Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Frost

Well, it finally happened. The first frost. We had skated by a couple of nights when the temperatures looked as though they were going to sink, but then stalled out in the upper thirties. Not last night, though! It was a brisk 26 degrees when I woke up this morning and there was an absolutely gorgeous frost on everything. If I hadn't had an early appointment I would have taken the time to get the camera out and get some photos.

The restored grassland just outside of the confines of the fence was particularly beautiful, the frosty plumes frozen in place and glistening as though encrusted in diamonds as the sun began to peek through the trees. The birds were all atwitter, too, flitting and fluttering in and out of the shadows, looking for the last good seeds that the grasses have to offer up. There must be a bounty of natural food right now, as the traffic at the birdfeeders is almost non-existent--a few doves, a titmouse, the 4 bluebirds (usually at the birdbath) and a very chatty nuthatch.

I love to watch him scale headfirst down the trunk of the white oak in the back yard and he IS a chatty little thing. Cheep. Cheep. Cheep-cheep. Territorial, too. He'll flit over to the seed tray, rustle around a minute, pick out a few tasty morsels and then flit back to his tree trunk. Let someone else fly into the seed tray, though, and look out. Nuthatch on the loose! Maybe that's why I don't have many other birds. One little general is running them all off!

It's getting colder, though. It won't be long before their natural resources are depleted somewhat and then the birds will be back in droves. It will be my first winter in the new house, so I can't wait to see what different kinds of birds will begin to converge on the feeders once winter really sets in. For now, it's just the few frequent visitors and I'm patiently waiting for them to tell their friends about all the treats awaiting them atop the oak-covered knoll they (and now I) call home.

1 comment:

Roses and Lilacs said...

We had our first hard freeze on Tuesday. I have to be at work so darn early I couldn't get photos.

Those nuthatches do remind me a little of Napoleon. Such dapper little dandies. My feeders are doing a bang up business. Guess it's easier to sit on a perch and stuff their beaks than go out and hunt for seeds;)

I have to make the decision soon whether to feed millet this winter. I get some great native sparrows but also house sparrows that hang around and threaten my cavity nesting birds. Maybe just sunflower, safflower and thistle this year.