More migrants arriving

I was really annoyed at myself this morning for not having the camera set up right, so when the red winged blackbird decide to do its threat display it got blurred and I didn’t have time to change the speed.  The the “best” pictures are below, you can still see the overall effect but no details.

First, though, is the one that came out OK, a cowbird.  We also had a pair of woodland thrush but as I was tied to my computer with a wired headset giving a web lecture, I couldn’t get pictures.

Cowbird
Cowbird
Red winged blackbird display 1
Red winged blackbird display 1
Red winged blackbird display
Red winged blackbird display 2

Why am I watering my ladder?

Don’t I know that’s not how you make it longer?  Well, yes, even I’m not that dumb.

  • Well, I used it to try to clear my chimney after the house filled with smoke – I think a bird built a nest in there.
  • But the roof was too icy and I couldn’t get on it.
  • But meanwhile the feet of the ladder froze to the ground and I couldn’t move it.
  • So I had to tilt it away from the roof as the squirrels were using it to get on the roof and drop to the peanut feeder.
  • Which is hazardous to my health as I have to climb the step ladder (background) to fill it and squirrels empty it too fast.
  • So I tilted the ladder away from the roof but now it is slowly thawing and risking breaking the dogwood bushes.
  • So I put hot water in the watering can and got the feet out.
  • Simple!
Watering the Ladder
Watering the Ladder

 

If different species don’t fight, why must people?

The chipmunk and the squirrel both occupy very similar niches in the woodland ecosystem, but they leave their competition to just eating as much food as they can.  No fights over the same territory.

Chipmunk and Squirrel
Chipmunk and Squirrel

I hadn’t realised before that the chipmunk has a prehensile tail. I usually see it scurrying around on the ground but when it needs its hands to eat while perching in a bush, it hangs on with back feet and tail.

Chipmunk in bush - prehensile tail
Chipmunk in bush – prehensile tail

I asked for warmer weather … got a roofalanche!

Just like the mountains, warm weather brings increased risk of avalanche.  Our (relatively) new metal roof sheds snow quickly as it is much smoother than the former shingles.  This year, though, the ice from the storm in December was still there as it has been below freezing since.  Today got up to +5ºC (forgot where that + sign was: ++++ love that).

So today it all came down (except the ice sheet that took down our TV satellite dish last Friday).  More work I didn’t need, but good cardio workout I suppose.

My spade was buried in the ice and snow as I only used it yesterday to clear another snow fall.  I had to dig it out first as the regular snow shovel just pushes it, and is too flexible to dig into 5cm-thick ice.  It shows the scale in the second picture.  Over 1m of ice and heavy, wet snow.   Maybe on the weekend I can get the ice off the path too, before we drop below freezing daytimes again.

Before and after:

Roofalanche
Roofalanche
Roofalanche cleared
Roofalanche cleared