The Chickadee–Messenger of Happiness and Good-Natured Optimism

I started my day with the news and thought how awful the world was; and then I went outside and saw the fluffy snow gently falling from the trees, the bright sunshine and the peacock blue sky.

I went inside my mother’s house and saw the chickadee busily darting back and forth from the evergreen tree to the freshly filled feeder. His attitude and behaviour made me happy and I thought how fearless and bright he made me feel.

A curious squirrel, in his winter sweater, with snow on his nose; hoping to catch a falling seed from the birds; peered in the living room window.

Note to self: turn away from the world of man and turn towards nature and then I will see a perfect winter day with all its beauty.

The Female Cardinal–Messenger of Joy and Hope

The female cardinal greeted me for the new year at the bird feeder on the window. Her beautiful orange beak stood out against her muted red and brown body.

Her crest stood up on her head. What did that mean? She enjoyed her seed and I enjoyed watching her.

She reminded me that, even though the day was foggy and dreary, and I was still coughing and tired, there is always beauty in nature to restore our joy and hope.

Fish in the Sky

In the pre-dawn sky I saw hundreds of birds moving in a swarm; moving as one entity; as one gigantic undulating mass; as fish do in the sea for their own protection.

I don’t know what kind of birds they were, or why they were flying as a school of fish would; but I know that it was fascinating and mystical and as I continued to drive the school bus, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Fire in the Sky

The eastern December sky caught fire this morning. As my boots were in the snow, I raised my hands to warm myself for the exigencies of the day.

The snow-track clouds were bathed in pink and red and were reflected in the still waters of the Welland Canal.

While a crow, perched on the very top of the tree loudly announced, “Today is the first of December!”

“There’s a Horse in My Backyard!”

There was a very weird noise coming from the backyard last night–about an hour after sunset. I thought the aliens had landed or the neighbours were fooling around.

I called my husband to listen with me in the kitchen. I asked him, “What is that sound?”

He said, “It’s a horse!”

We went out the back door to take a look; which was probably a mistake, because the noise then ceased.

He went to bed and I googled, “nocturnal animal or bird that sounds like a horse.”

I then discovered that my equine friend was in fact an eastern screech owl.

It’s a wonderful new bird I can add to my birding list. But maybe some more experienced birders can tell me; can I add it to my list if I only heard it?

My New Bouncy Friend

I was studying in the back garden; getting ready to help run the local polling station for the upcoming federal election. I was learning how to get people ready to vote and enable democracy while not taking any sides.

Out of nowhere, on the back fence I heard the loveliest warbling and trilling and looked around to see the house wren bouncing up and down. I had never seen one before and I thought he looked like a sparrow, but certainly did not act or sound like one.

His song was very beautiful and I found his bouncy behaviour very amusing. I will always be grateful to Elections Canada for inadvertently introducing me to the house wren.

The Common Terns of Long Point Provincial Park

We were in Lake Erie; off the beautiful beach in Long Point Provincial Park; in the precious and unique biosphere of the Long Point sandspit; recognized by UNESCO; enjoying the water and the waves.

I looked up over the lake to see a group of birds, crying and dipping and diving over the water.

At first I thought they were seagulls, with their grey and white bodies, but they had black heads and they didn’t sound or behave like seagulls.

I later found out that they were common terns; but they weren’t a common sighting for me and I was happy to see them.