When I woke to snow this morning, one of my first thoughts was "The juncos left too soon." I'd not seen any of the slate-gray charmers for several days and had assumed that our warm spell had driven them back to the frozen north. Then, barely in my peripheral vision, a junco hopped under a rhododendron. They're still around--somewhere.
The usual suspects were present in their usual numbers: mourning doves, sparrows, house finches, starlings (of course), grackles, cardinals, and chickadees, along with a blue jay in the hemlock. But something had Mittsy the Mutant Cat crouched in the plant window, emitting the pitiful noises that seem to mean "Please let me go out and kill something." Looking over her shoulder, I saw that a chipmunk had discovered an entire ear of squirrel corn fallen onto the ground and was taking serious advantage of this (literal) windfall: it was chewing faster than I had ever seen anything chew, its little cheeks becoming fuller than I'd known was possible. Something--me, Mittsy, a hawk, who knows--startled the little rodent, so it gave the Chipmunk Alarm Tail Shake and disappeared. But it was a good day at the feeders.