One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Snow Birds


The other morning before I woke, I dreamt of hearing red-wing blackbirds singing.   No doubt they will be back before long…and with February has come the return of delightful bird song in the early morning, which no doubt inspired my dreaming.  


But of course, the red-wing blackbird never look quite as fabulous as the above merging of crytal-spawned rainbow and living room “cave painting.”  What a treat for the kitty and me last Sunday morning.

Yes, we’ve had some sunshine, in fact, Groundhog’s Day brought us a 52 degree day as reward, perhaps, for the cold January weeks we’d just endured.  I celebrated with a nice walk to and from work – and I have to say, I enjoyed it even more than in the blizzard on New Year’s eve.


No, I haven’t had any additional sightings of those bluebirds from last week, but I discovered I had just a couple more good photos of them I wanted to share.   They were such a cheery treat on a cold day, I have a feeling you won’t mind revisiting them  here.


It feels a smidge like spring inside lately, with all the houseplants nice and green following their recent “spa days”.   While the first flowers of the amaryllis have now faded and the flower stalk removed, there’s a second one rising up and I expect there’ll be more flowers to enjoy before long. 

The spider plants I divided are beginning to put out new leaves now (I kept two of them for dividing at some future point closer to actual spring), and the cosmos seeds have begun to sprout.  The latter feels a little indulgent – it IS early in the year for seed starting still, without benefit of the wonders of an actual greenhouse – but still, those little seedlings warm my heart.




Like I said, Groundhog’s Day was a little like a gift, a brief reprieve.   On a few of my ten years on Cape, I’ve found February 2nd to be similarly warm, enough to entice me to dip my toes in the icy waters at the beach.  Not so this year, but it was still a beauty day for a walk…and a on the way home, there was a sunset to warm my heart.


Of course, the weather changed the very next day.   We had rain to start things off, which, after getting everything nice and wet, turned to sleety stuff on the way to an afternoon and evening of snow.

I couldn’t be sure quite what this bird (right) was, due to the angle and heaviness of the snow just then.  I’m not sure its silhouette is big enough, compared to the blue jay who shortly appeared in another branch, but the red chevron that is faintly visible on the back of this bird’s head suggests it is a flicker, perhaps a small one. 

I’m still a little unconvinced, though; perhaps the red is simply a trick of the light.




The snow was a bit of a cruel follow-up to the teasing temperatures of Monday.  By the afternoon’s end, we had a few inches of snow encrusted on everything and winds once more gusting outside the window, jangling the windchimes.  When I checked out the window before turning in later on last night, I noticed that we were having another round of snow flurries.

This morning, despite a temperature of 28 degrees, there’s a variety of birdsong to be heard outside in the winter wonderland.   Their songs encourage me and remind me that, despite appearances, spring really isn’t that far off after all.   Even the groundhog’s worst prediction suggests six weeks. 

It might be a little longer than that – and even longer still until we are able to shed our winter layers and leap and dance our way through the outdoors in shorts and t shirts and Tevas-  but for now, I can believe it’s on the way.



Comments on: "Snow Birds" (6)

  1. hello midnight gardener!! i’m here the first time and i must say that i love what you wrote about the nature and also about you.

    it don’t snow where i live so i don’t know how cold it would be when outside the window looks like this.. i guess it must be so chilling..

    anyway, i used to try to grow something but it never worked. but i really hate it that my house is all white without any green feeling in it.. so maybe i’ll try again

    talk soon :-)

    Welcome, oohdela! It IS a bit on the chilly side out there, but having the green inside certainly helps make it not seem so bad.

    Sounds like you need to start with a nice simply spiderplant or pothos vine to encourage you in your early indoor gardening efforts!

  2. Good call on posting additional shots of the bluebirds. The closeness and amount of detail is amazing.
    I hadn’t focused on an increased amount of birdsong, partly because there’s rarely anything around here besides pigeons, sparrows, starlings and gulls… but that said I have woken up to more chirping recently. I rather like the sound of sparrows. So cheerful.
    Thanks for giving me something else to listen for on my walks.

    I was amazed at the bluebirds pics; you may recall they were shot through a dirty window – so the clarity of these little guys is just remarkable…and they just bellow “Spring”, don’t they?

    I find the other birds have more distinctive calls, but yes, those sparrows are cheery little buggers!

  3. Fab photos, as usual. I don’t know why but the first one I find just fascinating. The landscape, bird and plant pics are amazing too. (Did I forget anything?) ;) Keep it up.

    Molly, it keeps drawing me back for another look, too! That’s why I had to share it…

  4. Lovely bird and rainbow drawing Greg, love it that you call it a cave painting. And the bluebird pictures are really impressive – looks like you were close! Very pretty birds – look like European robins but with extra blueness, which can’t be bad in a bird :)

    We’ve been having exciting amounts of snow in the UK, which I am loving even if the politicians, press and business people all seem to just moan. Let them! I’m off to make snowpeople :D

    Good for you, Bird!! It’s all too easy to find things to grumble about. Better to just bundle oneself up and head out into the frosty air for a bit of invigorating fun. It’ll be something to laugh about in the summer heat of a few months from now!

  5. The birds keep their timetable regardless of our hopes or fears about the winter. Isn’t that inspiring?!

  6. We just had some California snow, just like yours, only not frozen. We’re so glad for it. It’s not winter without it, frozen or not! When you show your green spring pictures, I’ll know where the water for the plants came from. Have fun with the baby cosmos. I have a tomato seedling (3 feet+ tall) that I haven’t had the heart to toss. Maybe it’ll be time soon enough to let the cosmos and tomatoes loose on the outdoors…

    We’ll see about the cosmos. They look a bit straggly, but a few may survive indeed. With your tomato, you could always re-plant it in a much deeper pot and let that spindly stem make roots!

    Our ground is bare and we sort of tickled the underside of 52 degrees this afternoon. Experience tells me we’ll fall and rise in temperature for weeks to come…but it also tells me not to know what to expect.

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