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Monday, February 28, 2011

Very odd...yet magical dayl!

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! 

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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.

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And not to be outdone, spring flowers perked up their petals.

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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? 
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....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.

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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.
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On the lane, deer tracks meandered amidst footprints of two and four legged ‘soles’.

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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).

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And that concludes the odd sort of magical last day of February. Time to March on! (sorry ;))

10 comments:

  1. The Blackbirds here are the ones who scatter things all over the place. They use the same sort of two legged backward kick.
    For me it seems unusual to see so many robins together. The UK variety aggressively defends his territory.

    When I topped up the seeds at tea time it felt cold enough for snow here.

    Nice to see a bit of colour on the primulas. They stand out well against the snow.

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  2. I love the way you narrate and illustrate your photos. You must have a lot of fun putting your posts together. I sure do enjoy reading them.. and of course seeing your wonderful photos.

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  3. Hi John ~ No blackbirds in my garden, however I also noticed that the Varied thrush were flipping leaves today with their beaks ~ and they don't tidy up after themselves either!
    I thought it was most unusual to see that many robins in a tree. I don't know if they are aggressive here, because often there will be a few hopping around the garden in warmer weather.

    I hope you don't get any more snow; not all of ours has melted as the temps still hover around the freezing mark. Yes, the primulas did add some needed colour :)

    Thanks Hilary, I'm happy to hear you enjoy my posts. I do have fun creating them, especially because it gives me a chance to try out different processes after I have downloaded my photos.

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  4. My what a busy day! Lucky you to see all those birds, and especially six robins! Flighty xx

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  5. My first time here and like Hilary, I love the way you've narrated and layed out your posts and photos; how very creative.

    Congrats on POTW!!

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  6. Spring is around the corner and soon all thoseleaves will be roughed up I liked the shadows on the fence.

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  7. Gaston studio ~ Thanks so much for popping over from Hilary's and for your lovely comment. I have been reading through some of your fascinating posts, and will return~

    Out on the Prairie - thanks for coming by from Hilary's and I hope you're right about Spring being right around the corner! I'll be happy to see it blow all the leaves anywhere :)

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  8. Hi Flighty ~ I was amazed to see all of those robins! The front garden is becoming quite the place to spot the birds now that Mr. Sneaky Cat has moved!

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  9. Oh you've ushered out February in a wonderful manner! I like the gossiping Robins the most. I just can't help but wonder what it that caused them to gather. Who done what outrageous thing that they were all picking over with exclamations of, "I know! So I said to her, I said..."

    Also the picture of the flowers against the fence looks like a painting, it's so perfect.

    I'm here via Hilary's by the way :-) Congrats!

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  10. Thanks for stopping by Land of Shimp and for your lovely comment. There was an article in the newspaper indicating that the robins would be turning up soon, little did they know I had the whole batch on a tree...gossiping away ;) Yes, I liked the look of the leaves against the fence with their shadows, so glad you liked it as well.

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