Monday, December 30, 2013

Making a(nother) list, checking it twice

When I walked my dog SiSi early this morning, the temperature was about 20 below. Birds have been flocking to the feeders all day. I'm trying to figure out how it is that global warming seems to be occurring planet-wide, but not in Minnesota. If we could get rid of the degree of cold (pun intentional) we're now experiencing, I might be convinced that adaptation to climate change might be a better strategy than mitigation. I suspect we'll need lots of each.

birds flocking to the feeder
birds flocking to the feeder  © harrington
Have you written your list of resolutions for next year? Are you going to? Years ago I made a resolution to stop making resolutions. I've stuck to that one pretty well. These days, though, I'm starting to work on lists of personal goals and things to do this quarter, month, week... You get the idea. After all, even Woody Guthrie wrote a list back in 1942 or thereabouts. How does your list compare with his? One of the few things I'd add to his list is to "Read My Minnesota every day", but then, in 1942 there was no internet and, old as I am, even I wasn't around in 1942. If you read Woody's list carefully, you'll see that much of it covers basic maintenance. Lest we get too carried away adding new things to our respective lists, let's not forget what happens if we neglect maintenance.

Neglected barn
Neglected barn              © harrington
Vicki Hearne reminds us that Minnesota isn't the only cold, cold place that needs the feeders kept full (although January 6 is still a week or so away).

January 6

By Vicki Hearne 
We must stop bragging. There are limits
For us to the cold and the twelfth night
Marks them all. Just off the coast of Maine
The lobster boats pass, dragging their nets.
Capsize once in a while, in water
Like that you die, that’s all, that water
Isn’t even frozen. Not even
Frozen, and that’s as cold as it gets.
The hearts of birds beat voraciously
So they keep warm, so if you put out
A feeder, keep it full of the seeds
Their hearts feed on, then it is only
When their food runs out that you find them
Inexpressibly taut in hollows,
And that’s as cold as it ever gets.