Snowbirds and Snowdogs

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 In our annual attempt to show the world that yes, we do get snow in Austin, Texas, a brief snowfall yesterday blanketed our city in a lovely, albeit, thin, layer of white.

snowc02-04-11.jpgOf course, that’s reason enough to celebrate — most schools were cancelled for the day, to the delight of kids everywhere, and many businesses stayed closed. Actually, safety was the main concern — under the snow were patches of hazardous ice, and we saw many cars spinning their wheels and sliding out of control.
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But not only do we get snow in Austin, we also get to show the world how to do the white stuff right — it melts away the very same day. Okay, that’s not really a plus — it would be nice to see the snow last a little longer…

Even though the snow might be short-lived, we’ve had freezing temperatures all week. A few days ago, all water had turned to ice.

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This gave the snow many nice surfaces to stick to.

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The backyard pond was also covered in ice and snow, but the waterfall managed to keep flowing, even past the new icicles.

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snowd02-04-11.jpgThe garden path and grass areas created a wave in the back.

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The birds were busy at the feeders, keeping warm by eating high-energy foods. The male cardinals were a hoot, so to speak — they decided that their best bet was to just fluff up and hang out in the feeder trays rather than waste energy flying back and forth. Of course, the other birds weren’t too thrilled with that plan. But after awhile, the males would make way for their mates, and then the masses of other birds would fly in, too.

For the ground foragers, we put a tray of birdseed out on the snow. It didn’t take long for the birds to scatter seeds about.

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I’d really hoped to get a photo of a bird hopping in the snow, but the kids were running around outside doing the snowball thing, so the birds didn’t linger on the ground long enough for a picture. I did manage to get this pretty female cardinal — she was waiting for a turn at the feeder.

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I’m not sure whether it was a trick of the light, but when she turned her head, it looked like she had a bit of snow on the feathers around her left eye — making for very pretty lashes.

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This beautiful cardinal inspired me to make a snowbird (I’d asked the kids to make me a snowman, but apparently this was the year for snow fortresses). I still have memories of last years’ mudmen, so I guess those will have to suffice. But I love my little snowbird. 

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It reminds me of how my mom and I used to listen to Anne Murray songs together — many, many years ago. Anyone else remember the song ”Snowbird”? Yes, this gives a semi-clue to my age, or thereabout.

 
snowk02-04-11.jpgI think of all us, the ones who love the snow the most are the dogs. They run and chase and play. The husky and mountain dog are really in their element.

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snowo02-04-11.jpgEven though most of the snow came and went yesterday, the shady areas outside are still white this morning. But that will change — the high today should be about 56 degrees Fahrenheit. To my family of men, that means shorts-and-T-shirts weather! I’ll still have my coat on…

10 thoughts on “Snowbirds and Snowdogs

  1. Stunning photos, Meredith! It must have been a “warm” snow, or you have a high tolerance for cold since you captured so many lovely photos! I love the cardinal photos — they would make beautiful Christmas cards! Beth

  2. Glad you were able to cool down for a while. Austin gets hot! Your dogs looked like they were LOVING it! With all that thick fur, I would be loving it, too. Meredith, it looks like you need to start a new line of work and start sculpting! Your snow bird was fantastic! LOL. It’s been cold here. Yesterday morning it was 5 degrees. Brrrr. But then a friend of mine blogged they had -25 degrees. I’ll take our 5 degrees over that any time. Brrrr.

  3. Hi Meredith, Enjoy your photos. The dogs seem to be happy with the snow. I wonder if their paws are freezing. Like your white eye lashes bird and the one you created too.

  4. The dogs made me laugh. My Netherlands Dutch shepherd had the same gleeful reaction, as if she said “FINALLY!” My poor mommas boy great dane, not so much.

  5. It was a delightful day wasn’t it?! Between the kids and the dogs there was so much joy to be found and the birds were quite happy with the warm up too! Beautiful photos…I love the movement of the dogs!

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