behind in the cold to be “in charge” of the preschool (always stressful).  To make matters worse, I was sick with a sinus infection and ended up at the doctor’s office (usually stressful).  On Monday I pinched one of my fingers in a child-sized folding chair.  Wednesday I banged my head but good while cleaning up toys.  Friday I woke up to a real air temperature of -4 degrees below zero.  Add to that it was Valentine Party week, which with 3-and-4-year-olds means CRAZY!!  Let’s just say it was a huge relief when 3:30 p.m. Friday arrived!

Today I woke to heavy, blowing snow but it was warmer than they had predicted.  The wind and snow were on and off all day.  It was nuts.  One moment the sun would be shining, the next it would be total white-out conditions!  I spent a good amount of time in front of the living room window, watching and photographing the birds.  I have chosen a wide variety of visitors to share with you today.

First off, the sparrows are still utilizing the old Christmas tree for cover.  It was especially welcome on this blustery day.

Sparrows sheltering in the old Christmas tree.

Sparrows sheltering in the old Christmas tree.

Here a sparrow is imitating the sharp-shinned hawk from last weekend. 🙂

House sparrow trying to imitate the "big birds".

House sparrow trying to imitate the “big birds”.

There were many house finches, as usual.  Unfortunately, it appears that many of them are suffering with a form of conjunctivitis.  Not long after I took this photo, this poor little guy got spooked and flew right into the picture window.  😦

Male house finch with conjunctivitis.

Male house finch with conjunctivitis.

I went out to check on him and held him a moment and put him in a safe, comfortable corner and later when we checked on him again, he took off, so no lasting harm.  After doing some research on the disease I took down all my feeders this evening and spent a good amount of time cleaning and disinfecting them to the best of my ability.  I also decided to join  Project Feeder Watch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  I should receive my kit in a few weeks.  To learn more about Feeder Watch, click here.

House finches.

House finches.

How many finches do you see?

How many finches do you see?

The red-bellied woodpecker made quick visits.  I was shocked this photo turned out, I literally had a split-second to push the shutter.  I thought for sure it was going to be a blurred image!

Red-bellied woodpecker, always a favorite!

Red-bellied woodpecker, always a favorite!

I also had a split second to catch the white-breasted nuthatch.  So I only got part of him.

White-breasted nuthatch.

White-breasted nuthatch.

There were some less welcome visitors.  But hey, I guess they all need to eat. 😉

European starling.

European starling.

Fox squirrel.

Fox squirrel.

I leave the squirrels alone as long as they stay on the ground.  There were at least three of them making pests of themselves.

This is my favorite photo from the entire day.

Male goldfinch.  I do believe he is turning a bit more gold!

Male goldfinch. I do believe he is turning a bit more gold!

And this one comes in a close second.  He looks like he’s looking up at the sky asking the same question as me — WHY?? LOL

Male goldfinch.

Male goldfinch.

At times, this is what it looked like out my window.

Just a bit of a blustery day.

Just a bit of a blustery day.

Mark and I went off to Menard’s to buy the supplies needed for him to build me a nice scrapbooking work area in our guest room.  The weather continued to blow and snow and then get sunny again.  When we returned home, the sun stayed out for quite a long time, so I was able to get a few more decent photos.  You can see the difference between these and the ones above from earlier in the day.

I decided I better do a couple of galleries or else you all were going to get really sick of this post! 🙂  I just couldn’t help myself because some of these, I really like.  I especially had a hard time getting a decent shot of the juncos, so when I ended up with two fairly good images, I had to use both!  You would not believe how many times those little guys showed me their tail feathers, or hopped out of frame just as I was about to push the shutter!! (Just click on any photo to see a full-size version and get the full effect.)

Tomorrow is supposed to be even colder – our “real” air temperature may never make it above zero and they are calling for wind chills from -20 to -30 below zero.  I hope wherever you are, it is warm and sunny!  If not, if you are experiencing the deep freeze of winter as I am, you can ask along with me…

WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING??!!

 

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13 Responses to When Will It Be Spring?

  1. Bob Zeller says:

    I love all of your pictures, Amy. I can’t pick a favorite, but I do also like your Goldfinches. But I am drawn to the nice composition of the sparrow (Chipping?) in your first photo. Stay warm. Spring (or spring training for the Texas Rangers) start February 20. Hey, baseball is coming. Spring must be pretty close.

    Like

  2. Jesse says:

    How many different birds do you have over there? It’s amazing!!

    Like

  3. I’m asking the same question myself!

    You were able to get many great photos for this one, you must be getting used to the new camera.

    Feeding the birds is a worthwhile proposition for both the birds and the people who do so. The birds can certainly use the food this time of year, and they in turn reward us by entertaining us in return. But you do need to keep your feeders clean to prevent the spread of diseases. Good luck with the feeder watch project, I don’t participate, but I do follow their Facebook page to see the great photos that people get.

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    • Thanks, Jerry! A lot of my improvement is thanks to YOU, and Bob, and H.J., because you have all given me so much great advice and encouragement. And your blogs keep me striving to get better!

      I will be better about cleaning my feeders now. I got a little lacksadaisical with the cold weather. I am interested to see how I do with the Feederwatch project. It looks like it could be fun and interesting. I use the Cornell lab site a lot, so I’m looking forward to being part of something they are involved with!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kathydoremus says:

    Fun post to read…and great pictures. Love the Red-bellied with the peanut. 🙂

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  5. tootlepedal says:

    We had a lovely warm day today (10 degrees C) but you had better birds to watch.

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  6. Tiny says:

    Beautiful pictures of your adorable, little visitors, Amy! The Goldfinch was my favorite. I can’t do “feeder watch” here, but I like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and participate in bird counts they sponsor with some other organizations. A global bird count is going on right now, until tomorrow. Stay warm!

    Like

    • Thanks, Tiny! I am relatively “new” to photography and I only have a point and shoot Canon but thanks to the wonderful photographer friends I have made through blogging, they have helped me improve my skills and little by little I am getting better! I am still at that point where I get excited when I get a really clear image! LOL

      I’m looking forward to being involved with the Feeder Watch program. I got a confirmation e-mail and I need to go to the link and read the instructions for starting my bird counts, which I can start doing now even though I don’t have an ID number yet to make reports. Any reason to stare out my window at the birds is good to me! 🙂

      Enjoy some Florida sun and warmth for me, okay?

      Liked by 1 person

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