Thursday morning at this time of the year means we put on the snowshoes and go tramping … looking for birds along the way, of course.

Here are some of the regulars. Especially amused by the Cardinal looking longingly at the squirrel’s snack. Rather less amused by the hanging squirrel that somehow winkled a couple of seeds out of a “squirrel-proof” feeder. That will need some attention.

Very strange weather – the temperature was right on, or slightly above freezing even though this is the second half of January when we should be having minus double figures or colder. It means we can wear lighter coats but that’s the one and only good thing.

  • By the way, that male Cardinal’s colour has not been adjusted. It really is that bright red. I have a short note about this following the photographs.

… Squirrels, of course, Northern Cardinal male and female, White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos are here for your delight:

Postscript … I think everyone will agree that the Cardinal in the photographs above is a very red bird indeed. One friend has suggested on facebook that “it looks almost Photoshopped”. I know what she’s getting at, but for the record this really is a genuine photos and the bird was sitting there looking sideways at the squirrel. There was no electronic cutting and pasting involved. For the record, Cardinals have new feathers at this time of the year and look just as bright as the picture shows – I didn’t even have to tweak the saturation slider. Nature in all her glory.

While I am here, it’s worth just mentioning that any digital photograph has been electronically enhanced to some degree between pressing the shutter button on the camera and sharing the image online or in print. It’s just the electronic equivalent of what used to happen in the darkroom when film was being processed through all those toxic chemicals. No different. Even if you take a snap with your smartphone and do nothing else but post it to Instagram there has been some enhancement performed by the electronic gnomes hidden in the software. Using Photoshop (or in my case Affinity Photo 2) just means that the process is deliberate rather than left to the pre-set wishes of some algorithm. Call it art, if you like.