Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Out and About: It Got Above Freezing Today!!!

Thirty-eight degrees feels balmy after the arctic cold that we've endured since after Christmas through the first week of the new year. My dog, Jamis, refuses to leave the house in booties and a coat, so we haven't gotten farther than the yard in quite awhile. Today we ventured out and walked through the woods and south along the Zim Smith trail. I could take my gloves off to take a few pictures without worrying about frostbite! I had Green Hour at the Round Lake Library today and I read a book with the children about animals that live under the snow in the winter. There are signs in the Peck Avenue woods of the Red Squirrel. It looks like they have made some underground hide-outs there. If you walk straight back to a bit before the stream, you can see some small holes. Colin S., who was at the program today, worried about how the squirrels would find food. There are cones on top of the snow and squirrels will also dig down to find edibles like hickory nuts. There is also the Peterson's bird feeder, which I have seen a Red Squirrel sitting in and dining from. The children made a beautiful ice feeder today, filled with fruit, seeds, and nuts for the birds and, of course, squirrels! It is hanging in the Children's Garden behind the library. Hope to see you out and about. Happy New Year!!!
Snow-capped Nest in Peck Avenue Woods

Another Nest with Tissues Incorporated Into It

Gnawed Tree Trunk

Red Squirrel Hide-out

Another Entrance to Red Squirrel Abode

Pine Cones are Super Abundant This Season

Ice Feeder with Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds

Out and About: The Peck Avenue Woods on Christmas Afternoon 2017

Looking West Through the Pines in the Peck Avenue Woods.

Out and About:( When I thought Ten Degrees Was Cold) A Story Through Glass

On December fourteenth it was a cold morning. It was ten degrees. Little did I know that in a couple of weeks we would be dealing with wind chills below zero and daytime temperatures in the single digits. This December morning, I glanced out my glass kitchen door to look at my bird feeders. There on a suet cage, sat a male Northern Flicker. I stopped to watch him. There he sat. Minute after minute went by and he continued to just hang-out. Finally, after ten minutes, he began to eat. Enter a Blue Jay. A Noisy one. The flicker didn't budge. The jay left but wait... he came back. Now both suet cages were occupied by woodpeckers and the jay voiced his dismay loudly. Neither woodpecker looked up from breakfast. The jay vocally carried on but then stopped. It realized pieces of suet were dropping on the ground. It dove down to eat its own breakfast. The photos are taken through the glass door so as not to disturb the birds and because it was cold. Ha! Note the yellow under the flicker's tail. There's yellow under the wings too. We have the yellow-shafted group in our area. There is a red-shafted group elsewhere.
Male Northern Flicker

Finally Starts Eating

Enter: Noisy Blue Jay

With Suet in its Bill, Flicker Gives Jay a Dirty Look When Jay Leaves

But Wait! Jay is Back

Jay Dives for Suet Pieces on Ground