Winter Angst

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” — Charles Dickens

This just about sums up today and the last few days. Some small signs that winter may be pondering leaving us for a season, but has not quite made up its mind. I’m no longer a big fan of winter. Maybe this comes with age. I endure winter.

However we have two bird feeders filled with sunflower seed. As a result we have more birds this season than ever before. We can watch them out the kitchen window, and they put on quite a show. At times there are well over one-hundred birds. Our visitors are Northern Flicker, common woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Chickadee, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch and more.

I’ve purchased more sunflower seed this winter than prior seasons. The birds are eating more poundage in seed than our fifty pound dog consumes in dog food.

However this year we have some unwelcome quests stealing  food — squirrels. Fat squirrels. Hoping for help in ridding my feeder area of these rodents, I checked some web sites on what eats squirrels, thinking maybe I can invite quests for supper. I found What Eats, which  gives a list animals which enjoy fresh squirrel.  We already have coyotes, owls, foxes, and hawks. However the one I’d never heard of is a Fisher. Looking at a map, I doubt they are found this far south in the US.

My favorite outdoor pastime is landscape and nature photography.  Normally during the winter I do not go out often to do this.  But sometimes I take my camera out the back door, walk around a bit, and snap some cold photographs. Below are two of them.

By clicking on the the photo a much larger image opens.

When thinking of winter, this hymn always comes to mind:

 In the Bleak Mid-Winter

 In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

— by Christina Rossetti:

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