Actually, we were advised that the bad weather would probably arrive mid to late afternoon.
We arrived in Rochester to clear roads and an annoying precipitation that felt more like “rainy snow” than anything. It was just wet and somewhat sticky. We did our shopping and then Ben and Mark went to the Guitar Center to check out some “stuff”. Ben got a bass guitar for his birthday, which he is doing well playing. Mark wanted to check if perhaps they might see a better model. Thus, the Scotties and I awaited in the truck about an hour and forty-five minutes while the guys played.
Mark had commented one day that Mendon Ponds Park is located closer to Henrietta than our house. So, I asked if we could stop just for a few minutes to feed the birds on our way to pick Michelle up from school.
Ben and I hopped out of the truck and walked just a few yards away to an area where there were trees and some brush. We placed a few seeds in our hands and the birds immediately appeared!
Oh, come on, can you *really* imagine a chickadee perched upon your thumb?
I didn’t bring along the Nikon today, as I was traveling lightly. We had an early morning appointment at eight to have the truck inspected. It turned out kind of fun as I had to “occupy” the Scotties for about half an hour while the truck was taken in the garage for inspection. Snow was falling, but it was rather mild and calm, so we walked a good bit, then went back to the store to see how things were going. The poor Scottie boys had frozen beards and snow all over their skirts. How happy they must have been to return to the warm and cozy truck. I wrapped Murphy in a blanket in the back seat and he barely moved all day, sleeping soundly!
One of the things I noticed right away that was different about Ben feeding the birds was that most people open their hands flat, whereas Ben cupped the seeds in his hand, creating a sense of awe…As the tiny chickadees landed in his hand, he would raise and lower his hand from time to time, and the little birds would remain perched.
As I worked snapping photo after photo, I suddenly distinctly felt two birds land on the knit hat I was wearing. Ben began to giggle and then I did, too. It was nearly impossible to continue taking photos with the two of us laughing. Then, Ben did such a funny thing.
Now, remember, a strong storm was on its way. I know the birds and animals know when bad weather is coming. As we were feeding chickadees and titmice, there were cardinals around. Many cardinals! They will not come to hand feed, but they surely did make their presence known. While they were extremely flighty the last time I was at the park, this time, they seemed not to care as I took photos of them. They seemed almost focussed on getting their fair share of food before the winds kicked up and the snow began falling heavily.
And here is my favorite photo of a cardinal taken today….
It would have been nice to have had the SLR with me instead of my little Panasonic point-and-shoot, but I was happy to have gotten the photos I did. The snow began to come down a bit heavier as we were there. Ben and I scattered a considerable amount of seeds on the ground as we left. I am sure they were put to good use by the many birds we left behind!
As we made our way to Canandaigua, the road conditions worsened. Mark tried his brakes a couple of times and the anti-locks came on and we went much further than he expected. Many people were driving as though there was no problem whatsoever, making Mark even more cautious!
The wind is howling now and there is snow blowing all over, although visibility remains maybe two hundred feet. Thus far, I don’t think we have much more than maybe six inches of snow, but it is hard to tell as the winds are terrific! I am so happy we got to feed the birds today!