Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow, sledding and the tough little birds of winter...

Friday afternoon, with snowflakes falling and spirits soaring, Matty, Ashley (our fun neighbor), and I headed over to Pine Hill Lakes Park in Mason for sledding and snowboarding. The snow was fluffy and our "secret" slope was empty...hooray!


Matty tearing down the hillside on the snowboard.
I stuck to the sled (I already had one reconstructed ankle, I didn't need another!).


Ashley with her snowboard and Patrick, the snowball. Patrick met an untimely death. It wasn't pretty...


Matty demoing the latest in hockey attire--the fake fur tundra hat!

Deep brush and woods bordered the sled run, and a small flock of Carolina Chickadees flew in to forage among the dormant honeysuckle. It was really cold. The little birds flitted from branch to branch like it was a summer's day, seemingly without a care, but I knew better and marveled at their ability to stay warm. To live through freezing weather, chickadees have to become eating machines, gaining enough fat during the day to fuel them through the long night. What's enough fat? At least 10 percent of their body weight!


...eating...


...eating...


...eating...


...a tough little winter chickadee is a metabolic fireball...


...and he's darn cute too!

26 comments:

Bill S. said...

It sounds like fun. I also took pictures of chickadees. I notice yours are colored a little different than ours. I will post some pictures later tonight.

Kelly said...

Bill...I look forward to seeing your chickadees!

JKoenig said...

Glad you and Matty could have such a fun day together...They are special!

Elaine said...

Looks like you had a great time sledding, and you got a bonus with the chickadee photos. Eating, eating, eating, yes, that describes them well in the winter. They also hide seeds in various locations to feed on later. Such a clever little bird!

Roy said...

Heh, heh! The little Chickies are all fluffed up in the cold. It was cold here today, too; the temp never got above 25º and there was a bit of a breeze as well. I was out in it for about 5 1/2 hours. BTW, I got a shot of a Meadow Mouse all fluffed up against the cold.

Mary said...

The sledding looks like fun and good exercise! Chickadees and Titmice work so hard to get those seeds cracked, I don't know how they manage to eat enough each day.

Kelly said...

Janice...I'm glad we could too. We had so much fun...thanks!

Elaine...I got a lot more birds. I'll post them in the next few days. Snow...sledding and birds, perfect combo!

Roy...I dropped by to see your mouse. He is adorable!!

Mary...I know...they work all day long cracking those seeds and eating. It wears me out watching them! :-)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly---Your chickadees are so cute. I posted a cutie one yesterday.

Your son looks like he is having a great time in the snow.... Is that a girlfriend??????

Great pictures...
Hugs,
Betsy

Kelly said...

Betsy....they had a blast (and so did I--sledding is fun!). I'll have to drop by to see that chickadee! Ashley is one of Matty's best friends. We've been neighbors for over 10 years.

E said...

Wonderful Matty, so nice and handsome, great pics, did you see this tonight?

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/hummingbirds-magic-in-the-air/video-hummingbird-babies/5438/
It was great.

Hugs

Jayne said...

What a fun day! Over at Julie's blog, she was saying that they put some cooking spray on the bottom of their toboggans! Weeeeeeeee!!!!

Love your little chickadee Kelly!

Roy said...

The Chickadee is very cute Kelly and great photos as well.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Darling birds--and kids! What a fun day. In a few minutes, I have to go check the bird bath for ice--yes, ICE in FL! Yesterday, there was a 1/2 inch layer of ice there. I've already seen a couple of blue jays at the feeder this morning, so must make sure any visitors have access to water if they need it.

Montanagirl said...

What a fun post! Looks like the snowboarders where having a great time. Those little Chickadees are just amazing aren't they? Great shots of them, Kelly.

Warren Baker said...

Looks even more snowy there than it is here kelly.

How do those little birds keep warm ?

Wanda said...

I took a few long walks, but no sledding in the snow. G/kids did though.
Chickadees are always so busy!
I just posted a little video about those metabolic fireballs! :)

The Early Birder said...

Great to see the youngsters AND mum having fun. Smashing pics of the Chickadees Kelly.

Susan said...

Great shots Kelly -there are days when winter is fantastic, and it all seems fresh and new! Your pictures make your day look like one of those days.

Jenny said...

What a fun day you had with the snow and then birds as a bonus!
(-: It never ceases to amaze me how our small birds get through these harsh conditions!

Chris said...

Excellent... I know this feeling, to play for hours in the snow!!! I guess this was enjoyable! You are getting much more snow than us... it is raining over here.
Well done on the tits pictures, they are fantastic and I would have like to take them ;-)

Dave Lewis said...

Bob's jealous, he wants to go sledding now...

Laure Ferlita said...

Love the multi-tasking! Sledding and birding all in one! Looks like all of you had a blast!

Love those last two chickadee shots - darn cute is right!

Krista Meister said...

Looks like a wonderful time you had, Kelly!

Cindy said...

Looks like you all had a great time. Love the Chickadee. Beautiful little birds and one of my favorites.

Appalachian Lady said...

I love the chickadee shots--they are some of my favorite birds, always chirping and fussing.

Kelly said...

Thank you for the kind comments!
...boy was it cold--in the teens, and the birds were everywhere. I have several more posts of them. The chickadees were always the cutest...nonstop eating, chasing, singing. They steal my heart every time.