Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Surprise visitors


It’s been a weather roller coaster here in lower Michigan. We’ve had record breaking cold, with temperatures well below zero (-17.77 C) and lots of blowing snow. Then this week we had one glorious warm day with temps topping 50 (10 C) followed the next day by plummeting temperatures and more snow.

Crazy, but not unusual.

During one of the cold days, in between snow showers, Katie and I ventured out for a walk up the road. I was attempting to get her to hurry up while she looked for pee-mail from all her doggy friends when I heard a chirping from a tall spruce tree nearby. It didn’t sound familiar, so I searched the tree, trying to see what was making the noise.

Much to my amazement a pair of birds shot out of the tree, chased each other over my head, and then disappeared across the street. I wasn’t even sure what I had seen, but they sure looked like bluebirds. I’d heard that sometimes bluebirds overwintered around here, but I’d never seen proof before.

Hmmmm….interesting. But maybe just a fluke. Or maybe I didn’t really see bluebirds at all.

Yesterday afternoon husband glanced out the kitchen window and exclaimed “bluebirds!!” Out on our heated birdbath were two of them, all puffed up against the cold, taking their time while sipping their beverage of choice.

By the time I got the camera there was just one, and I had a dirty window and a screen between me and a clear shot. Still. How could I resist? I only had one shutter click before he flew away, and it was very very underexposed against the brightness of the snow. The original image is just about black.


I call this my impressionistic bluebird.

Today we have sunshine, though it’s still very cold. Katie and I were looking out the back window, debating whether to go out and play in the snow when I saw a chunky bird fly toward the house. It swooped in toward the deck, but I couldn’t see where he landed because the blinds were down on that side of the room. Darn! It looked like a very fat bluebird!

I crept around the corner of the room to a door with open blinds. There were three bluebirds sitting on the heated birdbath! Again I had to shoot through the dirty glass and a screen door. And the light was a problem too.

Drink up little guys!

Still, what joy to see bluebirds on this cold winter day!

I sat and watched them drink and chatter to each other for a long time. And then they flew off — looking for lunch I suppose.

Come back anytime!

I guess I’m going to have to figure out what they eat and make sure I have some of that here for them, since obviously they plan on sticking around for awhile at our hot springs bird spa extraordinaire.

May a bluebird of happiness fly into your world this winter weekend, and may you be lucky enough to notice!

Everybody’s welcome here.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

33 thoughts on “Surprise visitors

  1. You caught that bird mid-flight! I love when birds are all puffed up–they look so darn cute.


  2. Wow! They eat insects and like mealworms. I bought some dried mealworms last year but could never entice the bluebirds to the feeders. Your pictures are great, despite windows and screens.


  3. Waiting to see whether they will eat the suet. I hope so. Otherwise you might have to have heated mealworms for them.


  4. Aw, this is wonderful — and I love your heated bird spa! No wonder the bluebirds have found their way to it. Such welcome splashes of color when our world is overflowing with white.


  5. A joy indeed. When we lived in Washington an Anna’s hummingbird wintered over. For weeks and weeks we wouldn’t see her, and then she would show up on what seemed to be the coldest days to the feeder we kept thawed with a heat lap. I would look out the kitchen window and see her and feel that joy.

    Now we are in the desert and this morning a hummingbird (my spirit animal) buzzed me. Always a good sign. As our bluebirds at the spa.


    • Love my hummingbirds too. I would worry if they stayed over in the winter though. This year the orioles sort of took over the feeders, they were so assertive. We finally moved the hummingbird feeder to another place so that they could eat in peace


  6. what a wonderful surprise! Th weather here in NJ is crazy too- 60 and rainy on Friday, now it’s 14. At least the rain and warmth melted all the snow! The birds must be confused


  7. Nice job capturing some difficult subjects. Love the one in-flight best of all. We’ve had similar crazy weather as well over the last couple of weeks but probably not as much snow as your neck of the world. 😊


  8. hi Dawn, these amazing photos remind me of my grandmother’s love of these birds. her farm in northeast Oregon had harsh winters and every spring she would wait and wait for the bluebirds to return. she had a special sized hole cut in her big machine building up by the rafters. no other bird could fit through the hole. every year a pair would return to her barn and raise their babies in the box my granddad had made for them.

    i am so happy for you and your hubby in having them at your spa. and thank you for the photos and sharing your joy!


    • Hi Bess!

      My grandmother and my mom also loved birds. That’s a nice story about your grandparents’ barn and the bluebird family. When we first moved here we had a pair of bluebirds that raised two sets of babies in our bluebird house. Since then they haven’t nested here, and I rarely see them here. So having them this past week has been really nice. I hope they’re happy to be at our spa!


  9. Very cool! I don’t think we get bluebirds here even in summer but I might be wrong I’m not much of a birdwatcher. I’d love to put out feeders but that would attract squirrels and I can’t afford to have Keltic bark any more than he already does. You know neighbors that complain.


  10. The winners of our bird popularity contest are the Cardinals. Their bright red feathers cheer up the dreariest day with glorious mood-changing color. But they are not the nicest of birds. They boss everyone else around the bird feeder and force the smaller birds to leave until they have their fill of lunch!


  11. I see them sometimes here. They do not often come to the feeders they prefer meal worms and I feed chicken scratch and black oiled sunflower seeds, then I have some suet feeders.


  12. Bowsers, the bluebird isn’t fat, at least we aren’t going to say that.

    Stay warm and safe.

    Sherman, Gemini and Dog Dad


  13. Our bluebirds returned early too. Seemed like everyone needed to stay in the Tropics a little longer this year.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.