More photos from Erie’s historic snow

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Of course I have to post more photos of the snow that Erie, Pennsylvania, experienced during Christmas week. Here’s the original post in case you missed it.

In fact, I’m going to post new photos every two hours this weekend. What else do we have to do when its this ridiculously cold out?

Advertisements

More photos from Erie’s historic snow

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Of course I have to post more photos of the snow that Erie, Pennsylvania, experienced during Christmas week. Here’s the original post in case you missed it.

In fact, I’m going to post new photos every two hours this weekend. What else do we have to do when its this ridiculously cold out?

Somewhere there’s a playground under all that snow.

More photos from Erie’s historic snow

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Of course I have to post more photos of the snow that Erie, Pennsylvania, experienced during Christmas week. Here’s the original post in case you missed it.

In fact, I’m going to post new photos every two hours this weekend. What else do we have to do when it’s this ridiculously cold out?

Walking around in five, no make that six, feet of snow

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Erie, Pennsylvania was socked with a five-foot snowfall that started on Christmas and stopped two days later. A few days after that another foot fell. I saw the national news accounts of the historic snow, but I was also lucky enough to witness it myself.

I grew up just outside of Erie and I still have family there, so this great city is my annual post-Christmas destination. A foreboding forecast didn’t dampen my desire to get “home” for Christmas and to have my boys see their uncles and grandfather. Besides, the snow was forecasted to be centralized right in Erie. True to the weatherman’s word, the first 19/20th of the seven-hour trip was a piece of cake. Half an hour south of Erie the sun was shining and grass blades stuck out through the meager snowfall amount.

For those not familiar with Erie, it is on the shore of Lake Erie. Just like Buffalo, Erie often gets pummeled by lake-effect snow. So as I got closer to the lake, the snow started coming down and it barely stopped the entire time I was there — which, by the way, was supposed to be three days but turned out being six because of the snow.

While I didn’t venture far from my brother’s house, my brother and I did take a short walk to a small park in his neighborhood. Notice I said “short” walk, not quick walk. We covered only about a mile, but trudging through thigh-high snow with no snowshoes proved to be quite a workout.

I didn’t get any bird photos, but did manage to snap a few keepers. So, here’s what five, no six, feet of snow looks like. More photos coming in the coming days, too.

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Anyone want to catch a baseball game? These are bleachers at a youth baseball field.

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Here’s the fence in foul territory along the first-base line.

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

I’ll end with a bird-related photo …

Photo by Chris Bosak Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

A nice first bird of the year

Photo by Chris Bosak A pileated woodpecker searches for food in a dead tree on New Year's Day 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A pileated woodpecker searches for food in a dead tree on New Year’s Day 2018.

The weather app on the phone said the temperature was 0 degrees (yes, as in zero). It was New Year’s Day, though, so no excuses: I had to take that walk I promised myself I’d take.

Photo by Chris Bosak A pileated woodpecker searches for food in a dead tree on New Year's Day 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A pileated woodpecker searches for food in a dead tree on New Year’s Day 2018.

As soon as I walked out the door I heard a loud knocking that I strongly suspected was a pileated woodpecker. A quick glance in the direction of the knocking and my suspicion was confirmed. A female pileated woodpecker banged away at a dead tree in the backyard (well, technically not my backyard, but open space that abuts my backyard.)

First bird of 2018 is a pileated woodpecker. Not bad at all.

I watched the crow-sized woodpecker for several minutes and snapped photos until my “shooting” hand froze. That didn’t take long.

I moved on to give the woodpecker some peace and quiet on this frigid day.

The rest of the walk was rather uneventful, but I did see three other types of Continue reading

For the Birds: When they all visit at once

Photo by Chris Bosak A Red-bellied Woodpecker takes a peanut from a homemade birdfeeder in Danbury, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Red-bellied Woodpecker takes a peanut from a homemade birdfeeder in Danbury, Conn., spring 2016.

Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs in several New England newspapers.

Some days none of them come, some days some of them come, and some days they all come.

I guess we wake up expecting the middle ground and — somewhere in the back of our minds — we hope for the higher ground. Isn’t it great when we hope for the best and it happens?

That can hold true for just about anything in life, but I’m talking about birds. What else? 

One day last weekend was one of those days when all of the birds in the neighborhood were in my backyard. My bedroom window affords views of only the tops of trees and, before heading downstairs to make the morning coffee, I had already seen a downy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee and white-breasted nuthatch.

The birds just kept on coming. There’s a feeder hanging outside of the kitchen window and, before the coffee was done brewing, tufted titmice, house finches and hairy woodpeckers joined the list of bird species I’d seen in my yard that day.

I glanced out the kitchen window onto the backyard and noticed white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos were hopping around the grass and mourning doves were hanging out beneath the feeder. Suddenly, I heard a blue jay and saw it perch on a branch just outside the window.

Not that I was counting, but I had seen 10 species of birds and hadn’t even stepped foot outside yet.

As I was thinking about how nice it was to have seen so many birds already, I looked out a kitchen window that faces a different direction and saw a red-tailed hawk practically right in front of my face. It sensed the movement from inside the house and flew off to a safer perch about three trees away, but still within easy watching distance from the kitchen.

I was surprised that so many of the songbirds were brazenly flitting about when a big, bad hawk was so close by. Had it been a sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk, it may have been a different story.

So that made 11 species, including a hawk, and the coffee was just getting poured into the mug. It could have ended there, but I had the whole weekend day ahead of me.

I never set out specifically to look for birds that weekend, but the sightings kept presenting themselves.

I went to get something out of the car and a pair of cardinals hurried into the brush. On my way to the mailbox, a house wren hopped along the stone wall. As I made lunch, minding my own business, I was serenaded to the kitchen window by a Carolina wren singing its heart out, even in winter.

Red-bellied woodpeckers climbed up tree limbs and uttered their strange calls several times throughout the day. It had been days since I’d seen a red-bellied woodpecker in the yard.

It was an odd day, indeed. Odd in a good way, of course. Nothing too out of the ordinary came to the yard, but I was more than happy to welcome the common species that did show.

Sure, it could have been even more spectacular. I didn’t see a brown creeper, goldfinch or kinglet. Come to think of it, a red-breasted nuthatch, fox sparrow or pine siskin wouldn’t have been out of the question during this time of year.

Sure it would have been nice if they would have stopped by, but trust me, I’m not complaining. I had plenty of company that day.