January is always a quiet month, unless there is a visit to Florida, or a cruise somewhere....

Covid kept us near home, but I did get out and about a few times locally.
Fav image of the month
(From "Not a Creature was Stirring" - see below)
Cardinal not impressed with downy woodpecker horning in on seeds

The first cold (-20°C) sunny morning I headed over to Mud Lake to check out the frost on the ridge.
The ridge is an overgrown embankment of rocks (human-made?) that has many fissures allowing moist warm air to rise to the surface and freeze to the rock edges and vegetation.
The freezing air forms beautiful fern/fan-like shapes.
The rabbit, which seems to live on the ridge, was watching me closely.
I did a full circle at Mud Lake on a colder morning about a week later. (There is a subtitle on the presentation below that does not appear here: "Except for a few." )

A good size ice-free area one either side of Billings Bridge has been home to many mallard ducks, but with the frigid temperatures we've had, the open area is drastically reducing.

When they surface after diving, the ducks look like they are sheathed in ice.

We've had a rare visitor on the street for a few days. A northern mockingbird. 
While their range extends to Ottawa year round there hasn't been one reported for a number of years (Although there are a few reports of sightings to the NW in Shawville, Quebec.)

The pictures are not good, but given it is a rarity, I am holding my nose and displaying them here.
After a 48cm fall of snow, with a 8cm fall two days later, I thought I should check out the twigs and snow in a forest near Almonte.
Fall aster stem
Fall aster stem
In a few spots the deer had broken trail for me, but I wasn't sure what the diamond was all about. A passing lane perhaps??
A few other four legged creatures had been leaving tracks around as well: squirrels, rabbits, weasel...????
When a shape catches your eye and you're not sure which angles looks best, you hedge your bets😊
I found this log with the sun hitting it just right. The light lasted maybe 5 minutes.

I have this thing about beech leaves in the winter...

The falls in Almonte are certainly ice-encrusted at this time of year.
There seems to be housing intensification taking place at Mud Lake. 
Grey squirrels living in a duplex.
It is difficult for a male cardinal to hide in the bare branches.
A few more birds at Mud Lake...
Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Yes a few robins do stay around all winter
Yes a few robins do stay around all winter
I guess ducks' feet do get cold....
As this male tucks his foot up under his wing.

I've been sorting through my images deleting many I should never have kept. I came across a few video clips from the Butterfly Exhibit at the Nature Museum in 2019. Given the winter weather, I thought they would be a reminder of summer warmth....
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