Monday, March 1, 2021

A Winter's Tale - More Winter Birds

Junco in Winter near Rhododendron by Jeanne Selep
Junco in Winter near Rhododendron

When I saw this Junco sitting on a branch in front of my Rhododendron it was like seeing a living Chinese pen and ink drawing. This color was photo taken late in the afternoon on a gray winter day.  I snapped a couple of shots before the tiny bird flew off.  It was sub zero out (Fahrenheit) so I think that's why he gave me a couple of extra seconds. (So much time!)    

Junco in Winter by Jeanne Selep
Junco in Winter

Thinking "Chinese pen and ink", I intentionally tried to frame the photo to look like an artwork.   I cropped the photos to include lots of negative space.  (Something I frequently don't remember to think about.)  There is a term chiaroscuro that I think might also apply to the effect I was trying to get.

Junco in winter Artwork by Jeanne Selep
Junco in Winter Artwork by Jeanne Selep

Then I spent hours in photoshop creating the image above - where the background foliage is gray compared to the Junco.  (I'm going to guess most people wouldn't have noticed the difference.)  Note: It shouldn't take hours, if you know what your doing, but I was dodging individual pixels, it seems.  In real life, the eye saw the bird very distinct from the background, but the camera metered and exposed the background and bird to even tones.  The bird did not blend in with the background foliage like in the first un-altered photo.

Eastern Bluebird by Jeanne Selep
Yellow Throated Vireo or Pine Warbler?

But back now to real birds.  This Warbler or Yellow Throated Vireo above was taken at the bird bath before I had my camera on a tripod.  The focus is sketchy, but I love the way the background is so unexpected for a natural bird subject (It's a mosaic bird bath base).  

Red bird
Redbird at my birdbath

These birds have red on them!  One thing nice about the photos is that you can really study the birds to figure out what the bird is.  When they are darting about, you can't figure out if the beak is small, long, etc.  You can take your time with an identification book.  I will leave it as an exercise for the reader... (professors some times say that) - have fun! Let me know what you find.

Woodpecker at feeder
Downy Woodpecker at feeder

Above a Downy Woodpecker visits with some Warblers/Vireos.  See the seed falling from the feeder?  As the snow retreated about 20 pounds of birdseed appeared piled up under the feeders, and even the fat squirrels aren't interested in cleaning it up.  Anyone else have this problem?  I actually think that as the snow melts the birds go to newly uncovered food sources in areas where tons of birds haven't used the area above as a bathroom.

Eastern Bluebird by Jeanne Selep

I have no idea what kind of bird this little one is.
(Here's to posting without research!)

(Please let me know in the comments if you know unidentified birds or if I have misidentified any birds.)

Bluebird Drinking
Bluebird Drinking #1

I have a couple of leftover bluebird photos that I didn't use in my bluebird post (here) that I decided were too cute to pass up.   

Bluebird Drinking
Bluebird Drinking #2

I'm super happy that my "bluebirds of happiness" post and my "winter garden post" both got lots of comments - each of them are over 50 comments and that is a new record for me!  Thank you!  I try to visit each site that comments.    

Junco in winter Artwork by Jeanne Selep
Junco in Winter Artwork by Jeanne Selep

A fun gardening note for gardeners: Identifying birds isn't that hard with a good photo. But how many of you gardening types would ever identify the plant in the background as a rhododendron? It's part of a winter tale here in Wisconsin. I've always wanted a winter garden, the type you see in Washington DC and other warmer places, with green leaves - holly and ivy and more - frosted with snow. So when I was in Minnesota decades ago, I bought (4?) hollys and a 'hardy' rhododendron that I figured would survive and thrive in my zone 5(ish) area.
Detailed Gardening Zone Map
Detailed Gardening Zone Map Poster

The holly plants didn't make it (rabbits and more), but this rhododendron has survived and died (and reappeared) multiple times. Every winter the "green" leaves turn brownish and curl into (effectively) needles like on a pine tree. 

Junco in Winter by Jeanne Selep
Junco in Winter


Can you see the 7-8 (tiny) buds where the flowers will be in the photo above? They will bloom for less that a week, and then the plant will flail about awkwardly for the rest of the summer. I consider it my "Seussical" plant. Others have said to remove it, and it was once cut down as a weed, but I like my Seussical plant. My family insisted it never bloomed, (observant people they are) until I produced photos as proof of the plant's short and unimpressive blooming week(end). I have pursued a Winter Garden in my front yard you can see here with more success.

Click on the images to see them enlarged.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...

Winter Garden
Mosaic Birds
Mosaic Birdhouse
Glass Flowers
Valentine Ball
Mosaic Ball
Mosaic Table
Mosaic Stepping Stone
Mosaic Cross
Mosaic Ball B/W

Heart Window

I am linking up to these parties:

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11 of 63.)
Love my Little Cottage: Cottage Mon 92 (Entry x of 96x.
Good Random Fun: Good Fun Mon 4a (m Entry 19 of 41.)
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Anitaojeda: Inspire Me Mon 4p (s Entry 25 of 53.)
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* Stroll Life: Inspire Me Mon 581 3p (l Entry 6 of 120.)
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French Ethereal: Share Your Style 294 Wed 6p (Entry 6 of 59.)
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3 little buttons: Dream Team Linky Sun 6am (Entry 10)
April Harris: Hearth and Soul Sun 11a (Entry 17)
Franca: Keep Calm and Carry On (Entry 18)



David M. Gascoigne, said...

Great pictures of the birds, and I am very happy to see you enjoying them so much. Your vireo/warbler is American Goldfinch. It has a typical seed-cracking finch bill, and neither warblers nor vireos are seed eaters. Pine Warblers will sometimes come to suet feeders, but I have never seen a vireo at a feeder.

Mascha said...

Truly like a Chinese ink drawing, well seen and edited!
Hard life for a rhododendron, but it wants to survive at any cost.
Pretty birds, don't know them.
Happy march

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

The junco photo does look like an ink drawing with your editing. Very whimsical!

I wish I could grow rhododendrons here. I'm sure the deer would devour them, however. I don't see them in anyone's gardens in my area.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

lovely birds

Meditations in Motion said...

Wow! Gorgeous photos!!! You are a talented bird photographer. I agree with the other commenter. The yellow, black and white bird is a goldfinch.

Theresa Boedeker said...

Lovely pictures. I have been watching the birds at my feeders all winter. And they are so fun to watch and feed. As we have a number of small birds that hop around on the ground eating the seed off the ground, we don't have excess food on the ground. Love the bluebirds. We got them a feeder they go into and can eat mealworms.

NCSue said...

Delightful photos!
Thank you for sharing at said...

Gorgeous peaceful and calming!

Darlene said...

I love birds too! Your bird with red is a house finch I believe. We have those here in North Carolina, along with the Juncos, titmice, bluebirds, cardinals, nuthatches, chick-a-dees and wrens. Beautiful photography!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

My guess on the bird with red is house finch. But I am always asking the real birders for ID help (or sometimes I just guess wrong and get help without even asking for it!). We don’t feed birds nowadays (because of travel and the way we live) but back when we used to, we found that black oil sunflower seed without any other seed was worth the extra cost, because “our” birds just wasted/spilled the filler seed. They all really loved the black oil ones. You have to try to foil the squirrels somehow though. .... And I really like the ink drawing effect!

Villrose said...

Nice artwork!
Lively around your bird feeders!

Peabea Scribbles said...

Such beautiful birds. I like your edit. Thanks for sharing how you did it.

junie-jesh said...

Wow, Jeanne, my hat off for you spending so much time to create the background in Photoshop! Must have made your day of getting the variety of birds at your feeders for your photo shots:) Unfortunately I don't know much about birds, but am happy we have a few bird lovers at All Seasons. Great post! Have a happy bird week, Jesh

Nina said...

The birds you have at your bird feeder are so pretty. We only get boring, brown sparrows. Sigh.

Thanks so much for sharing this at our Party in Your PJs link party.

Yvonne said...

Loved all the photos, especially the warbler.

junie-jesh said...

Jeanne, many thanks for linking up to the Wednesday Scrabble WOW!
Am often to hasty on Monday to reply everyone for All Seasons, so am glad to have another opportunity to look at your Chinese and ink drawing!It came out perfectly, and really gives a good representation of that technique. This is actually the way I started in my teens, with India ink and pen.Only later when about 18, I started adding watercolor to my ink drawings. My evening classes in art education (the Netherlands) helped me to get over the fear of using the common mediums (since I knew everyone was starting from scratch). Jesh

betty-NZ said...

Wonderful captures of your feathered friends! All of your photos are lovely to see.

I'm glad to see you this week at 'My Corner of the World'!

Create With Joy said...

Dear Jeanne,

I cannot begin to tell you how much joy you and your blog have given me! I have loved reading about the birds - particularly the bluebirds - and seeing so many of your beautiful photographs and artistic creations.

CONGRATULATIONS - you are our Friend of the Week at Friendship Friday at Create With Joy - Week 472!

I hope you get a lot of new visitors to your blog this week so that they can experience the joy as well!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your journey to Spring! :-) xoxo

Joanne said...

These are some great images!

Marielle said...

Such beautiful birds and photos! We recently moved to a new area with all new kinds of birds. I love hearing them sing and am hoping to be able to learn which birds make which call. Have a great weekend!

Kimberly Dsouza said...

You have captured these beauties so well. The bluebird looks gorgeous! We have a lot of beautiful birds in our garden but i'm terrible with pictures. :)
Thanks for sharing these at our #HomeMattersParty

Radha said...

Beautiful birds!

My thrift store addiction said...

I love these pretty photos! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

kidcandoodle said...

I love the photos, but I wouldn't have thought the first one would be akin to "chiaroscuro" (the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting), because it's almost a silhouette, but I suppose there's some tone towards the bottom of the bird. It is a very striking image. cheers! #KCACOLS

Kate on thin ice said...

Love birds and my late mum really did too. I often think how they look like notes of music when on overhead wires. Beautiful pictures. #MischiefandMemories

Michelle said...

Beautiful photos of the birds. I have many Juncos and they are lovely. Your photo is excellent. Thanks for linking up.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post, Jeanne! I immediately thought of pen and ink as well. Are you going to frame your photo? You should.

Katie Mansfield said...

I love this. I see some of the same birds at our feeder. Thanks for stopping by to Keep In Touch.

Rebecca of Zucchini Sisters said...

Love your bird photos! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story! Link Party. You've been featured this week :)

Melissa said...

Beautiful pictures! I wish I could get good pictures of the birds at my feeders.

I think the blue-grey bird might be a white-breasted nuthatch. Agree with the others that the yellow bird is a goldfinch & the red birds are house finches.

Shelbee on the Edge said...

These are beautiful bird images bringing me some hope that Spring will eventually arrive and with it a renewed hope that life will move on as it is supposed to and we will all recover from this crazy year! Thanks for sharing these photos and linking with me.


Hannah said...

Great photos - you are so knowledgeable about birds! :) #KCACOLS

Lydia C. Lee said...

The plummage is SO BLUE!! Just gorgeous! #KCACOLS

Sensational Learning with Penguin said...

Lovely bird pics! I really like the first one, on the Junco and rhododendron. As you say, it looks a lot like an ink drawing from the far east. I think I prefer the unedited version though (rather than the one you spent ages on editing, sorry!). All the birds you have photographed here are quite exotic to me as a European (originally from Sweden, now living in England), so I'm afraid I couldn't identify any of them, except the woodpecker. But they are all very beautiful! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS x

Katrina | ChatterFox said...

Beautiful pictures, they really do look like pen and ink drawings.

Katrina x

Mimiroseandme said...

What beautiful picture of such beautiful birds. I love watching birds this time of year on our bird feeder. Thank you for joining us for #kcacols and we hope to see you next time.

Dana, A mamanista Life said...

You have captured some gorgeous photos, your clever editing really does look like an ink/pen sketch xx #KCACOLS

A Moment With Franca said...

Lovely pictures of the birds. Love watching birds. Thanks for sharing your post with us at #KCACOLS :-) XX

PS: Please, I would really appreciate it if you could do your requirement comments for this linkup as well as adding the hashtag to your comments. Thanks, x