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Winter Blah-It Even Happens To Me

Cure for the Winter blahs @handbookfofnaturestudy
Yesterday I decided I needed some outdoor time. Grabbing my camera I went out the door with a feeling of anticipation. I always feel that little spark of adventure even in my own backyard. I know it like the back of my hand, but it always has a way of surprising me

The winter storm we had really took its toll on our plants and trees. I shed a few tears as I surveyed the damage to my roses, butterfly bushes, and other flowering plants. Some sort of rodents have been digging around in my garden and under the birdfeeders…what a mess of holes and tunnels! How could such a beautiful space be so ugly in winter? It really made me sad.

I turned and started walking back up to the house, sort of feeling like winter had let me down. After all my pep talks on this blog about winter and winter nature study, I was the one having the bad attitude.

I noticed that the birdfeeders were getting down to the last few seeds so I stopped by the storage room and filled my seed pail with dinner for the birds. I filled every feeder up and started up the stairs again to go inside.

junco on the branch
This time I heard a little scuffling behind me. I turned and realized that the birds had flocked to the feeders right after I had filled them up. There were juncos, sparrows, my favorite little titmouse, a couple of towhees, a scrub jay, and few finches. These birds did not care that all around them the branches of the trees are hanging down, broken from the winter storm. A few were scratching around under the feeders where the muddy rodent holes and tunnels were just inches away. The birds didn’t see any problem.

I stopped and looked up over the trees and there was a turkey vulture swooping and gliding in the crisp winter air. He didn’t seem to care that the roses were all broken down in my yard…he was just having a good time flying in the afternoon sunshine.

Okay, I remember now…winter just has its own ways of bringing beauty. The clearing of the old is a way of making way for the new. Didn’t I just realize that a few weeks ago?

sky with tree limbs
My tears were dry and I was now smiling at the antics of the birds in the feeders….the scrub jays being such bullies and the titmouse flying in and out like a crazy bird. The sky seemed a little bluer and the bird sounds were like a winter musical concert just for me.

The Winter Series of Outdoor Hour Challenges, starting on January 8th, are going to really get me focused again on regular focused nature study. I know that many of you are planning on following along so I will bring my very best winter nature study attitude with me when I come on Fridays. My boys have already asked about the cattail study and that will be our first challenge…to catch up with our cattails to see how their winter is going.

7 thoughts on “Winter Blah-It Even Happens To Me

  1. Goodness, Barb, you having a down and blah moment outdoors? Next you’ll be telling us that when you are surprised by a spider in the bath you smash first and then reach for the hand lens.

    Looking forward to the study. Can’t wait to adapt it to our own little Asian beasties.

  2. I’ve been feeling the same way – it’s been too cold to even go outside here, and I’m dreading seeing what kind of destruction has gone on in our yard. But I have been able to keep the birdfeeder filled, and it is always such a joy to see “my little friends”, especially the juncos, who have just returned for the season. I’m looking forward to your winter nature studies!!

  3. I finally got around to putting up several bird feeders and it was well worth the effort. We have been visited by Downy Woodpeckers, Titmouse, Juncos, Nuthatch and a new one for me a Carolina Wren. These little visitors certainly brighten the day!

  4. What an honest and uplifting post. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Oh girl ..Florida got winter! What the heck!? Ok well we always get winter but it’s like 6 weeks of off-and-on cold snaps that last a day or two. But man they’re talkin’ about snow now!

    I will not (due to fibromyalgia) be going out on Nature Studies until Winter leaves me the heck alone LOL. But I will be following you on your wintery adventures nevertheless.

  6. First of all, I love Sebastian’s comment about the spider. 🙂

    And, I can relate to feeling some sadness at winter death. We are having (as most of the country is) a very harsh winter here in Houston. We usually only get a few days where the temp dips below 32. Well, we just had our 2nd of 4 nights were the temp is in the low 20’s!!! Yesterday, I don’t think we even got above freezing!!! So, many of our tropical plants are shriveling and dying. They really look gross! And, we’ll just have to wait for spring (which starts in about a month) to see what really is dead and what will be able to recover. But, for now, I have some very gross looking hibiscus and other plants.

    Looking forward to seeing your challenges, too! And I really enjoyed your post!!

  7. You have such an awesome blog! We have just gotten started with Nature, slowly, and your wonderful blog is going to help us in so many ways. you have done so much of the work for us so that we can enjoy our studies. Thank you for all the great resources. Bless you for all your labor.
    Jenn D.

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