Winter Solstice – Before and After

Winter doldrums… Most of these photographs – at least most of the ones with birds in them – are from December 10 on one of my more regular visits to Riverside. There were still passerines to be seen, even if they all fell into the predictable variety. The deep-seated cold had not yet found its way to us. So maybe December looks a little bit better than January…

By an offer of little contrast, for instance, below is a scene of the Des Plaines River on December 10, with the water still open, and below it, one from January 19, which was my last visit – with a lot of ice.

Here is likely the last Hairy Woodpecker I saw, in December.

I haven’t seen the Red-bellied Woodpeckers lately either, although I have heard them on occasion. In the gallery below this photo, the somewhat strange-looking backside photo of the woodpecker flying away at least shows off a red belly, so to speak.

American Robins are around all winter, but I don’t always see them.

Northern Flickers are around in winter too, but even more scarce.

Northern Cardinals are even lying low in the colder weather. The second photo was more recent, and the bird was much farther away.

It was still possible to see flocks of Rock Pigeons flying in December, but no more.

Even the little “snow” birds, Dark-eyed Juncos, are less visible lately. It was unusual to have the second bird sit in one place for three photos.

Black-capped Chickadees are hiding.

One very cold-looking Northern Cardinal

Mallards in December sunshine… and January freeze

Trail time before and after snow and ice…

A splatter of lichen

I always like seeing the Hofmann Tower on my way back.

I managed to photograph the two Mourning Doves on my last visit when we caught each other somewhat off guard. Only a couple months ago, I was seeing eight Mourning Doves. I hope these are not the only two left.

Today we have had lots of fluffy, white snow to deal with. It’s not a deluge but the total accumulation might be around 6 or 7 inches, I shoveled my walk and some of my neighbors’ early this morning in time for the few parents and kids who walk to the elementary school down the block. We got another inch or so after that. At least it’s not blowing around. Next up, we dive into the deep freeze, which will probably postpone my walks for yet another few days. So I will be returning to this space with more from past ventures.

Here’s a few more scenes around Riverside Lawn before the deep freeze.

2 thoughts on “Winter Solstice – Before and After

    • Actually we were expecting more snow I think than we got – and it’s not even half of what we had last year. But there’s always a chance for more. As for the ice, it slowed me down but it was manageable.

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