The first good snow of the season fell overnight and into Monday morning, about four inches in total. Then it changed to rain, and our hopes for a white Christmas were dashed. We're entering the third day of rain and dull gray skies, which may continue on and off for another few days. It is these damp days, perhaps even more than bitter cold days in deep winter, that the wood stove radiates the most warmth and cheer.
On these wet days it takes time to pull on rain pants, boots, raincoat, hat, and mitts, while Kodi, dressed in his daily black, waits impatiently by the door. Once I'm outside and dressed for the weather, it feels less bleak. Kodi and I wander about in the back woods, sloshing through the underbrush. Before the four inches of snow was washed away by the rain, I walked through the woods to a favorite fallen pine, one that Kodi and I had visited just four days ago.
A nice mix of birds visited the feeders Monday morning in the midst of the snow. The suet attracted a male red-bellied woodpecker--perhaps our prettiest woodpecker when seen up close through binoculars, a pair of downy woodpeckers, and a hairy woodpecker. Nearby on the sunflower and Najar seed feeders and on the ground below where 6 male purple finches, along with handfuls of juncos and goldfinches, and ones and twos of white-breasted nuthatches, sweet little chickadees, and common redpolls. I keep an eye out for pine grosbeaks, a more northerly species that is appearing farther south in New Hampshire this season.