Friday, January 25, 2019

Morning Visitors

In the early morning as soon as the sun breaks through I will scan the river for activity even before my cup of coffee.  It is winter and the "snowbirds" from Canada stay through rain and snow and sleet enjoying the balmy weather in the Mid-Atlantic. The other day I walked out to the bird feeders to replenish their larder and heard a rasping sound. I stopped and listened carefully. It did not sound mechanical like halyards on a mast or squeaky like tires on snow from my neighbor putting his motorcycle away.  It did not sound like ropes rubbing against the bow of a boat.  It was the only sound on this very quiet morning.

I turned carefully to look toward the sound scanning the trees wondering if it was a woodpecker cleaning his bill against the bark of the tall tulip tree or oak. Then toward the bottom of the trunks where the path to the dock covered in snow lies, I saw a red fox. He was lovely in his healthy fur coat and the sound I had heard was his panting. The sound carried over the air. He hurried toward the river's edge and down the dock, and within seconds, I heard the slap of wings and honk of startled Canadian Geese sharply breaking the silence as they took to the air for safety. It was loud on that quiet snow battened morning, and I would have missed it if I had snuggled on the couch and stayed inside, letting my birds wait until the later warmer hours to feed.  The photo below was taken at another time and may be deer tracks as fox tracks are very straight.

The river was frozen over for a few days, but this did not dissuade "my" visitors from waiting out breakfast on those mornings.

This ice makes my teeth ache just looking at them! We also were lucky to get a rare flock of Canvas Back ducks (below) to visit after the snow melted.


  1. we had a layer of ice on the birdbath about 1/8" thick yesterday morning and frost on the ground making everything crunchy. I'm currently enjoying the goldfinches hanging out before they continue on north.

    1. A few of our goldfinches overwinter here. I can tell when spring is near as they begin their molt.

  2. Aw, the wonder of a quiet early morning.

  3. Such lovely animals friends!

  4. These birds have tremendous insulation with their feathers.

  5. Country quiet where you can hear a fox breath, wow.

    We have Canada Geese here that stay year 'round. They seem to have decided that the very cold weather up north is for the other birds.


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.