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January 18, 2021 Wintergarden

Updated: May 5, 2021

It is deep in winter now. Our yard sinks into a sound sleep with all the bare deciduous trees and brown grass. All the water lilies died back. The veggie garden has only a few bright red dry peppers hanging with a lonely gesture on their empty stems.

However, if you look carefully, there is life everywhere. Bulbs such as crocus and snowdrops that we have planted last fall started to poke out of the sleeping ground. Just after another day of endless winter rain, the gentle sun suddenly lights up all the fresh green shoots hidden in the land of browness.

Bulbs peeking out in the sunshine

Snowdrop flower

Crocus flower

Crocus flower opening up

Crocus flower with variegated pattern

We have put up two squirrel-proof bird feeders now. One with small grains and another with sunflower seeds, each of which attracts different types of birds. House sparrows always like the small grains, while Nuthatches and the Eastern bluebirds came to visit us more often when we have added the sunflower seeds. Mourning doves are not picky. They are always on the ground cleaning up whatever is left there. The group grew from three to six of them since this January/ Frustrated squirrels finally gave up the attempts of snatching all the free food from the feeders. They joined the doves under the feeder and spent more time searching the oaks and walnuts that they buried last year.

After watching A Big Year, we decided to start our birding journal starting this year. We have set the bird-watching books, a brand new journal with pretty birds on the cover, a camera, and a pair of binoculars handy by the window. We also downloaded an APP called Merlin Bird ID to help identify the birds in our yard. By now we have recorded 12 different birds in our journal. We are planning to get a third bird feeder to attract those who are not vegetarians.

This is the first winter of our garden (still a yard, just halfway to a real garden) after we have really settled down, yet it already brought so much joy and excitement to us.

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