You already know the bad news, we're getting hit with another Arctic blast of very low temperatures and high winds. Here's some good news: Spring is coming. Earlier today, I checked several of the phenology books in my library. Jim Gilbert's Nature Notebook mentions January 22 as the first time (in 1978) he'd heard cardinals whistling "what-cheer, cheer, cheer," a sure sign of Spring, according to Jim. Larry Weber's Backyard Almanac notes that late January is when red foxes are mating. Pups will be born in late March. Great Horned Owls are also nesting at this time of year. As inexorably as death and taxes, Spring is coming, hard as that may be to believe during the last week of January 2014. For what it's worth, poets like Margaret Atwood clearly join us in our struggle with this time of year.
purple finch (top), male cardinal (bottom) © harrington
Winter. Time to eat fatand watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,a black fur sausage with yellowHoudini eyes, jumps up on the bed and triesto get onto my head. It’s hisway of telling whether or not I’m dead.If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I amHe’ll think of something. He settleson my chest, breathing his breathof burped-up meat and musty sofas,purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,which are what will finish us offin the long run. Some cat owners around hereshould snip a few testicles. If we wisehominids were sensible, we’d do that too,or eat our young, like sharks.But it’s love that does us in. Over and overagain, He shoots, he scores! and faminecrouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsingeiderdown, and the windchill factor hitsthirty below, and pollution poursout of our chimneys to keep us warm.February, month of despair,with a skewered heart in the centre.I think dire thoughts, and lust for French frieswith a splash of vinegar.Cat, enough of your greedy whiningand your small pink bumhole.Off my face! You’re the life principle,more or less, so get goingon a little optimism around here.Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can. Be kind to each other while you can.