Making days count 59.
An odd sort of day, with a mixture of strange weather, touches of colour, and magical mysteries.
The morning began with robin-song outside my bedroom window. As I looked down at the Pink Dogwood Tree, there were at least six fluffed-out robins settled on snowy branches. How unusual, I thought, but how springlike!
Before I was ready for a morning walk, I became involved in other things during which time the clouds gathered. Not so unusual, I thought, and how winterlike! Mr. Downy Woodpecker, perceiving signs of another snowfall, pecked up some sustenance before scurrying up the tree. The burnished chest of a Varied Thrush caught my eye as a sunbeam added a glimmer of colour and warmth.
And not to be outdone, spring flowers perked up their petals.
I ‘spotted’ a couple of Spotted Towhees on the Winter Jasmine near the front door, but they had vanished before I could get a photo...but what was all the mess below the front step? I had noticed some scritchy marks at the edge of the walkway yesterday and a few leaves scattered about. Today every dried leaf had been strewn onto the path. What a mess! Not exactly a Welcome Mat! Could it have been those two troublemaker Towhees hunting for seeds?
....Aha, apparently so:
Behavior from this site
Mainly a ground-forager, the Spotted Towhee uses a two-footed scratching method, kicking both feet backward at the same time to locate food under the litter. This movement is often quite loud, and when the birds are in thick cover, the sound of them foraging is one of the best ways to locate them. Towhees prefer to forage in areas with a thick layer of leaf litter and a screen of foliage and twigs low to the ground.
Snow grains began to fall! These little granules of nothingness soon expanded until huge flakes the size of cotton balls filled the airspace, and, after an hour or so just as quickly stopped. With the return of the sun at 3 p.m., I donned my winter wear and headed off to see Harzel
Oh my, he was glistening! His buds were a-popping, and all seemed right in his world.
Close by, on the opposite side of the lane against a wooden fence, Harzel’s friend Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) was sporting fairy-wing leaves that cast magical shadows in the sunlight.
On the lane, deer tracks meandered amidst footprints of two and four legged ‘soles’.
Perhaps I will sweep all the leaves back from whence they came, and see if the Towhees return. Here’s a photo of a Spotted Towhee I took atop Harzel's thicket at the beginning of January. Now that I know about their scratching behaviour, it seems they must be the ones making all the undergrowth thicket racket! (say that 5 times fast).
And that concludes the odd sort of magical last day of February. Time to March on! (sorry ;))