Tag Archives: Birding

A Short Winter Tale for a Short Day

I participate in the Winter Holiday Spectacular 2019, an initiative from authors Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, uniting 35 Christmas stories in various moods: mysteries, romantic stories set around the 25th of December, and winter stories exploring other traditions or special days. My own story “Winter Pariah” celebrates the winter solstice, the Great Christmas Bird Count, and our troubled humanity, in a combination filled with hope and wonder.

This Christmas tale will be up on my official author website  for one week only, and it will be later published on paper next year. Here is  what Kris wrote about it.

 
Winter Pariah
Genre/Mood: quiet
For the actual solstice, I decided to give you “Winter Pariah,” a story that takes place in the thin light of the shortest day of the year.
Michèle Laframboise takes us birding, something I have never done, and creates marvelous characters along the way. Michèle writes in both English and her native French. She also illustrates much of her fiction. Multi-talented doesn’t begin to describe her.
Her award-winning fiction includes nineteen different novels (in both languages), and over forty-five short stories, three of which have appeared in Fiction River (and two reprinted in Fiction River Presents) with more to come. She writes about birding quite often, including a series about Amanda Byrd (whom you will meet here). A collection of Byrd stories will appear shortly. Find out when, and view some bird pics at michele-laframboise.com.
Michèle is a bird watcher herself. In fact, the last time she was here in Las Vegas, she and another writer/birder discovered a part of the city I had never heard of, where they saw some birds (maybe even life birds) that I hadn’t heard of either.
I simply don’t have the patience to stand outside and wait. (I can hear my husband laughing right now.) I would have to bring a book, which defeats the entire purpose of watching. So I’ll experience birding vicariously. On the page. Which is where I prefer to experience many things.
Enjoy this delicate little story on this, the shortest day of the year.
—Kris
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Foraging neighbours

Foraging neighbours   American Robin and a common grackle

An American robin (Turdus migratorius) and a common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) happily foraging the new grass in front of the home.

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Colorful neighbours

Colorful neighbours

This pic was taken last February in my garden, by minus 20 Celsius. The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, don’t you love Latin!) and the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) seemed to observe a truce, in order to keep their energy. They nestled in the center of a wildrose bush invaded by the vines. The junco appears more blue than gray.

Below is a better view of the cardinal, before the approach of a squirrel had the two birds hopping away. (In this very dense foliage, none could immediately fly away.)

The cardinal by minus 20 C

Those pics were taken through the windowpane, so the diminished/whitish colors were accentuated afterward in Gimp.