The Blizzard (with a capital B) is pretty much over. We were lucky that we didn’t get any freezing rain, just snow: about a foot of it. Today, we’re supposed to get another 2-3 inches of lake effect snow. This means that all the streets will be plowed out by this evening and I’ll have to go back to work tomorrow. I was really hoping for at least 2 days off to play.
I decided to try to get some shots during the storm but I’m always disappointed with my night photography. Plus, the snow was blowing so hard, you can’t really see it falling very well.
Looking down the street in front of my house.
Looking in the other direction.
The city ordered all cars off the streets and asked that everyone stay at home. I live in a neighborhood mixed with home owners and renters so there are always cars parked in the street. It looked a little strange to have it so empty.
This morning I went out again, to see it in the daylight. Our street hasn’t been plowed yet, but snow was still coming down. I had my long-johns on and I felt toasty warm.
That car is going to be towed away if he doesn’t get off the street by the time the snowplow arrives.
Last night I could still see the indentations where the sidewalk should be. By this morning, the sidewalk had entirely disappeared.
After checking out the front of my house, I decided to go around to the back to see if the birds needed any seed. I stopped short at the gate.
There he was, only a few yards away from me and perched on the limb of my old lilac bush: a Cooper’s Hawk. I quickly tried to focus my camera and point it in his direction but I wasn’t fast enough.
I wasn’t fast enough with my camera, but this photo, borrowed from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, shows the bird in exactly the same pose as the one in my yard.
He turned his head and took off flying. I thought I spooked him and he was flying away from me, but no, he had seen some birds perched in the tree behind him and he swooped almost straight up and back toward the tree.
The small birds scattered but one of my mourning doves was too slow. In a snap, he grabbed the dove, went to ground for a moment from the weight, then went winging with his dinner across my backyard and my neighbor’s, disappearing beyond. That is the first time I ever saw a hawk catch his prey, close up and personal. I was stunned!
The hawk has been living in the city for a number of years and though I rarely see him, I know that my house is one of his regular feeding stops. I do feel sad when I see the feathers left behind by his victims, especially the goldfinches and cardinals. However, I understand that this is the nature of life and as long as his visits are occasional and not permanent, I can live with him. I must admit, it is exciting to see him up close.
Enough chitchat, time to begin the shoveling…