Yesterday, I found a beautiful little bird in my garage. It had died. I cried. 

It occurred to me that since this extreme winter weather is unusual for Texas, some of the birds who had "migrated south" for the winter were in for an unhappy surprise. So I started paying closer attention.

I started noticing more birds and squirrels running around hunting for food. Yes, they always do, of course, but they seemed extra vigilant in their search. It finally dawned on me that even some of the wild creatures may be struggling to find food when the ground is covered with snow and ice.

I did a little research and indeed they do.

Well then, as any animal lover would feel compelled to do, I wanted to see if there was any way to ease their burden as they battle the freezing weather. After chiding myself for not having a few birdhouse around my property, I ran across something truly helpful.

A friend of mine shared a post from a non-profit organization called Guardians of Rescue. Their mission is to "facilitate and foster programs and activities that further the unique benefits of interaction between people and animals."

Guardians of Rescue had shared some of the "human" foods that is are safe to provide to the "critters," particularly when we're in extreme weather.

There's a good chance you may have some of these in your pantry at this very moment: 

Uncooked Oats. Plain is best. No added sugar.

Cereal. Same as above. Keep it simple. Don't fling some marshmallow-laden, sugar-filled stuff out there. Think good, plain, whole-grains.

COOKED Rice. (Ideally Brown Rice.) Put some in your Instant Pot and save some for the birds.

Pierre Bamin, Unsplash

Soaked Dog Kibble. Let it sit in some moisture for a little bit, so it's easier for them to eat. Your dog probably won't mind. ;)

Chewy, Unsplash

Bits of Baked Potatoes. Again. Plain and simple. No butter. And I hear that woodland creatures aren't really into bacon bits.

Immo Wegmann, Unsplash

Raw Nuts and Sunflower Seed. Well, OBVS.

Mockup Graphics, Unsplash

What About Bread? Bread is ok--but doesn't have as much nutritional value as the others.

Jude Infantini, Unsplash

This is what I found currently available in my pantry. Oooh, but I meant to add some walnuts to this:

Tara Holley

Excuse me, I have to go feed the critters. ;) 

While we're talking about the animals, why not peruse a few more ways we can care for this gorgeous world of ours---even at home:

14 Simple Ways To Live More Earth-Friendly