Winter music

It’s been an interesting week. I went to the lakefront Wednesday morning because it was the only day of guaranteed sunshine, before the snowstorm. It was cold but clear, making for a dramatic sunrise.

The reflection of the sun on the water in the harbor made interesting patterns…

as the ice floes started to settle in.

I startled some Common Mergansers hanging out in the open water.

But did not seem to bother this female fishing close to shore.

By Thursday afternoon when I looked out from the 42nd floor onto the lakefront there was only a rugged sheet of ice (sorry, no picture).

The Snow came on Friday, about 8 inches of it by Saturday morning, making the weekend a winter wonderland. This male cardinal caught me taking pictures of him through the porch window yesterday.

Male Northern Cardinal

I had all the feeders out and the yard was a very popular place. I counted 30 House Finches. Unfortunately by the time I went out in the yard everyone left, except for this sleeping female House Sparrow on the wire.

sleeping Female House Sparrow

Today there was no sunlight so I stayed indoors, eventually focusing on this Mourning Dove.

Mourning Dove on the feeder pole

The female cardinal was in the yard today. I finally managed to capture her here.

Female Northern Cardinal

And now for your listening pleasure, I’ve gone back in taped time to about nine or ten years ago when I was learning the Mozart K 333 in B-flat Major. First, a little sample of Hidalgo the Spice Finch coming in exactly in time with the music, not exactly on his first try but very quickly on his second, as he knows what’s coming (toward the end of a few bars in the first movement).

And then if you’re game for a longer recording, I was practicing the Adagio, which starts off with a lot of zebra finch calls, then Fabrizio, the granddaddy, who is barely singing these days, so it’s nice to hear him when he was young and feisty. He is joined briefly by his first hatched male offspring, Facondo, whose name means something like “squeaky” in Italian, if I can believe the translation I got trying to make up the word-name. At the time I didn’t realize these guys were actually singing complex songs. If you can stand to listen to the entire fumbled adagio with the repeats you’ll also hear some bright spice finch whistles, a little spice finch singing, and toward the end some trills from the male budgie of record (I can’t say for sure if Zeke had come on board yet but I think this might be him); he’s very trilly indeed. And the whole thing ends with one “mwa mwa” from Hidalgo. It was a very lively session, when at the time I had only a few birds. I played piano a lot earlier in those days, too. Now I don’t get around to practicing on the weekends until noon; by then half the birds are napping.

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