Just when you think the first snowfall series could be ending… the curtains open to series two! Oh yes… and as you’d expect it builds on series one! One of the main characters of series one ‘Smiler Snowman’ has a more sinister look.
Yesterday morning, the winter wonderland stage set of last week now looked like the production team had a little too much Christmas cheer and painted the plants with thick wallpaper paste instead of snow. Note to Director: look into camera settings for capturing early morning snow!
The reality is that snowfall series one didn’t actually end… it just took time to break for Christmas Day and then returned to our window screens. Back to the drama of yesterday… softer lighting and a different camera angle and ‘Smiler Snowman’ doesn’t look as sinister anymore.
As you might expect ‘Smiler Snowman’ has a supporting cast in this winter garden drama. This cast requires a fully stocked outdoor canteen with a variety of foods to give them extra energy to survive the cold. They also need a clearly marked route to it…
Queues are likely at the canteen and disputes are a certainty… nobody has time to wait around in the cold. Some arrived before the canteen was open or set up properly. There was only junk food available (bread). Yesterday a record estimated twenty Blackbirds were in this queue… it seems we have some extras for snowfall series two.
The production team had their work cut out for them during snowfall series two. Wellies were required. The remaining snowfall from series one and piles gathered from then made navigation around the garden particularly tricky. Some creative stretching exercises were required to supply food at some canteen stations! A large pile of snow was on the left which was considerably higher than wellie height.
This winter garden drama just couldn’t be complete without this iconic Christmas card character which posed around the garden… until it spotted another of its kind!
Three robins have appeared during series two frequently chasing each other away. However, as could be spotted in the video above, despite their size they are willing to feed on the ground amongst the feuding Blackbirds.
Ah… but a new character may just mix things up with them :-)
Snowfall series two sees its first blue sky in what seems like forever this morning… whoopee!! Maybe we’ll get a break in the weather to get out and about before the predicted snowfall series three returns to our window screens. I have to confess we are getting a bit stir-crazy here.
We have had more snow this series than we’ve had for a few years however it must just be a dusting in comparison to snow in the Highlands of Scotland which also must be a comparative dusting to the snows of the USA, Canada and Alaska. Gosh… to have the ground covered for so long must make it a very long winter indeed. No wonder many bloggers from there enjoy the garden greens in other garden blogs so much.
The seasonal death of characters in dramas is quite real in our winter wonderlands. We can help prevent this by providing high energy foods for our garden birds during cold spells.
Foods like peanuts and fat balls/cakes do actually make a difference to the survival of some birds. Without eating enough energy rich foods during the day birds don’t have enough fat reserves to keep warm overnight and sadly some can die. It’s easy to see now why there are queues at the feeders.
During snowfall series two the snowfall has been so heavy that snowflakes were seen sitting on many backs, tails and heads of Blackbirds. I had never noticed this before. These are birds that don’t hang around much either!
The seasonal bringing back of characters in dramas is something we might wait in anticipation of. Winter garden drama series one saw the return of Long-tailed tits which I was thrilled to see. They only made a fleeting appearance but fingers crossed that they will return.
Series two had a lot to live up to then? Oh yes… but it didn’t disappoint. Series two saw a very special garden character return… Mrs Blackcap was spotted first returning to the apples in my obelisk yesterday around 3pm. It was like she had never left! She did appear very hungry. Perhaps she had travelled far... from Germany perhaps?
As the light brought the curtain down on snowfall series two yesterday Mrs Blackcap joined the Blackbirds feeding on apple quarters on the ground. She’s quite tiny but clearly of strong character! Taking a photo in focus was tricky at the speed she was eating. If I were a betting person I’d bet that this Blackcap was the same female that came alone to my garden last year. She instantly knew her way around.
One bully Blackbird did eventually bother her and every other bird that came near the food at this canteen station! She hung around though, not going far away and the minute its back was turned she was on the ground eating apple!
Snow piled under my window made watching her a bit tricky and she appeared aware I was doing so too. It didn’t stop her eating though, which she continued to do long after I had enough light to take photos.
Two robins watched her intently. The male Blackcaps are quite aggressive and do chase away robins but the females just seem to visit, eat, eat and leave. If she does return I do expect these main characters of any winter garden drama will be watching her!
Here’s hoping there have been no dramas in your winter wonderland like your central heating boiler ending its days or water from burst pipes damaging your property. Let’s hope your dramas have been fun to watch like the birds dashing about your garden feeders :-D
All photos above were taken in my garden on December 28th 2009. Most were taken through a window.