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Winter strips things down to their basic elements. You can’t be distracted by over abundance and the essentials aren’t hidden by fluff and color. In the dormant season fundamental style shines though.

I watched the birds this morning and was pleased with their dance of temperament and technique. The jays darted in and out, eating seed as fast as they could gulp it, while the mob of morning doves consumed just as much in a slow, plodding manner.

When the flicker was at the seed its method was to display its bill to other birds who tried to land on the feeder. “See this beak? Make my day,” he seemed to say. It worked…the Big Beak ruled while the morning doves flapped their wings around him like the gypsy kids in Italy who shake newspapers to disorient tourists they are going to rob. The Beak stood firm.

The crows sat in the treetops, posing so I could admire how well they compliment the silhouettes of trees. I think that they wait to be the first to absorb the sun’s warmth once it rises…those rays will hit the tree tops long before they reach the birdfeeder.

On the other side of the yard the kale still had its cold weather night gear on, like partygoers who have stayed out until dawn. I knew they’d open up once the sun hits, but in the early morning they still swirled around the garden in fancy ball gowns.

Summer has richness and profusion, but winter has panache.

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