Thursday, December 29, 2022

Looking back, bittersweetly

This past week we, with much of the Midwest and Northeast US as well as Canada, endured the passage of a severe weather system which produced a "bomb cyclone," a hurricane-like storm caused by the sudden collision of a tropical air mass with an arctic cold front. Hot air rapidly rises and creates an area of very low pressure  encircled by high winds and intense precipitation. In low light before the storm struck I obtained a few poor photos of feeder birds.

Mourning Dove and Northern Cardinal feasting on safflower seeds

A couple of views of White-throated Sparrows, which have been strangely scarce so far:

House Finches:

We were spared the blizzards endured by most of the northern areas. Instead we had heavy rain, followed by a precipitous drop in temperature from the mid 60s°F (18°C) to the low single digits. High winds toppled trees which fell on power lines, causing widespread loss of electrical service. Luckily, we only had brief power interruptions. On the morning before Christmas Day our outside thermometer recorded temperatures as low as 5°F ( -14°C).  

Cazador, our daughter's Standard Poodle, was reluctant to go out in the cold:

The weather was so vicious that we could not take our daily walks. One day I didn't even venture out to put up the feeders. I reflected on fair-weather header images provided by some of these feeder birds, among the 72 species I have identified on or from the property since we moved here just a year ago--

Northern Cardinal: 

White-throated Sparrow:

Black-capped Chickadee:

Tufted Titmouse in snow:

Christmas morning was clear but still very cold (10°F/-12°C). Temperatures remained below freezing the rest of the week, but winds were relatively calm and the sun shone brightly. Shooting through the window glass, the sun helped sharpen my photos. 

A male Dark-eyes (Slate-colored) Junco posed atop the granite ledge:

Late afternoon sun displayed the brown plumage of a female Junco and brought out the colors and patterns of the granite

A White-breasted Nuthatch perched nearby...

..and headfirst, descended the wall:

Street scenes along our walk

View of sunset from our bedroom window, December 28:

Christmas time can be a mix of joy and sadness. Memories were ignited by a couple of old photos, of our granddaughters (now 17 and 18 years old)...

...and my first date with MaryLou, 69 years ago on December 27, 1953, a  Dinner Dance at The Meadowbrook in New Jersey. (Not much came of it as we did not start going steady until well over a year later). Betty and Tom, respectively classmates of MaryLou and me, occupied the middle seats at the table. My dear sister Ellen "fixed me up" with MaryLou, whose brother Larry was seated on the left. He was my classmate in High School and College-- Ellen was his date. We all were fast friends. Sadly, of the six in our party, we two are the only survivors.  

We did not participate in late evening extended family gatherings, as  respiratory diseases are running rampant. We have been sheltering in our Casita and masking up even when interacting with the immediate family. I do not want illness to interfere with upcoming CT and MRI examinations which will gauge my progress and help plot a future course for chemotherapy, now as I conclude my 10th 3-week treatment cycle (two weeks on, one week off). 

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World

Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display


  1. ...unlike many here we try to stay home and when out we wear masks. Kenneth, I wish you a healthy and happy New Year.

  2. Fantastic Sunset! You live in a Castle apparently. Good for you.

  3. I love that "first date" photo! I'm hoping your CT and MRI exams go well. Have a Happy New Year!

  4. Stay warm. It's been cold here in Florida but nothing like up north. Birds are scarce here as well. Love the junco shot. I've only seen them in Atlanta.

  5. The weather is crazy as your post indicates. Last week we flirted with zero and today I was runinng the AC in our car.
    Thinking about you and the chemo you doing.

  6. -12C looks terrible for people like us who cant even sustain Bangalore night temperature of 10C. Hoping that things warm up soon.

    Great bird pictures as always. Your enthusiasm to capture birds in low light is worth the praise

  7. Wunderschöne Vögel .
    Und eine großartige Erinnerung an vergangene Zeiten, schön, wenn man noch Fotos davon hat.
    Alles Gute und Gesundheit für das neue Jahr 2023
    Grüße aus Deutschland
    My sky

  8. That is a lovely sunset view, I'm glad the weather has improved in your place. Hoping all goes well with your medical treatment. Have a Happy New Year! ~ Ms. Donyarific

  9. The weather is really going crazy, even worse in the US than here. But you still show some really nice bird photos. And I like your memories.
    I wish you and your family from the bottom of my heart that you have a good and healthy start into the new year.
    Elke (Nature Thursday)

  10. Photos can open the floodgates of memories. Happy New Year.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  11. Wonderful bird photos. We have many of the same winter birds here except for the Titmouse. Apparently they go further south of us.

  12. Hello, Ken
    It is good you are sheltering and stay safe. I hope all goes well with your scans and treatment. I love the sunset from your window, gorgeous. Your granddaughters are adorable, they grow up so fast. Your winter birds are all beautifully captured. One of my favorite photos is of the Black-capped Chickadee. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. I wish you all the best in 2023, a happy and healthy New Year! PS, thank you for all your comments and links this past year.

  13. It seems as we continue with this aging thing our backward glances become ever more bittersweet.

    We're happy you missed the blizzard activity but you certainly had some very frigid temperatures! I'm with Kazador - I can hold it until it's warmer, honest.

    On Monday, we'll head out to the Green Swamp in Polk County, FL for our last Audubon Christmas Bird Count of this season. An 0400 start should net a few owls and by the time we finish at 1700 we hope to find a diverse collection. I'm afraid it will actually be too warm (over 80 F by noon) as we tend to do much better when it's cold.

    As you prepare for more treatment, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Ken.

    May the New Year be kind to us all!

  14. I hope you do well in the next few months and get the treatments you need. It is sad to look back at the family and friends we have lost, as we get older. I'm glad you are there living in such a beautiful big home with family. We had cold temps here and stayed inside a few days too. Happy New year to you and your family! Diane

  15. I like the pictures. Best wishes on your future exams and treatments.

  16. Glad you avoided the worst of the weather across the pond there, but still a difficult time for you. Really like your collection of photos. My favourite is the White-throated Sparrow, of which there has been one reported here near me, but is very difficult to pin down as it is in a private garden. A real Mega here.

  17. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Sunset out your bedroom window was priceless. Glad you missed the blizzard. Really liked the photograph of you and Mary Lou 69 years ago. Wishing you and Mary Lou a Happy New Year!

  18. So many great memories, andI love that sunset.
    A very Happy New Year to you. May it be a healthy, happy and peaceful year. Cheers Diane

  19. What beautiful captures as always, the weather sounds awful I have seen some of it on TV

    My best wishes for 2023 to you 👍

  20. It seems the good ol' weathermen have been inventing storm titles and threat level nomenclature that simply boggles the mind. Bomb cyclones and level one storm threats etc. I need a whole set of reference materials these days to listen to the weather!
    Thanks for sharing your photos at They are much more delightful than our experience with last week's frigid cold!
    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead in 2023~!

  21. Love that view from your bedroom. Beautiful.

    The birds are adorable and so were your grands back in the day.

    What a great shot of you two. Sorry that you're the only two remaining.

    Thank you for joining the Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Happy Tuesday. ☺

  22. What a lovely image of you and Mary Lou from back in those days. Something so sweet and nostalgic about that shot. Looks like a wonderful date. Sad the rest have crossed over.

    The grand girls are adorable as her all the avian wonders, Ken.

    Please stay warm and safe and I wish oodles of good health, joy and laughter for you and yours this 2023.

    God speed. :)

  23. Great photos of the birds, and I love the dog in the Christmas sweater - so cute!
    Hope 2023 brings renewed health to you!

  24. Beautiful pictures of birds and your family. We stayed home as well for New Year's too.

  25. Lovely soft lighting in those first few images. Stay safe all through the season. :)

  26. It got frigid here too! My beagle still needed to go outside and he looked very startled when he tried rolling on the grass!

    Best wishes for fast healing.

  27. It’s a bit overdue for holiday wishes, but glad to read that yours was a good one, despite the cold, but then it is winter in NE, and to be somewhat expected. I am always amazed at the variety of birdlife in your CT location and such wonderful photo captures too. The look back photos of granddaughters and friends do evoke such memories. As a NJ native, I also knew of the Meadowbrook, but was never there. Sending good wishes for your upcoming tests and scans.


Thank you for visiting Rosyfinch Ramblings! I will enjoy a visit to your page just as soon as possible. Some anonymous comments and some containing active links may not be accepted.