Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter's Not Over Yet

Winter is DEFINITELY not over yet. It's actually been a fairly low-key winter in Southern Ohio, aside from some bone-chilling temperatures - we haven't had tons and tons of snow. So I guess this past weekend and today it's trying to make up for that.

This past Friday/Saturday we were blanketed with a good 4-5 inches. Today we woke up to several inches and are expected to get several more before the day is over - probably a good 6-7 inches when everything is said and done. My husband and I both stayed home from work today - getting snowed-in at work is NOT my idea of a productive (or happy) day.

This weekend I snapped a few pretty pictures of our yard after most of the snow had fallen:

Our neighborhood mockingbird, trying to keep warm:

We were quite excited on Saturday - excited as well as a little frightened. I had gotten up from the couch and was walking through the kitchen when I happened to glance outside into the back yard and saw something huge in the middle of the snow-covered lawn. I did a double take, and then another take for good measure, and then yelled for my husband.

There was a extremely LARGE bird just SITTING there on the ground. After grabbing the camera and getting a zoomed view, we knew it had to be a hawk of some type. Earlier this year my husband had seen a large hawk perched on the roof of our porch - maybe this was the same bird?

After a few minutes of observation and "oh my god"s, we realized why he was just sitting on the ground - he was harboring his latest catch, some small bird that was probably feeding on our freshly-stocked bird feeder. He eventually flew away in a dramatic sweep of wings and feathers, carrying his meal with him.

After researching online, we're fairly certain that the bird was a Cooper's Hawk, but it could also possibly have been a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. Either way, I was feeling guilty for filling our bird feeder and "luring" our poor neighborhood birdies into a death trap. I come from a long line of bird feeders, so I can't just NOT feed the birds. I wonder if there's a way we could get "WARNING, BIG SCARY HAWK TERRITORY" translated into "bird" and put on a sign for our back yard.

In other news, I finally made my purchase from Gardeners Supply that I've been ruminating over for a couple of months:
Whew, it feels good to have it ordered and done with - it's not a small commitment to spend money on stuff like that! Now I just have to hope that all of this snow doesn't delay the delivery - it's scheduled for tomorrow!

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