Having seen today how much snow some parts of the Northeast got and the trouble it has caused with traffic accidents, stranded motorists, and massive power outages, I am very thankful it passed us by! We don't do snow well in central Alabama. People here don't know how to drive in snow, most of us don't have snow tires and would have no idea how to put chains on tires if we had them. We don't have snowplows or other equipment necessary for keeping the roads cleared, and we invariably lose power when lines break under the weight of snow and ice. Consequently, schools dismiss at the first sign of a snowflake and grocery stores immediately sell out of milk, bread and toilet paper.
Even though we didn't get the snow, it was bitterly cold today and we watched the birds make steady trips to the feeders, eating enough to build up the fat reserves that enable them to survive the cold winter nights.
While we were watching the cardinals, sparrows, finches, doves and other birds, we noticed that the magnolia tree close by seemed to have more pods than we remembered it having earlier in the week. We looked again through the binoculars and saw that what we thought were pods, was actually a group of cedar waxwings who were neatly camouflaged among the magnolia leaves. We had just mentioned a few days ago that we hadn't seen any waxwings this year and wondered what had happened to them. Turns out they've probably been hiding in plain sight all along! We were afraid if we opened the storm door to take a photo we'd spook them, causing them fly off. I don't have a powerful zoom lens on my camera but did manage to get this somewhat fuzzy shot shooting through the storm door. If you look closely you can see five cedar waxwings pretending to be magnolia pods. Masters of disguise they are! They are also most likely the reason we haven't seen many red berries poking out of the pods this year. Magnolia seeds I don't mind sharing with them; I just hope they don't decide to eat all the berries off the dogwood tree, leaving us bereft of blossoms come spring.