Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Wonderland

It's still snowing here! It is very still and cold. This is the view from the little room where I am sitting. This was 'the boy's' room when my children were young. Now it is our office. The cats love this room, too. There is a futon sofa with a feather mattress here. But of course they sleep on top of the pillows!

This room has two windows. One looks out over the little river valley and Mt. Rainier. The fenced in area is my closest neighbor's horse arena. The other looks out onto the front yard.

Or up into the branches of this large cedar tree.

Looking down you see the little arched gateway Hubby built. I planted a scented 'Don Juan' rose below the arch, but it refuses to grow over it. It wants to go the other way and drape itself along the fence line. So I let it grow that way. It has gorgeous red roses. I can't wait to see them again and breathe in their wonderful scent.

The dog kennel is just to the right of there and the Stellar Jays love to eat the dry dog food I leave out for Little Bear. I think the birds eat more than Little Bear, although you would never know it to look at her. She loves her chow! She has the thickest, woolliest coat you can ever imagine. She is a Heinz 57 variety. Somewhere in her lineage is Chow, Rottweiler, and Labrador. She has her very own heated dog house and we rarely close the kennel gate, except when we have large truck deliveries or on big holidays when everyone comes and leaves the driveway gate open. She stays outside because she is so large and because her coat is so thick. Whenever we try and keep her inside, she panics and hyperventilates at the door. So we have made her special accommodations. We love her.

She smiles. She actually pulls her lips back and shows her teeth in a real smile. To strangers she looks like she is baring her teeth. But no, she is only smiling.

She doesn't have her 'full smile' here, but you get the idea.  She is getting old now and every year we have with her is a gift. She is fearless with a loud, resonating 'woof'. She chased the bear up the tree. Wagging her tail. Her only fear is having a bath. She hates them.

I guess we won't be having any picnics here any time soon.

This beautiful fellow is a 'Varied Thrush'. In the winter we have a little group who come to stay here. They scratch the ground under our large trees, searching for grubs. They are insect and fruit eaters. They also like the dog food, especially the canned variety. So I leave a little dish of it out for them where the dogs can't get it.

Their little tracks are everywhere. They have a one-note reedy call that is very distinct. They are rather slow and easily caught by predators. The hawk that caught the bird a couple weeks ago on my front lawn, caught one of these. But the birds are not so easily fooled, now that they know the hawk is around.

Every morning I go outside with bird seed for the feeders and hot water to fill the bird baths. This is what it looked like before I filled it.

The birds were so hungry this morning that they stayed perched in the little bushes just feet away from me while I filled the feeder. You can see two Junco's sitting together on a little branch above the Jays. I love listening to them twittering and chattering all around me.

Hubby has stayed home from work yesterday and today, so the little walkway to the vehicles has no foot prints. He has been keeping the wood box filled and the fire roaring and we are warm and cozy inside. The roads are treacherous and the television has been airing non-stop news of the hazards of travel. My son, daughter and loved ones have made it safely home from Mexico last night. One more day and they would have been stranded, as they have cancelled most flights in and out of the airport. My little kitten has gone home and the house is quiet.

My small stack of fabric is washed and ironed and ready to be cut for my applique wall hanging, so I must get busy.

I hope you are warm and dry today. Don't forget to feed the birds.


  1. Oh what beautiful photos. And Little Bear's smile! That's amazing. If ever you capture the full-on version, do show us. Your birds are beautiful. We mostly have pigeons, doves, magpies and crows - but also various kinds of tits, and robins. I love them.

  2. Thank you, Christine, I will try and catch her smile, but she is afraid of the camera! She is so suspicious of anything foreign in our hands. We just might be trying to trick her into her bath, you know!

    We don't have magpies here. I have heard that they are very intelligent and resourceful. Do they lay eggs in other birds nests?

  3. I don't think magpies lay in other birds' nests. I think they're related to jays, and like jays they can be loud and pushy. I once saw a magpie make a cat back up along the top of our long brick wall, quite a long way! It was nesting season and the magpie just rushed and squawked and the cat backed up until it could flee. Another time we watched a magpie mother try to teach her baby how to fly. She ran along the lawn, with him following, and then lifted off but he just kept running. When night fell, about 11:30 pm, he was standing on top of a ball in the neighbours' garden - the closest he could get to lift-off. We were so relieved in the morning when he was still there and hadn't been a cat-snack! He must have learned the next day because we only saw the young ones darting in and out of the bushes after that.

  4. Hi Christine, love your Magpie stories! So funny! They do seem to be very intelligent. Thank you for sharing those! xx


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...