Tag Archives: cardinal

Rainy November View

The autumn has been dry but yesterday and today the rain has been steadily falling. Weather forecasts tease there is a chance of fleeting snow flurries. Temperatures last night after midnight were mid-60s but they have been falling during the day on the way to the mid-20s tonight.

Rainy Day November View

Rainy Day November View

Leaning out the second story window to photograph the meditation circle, I was hoping the bright red cardinals and various little gray and brown birds would venture back out from their hiding places where they had scattered when I raised the window.

None complied, so I snapped a couple of pictures, turned to the right and then it was my turn to be startled. Only a few feet away resting on the closest point of the fence was a huge hawk (guessing a Cooper’s Hawk). Too spooked to click the shutter, instead I pulled back inside. I was none too sure the hawk was not going to fly into the window. The bird of prey did not seem to appreciate that I had upset its stealthy plans and reluctantly moved on, but I realized at last why the cardinal and other birds had become stubbornly invisible and quiet.

The rain will end soon and tomorrow should be sunny, but cold. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Wherever you are, whatever your plans, enjoy a happy day of peace and gratitude.

2012 Great Backyard Bird Count

All manner of birds have passed through the garden this winter, but cardinals are among the most common right now. Spotted ten Northern Cardinals having breakfast this morning at the feeder. The birds perch among the evergreen branches of two ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress trees, where they can check out the feeder.  Or they may tuck themselves just inside the Spirea shrub to watch for an opening. The bright red coloring of the male cardinals makes them easy to follow.

Just found out recently the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is coming up.

For four days between February 17 – 20, 2012, people across North America will be counting birds and reporting their results online. I will join the count this year for the first time.

Chilly Garden Walk

Shasta Daisy

Following several days of steady rain the temperature dropped, catching a Shasta Daisy by surprise. Holding at around 34 degrees on this gray afternoon, the chill is a reminder this is winter after all.

At least eight cardinals are bustling about. As they jockey for a turn at the feeders their bright red plumage contrasts brightly against the background of their favorite waiting stations: the verdant ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress, the brownish-gray, shrubby spiraea, or the stark, white fence. Yet when a person enters the garden gate the cardinals quickly tuck themselves away, masters at hiding and waiting.

A few early daffodils have been blooming for a month in spots around the neighborhood. Now the popular and reliable King Alfreds are emerging around the garden, as are last year’s addition, Flower Carpet. It is not unusual for Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’) to display some pink color this time of year, but they started early this year, since the first of November.

Are There Really Birds?

Someone read yesterday’s post, Birds Around The Garden, and asked, “Are there really birds in those pictures?”

Probably, but as the birds scatter pretty quickly when I enter the garden I find them very hard to photograph distinctly.

Flowers are generally much more cooperative subjects. They may be tossed around occasionally by a breeze, but blossoms and leaves settle down eventually and unlike birds, do not seem disturbed by my camera.

But as proof of bird life in my garden I was able to capture a minor image this morning of a cardinal in a pine and later, a couple of pictures of the same cardinal seated above a mourning dove that had escaped upwards when startled by my footsteps. With or without photographic evidence the birds are integral to this backyard’s sense of place.  They lead an active and vocal existence in the back section of the garden, bringing a lot of enjoyment to this gardener.