Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/381

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WINTER BIRDS IN A CITY PARK.

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many other familiar warm-weather friends have also journeyed southward.

The bare trees and the ground brown with fallen leaves have to some a bleak and dreary look, but this is because a wrong impression has gone abroad concerning them. PSM V56 D0381 Squirrel acclimated to humans.pngGetting Acquainted. Nature in winter is not dead, not even sleeping; she is all the time storing up energy to enable her to greet the returning sun in her very best dress. If you will look carefully at the bare limbs and branches of the trees and bushes, you will see the little buds that are slowly but surely swelling up with the pride of young, active, vigorous life, only waiting, with the great patience of Nature, for the proper and suitable time to break away from their winter retirement and take up their part in the new year.

Some of the pleasantest days I have ever known in the open have been spent in the winter woods, when the snow was on the ground and everything seemed still and unfamiliar. Every little sound is accented on a cold day, and the creaking of a swaying limb or the note of a bird comes to you with almost startling distinctness. Somehow you feel on such days that you are more a part of the things about you than in the full flush of summer. It is like meeting people stripped of all the artificial distinctions of clothes and position.

There is something fine in the way the trees stand up in winter; no one can fail to understand what is meant by the "sturdy oak." They seem to feel pretty much as you do, and show a spirit of vigorous resistance and power to enjoy and cope with the worst that Jack Frost can bring, and the bright sun sends the sap