Watching winter birds

January 29th’s Daily Prompt was: Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.

From my office upstairs I have a good view of our backyard as well as the neighbors’. Today, for the first time this season, everything is blanketed in white. The two inches of snow we got, however, don’t keep birds from having to find food! Right now, a flock of sparrows are flitting back and forth between the chain link fence and our crooked bird feeder. My husband filled it only a few hours ago with seed. Among the sparrows are also two bright red cardinals. One of the cardinals sits on the back of the feeder to get his fill as the nervous sparrows flutter around him. The sparrows are so fast that one millisecond seems to be enough for them to grab a seed in their beaks before darting back to the fence or the ground below.  The fence has become a waiting room for sparrows!

On the ground below are three squirrels, their bushy tails curled up behind them, gobbling up the seeds dropped by the birds. There is plenty for them to eat! They used to jump onto the feeder from a nearby tree branch, but my husband put a stop to that by adding a flat umbrella-like metal “roof” over the feeder, now laden with snow, and a steep cone on the pole underneath. This is why they must resort to eating the birds’ leftovers.

Over this scene, a thick Comcast cable stretches diagonally across our yard and driveway connecting our house to a box attached to a telephone pole on the far side of the yard. This is the source of our “bundled” telephone and cable services.

In the middle of the yard, a fallen tree branch juts out of the snow. Tufts of tall grass can be seen here and there in the neighbor’s yard. On the other side of the driveway, which has been cleared by the snow blower, paw prints in the snow – little depressions that lead willy-nilly around the yard – indicate the recent appearance of our other neighbors’ black lab, who loves frolicking and barking at anyone who comes by.

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