Snow Day! And A Cardinal's Demand For Spring

Well, Non Birding Bill's place of employment has declared a snow day so he now has a three day weekend. I'm very grateful, he's helping with the finishing touches of the Disapproving Rabbits book. The creative part is easy, it's the tedious part of matching names to photos, organizing it, and basically getting all the cool crap that is so perfect in your head onto the disk that is the hard part.

We still had to be up early this morning to deal with all the snow emergency parking rules. If you don't move your car at the allotted time, your vehicle is hauled away for a costly incarceration. If you are one of the few who miss the sweeping of the tow trucks, you get plowed in but good to the curb with hard, solidly packed snow which can take hours to dig out. It's a lose/lose situation, so it behooves you to pay close attention to the snow emergency parking rules.

As I was up and getting ready I found myself whistling the cardinal tune to myself. How did I get that song stuck in my head so early? Then I realized: I was hearing it softly outside the bathroom window. I opened the window to take a peek.

Sure enough among the snow covered branches was a lone male cardinal who had found some small space in which to perch and was singing his territory song. It wasn't the usual robust, "hey I'm one sexy guy" kind of song, but just kind of a softer "I'd really rather be soliciting for a mate than sifting through this new landscape."

After a few rounds of his song, he slipped down into the lower branches, chipping and scanning for danger before making and attempt for the bird feeder.

The snow continued all night. Across the metro we have anywhere from 10 - 17" of snow with another 1-3 predicted to land before 6pm today when the winter storm warning will be over. I kept waking up over night hearing a loud thump on the bird feeders. It almost sounded like a squirrel jumping onto our window hooks. Our flying squirrels are WAY too small to make that kind of sound and the regular squirrels aren't active at night. Curious, I opened the window. I didn't see any tracks down below that would signal any kind of animal. Then I noticed there were no tracks or depressions at all. I knew we had a lot of snow, but the pigeon and squirrel activity should have left some sort of depression--this was strange. Then I felt a little extra snow on my nose. I looked up and on the roof of our building was a large snow bank hanging over the edge--large chunks of snow apparently had been falling on the feeder throughout the night. I quickly yanked my head back in and breathed a sigh of relief that I didn't end up the butt of some cartoon slap stick of snow in the face. Whew.

It sounds like the Houston Owl Festival is still going on. I really wanted to go tonight to see Denver Holt, but I just don't want to risk the roads. Some day, Mr. Holt, some day.

Alright, we're gonna finish off this book and then go out and play in the snow.