Snow Day!

Happy Wednesday!

It doesn’t matter how long I live in Virginia — I will never get used to having school cancelled with only 2 inches of snow on the ground!

Unlike my former home in Massachusetts, in Virginia they cancel school by county, not by town. Loudoun County spans an area from the Potomac River banks out to the fringe of the Blue Ridge Mountains, roughly 521 square miles. Within that area, you have a wide variation of terrain and temperatures. So, while it may be raining here closer to DC, they will have sleet and freezing rain in the western part of the county. Yesterday’s snowfall was a similar situation.

The photo above was taken this morning from my front door. Since our church administrative offices follow the local school cancellation policy, I have a snow day!


I’m happy to report that the birds — and squirrels — have all discovered our feeders. I have been enjoying my morning coffee while watching their antics.

Here are a few photos from this morning. I apologize for the poor quality, as sun had not yet made an appearance.

Yesterday, our birdbath saw as much activity as the feeders. At one point, there were American Robins, European Starlings and Mourning Doves, all trying to get a drink. Once a Bluejay arrived on the scene, all the others flew away. There is a clear “pecking order” in bird world. (Notice the lone Bluejay on the roof of the bird feeder.)

Many of my friends have given up feeding the birds because the squirrels are so persistent. We have managed to discourage them by using baffles on the feeder stands, and we try to locate the feeders away from trees. We also have one feeder with a weighted perch that closes when a larger bird or animal tries to get in. Squirrels are amazing acrobats though, and can launch themselves great distances to get to some feeders!

One other trick we’ve learned is to simply feed the squirrels. Costco carries large bags of unsalted peanuts in the shell. We always have a bag on hand, and we toss them out now and then. Northern Cardinals and Bluejays also love them! I’ve even seen a tiny Tufted Titmouse carry one away in its beak.

Signing off for now from the snowy tundra of Northern Virginia. 😀

For the Birds

It’s Saturday, and I’m starting the new year with a non-Sunday post. 😀

We enjoyed wonderful holiday celebrations this year. Christmas was quiet and mostly relaxing — once all the wrapping, baking, decorating and cooking was done. We were also blessed to have both children with us again. Now, after weeks of rushing around, it’s time to settle into a normal routine.

One odd thing though, is that it doesn’t quite feel like winter in Northern Virginia. We have seen plenty of precipitation, but it’s all been the liquid variety. It has been foggy, rainy, and mild, with only occasional morning frost. Mind you I am not complaining. (Well, maybe just a little.) Being a native of Massachusetts, I do love a good snowstorm now and then, if for no other reason than to slow things down a bit.

Calling All Birds!

My husband gave me a wonderful bird feeding station for Christmas. He set it up just outside our sliding glass door on the patio. There is a menu to please every taste: sunflower seeds, thistle, cracked corn and suet. Normally, it would be full of birds by now. However, I cannot decide whether it’s the close proximity to our house, or the balmy weather that is keeping my feathered friends away. Perhaps it’s a little of both. We will give it another week or so before deciding if we need to find a new location.

Of course the squirrels never seem to mind where we locate the bird feeders. They always find a way to get their fill!

As life takes on a slower pace this winter (if it ever arrives), I hope to participate in at least one Saturday morning bird walk organized by our local wildlife conservancy. I also plan to spend more lazy mornings sipping coffee and watching Chickadees come and go at my feeders. For me, that is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures!

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭148:7-12‬