Friday, November 28, 2008

KEEPING WARM

Winter is slowly closing in here, although we are being blessed with beautiful clear sunny days and bright blue skies, the temperature barely gets above freezing during the day and at night it plummets. Only the truly hardy animals stay around at this time of year.


The Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis has its very own fur stole to keep out the chill. Also, being city squirrels they are very well fed and right now are putting on as much weight as possible to get them through the months ahead.


There are very few bugs apparent anywhere but I did spot these milkweed bug nymphs Oncopeltus fasciatus, sheltering inside a milkweed pod. All those downy seeds must provide some good insulation.


The Mallards Anas platyrhynchos always look singularly unimpressed when the pond starts to freeze up.


But there is still some clear water and the Wood Ducks Aix sponsa were making the most of it. The males look resplendant at this time of year.
I included this picture for Michelle at Rambling Woods
I know Wood Ducks are her favorites and she is missing them right now as her pond has already frozen over.


The invasive European House Sparrow Passer domesticus is another tough customer who stays put all the way through winter. Fluffing up its feathers to trap warm air around its body.


There are a few food sources still around and I must say, they look very festive.


It is harder to find city wildlife at this time of year but there is some!

Photo Credits - CJT

4 comments:

Kathiesbirds said...

Love the berries and the pine cone shots. The wood duck is resplendent! Never heard of milk weed bugs before. They are very colorful hiding in that dull dry pod!

fishing guy said...

Celeste: Very nice captures of the Winter animals and bugs.

Naturegirl said...

i am always amazed at how these little birds plump up feathers to keep out the cold as I watch shivering from inside where it's toasty warm! Those bugs are interesting I must search some pods and look inside..but with snow already hee I am sure the bugs have found shelter inside a tree.Thank squirrel really is fat!!

ramblingwoods said...

Oh Celeste...Love the woody drake. Thank you..I do love them. I saw an gray squirrel with only a about a 1/3 of a tail. I wonder what happened to the rest of it..Back from my weekend and now I need to rest from that..LOL...