-7°C (19.4°F) Another couple of inches of snow overnight, but now the sun is bright and warm and gleaming off the snow. Warm, that is, if you’re out of the wind, which is brisk and chill. It’s finally winter. Time to get out the long johns and snow pants.

I tried to snap a picture of birds at our feeders, and after freezing my fingers, my nose and my butt (as snow slowly melted under me), gained a new appreciation for nature photographers. The birds seem to know what you want, and exactly how to (1) keep you from getting it, and (2) make you look ridiculous in the process.

Picture this: Two feeders, maybe 6 feet apart. Would-be photographer focused intently through his viewfinder on feeder #1, birdless. Meanwhile, feeder #2 has birds come and go, no doubt commenting on the strange man staring at nothing. When our hapless picture-snapper finally notices, the birds promptly scatter to the wind.

I see now that it will take a lot more patience, and a digital camera (so I don’t waste film), before I’ll get a picture I like.