I love the range of colors on this guy. Hope he hangs around for today's Christmas Bird Count.
On Monday I wrote:
Why might it be a steal?
(The answer is in my ghost story, "Phantoms of the Ramapos." You can download the free e-book, set in 1938 in Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus and Mahwah here.)
The answer: The five-dollar bill might be a steal because it (theoretically) could have been part of the $10,511.77, stolen from the First National Bank of Allendale in downtown Allendale on April 7, 1938. The money was never recovered but the phantoms live on. (The building was most recently a Bank of America branch.)
You can also download "Phantoms" as a pdf here:
The historic old place looks great, courtesy of the Allendale Garden Club.
(Thanks, Allendale Garden Club! Beautiful job.)
My new column in The Record's Better Living section today addresses that age-old question: Should you feed wild birds only in winter or year-round?
(The photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker is by Barbara Dilger. Thanks, Barbara!)
The short answer: it's complicated. The column addresses the reasons why and not, with a look at the definitive book on the subject of feeding birds, "Birds at My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters," by Darryl Jones of Australia.
After reading the book, I sent Darryl some followup questions, He responded:
"I've been a back yard birder for 30 years but only feeding seriously for about five.
I live in the subtropics so there's no actual winter. So feeding is year-round but always from a low intervention perspective.
I am not trying to provide all the nutrients required just a potentially useful snack.
It would be different if we had a brutal winter but we are experiencing a terrible extended drought and so our modest provisions may be important.
You can download the column here: