I absolutely love Cardinals! I think both the male and female are crested beauties! The males have a black mask upon their glorious red and the females are a mellow brown with touches of reddish orange here and there. My, my, how that red stand outs against a bleak and snowy landscape.
Cardinals do not migrate in the winter and often come together in flocks to band against the winter harshness. I can look out my window on a dreary winter day and see flashes of red in the thicket in the pasture. This bird is a seed eater and some of its favorites seeds are sunflower, cracked corn and safflower. An excellent sight for birdwatchers in Oklahoma, Bird of Oklahoma. Today I found a site for birdsongs, it’s wonderful on this arctic winter day to hear sounds of spring.
If you want to draw Cardinals into your yard be sure to plant vines, climbing roses and evergreens. Tangly, hardy vines like the clematis, honeysuckle and trumpet vine make good hiding places. Cardinals like to build their nests in shrub and climbing roses; the thorns make for good defense. Evergreens make good plants for roosting, especially in the Winter.
Alex and I made Orange Baskets treats for the birds on this wind chill factor -10 day. Turn the orange with the stem end up and cut wedges out of the top on both sides thus leaving a “handle” to hang the basket. We used recycled old ribbon for the hangers. We decided the orange smelled so good we ate the wedges or if you can resist the temptation, feed the wedges to the birds. The Orange Baskets will be hung from the Pecan tree in the backyard.
Orange Baskets for the Birds
My Impressionism era photo of Winter Cardinals.
This winter seems the longest one in my life, a never ending cycle of cold, ice and dark days. I thought that something was going on with me because I just seemed to be very COLD all the time. Last week the local weather reported that this has been the actual overall coldest winter on record for NE Oklahoma and the Northern Hemisphere. All the ice that had melted from the Polar Ice Cap had been replaced because of the record cold. What happened to global warming?! Now before all you treehuggers get on your soapbox, I know there is alot more to the issue than the polar ice cap! And I am a sorta treehugger myself! So climb down and take a deep breath.
While I never REALLY thought Spring would not come, there were some days I wondered. However, when the daffodils starting poking their little green tips up through the dirt on the south side of my house, I jumped with joy!
Today winter made a big showing with temps in the 30’s and a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. The wood stove is aglow with warmth and there is a pot of chili on the stove to chase away the chill in both home and soul. And while I know this may not be the last Old Man Winter blows, I rejoice that his days are numbered. Recently I bought seeds and a cute little bluebird house to help with the winter doldrums.
I have many plans for the garden, like sunflowers, herbs, green beans, etc., etc. I am going to enlarge my garden space this year, so I think two hills of pumpkins are in order. Come Fall, I hope to have a few pumpkins to decorate this house and carve into Jack-o-lanterns. I also think this acre needs a few dwarf fruit trees, so I have to research for some varieties that do well in Oklahoma. We will also need to plant a few ornamental trees to replace the few we lost in the infamous ice storm of 2007. Maybe a Redbud
or a Goldenrain Tree
or a October Glory Maple Tree
or maybe all of the before mentioned!
My friends, I hope this day finds you warm and cozy with thoughts of Spring dancing in your head!