Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Touch of Winter
 As I've often said, I love winter.  It is such a quiet time.  The snow muffles the sounds of the world around me and covers the debris and detritus of the rest of the year with a fresh coat of white.  It's a time to reflect, to slow down, to burrow deep beneath the breathe.  We must consider each step in the winter, look about us for slippery spots, drive a bit more carefully, make sure to dress warmly and prepare for extreme temperatures.

We put suet cakes and mixed seeds out for the birds.  They add a touch of color and busyness to an otherwise stark and quiet landscape. We get a wide variety of winter birds here: cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, phoebes, woodpeckers, titmice, grosbeaks and others.

 Fresh, untracked snow is the main reason why I don't like snowmobiles.  Of course, they are also noisy machines, and their ruckus interrupts my winter peace.
If you look very closely, you might see a cardinal perched in the branches of the tree.  When I first looked out, there were three males, all in bright-red plumage, but I wasn't fast enough to get that picture or, for that matter, close enough to get a good image here.

It's very cold here today, below zero early this morning, and not warming up very quickly at all.  The furnace is working hard to keep the house comfortable, but the sun is shining brightly so it doesn't feel quite so chill.  There was a lot of snow near us yesterday, but we got just a few inches.  A niece who lives a few miles to the west of us reported that at one point yesterday, they got nearly four inches of snow in a half-hour period.  There is also snow falling and predicted to fall all over the South, so there will be many children there who may be experiencing their very first snow!  I hope that they'll get enough to have some fun in it.