Brutal-Cold makes for busiest feeder times we've seen

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Apr 1, 2019
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716
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DFW, TX.
Hope everyone has fared well during the cold snap covering most of the US. I have a new-found respect for those of you that deal with this on a regular basis. Sadly, southerners are not prepared or equipped for it. Our area has seen record low temps for over a week now. The power grid can't handle it, power blackouts are common place. We were lucky (so far), in that we only had one (1) fifteen (15) hour stretch w/o power at our house. The roads are ice, covered in snow and have been for several days. "Here", that's a huge problem. The night our power was out, the actual temp was -2F. :-/

Aside from all that, I set out to watch some birds over "bird count weekend" despite the snow & temps. Actually, it made for fun shooting. We've had ridiculous action at our feeders since them temps dropped. I typically fill my feeders weekly, but this last week they've been emptied every other day!

Some of the visitors we've seen in the backyard since Friday include: 100's of Pine Siskin, 100's of Cedar Waxwings, 100's of American Robins, BlueJay, Northern Cardinals, Orange-Crowned Warbler, dozens of Dark-Eyed Junco's, Carolina Chickadee's, Gold Finch, House Finch, Morning Dove, Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Golden-Fronted WP, Red-Bellied WP, Downy WP, European Starlings, and a Cooper's Hawk. There were probably others that I forgot.

Here's a few shots. I know most are "feeder shots", but given the circumstances, I enjoyed capturing them.

I hope you are all doing well!

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Butlerkid

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Nicely done, Phil! I know many, many people are suffering during this cold spell, but so are the birds and animals....and they have no shelter to protect them! Hunker down and help folks and birds, animals all that you can...........
 
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I forgot to mention that all of my gear handled the crazy cold - far better then the operator!

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A few more for now...

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Joined
Apr 1, 2019
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716
Location
DFW, TX.
Nicely done, Phil! I know many, many people are suffering during this cold spell, but so are the birds and animals....and they have no shelter to protect them! Hunker down and help folks and birds, animals all that you can...........

Thanks Karen.

We've been trying to keep as much food out as possible, but the baths froze over long ago. In fact, one of our ceramic baths shattered from the water freezing & expanding inside.
 
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Beautiful shots. Photography helps us get through a lot of tough times. We are used to the cold and snow here, but I have seen videos of cars sliding on the ice in Texas. People here are prepared with tires, 4WD vehicles, and experience to handle it. We also have generators, a backup fireplace with firewood and food storage for tough situations. It would be so hard if you are not used to it. Also, if you get water on top of ice that is the worst. Hang in there. When we are heading into winter 32 seems so cold. When you are acclimated to colder temps, 32 seems warm. So when it warms up you will be in heaven!! Hope the power situation gets sorted out soon. Even though we have had a week of snow and cold here, I feel sorry for you folks.
 
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DFW, TX.
Beautiful shots. Photography helps us get through a lot of tough times. We are used to the cold and snow here, but I have seen videos of cars sliding on the ice in Texas. People here are prepared with tires, 4WD vehicles, and experience to handle it. We also have generators, a backup fireplace with firewood and food storage for tough situations. It would be so hard if you are not used to it. Also, if you get water on top of ice that is the worst. Hang in there. When we are heading into winter 32 seems so cold. When you are acclimated to colder temps, 32 seems warm. So when it warms up you will be in heaven!! Hope the power situation gets sorted out soon. Even though we have had a week of snow and cold here, I feel sorry for you folks.

Thanks so much, Terri.

It has been quite a trying and humbling experience. The forecast is for temps up into the 40's, beginning Saturday, but still below 32 between now & then. We'll endure for a couple more days.

It's kinda scary, as just about everything (restaurants, stores, gas stations, etc.) is closed. Places that may want to open have to worry about the "rolling blackouts" and grid failures.

I suppose a generator may be in our future - after inventories are replenished.
 
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I hope you have power

Thank you Randy.

The local provider communicated they would be executing "rolling blackouts" with an estimated duration of 15 ~ 45 minutes. Nobody I know of had less than about 7 hours. We had one that was 15 hrs, and many we much longer than that. Others have been w/o for several days now.

As we are learning now, it wasn't rolling blackouts, but grid failures experience for a variety of reasons. Most seem to boil down to really poor planning and years of "that'll never happen" attitude at numerous decision making opportunities.

In addition to the power issues, water is becoming another problem. Plants are experiencing frozen gear & lines, and pipes are breaking.

Hope you've been doing well as of late. I have not been online in a couple weeks.
 
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All are very nice, colorful, and sharp. I'm drawn to the photos not showing the feeder. Those perched on a branch look more natural to me. #3 blue bird and cardinal are special.
 
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Thanks so much, Terri.

It has been quite a trying and humbling experience. The forecast is for temps up into the 40's, beginning Saturday, but still below 32 between now & then. We'll endure for a couple more days.

It's kinda scary, as just about everything (restaurants, stores, gas stations, etc.) is closed. Places that may want to open have to worry about the "rolling blackouts" and grid failures.

I suppose a generator may be in our future - after inventories are replenished.
We use our generators with our RV, but they are also a great preparedness item. We have a gas fireplace, but have used the generator to power the electric fan in it when we have lost power.
 
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Hang in there, Phil. We lived in Houston for several years and were there through a similar hard freeze. No fun when no one is prepared. Sub-zero temperatures are no fun regardless of how much you're used to it. You'll be in short sleeves before you know it.
 
Joined
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Messages
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DFW, TX.
All are very nice, colorful, and sharp. I'm drawn to the photos not showing the feeder. Those perched on a branch look more natural to me. #3 blue bird and cardinal are special.

Thanks Mike. I'm not a huge fan of feeder shots either, but in my "city backyard" I'm limited. Lol...

Hope you and your friends/family are getting through this healthy and without too much hardship. Glad you can help the birds “weather” the storms.

We appreciate it Mike. We are doing fine and know it will pass soon.

Nice set and hope things will be back to normal soon.

Thank you Phil. Predictions are that we'll see above freezing tomorrow and into the 40's this weekend and 60's next week.

What a great variety.

It has been truly amazing.

The detail in these shots is superb, very well done on all of them.

Thanks a bunch Louie.

We use our generators with our RV, but they are also a great preparedness item. We have a gas fireplace, but have used the generator to power the electric fan in it when we have lost power.

We are learning a lot through this exercise. :)
Ironically, we recently ordered a "tiny camper" (https://www.runawaycampers.com/rangerunner) that we expect to pick up at the end of March. I opted to build a solar solution that will allow us to operate for a couple days on a full charge and has the ability to do a full charge in a day - if we have good sun.

While is great for getaways, it won't help at the house.

Hang in there, Phil. We lived in Houston for several years and were there through a similar hard freeze. No fun when no one is prepared. Sub-zero temperatures are no fun regardless of how much you're used to it. You'll be in short sleeves before you know it.

Thanks Dan. No fun, is indisputable. Lol...

Stay safe Phil.

Thanks Bob. We are doing our best.

The latest was a dripping sound in the attic. Seems out tankless water heater had something freeze & spring a leak.

While it's a PITA, it's nothing compared to what many are experiencing. Pipes are breaking all over the start & homes are getting huge damage. I'm hoping this will be the extent or our problems.
 
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Really nice images Phil.
Boy oh boy ! Very hard weather in your area.
I hope your family's you and your friends are ok.!
Stay safe.🤔
 
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