Nature Notes (#186)~I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.~John Burroughs


Nature Lovers from Canada, India, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and the United States participated in Nature Notes last week..

Thank you all so much!!


It is cold and we have had some snow here in western New York. Unlike the summer with higher than average temperatures, we are in a period with below average temperatures. I have started doing my yearly Citizen science program called “Project Feeder Watch” where people who live in the US or Canada count birds that visit their feeders and report them. I’ve done it for 8 years now and it is interesting to see the changes over time. I have an average of 100 birds and 16 species in my count so far. No wonder I go through a lot of seed and suet.

Project FeederWatch – Cornell Lab of Ornithology


snow on grass

Along with the snow on the grass, comes some ice forming on the pond.

my backyard facing pond and our woods

pond with mallard ducks

mallard hen standing on pond ice


And lurking every day is a young Cooper’s hawk. He (or she) is determined.

cooper’s hawk stalking the feeder birds

coopers hawk-yellow eyes indicate young hawk as eyes change to red as hawk matures

coopers hawk


And a beautiful sunset

sunset over the pond

What are you seeing in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? What do you find interesting in nature? Take a photo, write a post, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. PS..please check back and visit bloggers who post later in the week!

1.Hanne Bente- Min fotoblog- Skovtur-‘ Picnic”- Denmark
2.Nature Footstep Photo-” Blooming Desert”- Sweden
3.Donna@ Gardens Eye View-” Simply The Best”- NY, US
4.Karen, Pixel Posts-” Camouflaged”- Ontario, Canada
5.EG Camera Girl-” End of November”- Ontario, Canada
6.Vicki, Havenwood- Nature Notes “A Gift of Fog”, US
7.Pat’s Bailey Road-” Ruby- throated Hummingbird”- US
8.Carver” Nature Notes: Late November”- NC, US
9.Tina´s Pic Story-“T is for Tree”- Stuttgart, Germany
10.Sue-“If Only” Linky- North Carolina, US
11.Nora- Island Rambles-” Tigers and TBirds”- Canada
12.Leora-” Review-Of a Feather… American Birding- NJ, US
13.Kusum- Travel Blog-” Burney Falls in California”- India
14.Laura Hegfield- Shine The Divine-” Small Kindnesses”- US
15.Ranu Chakraborty- Pink Cloud-” Flower”- India
16.Ook, she wrote-” Squirrels and a Deer”- Germany
17.Viewing Nature With Eileen-” Nuthatches”- MD, US
18.Kerri – A Little Piece of Me-” Falling Together”- US
19.Fey Girl-” Black- crowned Night Herons”- Florida, US
20.Coloring Outside the Lines-” Babbling Brook “- AR, US
21.Jeff- Ecobirder-” Goldenrod Crab Spider”- MN, US
22.Lorri- Jewaicous-” Wednesday Waterscape”- CA, US
23.Jill-” It’s all arachnid-y in here”- Somewhere, US
24.Cynthia- Withywindle Blog-” Our Wild Neighbors” MA, US
25.Padma- Lotus Leaf-” Mangrove Forests”- South India
26.Arija- Garden Delights-” A Horror Day”- Australia
27.Cheryl Ann- Deep Canyon-” Pinyon Tree Branch”- CA, US
28.DY- Student Gardener-“A tree in need of pruning”- Canada

36 thoughts on “Nature Notes (#186)~I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.~John Burroughs

  1. Wow, those are great shots of the hawk!

    And you have snow already. We have ice in the bird baths and heavy frost, but only a few stray flakes so far. My feet are freezing just from watching that poor duck standing in the icy pond. I don’t know how they can do that. (You probably do. LOL )


    • Vicki..I didn’t know the answer so I had to look it up and then read it twice…

      It’s all about heat exchange, and the smaller the temperature difference between two objects, the more slowly heat will be exchanged. Ducks, as well as many other birds, have a counter-current heat exchange system between the arteries and veins in their legs. Warm arterial blood flowing to the feet passes close to cold venous blood returning from the feet. The arterial blood warms up the venous blood, dropping in temperature as it does so. This means that the blood that flows through the feet is relatively cool. This keeps the feet supplied with just enough blood to provide tissues with food and oxygen, and just warm enough to avoid frostbite. But by limiting the temperature difference between the feet and the ice, heat loss is greatly reduced. Scientists who measured it calculated that Mallards lost only about 5% of their body heat through their feet at 0o C (32o F) 1. To put this in perspective, the rest of the duck is covered with feathers and in contact only with air, not ice, but because the body is relatively hot, 95% of the heat loss is from the head and body. Meanwhile, the cool feet sit on ice and give up very little heat.


      • LOL Michelle! You always do come through with the most wonderful information. Thanks!

        Did you see the post where I actually got a chickadee to take seeds from my hand today? A first for me! And it only took about a week. Now I just need to gradually get to where I can move around a little and look at them while they visit.


  2. A time of year when all the birds are hungry and no matter how unpalatable it is to us, raptors are hungry too.
    Lovely shots Michelle, I always enjoy seeing what is happening in your neck of the woods.


    • Yes Arija..this young hawk has not been successful here that I have seen. The smaller birds dart under the deck behind the lattice work. The birds at most risk are the doves and I do love them. But I know this raptor needs to eat… hugs..


    • Leora..this young hawk is trying all kinds of approached including looking under the deck…I almost feel like I should hang a roast out there for it as I know most young hawks don’t make it their first year due to starvation…


  3. Love the idea of Project Feeder watch. And you have done for last 8 years!? Commendable! And I have not lived in a place where there is snowfall though I have seen a lot of snow. Must be very different experience!


    • It is Kusum..we really get all of the seasons from hot summer to cold winter. I only count birds 2 days a week from Nov-April for the project, but I like to see what species are increasing or decreasing and how many of visit over that period. I can have 1 woodpecker while there are over 50 finches at the feeders on a cold day. 🙂


  4. Another lovely post of your pond and its inhabitants. I hope you are getting back to taking joy out of watching your feathered friends.
    I miss our bird feeders but we had to take them down because of the cat. It has made a big difference in the amount of bird kill.


    • Linda.. my sister had to take down her bird feeders as one of her cats, not all of them, was killing birds..she misses it too, but it hard to keep cats inside on a farm with a doggy door for the 7 dogs… and then there are the 2 horses and the donkey…. 🙂


  5. Hi Michelle, you have lots happening in your yard. The project feeder watch is fun. It is cool to see all the ducks in your pond and the hawk is an awesome sighting. Wonderful photos, have a great day!


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