Last Sunday we were having a very nice snow here in Southwest Ohio and it was scheduled to end about midday. I thought the heavy snow and low temperatures (hovering around 16F for the high) would make for the perfect photography outing for yours truly. I could shoot in the snow with overcast skies for a while and then out would come the sun and I could take a different look at the same environment.
I donned the requisite winter-time outdoor gear (waterproof/insulated boots, good gloves, not too heavy jacket and head covering) and headed to a new location, the Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm, which I just joined the previous week. Knowing they had plenty of bird feeders, and therefore birds, I elected to hike some of the trails and head towards the farm while the snow abated and the sun tried to come out from behind the clouds. It was a wonderful hike in the 6-8 inches of snow and the two hours passed very quickly. But I was anxious to return to the center since the sun had finally made an appearance and I knew the birds would be waiting.
I think the wait was worth it.
I knew that I would need to spend some time hanging around the feeders so that the birds would become accustomed to my presence, which meant sitting or laying in the rather cold snow. Had I been thinking I would have brought some of the large pieces of cardboard that were sitting in our garage awaiting recycling day, but I wasn’t that smart. However, the nice folks at Aullwood Center found some cardboard for me that suited my purpose fairly well.
I plopped my butt down upon the 3×3-foot piece of cardboard and waited for the birds. During this time the rather thin cardboard became wet, which in turn led to my bum becoming wet and subsequently rather cold. It was, to be frank, uncomfortable for a few minutes, but eventually my bum became numb and it was ‘problem solved.’ In the meantime the birds, especially the cardinals, had become accustomed enough to my presence that they returned in large numbers and I was able to get some pretty reasonable shots.
I must say, there is little that I find more appealing than shots of cardinals, both male and female, in a snowy environment. Their colours just pop against either the bright white of snow or the muted browns and greys of tree limbs and branches. I look so forward to getting more pictures of them as the months of winter change to spring.