If you are like us and live in an area that has a cold winter, you are familiar with what I refer to as hibernation season. That is when there are days when it’s just too bitter cold for the majority of us to want to spend a lot of time outside and the daylight is at a minimum. It’s also unbelievably beautiful.
Personally, I like living in an area where you can experience all four seasons. I enjoy the cold and snow that come with hibernation season. Being bundled up and cozy inside is so pleasant. Don’t get me wrong; by the end of winter, I’m just as ready for spring as the next person.
One wonderful thing about winter is the opportunity to do things that you normally don’t take the time to do. I absolutely love jigsaw puzzles but couldn’t imagine doing one in the spring, summer or fall. That is when you want to be outside and gardening takes over. So, one of the things I look forward to is a nice quiet evening with music or an audio book, a comfy sweater, a cup of tea, a snack and a nice puzzle to work on. It’s fun as a group activity or by yourself.
Winter is a great time to play board games. Obviously, this is generally not a solitary activity. It’s fun to make snacks and spend the evening playing board games with family or friends. There are so many awesome board games out there that finding one that interests you is easy.
There is usually more time to read in the winter. I know that one of my favorite things to do is curl up with a good book in the evening, especially when it’s snowy and stormy outside. Movies also fit into this category for me. What could be better than a movie and snuggling under the blankets on a cold winter night?
It’s also a great time of year to organize, go through everything and clean really well. January is great for that. It feels good to start off the new year with a clean slate and a clean house.
Of course, there is also plenty of fun things to do outside. Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, hockey, building a snowman, snowball fights and making a snow angel are just a few.
And last but not least, let’s not forget how beautiful winter can be. The quiet that only exists during a snowstorm, the amazing intricacy of each individual snowflake and the sound of ice skates gliding on the ice.
So, for me, winter is just as important and welcome as the other seasons.
Winter is the time when you can do the most good for the Wildlife in your backyard. Living in the Northeast, we can have significant ice and snow storms and frigid temperatures for extended periods. I put out food and water out all year but double the food in the winter. A little goes a long way. You only need a few things to make a big difference.
Water – Fresh, unfrozen water is just as important as food. Birds can become dehydrated easily in the winter even though there may snow all over.
Below is a picture of a mourning dove drinking from my heated birdbath during a snow storm we had last March. I purchased the heated rock from Amazon. It has been through three winters so far and survived some pretty severe weather.
Seed – Black oil sunflower seeds seem to be the most popular with all the wildlife. You will also want to put out a good mixed bird seed. Generally, birds like raised flat surfaces and flat feeding trays. Actually, all the wildlife in my area seems to like flat and open the best. Fortunately, I have a stone wall that lines the patio where my feeding station is. Everyone loves the wall (as you can see below). I line the whole wall with sunflowers seeds. Normally I clean the snow off but this picture was also taken during a storm and I couldn’t keep up with it.
Suet – Suet is high in calories. This makes it important during the winter months because birds need to burn more calories to stay warm. Peanut Butter is another good choice but it tends to be more expensive than suet.
Consistency – It important to be consistent when you are putting food out. If you are, then they know where to come when the weather is really bad.
We have birds, squirrels and wild turkeys that come to enjoy the buffet we put out. There is nothing better than watching the wildlife. It is especially satisfying, when the weather is bad, knowing that they don’t have to struggle to find food and water. Just remember that every little bit helps. You can cut costs by making your own suet or putting out scraps of bread, fruit or peanut butter.