The snow has been falling all week, gently but steadily, and the world is blanketed in the deep silence of winter. The birds are starting to depend on our backyard feeder – there’s a Downy Woodpecker that has made permanent residence on the suet, the Cardinal pair shows up regularly at dusk, and the Goldfinches chatter away in gossiping groups, nibbling on the niger seeds.
Meanwhile, the squirrels are doing all they can to stake their claim to the spoils. While a seed or two gets tossed to the ground by the birds, there isn’t much but crumbs for the mammals to scrounge for. This little guy positioned himself under the feeder, staring at the window, and almost seems to be pleading, “please, please, take pity on me – all I want is a few sunflower seedsto fill my empty belly!” He is kinda cute (check out his chestnut-coloured vest!) and I do feel a tinge of sympathy for him, but then I remember how he chewed through my Christmas lights, and what a bully he is to the red squirrels, and I don’t feel all that charitable. Then again, it is the Christmas season…I think I might just embrace the spirit of the holidays and put out some peanuts.