No snow today -- clear sky without a single cloud, and I always wonder, "How long will this last!" But after yesterday's storm, this change is most welcome!
There's movement in the ornamental pear tree . . . white and black . . . it's a white-crowned sparrow! I watch with the binoculars, and now I can see the distinctive pinkish bill and the striped black-white head. What a handsome little bird! I first met white-crown along Spring Creek above Gunnison. I guessed they had a nest; they were very distressed if I approached their willow! But now I can watch them easily because they come every winter -- welcome visitors!
There's always a good "floor-show" if I take time to look out of our dining room window. Watch a bit. A little bird flits in from the east . . . three . . . five of them. They're heading for the pear tree, and I see a flash of white-margined tail. Our wintering juncos have arrived. They're quite obvious among the barren branches. They're all called "dark-eyed juncos" and there are about six populations, distinguished by their plumage, except for the tail which always has white margins.
The name "junco" is from the Latin for a small bird that lived in the reeds (juncus = reed), while their scientific name is Junco hyemalis from their winter habitat. They're all seed-eaters with broad, sparrow-like bills nesting in coniferous trees (think high country).
As I watch, there's one with a black head and orangish flanks and back -- Oregon junco. Another one is paler, gray head and pinkish sides. A pink-sided junco. Suddenly they flit away toward the west. I've lost them, and my white-crowns have vanished too. But seeing them brightened this wintery day!
The sunlight is bright and the sky is a brilliant blue. but I remember icicles that we've had in the past. They would hang from the roof for days . . . even for weeks. And as it slowly warmed, there would be the most interesting shapes with the older ones remaining and then smaller and smaller ones formed. Finally, only lacy-looking frozen snow remained.
Interesting. But I'd rather look at summer birds!
An open community discussion may begin soon as some Chamber of Commerce board members think town hall's chosen marketing identity label for Cedaredge -- Vintage -- is the wrong one for promoting business and commerce.
The Vintage label emerged from a "Branding Summit" held last summer.