first snow

First Snow

first snow

First snow fall

Well its official – in my opinion at least. Winter is here! I often dread this time of year. Mainly because of the cold temperatures, lack of outdoor activities, slippery and dangerous roads, and scraping ice off of the car in the morning. However, it is something that I cannot change and I have come to realize to embrace some parts of it. Everything slows down to a rest that is needed from the hustle and bustle from the spring and summer. We have Autumn to thank for that smooth transition though. I believe it would come as quiet a shock to many of us if we went from bright and sunny to a cold and snowy overcast in the blink of an eye. I mentioned in my last post that I was going to start a few photography projects this winter.

first snow

Look who stopped by!

In the picture above, are a male Northern Cardinal and an adult male House Finch.  They didn’t give up on me and are here to stay for the winter! ha! According to, the Northern Cardinal feeds primarily on seeds, insects, and berries. It finds food on the ground, high up in trees or bird feeders. Its favorite bird feeder food is sunflower seeds; which is exactly what I have in my backyard for them to grab a quick snack. Also, according to, the House Finch feeds on buds, berries, vegetable matter and seeds. It finds its food on the ground or perched in weeds or shrubs. Much like the Norther Cardinal it also enjoys sunflower seeds. I was happy that the two could meet up and enjoy breakfast in my backyard!


 Lets get started

I have most of the projects planned out but it all depends on my wonderful subject of course – nature. The picture above was taken a few days ago. The morning started of with a light quiet snow and captured a few moments of the first snow of the year. I don’t usually take pictures of birds on the feeder but I made an exception this time. Sunday sermon comes first so didn’t have much time to sit and wait for the birds to perch on the nearby tree. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if there will be many birds perched on the tree during this time. Many of the birds have flown south for the winter so there is little competition and wait time for birds to get their meal.   I know that there will be PLENTY of snowy days. Which allows me plenty of time to photograph and take notes of my winter birds. As I mentioned before, this will be my first time photographing winter activity during snowy weather. My usual routine would be to hide like everything else.

The camera

For the photos of the birds I used a high shutter speed, a narrow aperture, and somewhat of a high ISO. It was snowing which meant there was little sun. Because of the lighting I had to increase the ISO. My intent was to “freeze” the movement of the birds by using a very high shutter speed.I used a wide aperture to blur the background so the birds would be the main focal point of the picture. There are times where I will use a slow shutter speed to show movement in the photo. It’s a personal preference picture by picture.

On a final note

I will admit that I do not have most of the names of birds memorized. Although, I can say that I have quiet a few in my recollection. I’m still in the learning process of recognizing their calls. As with any type of learning, it takes time. Its a wonderful experience to be going about your everyday activities (while outside) and hear a bird and recognize it immediately. Its even more exciting to see it grace your presence after you have identified its sounds. During the learning process, I expect to not only learn more about their calls but learn their behavior as well. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my adventures!


P.S. I attempted to catch the calls of the bird in the photo above but was unable to. However, thanks to, you can listen to one of the many calls of the Northern Cardinal and House Finch!

(please note: clicking link will play audio)




Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time






70-300 at 300mm 1/1000sec f 6.3 ISO 800

#bird #photography #nature #cardinal #feeder #food

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6 Comments Posted

  1. Nice post. We have so many cardinals that live in our area year round. Now and then I see a finch, especially when we put the feeders out. I have learned the names of a lot of birds these past 3 years. Enjoy watching the birds.

  2. i like the way you combine the art of photography, the love for nature and your own personal experiences . Thanks again for your marvelous post on the first snow, which has not yet come in our area of BC!

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