There is a slumbering subterranean fire in nature which never goes out, and which no cold can chill. - H.D. Thoreau
I have been out birding quite a bit since the calendar flipped to 2013. I have seen a great variety of species and a handful of birds I don't see very often. What has struck me since January 1st though, is the bitterness of this winter. After last year's mildness, this is quite the contrast. It has been harsh and unforgiving; lots of snow and lots of cold temperatures.
I often find myself wondering how many of the birds endure. It has to be a challenge. Granted, evolution has prepared their species' to survive these sorts of conditions, but it can't be easy. You can sense a bit of desperation and urgency out there. The Barn Owls hunting during the day. The Kestrel diving for a White-crowned Sparrow in the bush not 5 feet in front me. The frantic, feeding frenzy of the horned larks on the road. The great flocks of Blackbirds searching for food. The Virginia Rail standing 2 feet in front of me, working the open water and mud for the smallest morsel. The frantic flocks of Chickadees, Nuthatches and Kinglets. And the list goes on...
I'll admit it, I'm in awe of nature. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past week. Hope you're all able to get out and enjoy the winter.
Lapland Longspur (foreground) & Horned Larks
American Tree Sparrow & Snow Bunting
Labels: 2013, commentary, photo