It is December 17th.
There are bluebirds house-hunting in the garden.
They start early--I've heard of them looking at prospective real-estate in January, and I won't swear this is out of historical range--but god, it seems early. I feel the urge to apologize to them. The garden is a shambles, it's been cold and wet and miserable and I haven't felt any desire to get out and spread cow manure on the garden.
Today is a blindingly sunny day, not horribly cold, and more birds than usual are out in the garden. I usually don't see bluebirds all the way back here. They like the neighbor's open yards. (Some day I will sink a pole in the grassy area by the driveway entrance and set up a bluebird house, but sinking poles in this clay is a grim prospect.) We've also got a smattering of woodpeckers--not uncommon, but there's a flicker and those rarely wander into the garden. They were extremely common when I lived in town, but for some reason, my current yard doesn't appeal to them as much.
A golden-crowned kinglet seems to have settled in here for the winter, much to my delight. Thrush-Bob is still demanding mealworms on the deck. (Kevin slogs out in the morning, chanting "Blood and mealworms for my lord Thrush-Bob!")Everything's kind of dormant and in stasis right now...but dude. Bluebirds. There's a thing.
Also posted at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there!