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Last week we got 2 1/2″ of snow the day after I had my snow tires put on…whew! That was a close one. I don’t like to be without my snow tires when there is snow on the road. Since then we have a little bit more fall, but tomorrow they are predicting several inches more, so we are well into it now. It looks like we may have a White Christmas, which is a good thing only if it doesn’t prevent Wendy and Emily from getting over the mountains to come visit for Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed for us!  

When the weather turns colder and snow begins to cover the ground, it’s every bird for himself or herself. With so many birds vying for the seeds that are on the ground, things can get a little contentious at times. The birds know that they need to eat as much as they can to keep their metabolisms up to can stay warm overnight.

Here’s what is happening in the video above:

A large group of quail, around 16 members, are foraging underneath the feeder. Eventually tempers flare and a confrontation happens, but after a brief tussle and a short chase, the alpha male re-establishes his rights to “his spot”. 

The little hummingbird sits on the electrical cord leading to the heated feeder, guarding what he considers to be “his” feeder. His head is always in motion, searching for a potential threat so he can chase it away. What is strange, though, is that he is facing the window and not the yard, which is where any threat would emerge. I wonder if he sees himself and is keeping an eye on that hummer in the window?

We briefly see a male Spotted Towhee in our plum tree. Those guys are hard to get on camera because they are always in motion and man, are they fast! We have three Towhees coming to our yard this winter, just like last year. I believe it is a family consisting of two males and one female, probably Mom, Dad, and the Kid. 

Next we have a lone sparrow on top of the suet feeder, which is empty. He is waiting for us to put out a suet cake, but he has a long time to wait. The birds descend upon a suet cake as soon as we put it in the feeder, and they demolish a whole one in less than a day. As bird seed and suet has increased greatly in price this year, we are having to ration out the suet cakes. The seed feeder, however, is always kept full, so the sparrow moves over to it. The birds take turns having a go at the seed, until a fight breaks out and that group trades places with other birds so they can have their turn.

That’s what Nature is all about…survival of the fittest.

I came across a video the other day that I took several years ago when we were visiting Emily in Seattle. She had an awesome area set up with several bird feeders, surrounded by a lot of trees, bushes, and a fence. I got this video of a Northern Flicker eating something off of the fence, maybe peanut butter, I’m not sure. If you watch the video closely, around the :18 second mark and again at the :48 second mark, you can see his very long tongue flick out. Until I took this video and watched it, I had no idea his tongue was THAT long.

Linda took a walk today down to Kissel Park and made a couple of new friends. She met Tom and his doggo Izzy. We aren’t sure what kind of dog Izzy is, but he looks like some kind of chihuahua mix. He’s a cute little fellow.

Linda and I have taken a few pictures of the snow and ice around our yard. This one below was taken by Linda, and it is absolutely beautiful, showing our Thundercloud Plum and Spruce trees covered in snow and also freezing fog.

Linda snapped this one below of the icicles hanging off of our roof. The snow hasn’t melted much because it hasn’t been above freezing the last few days. The high today was supposed to be 30 degrees.

I checked the front porch for packages the other morning (have to stay one step ahead of those porch pirates) and found the sweetest little bird tracks in the snow.

I looked out the window yesterday morning before it was even light and there, sitting on the heated feeder, was my faithful little hummingbird. I don’t think he spent the night there, but he sure was up early for such a little guy. Sorry I didn’t get a picture but it was too dark.


Summer Girl came into the office this morning while I was working on the blog, and I think she just wanted to let me know that she was bored. With several inches of snow covering the ground, she doesn’t have anything to do all day but sleep…and plague us.

Join me every Wednesday or Thursday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.


Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.

5 thoughts on “A LITTLE BIT OF SNOW

  1. Frozen fog on our trees has transformed the landscape into a stage scene for Swan Lake ballet, or the land of the Snow Queen in Nutcracker. It’s that of year for visions of dancing sugar plums in our heads, after all. You’re right about the birds enjoying a feeding frenzy! Ours did all last week, so I figured lots of snow was heading out way, and sure enough it did! I’m glad for my new boots I had ordered last week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On my, all the snow and ice reminds me of my college days in Ellensburg and Yakima; burrrrr!!! I had no idea that a Flicker’s tongue was so long; that’s an amazing video! Izzy is a cutie, and is certainly enjoying the snow. Lovely post, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s fun to read about the action at your feeders and that Flicker, wow! I’ve seen drawings showing the way their tongue retracts all around their skull but I’ve never actually seen that tongue! Very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

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