Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

A Harsh Surprise


The skiff of snow we had the other day was just the prelude to get us in tune for the magnum opus.

Some snow for Christmas was a fine seasonal touch, even if it was a bit hard on the birds, but the snowfall we had in the last two days, coupled with a drastic drop in temperatures and an increase in NW wind – well, let’s just say I’m praying for the return of my old friends, wind and rain.

Since the Arctic winds are coming from the north or northwest, I decided to put more birdseed on the leeward side of the house. Out of the wind, the picnic blanket won’t blow away or freeze to the ground as readily.

So, not being particularly house proud, I sprinkled bird seed liberally by my front door and in the dry edges near the house on the south and east sides.

Emma can’t believe her eyes. So many birds. You know she’s a “bird dog” but that is not supposed to apply to songbirds. She’s in shock that birds are right there on the other side of the glass – you know, that glass beside the door where she always looks out when she’s left behind.

“Wow!” she says. “A varied thrush!” And she tells herself to stop drooling.

“Oh, it’s you again,” says Vera Thrush. “You should stop poking your nose into the glass pane. You’re mucking it all up with noseprints.”

“On second thought,” thinks Vera, “I should maybe check out another area and come back later when that maniac killer dog is having a nap. But … does she ever sleep?” Vera turns to go. “Better safe than sorry…. Hmmpf! Can’t believe I said that. Such a cliché.”

Vera’s feathers fluff up soft,

Keeping warmer air aloft

Trapped beside her chilly skin,

She will not let winter in.


Hard to fathom so much cold,

Although pretty to behold,

But the chill is not a thrill,

It is often known to kill.


Thankfully, the seeds are spread,

All around the front door tread,

Even though they don’t belong,

Matters more that we stay strong.


First comes need and then decor,

Later we’ll clean up the door,

But we’ll wait till Emma’s busy

So she won’t get in a tizzy.


All these seeds are such a gift

Hard to find them in a drift,

Front door feeding works just fine,

Think I’ll grab some, make them mine.




Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

40 thoughts on “A Harsh Surprise

  1. Hi Anneli. Just love your story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful photos, Anneli! The plump bird is so cute as is Emma. It’s so sweet that you moved the feeding area to the wayward side of your home. Are your header image and photo one the view from your home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The header image was taken by a friend and that’s what our view would be if a bunch of trees were gone (but I prefer the trees). The other one (in the post) was taken from my deck. And yes, I should have moved the feeders to the leeward side long ago.


  3. She is such a little cutie. It’s so great the you are doing as much as you can to help them along. Poor little birds and squirrels! The weather just keeps churning up the surprises.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the story and photos Anneli.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice pictures and poem. Those birds and squirrels are so lucky to have you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful poem, Anneli. We hit 77 degrees yesterday, a record for Charlotte. Beautiful photos! Stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anneli, I love the cute photos and the wonderful story!
    ❤ All the best, Anneli! May 2022 be a great year!
    Rosie from Germany

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chubby little Vera. I bet that keeps her a bit warm. Love your poem. As always.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s great what you’re doing for the birdies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was hard work the last couple of days (and still today), changing out the feeders every 40 minutes or so to thaw them. It was so cold last night I was sure I would find a pile of dead hummingbirds this morning, but they survived! They are amazingly tough for such tiny birds.


  10. Pingback: A Harsh Surprise – Nelsapy

  11. I do like the photo of Emma looking out at the bird. Wildlife certainly has a hard time of it right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It really is harsh for the little animals. If we all do a little bit to help them through it, we might be able to save some who might otherwise die. I saved one bird just by keeping Emma on the other side of that door!


  13. Thanks for sharing this..makes me happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful photos, Anneli. Mother nature is powerful. Take care of those birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We’ve been adding to our foraging crow friends’ diets during this bitter cold by putting unsalted peanuts and sunflower seeds just outside our balcony door…the lagoon and other water sources are frozen and we’ve noticed the crows eating freshly fallen snow off of our balcony table!
    Thank you for sharing and helping the birdlife near your home, too…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It looks cold, but so beautiful! What a lovely plump Thrush, the birds and animals are lucky to have you giving them treats when conditions are so harsh.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. That looks like quite a dusting. The weather’s spun the other way here (apparently we’re under a textbook dipole event or something like that – basically a heat dome) but until yesterday, it was constant greyness and rain and the birds seemed to be hiding from it.

    Love the varied thrush.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Loving example of sharing grace with these birds! The feeding will definitely soften nature’s harsh surprise. Anneli, your compassion is a wonderful thing to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t care. I could sleep in and not worry about the weather or who is suffering out there. But it doesn’t work. My mother taught me to care about every creature from the time I was a baby and I suppose my reward for the chores of getting out there in the cold to feed the animals is to see them living and thriving all around me. The joy they bring is worth the effort. Thanks for your kind comment.


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