Monday, January 21, 2008

A Winter's Day

It's been a long winter, the Husband remarked this morning. Too true, beginning at Thanksgiving at least, the weather has been unsettled (as is normal) but on the wintery side of its range more days than not. A beautiful day (if you don't have to go anywhere), it's 10 degrees F (-12C) and snow is falling ever so lightly. So slowly and sparsely is this snow coming down that it coats each branch and twig in a decorative layer of white. No breath of wind disturbs this magical creation, brought to us by Nature with, perhaps, a little help from global warming.

At first glance, our view this morning looks a lot like that of April 25, 2006. But never truly the same: this time, it won't be melting as quickly, and the ash tree at the right, of course, has no spring leaves to be killed by this frost. The weather returns and repeats, but with a difference, as do many other events in Nature. (Today at Small Wonders, however, we're looking at Single Visions, moments that only come once.)

The Bird Channel is in full swing out there, with our 100 redwinged blackbirds and the attendant smaller flocks entertaining their loyal viewers.

Apparently I have a remarkable gift for worrying, especially over things completely out of my control. On days like this, I worry about what will happen to all these birds we've taught to depend on us after we're gone. Will the next people to occupy this special spot appreciate the wildlife we've found here and leave them room to live? No doubt there will be some adjustments, positive and negative, in the local economy of Nature. I marvel, too, at departments of wildlife who outlaw the artificial feeding of most of the State's wild critters, but seem to look the other way at bird feeders.

In the meantime, though, it's cold and I need to refill the suet feeder.

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