I was sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffe and dunking the last ginger cookie in the cookie jar and a new Oatmeal-raisin that my wife made just last night. My soft time. Looking past the dinning room widow out the front of the house where a White breasted Nuthatch climbs and descends the cottonwood searhing for grubs or insects of any sort. Both Mountain and Black Capped Chickadees are on the same tree with their song that is always so positive in attitude. It is 8 degrees and for the third morning in a row it is snowing. 3" last night. Very dry as the sun tries to show its muted presence through the overcast with light snow continuing to fall and the light breeze picks up piled snow on branches and blows them off in soft plumes that being so dry turn to snowflakes themselves befor they reach the ground. On beyond the yard the river slows down just enough to form almost a small lake with little current. Ducks, Mallards, Golden Eyes and now and then a Common Merganser congregate. It is fun to watch them but makes one shiver to watch the Mallards tip up with heads underwater while the Goldeneyes plunge under only to resurface moments later. Over the years I have been priveleged to having seen unusual species on the river that were even recorded as unusual in national Birding journals. Old Squaw Ducks more thught of as being in the arctic, harlequins last year. I have several times in the last few weeks even watched a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Very unusual. Now and then a Muskrat will entertain us as he swims from one side of the river to the other side. We used to have beaver there also but neighbors didn't think they were very neighborly and had them trapped out. I even went and wired up all their trees for them so as to save them from the little loggers. There is a lot of willow which only makes them grow back thicker the next year and the beaver seemed to thrive on that arrangement. But to no avail as far as neighbors go. We used to have a lot of Moose that would winter along the river and were always passing through the yard but again they ate the nice deserts they thought folks were planting for them. Harrasement and cutting of willows ended that. I have not seen a Moose around here in 15 years.
The coffee cools off and it is time to end my soft time and climb the stairs to the studio. At the top of my stairs is a door out onto my Deck off the studio and I step out on it and take this picture across my back yard and the neighbors yard with one of his assortment of refurbished wagons that he does such a good job doing. Two Canadian Geese are on the river and are taking issue with one another. In the quiet of this snowy morning even this dissention sounds good. I turn to my desk to write this and start my morning accompanied even as I get to work by the various birds on my bird feeder just out the window from where I am sitting. The two kinds of Chickadees, the Nuthatch, pine Siskins, Cassin Finches, an occassional Goldfinch and Junco. Then there is the visit by our resident Pine Squirell. Life is good in spite of having a bum foot and recovering from this chest cold. It is enough to even want to go to work.