An opening statement in an article of Salem's Statesman-Journal a couple of days ago caught my attention.
"We know, winter sucks. It's a glorified, three-month inconvenience filled with murky skies, awkward holiday parties and chapped lips."
That really rang true for me. Cold wet conditions truly are an inconvenience to me in pursuing and photographing birds (my current passion) outdoors in parks and nature areas.
During my working years my trick for surviving the winter blues was to go cross-country skiing on the weekends. Lots of exercise and fresh air provided good medicine to survive another week. Now, as I age, the call of the wild goes unheeded, and I find myself almost house bound in this dreary season. These days my trick for surviving is to spend a good amount of time birding from the inside of our home. It's warm and dry and we have a nice variety of birds visiting out back yard.
Yesterday, I fabricated this combination suet and seed feeder and installed it on a pole just outside our bedroom window. It involved a trip to Ace Hardware for a seed feeder, rounding up a suet feeder cage, figuring out an attachment, rummaging through the garage to find the poles and mounting plate, and then the installation. It's not so much about providing winter survival for the birds as it is winter survival for me. Activity for my brain and physical exercise for my body helps me survive. And now I have an additional feeder to maintain and monitor for bird activity.
Yesterday's winning backyard visitor and photo was this male Downey Woodpecker below.