Feeding the hungry

 
 

I’ve always wondered how birds survive the winter cold. It seems impossible that their little bodies can hold enough heat to survive freezing temperatures. Even worse when constant snow cover makes it hard for them to find food. I worry about the birds. I do.

Though a snow drift at least three feet deep covers half the prairie, it’s gratifying to see that the prairie continues to provide. In spite of the snow, in spite of the wind, the prairie plants continue to stand upright.  Nothing pretty to look at – only brown and black remnants of once-brilliant black-eyed Susans, sunflowers and purple coneflowers silhouetted against white drifts. But the dried flower heads continue to sprinkle a buffet of flower seed on top of the snow – an ongoing feast for the birds, field mice and voles.

Each seed head produces hundreds of seeds, so it’s likely the food will outlast the winter. And the birds are taking advantage. Their little foot prints cover the ground under each plant.

Once again, the prairie says to me – ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered.”

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