Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!”
        ― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Winter Is Coming!

Astronomical winter begins in the northern hemisphere this Wednesday, December 21. It will be the shortest day of the year. After that the days will lengthen, slowly at first, then in increasing increments. In Philadelphia the sun sets today at 4:37. Next week, on Christmas day, at 4:41. Things will get brighter. That's the good news. On the other hand, I'm already pretty cold and winter hasn't even started yet. Click to enlarge.

And now a timely poem. Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams:

"All the complicated details 

of the attiring 

the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon

moves gently among 

the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold."

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Bird Treats!


I was walking in a Burlington County park this morning, trying to get some time outside before the rain started, when this decorated bush caught my eye. I went closer to look at the ornaments. Click to enlarge.  

Surprise! They were all edible bird treats.

Like a candy cane shaped waffle garnished with dried meal worms. 

And this waffle wedge with seeds and a cranberry.

I think the seeds and things were stuck to the waffles with peanut butter. You can also make bird treats by melting suet, pouring it into a mold, adding tasty things, and then allowing it to re-solidify.

Congratulations to whoever made these. Well done!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

December Already


This winter wren paused just long enough for one photo. It was foraging for insects among the fallen leaves. Winter wrens are common but often go unnoticed. They are tiny -- only about four inches long and weigh less than half an ounce. They sometimes are mistaken for mice as they scurry out of sight under bushes. In North America, winter wrens breed in northern Canada and then move south into most of the United States to spend the winter. Click to enlarge.

This bird sighting made me wonder how December managed to sneak up on me again. 

As Dr. Suess put it: 

How did it get so late so soon? 

It's night before it's afternoon.

December is here before it's June. 

My goodness how the time has flewn

How did it get so late so soon?