Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Winter is back—at some elevations

Crazy. I have been shuffling back and forth between the computer and the kitchen all morning and for a couple hours have seen flashing police lights out on the road. Lots of cars are turning around in my driveway. We've had a bit of snow overnight, but it's melting and not a big deal.

Right out front of my house there's a county sanding truck stopped and a couple of guys putting chains on it.

"What's going on?", I ask, nodding toward the police cars. "They've closed 175th (the road that goes up the hill). Buncha' cars off in the ditch up there."

Then it registers that they are putting chains on this sanding truck, headed up the hill the other direction, so I step out into the street to see where they are going.

While everything is wet and melt-y right here at my house, just up yonder it is snowy and icy. (It looked like this a couple of months ago) I never realized that such a small change in elevation makes such a difference. Not that the elevation is very impressive. There's a sign at the top of that hill that says "elevation 500 feet". Our relatives from Montana, last summer, laughed and thought it was a joke.

So, that's what passes for excitement at my house this morning. Meanwhile the birds are busy at our bird buffet.

This pretty guy shows up on a regular basis. I thought he was a finch, but in checking my Western Birds book, I think he is, in fact, a Townsend's Warbler. I know—the slimy, dead geranium in the pot looks like hell. Victim of a hard winter.

I think this is a junco at the feeder. I built this bird feeder several years ago and went to some effort to find sheet copper for the roof. I envisioned it oxidizing to a nice coppery green, but it hasn't. Anyone know how to encourage that?

These tiny bush tits swarm the suet feeder, hanging just outside the front window. Sometimes it is so covered with little birds you can't see the feeder. Then they swoop away in a fluttery little mass.

I'm sewing something for Sofia. I had had visions of making all kinds of darling little ensembles for my grandchild, but sadly I haven't found as much time as I'd hoped. What I am making is turning out cute. I'll show you when I finish it!


  1. Argh! Hope we can escape to CA tomorrow. We are having the Lexus serviced up on Canyon Rd. I begged off driving up there so they gave us a loaner for the day. I am such a wimp.

  2. Lovely birds! I left the old flower stuff on my balcony, and a wren comes round every few days to pick tiny insects. The warbler is so cute!

  3. Love your birdies! Try muriatic acid or vinegar to get the green patina on the copper roof. The vinegar you'll need to spray a light mist on every day for a week or so, the acid should work overnight. I'm not sure if you wouldn't be better off rubbing the roof with a steel wool pad or some such first so the chemical reaction is faster though.

  4. I love your interesting "things going on" stories.

  5. I'm not sure what it's called, but there is some stuff that you can brush on copper that almost instantly makes it look oxidized. I was set up at an art show outside in some gardens once, and the gal next to me was brushing it on copper yard ornaments as fast as her partner could make them. Looked like it was working great!

  6. Use as j.dávila suggested, and yes you should rub it down with a steel wool pad first to expose the copper for a better reaction.

    I also can't believe it's snowing again!