Yesterday when I put up the chickadees' tree by the back door I decided to give them a special treat. I took the bin of sunflower seeds outside and put a pile on the lid. Then I attached apple quarters to the tree branches by red wool bits. They were interested and dive bombed the tree several times during the afternoon, but they stuck with the tried and true bird feeder mostly.
At 3:30 this morning I awoke and realized that the bin was still outside. Expecting to find it ravaged by squirrels and emptied by raccoons awakened by the party, I went downstairs and outside in my housecoat.
What I saw was utterly unlike the chaotic scene I had envisaged. Snow wafted down gently and the scene could have been used to illustrate Silent Night. I didn't stay ... just dusted off the bin and brought it inside ... but I am very glad I had even a brief encounter with this night here at this lake.