Though I got back last Thursday (the 8th), it's taken me a couple days after that to somewhat return to the land of the living. For some reason, and I'm not really sure why, have managed to reverse days and nights. Maybe it's a combination of stress and the Winter absence of light.
Anyway, tired of being tired, I dosed myself with valerian last night and managed to sleep straight through to this morning. Came down for my coffee and found that the yew tree, bent again with the snow, was a hotbed of bird activity.
The first ones (and they were up before me) I saw were the juncos, or snowbirds. They're little grey ones, about the size of sparrows, with white bellies and light colored beaks. Plain little things, they might be my favorites.
Was happy to see the bluejay couple as well as Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal back. Mr. Cardinal only makes periodic cameos, as I think he's keeping an eye out on his territory. Mrs. Cardinal, a beautiful olivey-brown color with an orange beak, seems to be a regular in the yew, among the sparrows and juncos. Notably absent are the tufted titmice and the chickadees. Wonder where they all went.
While I was away, Pavel had to buy a new feeder. He got one of those anti-squirrel contraptions with a grill that lowers over the feed openings with the weight of those fat grey pestilent types (phooey). Saw two squirrels go at it this morning and get very frustrated. Does my heart good, as now we won't have to refill the darn thing every day.
Inside the house is a gosh-darned mess and I do dread all the cleanup that needs to be done. It is nice to get back to the kitchen window, though.