Feeding birds in winter is a wonderful experience. There is always so much dynamic action and interaction in these tiny creatures.
I try and buy a premium mix with lots of different food types so as to encourage the greatest variety of birds.

Sometimes the feeder gets quite crowded and there are some smalll minor squabbles.

 

There are always birds coming and going and they seem to appear in groups, first a flock of Chickadees and then Finches.

The Red Breasted Nuthatch, my favorite bird. They have such big personalities for such small birds!

 

It's amazing to see how birds operate in the air dropping down to fly off!

 

While its grey, cold and everything is covered in snow, growing houseplants can help fulfill the need to see green. My plants are growing in my basement and will be moved outside in the summer to decorate my patio. My big discovery this year is that many plants that one considers just annuals, actually overwinter and sometimes even bloom in the winter.

There is only a thin barrier between the warmth of the basement and the snowy outside, but it is enough. The plants on the left

are a species of Lobelia (L. tupa), this is a tender perennial but it should bloom this summer. Watch for updates.

If I squint my eyes, I can almost imagine being in a tropical location. On the right is Oxalis 'Vesuvius' is one of my favorite plants.

It has great foliage color, nice little yellow blooms and it roots very easily from cuttings. The taller plant on the left is a Fuchsia,

It has been blooming off and on for weeks now. It's a tropical shrub, that just gets bigger every year.

Begonia boliviensis, is another one of my favorite plants. The foliage is a deep red, and it has great red blooms.

Additionally it overwinters inside nicely, if watered it will keep growing, but if you forget to water it, it will go dormant

and start growing again in the spring, as it grows from a corm.

Begonia boliviensis additional benefit is that it is very easy to root from cuttings. It roots easily in water or sand in

a terrarium. The terrarium helps maintain high humidity while the cuttings root.

 

No one thinks of Nasturtium as anything other than a disposable annual, but this variegated Nasturtium (Red Alaska)

Has been growing and blooming in my basement all winter.

Pequin pepper is another surprising annual that makes a nice houseplant. Peppers are actually perennials and there 

are pepper plants that are over a decade old growing in Mexico. 

 

Even a little green on a windowsill helps soften the blow of the cold snowy views beyond. There is a Java Fern,

an aquatic fern growing in the glass cylinder.

Of course feeding the birds is a win-win. Birds are happy and it's great to see the little creatures happily feeding

on their preferred seed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We always have lots of flats of perennials that we over winter in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is not heated through the winter, but the plastic adds a degree of protection from the extreme cold.

Massesof vegetable starts ready to go out!

From lower left clockwise: Dill, Broccoli, then center is a variety of Kale types, Naturtiums at 12 o'clock. Golden Runner Bean (Scarlet Runner), more Nasturtiums, Bright Lights Chard, Purple leaf Mizuna then green leaf Mizuna.

One of the great things about many Border Collies is they like to play and kind of have a sense of humor. 

Jack decided it would be fun if I chased him. You can see in the first picture a kind of mischievousness in his eyes.

Come play!

Can you catch me?

I'm way too fast for you!

Ok, I'll cut this way then.

Nothing like the straight on attack fake!

Tight cornering is an essential dodging technique

 

After all that running, nothing beats a snowbank to lick.