Spring was coming along nicely. Snowdrops were blooming, narcissus were poking up out of the ground, temperatures were rising.
Then, BAM! This morning this was the scene on our deck.
Just two days ago Miriam and I were sitting out there having afternoon tea and cookies.
The backyard looked quite beautiful, but this is February beautiful not last day of March beautiful! The word "beautiful" did not figure in the words muttered under my breath when I got out of bed and glanced out the window.
I was supposed to take my friend, Anne Godlewski, birding but we cancelled. The areas we planned to cover would have presented difficult driving - and there will be other opportunities.
This squirrel took it all in stride.
The feeders were no doubt especially welcome to our feathered friends this morning. As soon as I finish this post I will go out and top them up.
In the first shot you will see a long mesh feeder with peanuts in it (courtesy of my friend, John Sanderson). I wage a constant battle with the squirrels (who are patently smarter than Stephen Hawking) to keep them away from it, but this morning nine Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) visited the back yard and four of them ganged up on the squirrel and drove it off the peanuts. How do I let the grackles know they are welcome to take up residence here?
Despite my best attempts, I could not get a decent picture of a single grackle in the open.
We have seen several Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) this spring, but this morning they paid us a visit.
At least five Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) romped in the snow, nothing to worry about for these little winter warriors.
An American Robin (Turdus migratorius) was pretty stoic about it all.
And I suppose I must be too. I can tell you one thing though, I am not shovelling the damn driveway! The sun will melt this late season intrusion soon enough.