Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter Wonders

Here in the Midwest, winter's inclement weather has not been very conducive to nature photography. We have seen little of the bright, glorious sun, thus days are gray and appear monochromatic. So far, this season, the Chicago area has received over 50 inches of snow, making it very difficult to wander through nature preserves and bird sanctuaries. Frosty temperatures have also kept me indoors, as my fingers seem to be especially sensitive to the cold. Even though the weather has not been very pleasant, the birds have been most plentiful at our feeders. It's always a joy to observe the busy Black-capped Chickadees, tree scaling White-breasted Nuthatches and lovely Dark-eyed Juncos delighting in sunflower seeds. For this post, since I have had very few photo opportunities, I decided to look back into my archives to see what feathered beauties I was photographing last year at this time. Enjoy!

A sleek White-breasted Nuthatch surveys the buffet table

A sightly Tufted Titmouse perches amid bare branches

A Black-capped Chickadee selects the perfect cracked corn kernel

A pretty Red-bellied Woodpecker goes seed shopping

A curious Downy Woodpecker awaits my offerings

A solitary female Northern Cardinal on a cold winter day

The brilliant scarlet feathers of a Red-headed Woodpecker

Decisions, decisions ... which seed to choose? ~ Blue Jay

A well-camouflaged Brown Creeper spirals its way up the tree trunk in search of food

The lovely profile of a Dark-eyed Junco

Shelled peanuts are this White-breasted Nuthatches snack of choice

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gulf Coast Beauty

The Blizzard of 2011 hit us pretty hard here in Chicago. We were pelted with 20+ inches of snow over a 20 hour period. 55 mph wind gusts howled and whirled throughout the duration of the monster storm. We even experienced thundersnow! The bitter cold arrived overnight with a low temperature of -6 degrees. After all of this, I am certainly dreaming of the tropical paradise of Florida.

This is my final entry in a series of posts featuring the lovely birds of the west coast of Florida.

A regal Great Blue Heron flies over Sarasota Bay

Pretty profile ~ Snowy Egret

An Osprey and its impressive nest

A dollop of moist sand rests upon the beak of a tiny Sanderling

The close up view of an elegant Great Egret

A graceful Great-blue Heron wades in the pond shallows

A most splendid sight ~ Great-blue Heron

The Willet is a common bird seen along the powdery white sands of the gulf coast

 Sharing a peaceful moment at the pier ~ Great Egret and Snowy Egret

The colorful profile of a stunning Great-blue Heron

A freshly fluffed Snowy Egret

Happiness is vacationing along the gulf coast of Florida!