By Julie on January 16, 2024 Here comes a new year! 2024 started off nicely at the lake. Darlyne and Judy went to friend Judy’s annual New Year’s party where the instructions are “Don’t come before 2, don’t stay past 4”, and it’s the best party of the year, always. (I speak as the party expert . . . NOT.). This year we also celebrated Judy’s 90th birthday, and she had treated herself to this skeletal banjo player which delighted her and Darlyne no end. We have a couple of golden-fronted woodpeckers. I think they are pretty young because the blazes on top of their heads aren’t very bright. Boys have yellow, red, and orange, and girls have yellow and red. Every now and then a ladder-backed woodpecker shows up. They are a little smaller and have very different head markings. The golden-fronted wasn’t very happy when the ladder-backed showed up today and displayed a little bit of “THIS IS MY SPOT” behavior, but the ladder-backed was not deterred. Frequent winter visitors are yellow-rumped warblers. They’re fairly small, and have yellow patches conveniently placed, as you see here. Convenient because the yellow rump isn’t visible most of the time, so it’s not very helpful except to confirm identity as it flies away. The biggest news so far this year is the bald eagle that swooped in and flew around our cove, pretty close, for fifteen minutes yesterday. It spent a lot of time cleaning its talons by dipping down into the lake, and flying from perch to perch. I couldn’t get down to the lake due to the icy conditions, but even so it was close enough to get a good look. Good grief those are scary looking feet! Before the icy weather arrived, we had a number of days that were warm enough to bring out butterflies. Happy New Year!