Always Wondering About the Weather

Snow and Birding in Winter

By: WeatherWise, 3:24 AM GMT on January 29, 2014



Today, we had a bit of snow - No nature walk cold 16 degrees with windchill of 3 at 9:30 this morning - but nature came to my window and visited me!

We did not get a lot of snow but my street, driveway, and walks were white. The grass still peeked through the snow - so not inches of snow but was still pretty to me.



It was an inside day for me - stand at the door and take a photo from both directions!



As I was standing at the door snapping from both directions, I saw my resident Lady Cardinal perched on a lower branch of a small tree.



Quite a few came to the feeder today - of course windows were too fogged to get the best shots but that did not stop me. Yes, even the squirrels and the mourning doves, too.



The Lady Cardinal



My Resident Male Cardinal



Lots of little birds visited today! So I was a window birder today! Happy Birding in Winter!

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Birding and Such During Winter Months

By: WeatherWise, 7:23 PM GMT on January 17, 2014

Perhaps the birds give us the first hint that winter will end and spring will come soon. It is always exciting to start seeing the birds out and about and flocks flying through on their migration routes.

The Eagle Cams are becoming exciting with activity. This am the Decorah Eagle was busying himself or herself rearranging a big stick or branch around the nest - we cam watchers call them cradle or crib rails. Most likely the male as they are the nest builder even though the female likes to rearrange the stuff he brings in.




I so miss my favorite eagles from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens Is a sad story of how the powers that be decided the eagles' nest was too close to the local airport and ordered the nest torn down. Was really weird - do you think they go around and tear down all of the eagles' nest in the area. They had a wonderful set of several high quality cameras in place with experts to give live real time info and someone monitoring cams and zooming in and out as eagles appeared on nest and a monitored chat and an informal chat as well in real time right along with the cam activity from fixing up the nest, waiting for eggs to be laid, setting on the eggs, hatching of eggs, first peek at the babies right on up to their fledging not to mention the mating and eagle feuds defending their nests - quite a bit of drama always. And all of that was taken away. It was not that the NBG built the nest or brought the eagles there....they came there and built their nest and continued to return each year. Was not NBG's doings to take it down either - it was the city's doings - Norfolk City Council. I guess some jealousy of the attention and the money that cam watchers were pouring in to support the cam ventures. Not sure what prompted them to do that as I am sure planes, trains, and cars hit birds every day all over the world. Oh, well. I went on way too long about this but school children, and just folks all over the world tuned into this cam that was sponsored also by a local tv station. So am thinking it was all about politics.



Then there is the birding from your own backyard - setting up feeders to attract birds at first and then it becomes more - FEED THE BIRDS! Then there is just simple birding on your daily walks that can also get to be NOT I am going for a walk BUT can't wait to get down there to check on the pileated woodpeckers and not just a snap and head on your walk BUT hanging out with the pileated woodpecker babies - waiting for the next feeding as you did not think that last feeding was so great. Missing My Babies tells my story of my pileated woodpecker experiece if you read through the comment section from first spotting to finding their nest and watching the babies grow and leave the area.

http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/WeatherWise/2 975?gallery=

!

Or waiting for the first light of day so you can quietly slip up to the bluebird box to count the eggs or check on the baby bird. Many sorts of birding.

Bluebird Egg



Then of course there are the REAL BIRDERS that go on special birding outings with special equipment which I dream of doing but have not advanced to that stage as yet though I might be getting close. I almost went to a Birding meeting last week.

I will add my other bird cam links:
Alcoa Eagles
Duke Eagles
Rose Bush Hummingbird Cam (Which has lost its star hummingbird - another story)
Hummingbird Nest Emma (A hummingbird backyard environment) 

Updated: 3:35 AM GMT on January 27, 2014

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Seed Catalogs, Paintbrushes, and Niche Adventures

By: WeatherWise, 6:53 PM GMT on January 09, 2014

With this latest EXTREME cold weather, it has been too cold to get out for my regular daily walks. However, my seed catalogs have started pouring in. GOOD SEEDS from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - website www.rareseeds.com - with a welcoming front cover of country gentleman on his knees with a basket of all sorts of tomatoes. Next one to come in was JOHNNY’S SELECTED SEEDS – website johnnyseeds.com – with a unique variety of lettuce on the front cover. Think both of these catalogs are favorite source of seeds and plants for many. Then came BURPEE - burpee.com – with a HUGE new SteakHouse Hybrid tomato on the front cover. Surely it is not as big as pictured as shows someones hangs holding it and it is wider than their body. However, my most favorite catalog to come in is a local or fairly local business out of Chapel Hill, NC.

This is my second year of receiving these catalogs about this time of year except for Niche Gardens. Niche Gardens showed up in my mail box late spring. It was not what was inside the catalog that intrigued me to go on an adventure to Niche Gardens. Instead it was the artwork on the front cover! It had the most beautiful front cover and they credited and cited the artist for the work. The inside of the catalog is boring – not like your regular catalogs with pictures – only nice simple print printed information giving exact info about their plants. So it was their front cover that drew me to their nursery. When I noticed it was outside of Chapel Hill, I thought - OH, NOT SO FAR. I planned a day outing with a friend. We first went to Duke Gardens in Durham NC and had a great photo session as well as great time seeing only a small portion of their beautiful immense and varied gardens. From there we made a quick trip to WHOLE FOODS in Durham. Next, we made our second trip to MAMA DIPS restaurant - http://www.mamadips.com/ in Chapel Hill. Of course, I am GPS-ing all of this. After a wonderful lunch at MAMA DIPS which is a whole new story of its on – appetizer of her specialty sweet potato biscuits for a start and then a yummy country cooked meal, we started out on our venture to NICHE GARDENS. GPS took us out in the country a ways and a turn out in the middle of nowhere. I felt like I was going down someone’s private path back to their woods. It is really in the boonies but what a wonderful niche it is after you get there. I posted some photos on WU I am thinking back in June. I will pull them out for the blog. And if I can find that old catalog I will post a photo of the cover art.

At any rate, guess what came in over the weekend, a brand new catalog for NICHE GARDENS with another beautiful art cover and I am already planning a new venture back to NICHE GARDENS. They are truly wonderful and very healthy plants but it is so much more than that – so rustic. But back to the artwork on the front cover - such talent. I could not find the credits after looking all over the catalog so I went to http://www.nichegardens.com/ to find the old credits for the artist - http://www.nichegardens.com/garden/art.html - Elizabeth Ellison. You can see some of her prints on their art link. Well, I was so intrigued I did not stop there after reading the little blip at the bottom of her artwork: Elizabeth can usually be found painting and teaching in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Would you like to have your garden expressed and preserved through art? You can visit her at her studio in downtown Bryson City or contact her at: PO Box 1262, Bryson City, NC 28713 (828-488-8782). www.elizabethellisonwatercolors.com
I went to her website and found so much of her beautiful artwork journaled there. Then there was a link that stuck in my mind that took me back to her website later in the evening – think this was Tuesday evening during this REALLY EXTREME cold CABIN FEVER weather. The link said something about a song so went back to check it out – it said Songcatcher and that intrigued me as well so I clicked on it. Seems there is a movie SONGCATCHER and the film crew was looking for an artist in Western North Carolina to do the art work for Alice, the artist in the movie. And you guessed it, they chose Elizabeth Ellison as the artist behind the art pieces in the movie. You can see some of the artwork from the movie on this page plus question and answer info about her experience during the filming. Understand she was not in the movie but did the artwork for the artist actor in the movie. I thought this was super interesting. Now I was even more intrigued and made me feel like I wanted to see that movie. I did a search and found it to be a movie that was from awhile back but found a link to what I thought was a trailer. I found it actually a link to the full movie. So here I am REALLY late watching a full movie so I could see how they used her artwork in the movie. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/songcatcher/
I should really get the paints and paintbrushes out! I have sketched a bit this week. I loved the VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and even made a quilt. I did all of the piecework of putting the top together and pinning the three layers together and then it said only - quilt as you like and I have never finished it as didn’t really know what quilt as you like meant. All I need to do is stitch the 3 layers together somehow and put the binding on to finish this beautiful quilt. At any rate, I sketched the butterfly and sunshine for a snail mail letter I was writing to my great niece. Then I sketched the caterpillar for a letter that I was writing to my nephew’s wife. I enjoy sketching and am sometimes inspired by WU photos to start sketching. Granted they are quite simple but I enjoy it and often take little sketches to patients at a local nursing home as I visit folks there from out church prayer list. We pick up extra favorite patients that are not on our lists as we are out and about the facility. I usually take about 20 drawings with me to distribute – just small wallet size sketches. They love them and tuck them away in their Bible or display them on their little bulletin boards. You can view a few of my sketches on my photo page if you scroll down a bit: http://home.comcast.net/~shirwilbo/photo.htm
Well, I have gone on way too long here. I will lose you if I keep this up! Have a wonderful day!

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Extreme Cold Brings on Cabin Fever

By: WeatherWise, 3:15 AM GMT on January 08, 2014

Was able to get icy formations from my window this am - a cold start to my day - 7 °F Clear Wind chill: -5 °F when I got up this am. Around 10 am was only 9 °F Clear Windchill: 0 °F. So an inside day

Not Wisconsin - Virginia



Icy Lace Window



Nature's Paintbrush

Updated: 3:28 AM GMT on January 08, 2014

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Winter Cardinals Light Up the Days

By: WeatherWise, 2:14 PM GMT on January 04, 2014

   Rainy Day Card... Exciting news this am as my rainy day cardianl went blue - AC! Still continues to be COLD today. Was in the teens earlier this am and is only 22 at 9 am. Winter is truly here! Promise of 42today. Hope it makes it there. Happy COLD Weekend!

Updated: 2:16 PM GMT on January 04, 2014

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COLD Day in Virginia

By: WeatherWise, 1:38 AM GMT on January 04, 2014

Rainy Day Bird

Today is a COLD day in Virignia! Some areas had snow overnight. My area only had rain, however, we are having extremely cold weather that follows after a snow. It never got above 32 but once. It went to 33 and right back down in a few minutes. No walks here today or no going out chasing the sunset. I wanted to and thought of it but decided better. Hopefully it will be warmer tomorrow. Hahaha...need to make that milk and bread run as we have a threat of freezing stuff for Sunday and Monday. Is usually a joke as almost never snows anymore in my area. Will snow both east, west, north, and south of us but not here. It did not used to be that way but seems we have been stuck in this weather pattern for several years. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Updated: 1:39 AM GMT on January 04, 2014

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Encouragers

By: WeatherWise, 7:52 PM GMT on January 02, 2014

There are many WU photographers that along the way have given me encouraging words in their comments on my photos on WU. Some from way back when and many from this past year. Without their encouragement I may have never gained the passion for taking photos. A THANK YOU goes out to each of you.

Updated: 10:39 PM GMT on January 02, 2014

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Ringing the New Year In - 2014

By: WeatherWise, 6:08 PM GMT on January 01, 2014

A cold start to the New Year outside but a warm start inside. Rang the New Year in with friends and came home and found myself ringing the New Year in again with WU in the blue! Found two new blues ringing in the New Year for me! YEAH! I take photos for fun along my daily walk in my neighborhood. I usually share my best shots of the day or sometimes not my best shot but an unusual photo op. It is not about the ratings or the blues - However it is always so exciting to get good ratings and a real honor to receive Approvers Choice with the beautiful blue ribbon border.
My first REAL sunrise shot
"

My Love - The Red Cardinal - so handsome!
"
Wishing EVERYONE a Happy New Year and may it be your best year ever! My main resolution is to be the best I can be this year!

Updated: 2:44 AM GMT on January 02, 2014

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About WeatherWise

I have been blogging for awhile, since New Years 2014! It's almost November - Fall is coming to an end heading into winter in VA! Glad you stopped by.

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