Thirsty Thursday

I promised you folks a look at the backyard pond attracting so many birds to Hickory’s favorite feeding table.

backyard pond with heater

It doesn’t look like much in the winter. The humans here put a heater in when the ice started to form and it’s left a nice patch open for us squirrels and birds alike. On sunny days I even see the fish take a few laps in the bottom before they disappear into their tangle of aquatic greens.

Funny how a little water can make a mecca.

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Hooray for Fifty Followers!

This weekend The Squirrel Nutwork hit a milestone:

Fifty Followers!

Maybe one of them is you!

Nutmeg

Acorns all around for our followers! The rest of you have to dig your own. It’s cold and wet out there.

I have to say, it helped to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day. It’s the kind of event that brings people to take a second look and recognize that the little furry guys in their lives shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“Aw, thanks, Nutmeg!”

Shoot, Hickory is flicking his tail very proudly.

Thanks for joining us!

Icy Morning

Snow seems to be pretty much skipping us as our temperatures swung. Yesterday morning was worse than snow because all our surfaces were slick.

ice coated tree

Tree trunks, branches, fence tops, deck railings…

ice blocks our paths

We had to stay in our leaf nests until midday to venture out safely. Looks like we may have a repeat later in the week, so take care out there as you leap from branch to branch.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey, wait! Don’t leave. Nutmeg got busy last night and decided a nature blog ought to fit the season, so The Squirrel Nutwork has a new look for winter. But it’s still us!

We had some unusual visitors to the feeder this week. Do you know who they are?

Mystery #40

Guesses accepted! Be back later.

~~~

These two (female on left, male on right) were part of a flock of Eastern Bluebirds that came to the feeding station several times this week during the snows. Now while I complain about the flocks of Dark-eyed Slate-colored Juncos, the bluebirds don’t overwhelm us. When I say flock, I mean five. They just don’t seem to be as common, even though they are year-round residents here in Virginia.

Bluebirds eat insects in the summer and shift to a diet of berries and seeds in winter. We haven’t had that much bad weather here, so they can’t be desperate. I conferred with my cohorts here at The Squirrel Nutwork, and Ol’ Wally thinks this feeding station has attracted them with the addition of the pond. He’ll update you on it this Thursday.

Female Eastern Bluebird (right)

The Competition

When Hickory went to his favorite treat table, he discovered a saying of Miz Flora’s is true: The early bird gets the worm.

bird competition at the feeding station

“At least you aren’t big enough to haul away the peanuts!” he hollered at them.

Hickory defending his cache

The things a squirrel has to do to get a decent mouthful of corn these days.

Thirsty Thursday

One of those ponds on the nearby golf course has been working its way to freezing over.

pond on Reston National Golf ourse

This old squirrel took a leisurely romp around the perimeter with Miz Flora, just to take in the ice patterns. We thought our readers might enjoy our views of them.

ice on pond

ice on pond

Notice the ice hasn’t taken under the low tree branches, so we were able to slip down for a drink. It was co-old, whoo-eee!

tree reflections on pond ice