Another snow-filled day—sometimes fairly heavy, sometimes just a few fine flakes sifting lightly from the sky. Also switching back and forth several times from clouds to sun.
A couple of hours ago, when the sky was bright and clear, I stood watching through one of the windows overlooking the river. Snowflakes were blowing sideways. Though I wasn't aware of so much wind, the air was full of this horizontal snow. What made the moment special were the flakes themselves—each sparkling like a brilliant diamond as pellucid winter light flashed off the flat planes off the individual snowflakes, gleaming, scintillating, a scene more dazzling to the eye and heart than mere words can ever paint.
Now it is overcast again and snowing fairly heavily. The feeders are busy, and have been all day—a dozen or more species visible at any given time, and always heavy on cardinals. I don't know why I seem to have so many cardinals around this winter. I also have a lot more Carolina wrens and white-throated sparrows, yet far fewer house finches and goldfinches than usual—though way more purple finches than in winters past.
Moments ago I looked up to see a female pileated woodpecker come flapping across the river, heading directly for one of the suet feeders. A male red-bellied woodpecker, already occupying the feeder, also noticed the big pileated flapping his way. I swear I saw him cringe.
It was one of those David-and-Goliath moments…except in this encounter, the red-bellied David lacked both size and a trusty sling and stone. The square-off was over with a peck and a squawk…the pileated administering the pecking, the red-bellied protesting with indignant squawking. In the end, of course, size does matter—especially if your opponent could chisel a hole through your skull with a single sledge-hammer whack.
The red-bellied did exactly what I would have done in his place, flew over to the safety of a nearby tree and hurled loud invectives at the bigger, badder usurper……you xy&#w2a3k@z redheaded pterodactyl!
Yup, he showed her.