Cloudy Days and the Christmas Bird Count

I participated in the Christmas Bird Count on December 19th. It was a cloudy, cool day. Not great for photographs, or for a lot of birds either, at least where I was, but it was good to see more people participating. I took both cameras with me, not knowing what I expected to do with either one of them.

If I start thinking about how long it has taken me to get back to finishing this post I won’t do it, so strike that thought and keep going. Below is a look at how the Fox River looked that morning.

I started out with the mirrorless and managed to get a rather nice view of this Red-bellied Woodpecker. Actually all the bird pictures in this post were taken with the little camera. I didn’t have to fuss around with adjusting for no light as much.

At some point we had stopped to listen for birds and saw this amazing honeycomb hanging from a tree.

We had Downy Woodpeckers (below) and a Hairy as well.

Hairy Woodpecker

It was almost not worth taking these photos of flying geese but you can appreciate just how dark and gloomy it was.

Learning more tree bark – this is a cherry tree, which the person who identified it said it looks like “potato chips.” I guess.

The fungus on this tree looks like a staircase to me.

The Cedar Waxwings were the most cheerful sight.

It’s hard to motivate myself to do anything beyond the have-to’s, these days. In particular, after the coup attempt – which is hard not to take personally – as much as I want to continue hoping I can exude a positive vibe that will land somewhere it’s needed, it’s hard to fight sheer exhaustion. But this comes and goes in waves. It’s been cold and gloomy too, which does not help. Time to get up and do something! I need to play some piano every day for the birds. Music is life.

I’m adding this White-Breasted Nuthatch that somehow didn’t make it into a Portage post of October pictures. Another mirrorless capture.

I’m not making any promises about when I’ll be back, but sooner or later I’m sure I will. It’s been confusing to be anywhere lately. Everything has a veneer of unreality to it. Maybe it’s just time to start asking the old questions again, even if we still can’t answer them.

13 thoughts on “Cloudy Days and the Christmas Bird Count

  1. You’re still counting birds, here we are freezing! How is winter treating you so far?
    How’s your arm?. I hope is all well. The cedar waxwing is my favorite! Take care, Lisa. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, H.J.! We’re cold and gloomy, but the days are getting longer. My arm is a lot better, I can do almost everything I could do before – thanks for asking! Hope you warm up soon!! πŸ™‚

  2. I’m with you. It really is hard to get up and do anything beyond the have-to list, and even that gets pushed aside. I did manage to drag the kids out last week for skiing, but seeing your pictures I really would like to get out in the woods, preferably on a sunny day though… not today’s gloom.
    That bee comb is incredible. I guess they moved on to a more sheltered spot for the winter which makes me think again that I need to set up an empty hive in the yard and just see what happens. A friend says he did that and a colony just moved in. I envy the free honey, but when he tells me the cost of the hive and then the tools and the bee keeping apparel… I laugh at the free part!

    • I keep thinking about your wanting to have a bee hive. Egads. I get along great with the bees in my yard – they have never stung me, in fact they seem friendly and like it when I show up with water for the bird baths or the rare occasions when I use the hose. But I have no idea where they go afterward. In the meantime I have left everything if they indeed are overwintering in the leaves and stems. I guess I can settle for honey out of jar. πŸ™‚

      • Don’t worry! Thinking I need a bee hive and actually getting one could have decades separating them. There are always so many other projects in the way πŸ™‚

    • I’ve never seen a bee comb before, so I was really impressed. I had thoughts about Winnie the Pooh… Yeah, it seems like all the good weather has been on work days but even then the sunshine improves my mood. And if I’m home the indoor crowd celebrates. πŸ™‚

  3. I am sorry that circumstances have left you feeling the way that you do but I don’t blame you. Even from thousands of miles away, the situation your country looks very bleak with no easy way out of the troubles.

    I hope that birds can continue to bring you some comfort.

    • Yeah, I hate to complain, I really am very fortunate to be working and well. I have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better but my hope is that maybe finally getting our problems out in the open will force us to deal with them and make life better for everybody. The birds are my saviors – they don’t worry about any of this stuff! πŸ™‚

      • I think that everyone is entitled to a good moan under the present conditions. I find it hard to believe that the US will be able to recover fully while the rich have such influence over politicians.

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