Life in the Dead of Winter

Well I believe it would be accurate to say we are right in the dead of winter here in Ontario.   The temperature has not risen above freezing for over a month now.   We have gotten our fair share of snow, too.  Sometimes it makes me just want to hide until spring.   But if I did that, I might miss something!


Snowy Blue Jay

Our feeders have been hopping the last month or so.   It looks like a scene from Bambi out there every morning.     Countless birds, really.   I love having them around, so I keep buying the seed.  They have me trained.


Evening Grosbeaks with their little cousins, American Goldfinches

The flock of Evening Grosbeaks is still around, noisy and hungry as ever.   They are very gregarious birds, always eating together and having conversations. They sometimes sit up in the trees above our house at daybreak, chattering away.   As soon as I put the seed out, they swoop down to get it.


Hey buddy, what’s up?

We don’t get to see the Grosbeaks every year, so it’s really special to have them around.


Mrs. Cardinal

Cardinals come every day, though they are quite shy.   I am really in love with the female cardinal.   What a beauty.



None of the squirrels around here are normal.   For instance, one has about a quarter of its tail left (“Stumpy”) and another has a big white patch of fur on its tail (“Skunk”).



Red Breasted Nuthatches love to eat the peanut butter and suet I put out, and they also eat our house.    They cling to the house and eat the mortar from between the bricks.    One day my house will fall down, and it will be their fault.



This little bird looks really cute but it is a killer.   The Northern Shrike has been hanging around our feeders sometimes looking for a snack.   You can see its sharp hooked beak, which it uses to catch other birds as well as rodents.   Shrikes often impale their victims on thorns or fences in order to eat them later.


Cooper’s Hawk

Yes, the frenetic activity at our feeders has attracted all kinds of creatures looking for a meal.   This Cooper’s Hawk roosted in our yard all afternoon one day.   The Blue Jays were going crazy squawking at it.


Can you see the Screech Owl?

The Blue Jays also helped me find this Eastern Screech Owl peeking out of a hole in a tree when I was out walking recently.   I am hoping to get a better photo of it, but I will need to be patient.   Wish me luck.


Sunny spot on a cold day

Today I found this little Barred Owl roosting in a sunny spot in a spruce tree, conserving warmth and energy on another bitterly cold day.    I was very careful not to disturb it.   It’s not easy to survive winter when it gets this cold and snowy.


Walter on the beach!

Here’s somebody who LOVES winter- my dog Walter.    He’s so excited to run in the snow that his tongue is flopping into his eye!  Winter has its challenges, for sure.   But the more you get out, the more you discover.   Embrace it, it’s almost over!



  1. Great post! I have a squirrel named White Ears who frequents my backyard feeders, you have to name them when they are so goofy!

  2. Great post Lesley! The photos you take are wonderful. Winter Is cold but beautiful as well. I love that pic of Walter! cheers

  3. I just love that picture of stumpy! So cute. Also, this post makes me really excited to visit. A winter full of animals is so much better than a city winter!!

  4. Northern Shrike ?? I WANT one !! I’ve never seen one. Is he/she a regular ?

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