Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunshine on my shoulders

We're "enjoying" double  and single digits below zero temperatures, with about a 10 mph wind, making the windchill about 20 to 30 below. The birds and squirrels seem to be taking these temperatures in stride or wing beat, as the case may be. At any rate, as they help themselves to what's in the feeders, they complain less than I do each time I have to go out in this cold with more sunflower seeds and suet for them.

two gray squirrels and a hairy woodpecker
two gray squirrels and a hairy woodpecker
Photo by J. Harrington

The heated bird bath is working well but the dryness of the cold air creates evaporation and interesting ice sculptures on the side of the rim opposite the prevailing wind. Our winds have been from the south and the north side of the bath is ice coated.

heated bird bath with ice sculptures
heated bird bath with ice sculptures
Photo by J. Harrington

Despite the windchill, the Better Half and I went out for coffee as a cabin fever preventative. On the way home, we took back roads to enjoy the sun shining on the countryside. I mentioned that I hadn't seen any deer or turkeys in our backyard for several weeks. She said that she'd regularly seen deer crossing local roads mornings and evenings. Shortly after this comparison of ourfield observations, we spotted a flock of last year's turkey poults along the road side. That, plus the sunshine on my shoulders, generally brightened my outlook on the pleasures of country living during a spell of Minnesota's world-class Winter. January thaw by next weekend?

Cold Blooded Creatures

By Elinor Wylie 

Man, the egregious egoist,
(In mystery the twig is bent,)
Imagines, by some mental twist,
That he alone is sentient

Of the intolerable load
Which on all living creatures lies,
Nor stoops to pity in the toad
The speechless sorrow of its eyes.

He asks no questions of the snake,
Nor plumbs the phosphorescent gloom
Where lidless fishes, broad awake,
Swim staring at a night-mare doom.

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