Thursday, December 15, 2022

The buck stopped here

It has been a weak week for birding, Lots of distractions as Covid-19 has hit the household for the second time. We all had it in January, but now so far only one of the granddaughters has been ill and tested positive. We are isolating in our Casita and wear masks when there is need for interaction with other family members or visitors. Weather has been generally cold and windy, with a snowstorm to start the week, and another expected to hit today. Exciting World Cup matches demanded our attention.

Despite the limitations, I did obtain a few photos of common feeder birds and a buck with white stockings, through the windows. Most colorful was a male Cardinal foraging for seeds scattered under the feeder...

...and, quizzically examining a Mourning Dove:

This is the Mourning Dove, in better focus:

The cardinal's mate was on the platform feeder, eating safflower seeds, in bad light:

Then, the sun shone through the clouds:

A Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco perched on the fence:

A group of six female White-tailed Deer have been browsing on grass in the clear-cut area behind the home. We were startled to look out our main door and find a large buck next to the bird feeders, staring straight at us:

He was a bit battle-scarred:

Suddenly the buck caught sight of one of the does and hurried off to chase her into the woodland (notice the color pattern of his front legs): 

The doe's companions ran alongside her, bounding erratically between the trees and across the grass prairie on a neighbor's property. The old buck gave up the chase and took up watch at the edge of the open area:

I noticed that he has white "stockings" on his front legs, which I think is rather unusual. During a cursory internet search, I could not find any discussion or images of such a color pattern in this species:

The first snowstorm of the season dropped about 3-5 inches (5-12 cm) of the white stuff. This is  a view through the porthole window in the computer room of our Casita:

Our heated bird bath was frozen solid when the temperatures dropped to near 20°F (-6°C) in the morning, after the snow stopped:

The covered swimming pool took on scalloped edges:

The sun came out and we could see Hartford in the distance:

View through the kitchen porthole:

Just before the sun dipped below the horizon, the bare treetops were bathed in gold:

With the lake now crusting over with ice, I have had a hard time finding my weekly reflection. The front door of the main house  provided a nice Christmas card look, along with a reflection of the blue sky:

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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. ...Kenneth, you have assembled a wonderful collection of images. Stay warm and well.

  2. Lovely pictures. Stay strong and healthy sir.

  3. Very interesting photos especially the ice on the swimming poool.

  4. Gorgeous photos. That's a beautiful buck. What a treat to see him right in your yard!

  5. I've decided that the female cardinal is definitely the most beautiful. ;-)

  6. A red cardinal is hard to miss, but the white-grey bird is very cute. Oh, and not to forget you saw deer - I miss seeing them!

  7. Miss seeing deer! A red cardinal is hard to mis, and the grey white bird is absolutely cute - you may get this comment twice because I forgot it I ckicked my name!

  8. The gunco looks so petite and cute. So are the rest of the Christmas themed facades

  9. My favorite here is the cardinal pair, they look exactly like the couple who regularly visited but not nested in our backyard early this fall. When I was growing up, I had a set of bird cards from the bird lords. The snowy fields are very appealing also.
    Lots of nice birds for being almost a 'shut in' there in your Casita. It isn't very large, do you have another permanent residence? Hint? Might it be behind the door at the bottom of your post? We have not-seen-friends-for-a-long-time who is also a retired doctor and does the birder thing. He practiced in Jackson, Miss. but now he and wife are retired down south. We will exchange Christmas cards.
    Thanks for dropping in on me, a first visit for both of us.
    And, wishing you and co-birder spouse a MERRY CHRISTMAS !!

    1. Thank you, Dr. Jim, and Merry Christmas to you-- We lived in Florida for 18 years, having moved there after living 11 years in the mountains of New Mexico, where we retired after practicing in New Jersey and getting drafted in 1966 to serve in the US Public Health Service in El Paso, New Orleans, many shorter TDY stints elsewhere, and finally in Dallas. We wanted to be nearer to family and joined them in their Connecticut "Casona." We occupy the 1800 sq ft fully furnished ground floor of our "Casina" in Connecticut. It has windows on three sides with mountain views and actually has more useful space than our 2400 sq ft home in Florida which had 4 bedrooms and 3 full en suite baths. Two bedrooms were rarely used. Best of all, we are "family" again although we enjoy a good degree of privacy and freedom. Only downside is the cold, dark and short days of winter.

  10. Hello Ken,
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you can avoid the Covid and your granddaughter recovers quickly. Beautiful captures of the Cardinals, Dove and the Junco. The Buck images are my favorite, love that first shot of him staring. They do love to eat bird food. Love the shot of the golden trees. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  11. Great images despite the limitation. Experiences like the one with the deer are unique. I wish you all a speedy recovery.
    Kind regards - Elke (The Nature Thursday)

  12. I sure hope your granddaughter feels better soon and no one else gets it. We are hearing of a lot of new cases right now. I'm glad you are with your family now so that you can all support each other. Beautiful birds and such interesting deer! Happy holidays my friend, Diane

  13. The sunny shot thru the kitchen porthole is beautiful -love the red bird and deer. Happy Christmas and thanks for joining in #Allseasons

  14. I love that you have deer in your back 40. That buck has probably had a hard life. Lots of competition in order to keep your harem together.

  15. Nice shots! I especially like the cardinal quizzically examining the mourning dove. The videos brought back good memories of snow. I wear shorts during my evening walks.

  16. Great post. I love the golden trees and the front door. One of my daughters had Covid recently but fortunately I did not get it. She wore a mask so that helped.

  17. A white-tailed buck at the bird feeder... how exciting. My excitement is more on the level of an opossum at the bird feeder. Enjoyed this post very much. Wishing you a happy holiday.

  18. Thanks for sharing your post with us all and Happy Holidays!!

    Beautiful images Ken. Hope you and your family will be well soon.

  19. What's not to love about a Cardinal. I love seeing them. Just wish we had them here in the UK.

  20. What a beautiful set of photos captured amazingly and clear too

    Have a merry Christmas and best wishes from London 🎄🎄👍

  21. I'm so sorry to hear that covid is making the rounds at your house. There are so many nasty bugs around these days. Hoping many stay clear of all of them and those who succumb recover completely and quickly with no residual effects! Be well, and enjoy time with your family as you're able.
    Thanks for sharing at

  22. Many people are spending big bucks this year. Happy Holidays!

  23. I must confess I don't envy you the cold weather!

    Your collection of images is magnificent. Jealous of the Junco as we seldom see one in Florida. That buck is something special!

    Happy holidays, Ken. Hope the family returns to full health soon.

  24. Hi there - funny how common birds would be exciting for different birders - have not seen any of these common birds in a number of years! Hope you manage to avoid C19 (which is once again, visiting our house!) and that you can have a good Christmas with family! Cheers SM

  25. Hi there - common for you, but great for me - have not seen these species in the feather for a number of years! Hope you can avoid Covid and have a good Christmas. SM


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