SPECIAL CREDIT and thanks goes to Dave Kinneer with his permission to use his photos for my page header.
DO YOU NOT AGREE THAT PICTURES TELL THE STORY?
Ahhh, the days of winter are now upon us. We can only hope they find lots of berries for food this winter. We are abundant here with berries, in general. Nonethelesss, this is a good time to put out the mealworms and start making some special recipe bluebird suet before the holidays and freeze in blocks for those terriby frigid days or ice storms. We don’t have snow often here in Southwest Virginia, but it does happen. Last winter, we only had one dusting of it, possibly one-half inch, and it melted the nest day. However, every year, we always have at least one major ice storm! I always go out and take photos when it happens. Most of the bluebirds in our area stay as year-round neighbors and residents. The two Eastern Bluebirds photo in the header was taken by Dave Kinneer. Photographers Wendell Long, Bill Matthews, and Dave Kinneer have been so gracious to let me post some of their fantastic photos on this site. With special permission, I feature their photographic art. Their photography skills and the the joy of photographing these bird wonders is beyond explanation and words. Just look at the photos on this site, and you see why they make such good subjects! I hope my own photography skills will continue to improve like these wonderful bird photographers! I appreciate the beauty they have captured in our wonderful birds and thank them for allowing me to feature their works. Additionally, my favorite bluebird artists in paint are Susan Bourdet and Jim Hautman. Some of their artwork is featured here with their permission. I also send thanks to both for sharing their creativity and beauty of the birds with me on my site.
SUET RECIPES FOR BLUEBIRDS: Here is one suet recipe you can make at home for bluebirds. A bit of table sugar gives the birds extra energy during the cold winter and is safe for them in small amounts:
Source: Virginia Bluebird Society
1 cup crunchy peanut butter, 1 cup lard, 2 cups quick oats, 2 cups cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, dried berries like currents or cut up dried cranberries or cherries, optional, but suggested. Mix dry ingredients. Melt peanut butter & lard together, and mix with dry ingredients. Press into pan, cool, cut into squares and freeze until needed. I suggest using a platform feeder or jailhouse style mealworm feeder and cut and crumble the suet for the bluebirds to easily eat it. More recipes can be found on the Sialis.org website: http://www.sialis.org/suet.htm#recipes
POEM by “Bluebird Bob” Walshaw (with permission–thanks, Bob!)
I saw a Bluebird in the snow
He seemed to know just where to go
As he flew to eat those sumac berries,
Wishing they were summer cherries.
He did not go south with the others
And will have a head start on his brothers
When once again it is time to sing
To compete and win a mate in spring.
His feathers were fluffed against the cold
And I thought how very bold
For him to stay and not to go
Braving the wind and cold and snow.
Like us he must do his best
To accept life’s weather and the rest
And I am richer as I know
For seeing that Bluebird in the snow.