# 11 Singing Happy Birthday
I'm at the stage in life where birthdays seem to be coming around a lot faster than they used to, and are not celebrated with quite as much fanfare. That being said, I like to acknowledge them.
I was very much looking forward to taking some snowy pictures after yesterday's storm. I wasn't disappointed because one of the first things I heard when I trundled outside early this morning was the clear whistle of a Tufted Titmouse. And I didn't have to look far to spot him perched up on top of one of our cherry trees. Cute as a button. However, I wasn't quite as happy about the somewhat cluttered background so I decided to replace it with a shot I took yesterday when it was snowing. I've been using Topaz ReMask (thanks to Osuzanna for the tip) for this kind of edit and have been quite happy with it. I think if you were to blow this up, you'd find some little bits that could have been done better, but I like it well enough. And, in the interest of keeping it real, later today the sun disappeared and we had a major snow "squall" which caused near white-out conditions.
And while all the birds were trying to keep fueled with seeds, a Cooper's Hawk strafed through the yard, coming dangerously close to the window and scattering little birds everywhere. A short while later, she came back, with the same result. She was after a group of starlings and I would not have been entirely displeased had she landed one. Maybe another day.
At the moment, the winds have kicked up and the temps are headed to -4 overnight (-20 C if my calculations are correct). The Polar Vortex has arrived, I'm afraid.
Hubs is taking me out for Thai food tonight - a favorite little local spot, nothing fancy but the food is always great.
And, so I shall now proceed into my 63rd year. Yikes.