Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The feeder birds

The house is quiet.
From behind a sheer, frosty curtain, the world is waking—while the moon casts the sharp shadows of bare trees in bold lines across the woods beyond my window.
It will be the perfect day to stay inside--watch the feeder birds as I sift and sort.

December has become my month for housekeeping.
Not in the literal sense, although there’s a fair share of that, as well. Closets to be cleaned, the dusty underbed world, a freezer stocked with food wisely packed away, then forgotten--all attempt to catch my eye as I walk past them.
I’m a great one for hanging onto things.
Letting go, is my greatest challenge.

Tufted Titmouse

A generously stocked feeder has brought a frenzy of dawn activity. Titmice and chickadees dash in, one after another, and grab the black oil sunflower seeds, flying off to nearby branches to deftly pry them open. Elbowing past the finches and cardinals who are rolling the seeds around in their thick, nutcracker bills, they quickly return. Showers of shells fall all around.
On the ground beneath them, the sparrows scratch, forward and back. A junco hops up and over a fallen log at the woods’ edge, his belly already the dusting of white he finds on the snow-covered patio.

Slate-colored Junco

After almost 3 years of constant camera outings on new trails to be discovered with new lenses and settings to learn, I’m wading through an increasingly deeper and wider pile and file of photographs—35,000. And it shows no sign of sorting itself.
The mind that at one time could find each fairly easily, now struggles through the rising, swirling tide. Hard drive spinning, fans wildly alive, I’ve started to tag it all, sifting and sorting, in this housekeeping so badly needed.

From beyond the glass, they look at me.
Then all is quiet.
Again, I must run and grab my camera.

Cooper's Hawk, juvenile

Cooper's Hawk watching feeder

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giggles said...

Lookin' for easy pickins' no doubt.... probably not as easy as first thought....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

That juvenile Cooper's looks so different than the adult I see daily checking the feeder area for his (probably "her" given the bird's size) own potential meal.

Lovely prose and pics…

(Lucky you with only 35,000 photos to sort and file.)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Coooper's Hawks are our winter entertainment. We have had an adult buzzing through the garden every few days. 35000 photos is a lot. I would hate to count what I have and they aren't nearly the great quality that you have taken. I just hate to part with them anyway. I think digital photos make it even worse because you tend to keep the ugly ones too just because they don't take much space. Good luck with your housekeeping.

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful pictures Nina, especially that first Tufted Titmouse.

The Early Birder said...

I recently started to make a list of all those jobs long put to one side and then decided they can wait. There is still much to see outside Nina and thanks for sharing your visitors. FAB.

Meredith said...

Fantastic photos. And I hope your sorting and sifting is relatively painless. December seems a perfect time to get to all that stuff. :)

Julie Zickefoose said...

This paints a lovely picture of you, staring into a smokin' hot computer, but glancing up from time to time to grab the camera and record the beauty. I envy your resolve and especially your pulling the trigger on organizing what you have been collecting. Envy, because I keep collecting but lack the resolve. The memory fails both on me and my computer.

First Cooper's shot is the winner for me. mmm.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh wow! The HAWK! It took my breath away - that would be SO awesome.