This morning was one of those unusual clear, bright winter mornings. I wasn't in a hurry to do anything and I settled down into one of the wicker chairs in our art room next to a big picture window. Every branch of every tree sparked white with a fresh coat of ice from a late evening rain yesterday. It was all so lovely, so I slid open the lace curtains to better see the bird feeder just outside the window. My reward was a beautiful female cardinal.
Now I don't know exactly where cardinals live and don't live, so I have to assume that some of you may not have cardinals in your next of the woods. Here in the northeast, the male cardinals are the stars. Paintings of their bright red plumage decorate so many Christmas cards, boxes, and other home decorations. They certainly stand out in our snowy winters. However, the female cardinal gets jostled completely out of the picture to the point that many people may not know her if they saw her. (Female cardinal photos by Bob Mullen.)