Morning brought a couple inches of snow,
plus a female complement to Monday’s post,


both reminders of cardinals distinguished 
by last year’s long white winter. 



All of a sudden, come late fall & winter, summer’s slender cardinal seems a few ounces plumper. In fact, he’s light as ever, puffing his  feathers for warmth.


Recently, the occasional crane fly decorates a window screen, often not moving for hours. 

Out in the yard, a cardinal streak of red zips to rest on a railing. From short pause, spotting the fly, he lifts to flutter a momentary hover at the screen and pluck up his prey.  Six long legs bristle from a newly whiskered beak, and the two remove to a canopy of trees together.


Over 300 species of crane fly inhabit Pennsylvania.  Larvae feed on fallen leaves, logs, and plants, finding plenty to consume in the Little Crum corridor.  In turn, birds, fish, insects and others feed on both larvae and adult flies.

These two,  a male on the screen and a female on the leaf (based on their blunt and pointed back ends, respectively), stand harmlessly in a space  at least as wide around as my palm.