Our first contingent of Dark-eyed Juncos made an appearance two weeks ago on November 8. The little gray beauties with the sweet pink bills blew in on a cold north wind, bringing excitement with them as they announced the change of the season. These are our winter birds. We only get to see them when the snow flies and the skies turn gray. Having them back in the yard is always a happy day. Their chatter and twittering is almost fairylike, and their dark gray feathers are pretty. If it has to be cold and gray outside, thank goodness we have our little gray birds out there to brighten things up! Every year Rick and I have a little contest to see who will spot the first Dark-eyed Junco of the season. I won this year...
Painting 196. The First Dark-eyed Junco of the Season
Painting 195. Here Comes Winter--a Dark-eyed Junco is in the Backyard!
I hand hold the camera for all my photos (I used to use a monopod or tripod for distance and macro, but the VR lenses don't seem to require it). I crop the images down in Aperture (I'm a Mac).
The Story Behind "Red and the Peanut"
Red and the Peanut is named after my first bird memory. When I was about six, I was at my Great Aunt Mary's house and she was telling me about Red and the peanut. "Red" was a Northern Cardinal that had trained Aunt Mary to feed it peanuts on demand. Since Aunt Mary's "Red" started it all, what better name could I choose?