Today has been a real chiller, weatherwise! The temperature never climbed very much and the winds were quite brisk!

This morning, while Mark was in the shower, I decided to sit in the rocking chair in the living room where the fire in the woodstove was so warm and inviting!  The chair is located near the window where the bird feeder is hung. As I was about to sit, an intensely red patch of color on an oak tree outside caught my eye. Yes, it was “HER”!

We have an infrequent Red-Bellied Woodpecker who comes around to partake of the sunflower seeds in the feeder.  I stood watching her, then bounded up the stairs to get my camera. I raced back down the stairs and she was still there.

This bird is more than shy when it comes to humans or maybe even movement near the window. One day, when I spotted her from the upstairs bedroom window, as soon as I placed the camera near my face, she took off in a huff, not to return again! I figured since the rocking chair sits in front of the window, if I balanced myself on the chair, perhaps she wouldn’t be so flighty. The bad part about this is that I was shooting through the window…I knew that if I were to open the window, she would be gone right away.

These pictures are certainly not very good, but you can make out her features. The distiguishing difference between the males and females of this species is the male’s red “cap” extends from above his beak all the way to the nape of his neck. The female has a break in between, so she ends up with two red patches.




We went out this afternoon, as Mark wanted to do a little shopping. We traveled quite a distance, and when we went into Sam’s Club, the kids said they wanted to stay in the truck with the Scotties.  While Mark and I were in the store, Michelle called on the cell to ask if maybe she could call her friend who lives near the store. We had initially told the kids we would hurry, but Michelle called back again in a few minutes to tell us that Joey was there in the parking lot….she said no need to hurry as the three of them would sit in the truck and talk.

After shopping, the kids asked if perhaps they could go to the theater to see a movie. We looked to see what was playing and they decided to go see a Veggie Tales movie just for grins….While they went inside, Mark went into another store while I stayed in the truck with the Scotties. It was so cold, but since Mark has an inverter for the truck, I was able to use my laptop and it kept my lap warm! I had brought some warm blankets, and the Scotties snuggled deeply into the fluffy down-filled blanket as though grateful for the toasty warmth!

After the movie, the kids wanted to go to Taco Bell, so we hopped over there for a bit.

On the way home, blowing snow was a force to be reckoned with….Mark took it easy, but other cars flew past as though nothing would slow them down. With temperatures in the single digits, there is little the snowplows can do…most compounds they put on the road do little when it is this frigid!

As we came into one area, a vehicle was sitting on the side of the road with a different light flashing on its dash. We wondered what it was doing, but as we progressed,  we passed two firetrucks, an ambulance, and a volunteer firefighter in a pickup. Mark surmised that someone had slipped off the road and they were searching for the vehicle. The very thought of this sent chills up and down my spine. Anyone trapped in a vehicle in this cold could freeze to death in a pretty short period of time.

We got home after 10:30, and after being out in the cold, we were happy to be greeted by coals in the stove and warmth in the house! This was a fun day. The kids were able to meet with their friend and Mark and I didn’t feel any pressure from them, as they were happy to be doing something different. An impromptu meeting was just the ticket!

5 Responses

  1. At least we only have the cold! I heard that part of I-81 was closed for nine hours yesterday and parts of Oswego county are under 3 feet of snow. I am sure glad that isn’t us! You KNOW I would still have to go to work. People must have their baked goods…even if it is too dangerous to travel to buy them.

    I guess I must be sleepy…I clicked on the link to the Great SPOTTED Woodpecker in Bill’s comment above, and realized I had mistakenly read Great SCOTLAND Woodpecker! Hmmm, funny how the tired mind works! I’ll be retiring now, for my “post overnight baking snooze.”

  2. Bill, that Great Spotted Woodpecker is really pretty! We have a woodpecker here that is nearly impossible to SEE let alone photograph, called a Pileated Woodpecker. It is HUGE and it makes a shreiking noise similar to the sounds of monkeys calling out in those old jungle movies. When that woodpecker gets to pecking, the whole woods reverberates as though someone is using a JACKHAMMER! From reading about the GSW, it seems it is as timid as the woodpeckers we have here! Must be the woodpecker nature.

    Carly, you had better rest, for sure! Yes, I have been reading about the snow in Oswego County, and have been having dreams of traveling there with a snowmobile. Poor Mark shakes his head, wondering if he married the abominable snowman’s girlfriend! Just yesterday, I was trying to convince him it would be wonderful to live on the Tug Hill Plateau….ATV’s all summer, snowmobiles all winter!

  3. We have had the bone chilling weather the past few days. Now that the temps have made it above zero we are getting snow. I made the run to Sam’s Club this morning and then stopped at two fabric stores on the way home to spend more money! I just ♥ fabric stores. Especially when they have Scottie Fabric at 70% discount!

  4. You should see the cars in this area. Why they leave their roofs covered in snow is beyond me… maybe it’s to show off how much snow they got, but there was one guy who made it to work late with about 3 ft of snow on his car. Fulton lost it’s DPW building to collapse with the weight of the snow. Another lady from Oswego county wasn’t even heard from at work today. I’m hoping she’s ok. Her area only got 28in of snow.

    I had never heard of “drumming” before until Bill’s comment. It makes me wonder if that woodpecker I photoed last spring was drumming on that heat vent on the house behind us.

    Your photos are great for being taken through a window. Shows what a clean window will do and reminds me it’s time to wash my dog licked front windows. (it’s a never ending battle *sigh*)

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