The cold has returned as Fall draws its final breaths and lets the last few colourful leaves drop, spiraling down to decorate the ground. Presumably, the chipmunks have headed down into their burrows to start their winter hibernation. Their food competitors, the squirrels, are still very much in evidence and are in the bird feeders, constantly trying to build up enough energy for what is about to come. The birds are also doing much the same and are busy flitting to and fro in their own efforts to keep warm.

The sudden change from the sunny weather to what is now a cold snap brought the first winter fall of snow into our garden and an opportunity to get some contrasting pictures of our male Cardinal, who still sports his bright red suit, providing a lovely and beautiful contrast to the fresh white snow clinging to the pine trees still resplendently green. No wonder that they both have become the subject of many a Canadian Christmas card! You can’t beat it!

Whilst the Cardinal was displaying himself, there was an Upside-down bird, a White Breasted Nuthatch busily getting some peanuts out of one of my feeders, and the ever busy Chickadees, sporting a similar coloured plumage to it, were also flitting back and forth on some of the other feeders. They and the Goldfinches never seem to stop and are a lovely sight to see.

Now and again, a passing flight of Canada Geese makes its presence known as they chatter amongst themselves, and pass low overhead still seeking the unfrozen waters of the creek at the end of our road. As I drove past where they go this morning, a small flock of four or five of them were on their downward “approach and glide path” to land on the water. Unfortunately, I was not able to witness them making their “splashdown”, being otherwise occupied watching the road! Pity! How much longer we’ll be seeing the sight of this happening again this year is up to the weather gods, but I guess it won’t be too many more times before all those making the southerly migration have passed through. Ah well, such is life as they leave some of us behind to languish in the joys of a Canadian winter along with our other avian friends. If you are one of us, please stay safe and well.


John Baldwin


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