The Backyard in Winter

wren in feeder with snow
Wren at feeder with snow shower

I work at home now, in what was once my living room. But in all the years I worked a day job and imagined working at home, I had an ideal day in each season that came to mind as I thought of “summer” or “winter”.

red bellied woodpecker and sparrow at feeder
You'll have to wait your turn.

Today was that winter day. I love snow, but we don’t get a whole lot of it here in Pittsburgh. But a day of frozen earth and hard snow flurries opening out to bright sun reflecting off bare branches–that is winter.

doves, sparrows and squrrel at the feeder
Everybody at the Feeder

And my back yard filled with bird activity, sparrows, mourning doves, showy cardinals, shrieking blue jays, scolding wrens, cheery chickadees, brilliant woodpeckers, and more–that is winter, too.

mourning dove in bird bath
Bird bath is not a good idea at 21 degrees.

I have various bird feeders in view from each window. I wait for this day, and as the birds flock and flutter I am transfixed. I also count the birds at my feeders for Cornell University’s Feederwatch program, and have grown to know their populations and appreciate their habitats all the more through this.

three black cats looking out the door
Wildlife is great entertainment

Great entertainment, that wildlife!


  1. your words and images give me great pleasure – i love the special joys of nature in winter

    a poem of mine recently inspired by this season:

    covered bridge
    cloaked in white
    the cold wind whistling

    darkening dusk
    the barred owl calls
    deep in the winter

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