Winter harvest.


12Jan2016
In forests and gardens, winter here is a time of drab palettes and stillness. The whispering leaves have long fallen, forming a tawny carpet on the ground. The insect chorus has been silenced by the cold, and lingering birds must rely mostly on fruit to get through the winter. In my yard only the occasional tapping of a woodpecker or the characteristic onomatopoetic call of the chickadee punctuates the quiet.

On the coldest days I admire the tenacity of the chickadees, searching earnestly through the forest for food. They weigh around 10 grams, the same as two quarters. They gain 10% of their body weight every day, and lose it at night shivering to stay warm. I have planted shrubs with winter fruits for the birds and other wildlife. The often bold and bright colors of winter fruits add a welcome touch of color in this muted season.

These berries were shot at a very shallow depth of field and appear to be floating. This is how I imagine birds might see them, a splash of red as they fly in search of food. Together we share January’s bounty, a gift for both of us. They provide a meal for hungry birds, and a feast for my eyes.