This was the third Monday, in a row, that school was cancelled. This storm’s a long one, and it’s not done yet. But this is what it looks like for now:
I think that, after (very nearly!) eight years of this blog, the creation of a “weather” category is in order.
The juncos have arrived from up north.
This morning we were all still in bed when there was a loud rap against our bedroom window pane. I jumped out of bed, knowing it was a bird that had just collided with the glass. I looked out and there, among the flock of juncos grazing in the grass, was a spread out, unmoving one.
I threw on my jacket and scarf and rushed outside with a kitchen towel. There is was, still not moving. Normally I’d leave it, watch it from a distance, but it was cold and a bird in shock like that would probably not recover, or get eaten by a cat or what have you. So I picked it up and wrapped it in the towel. It was only as I was bringing it into the house that it revived a little.
We kept it warm for ten minutes, then it started squirming and got away from me, demonstrating its desire and ability to fly. I caught it and brought it outside to let it go. It flew off in a jiffy and we rejoiced.
People have begun dropping off their rotten pumpkins! We have a couple of gigantic ones and quite a horde of little ones in the pile already.
Someone couldn’t wait to enjoy the feast.
I took these pictures during our trip up North. They go with the stormy weather that is knocking all the leaves off the trees here, and the book A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter, which is excruciatingly beautiful. This place, after all, is as far North as I’ve ever been on this continent.
We had the clothesline out on Sunday to dry out some tarps, and it was graced by two dragonflies who really liked their perch: they let us photograph them from pretty up close, and whenever they flew off, they returned immediately, so we got to try the new camera’s macro function and lens.
Over the weekend it started. The non-stop tiny patter-patter of black specks raining down from on high. You stand still and listen and it sounds like fizzing.
We thought they were seeds on the patio, as much as possible under the umbrella, and didn’t think much of it, except : what fecundity! Billions of seeds!
Fecundity is about right! It’s inchworm poop! It’s these guys:
It is covering everything. It crunches underfoot on the patio stones. When wet it stains brown.
It’s not good to have so many inchworms, or cankerworms, in your garden. Not, IMO, because they get into your hair and clothes (and ears!), or ruin the BBQ or a drink left uncovered by adding protein, but because they’re obviously having themselves a banquet. So far only the big adult trees are their feast, but they’ll survive (I’m told). The as yet small hazels and the cherry tree are suffering too and them I’ll spray with an organic pest-repellent. Everything else seems fine, so far. I’m trying to find the positive side to this: this poop must be pretty good fertilizer, don’t you think?
Amie and I are enjoying reading and telling creation stories. We weave in evolution, the Flood, how Coyote created land, fossils, Darwin and Lopez, and how the first people came out of a bird’s egg.
“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” — Barry Lopez
And how the trees grow straight up out of the snow.
The Robin pair has arrived. They are slow and ponderous and conspicuous in all this white. The Carolina Wren is a much smaller, darting blur of motion between bush and planter.
The snow is coming down again. There are only two layers to the sky: closest, most turbulent, where you can distinguish the snowflakes; behind that it, the trees dissecting the static grey zone. That’s where it ends, like we’re in a grey-walled, grey-ceilinged room.
There are more than two layers bearing down on the porch. Snowfall after snowfall, compressed and wind-sculpted, plus the icy melt from the roof above it, absorbed into it as by a sponge. The new snowfall is adding to this. We’re not sure if the roof can handle the extra weight.
Two feet now and counting. The messy tracks we made in the snow yesterday – snowball fight, writing with icicles, then some ice sculpting with hammers and chisels – are but vague reminiscences. Down, down comes the sky and I am loving it.
Last night, February 14, was a Full Moon (the Snow Moon) and the light was bright and magical on the snow. I always try to take pictures but my camera (or the camera woman) isn’t really up for it. Still, here are the best ones. There was no “lightening” done on these images. This is the kind of light you can read by. It casts sharp shadows, like here in my study:
The path down the driveway. The snow is now almost two feet high:
The neighbor’s house across is all lit up:
We had a rough evening when, two weeks after our chicken Nocty died, one of Amie’s two parakeets also died – also unexplained. This one was harder for her to bear, because she feels responsible for the birds, who live in her room.
This bird was rather wild and would never let anyone hold her.