Monday, January 16, 2006

A Brief Snow

Fluffy white flakes filled the view out of our windows last Friday, and they comforted me as I wrote a sad condolence note to a friend who had just lost her husband. Driving to Crab Orchard for my hair appointment, the bushy cedars beside the road were tipped in white, and all the other trees had trunks painted white on their north side. The next morning when I stepped out of my bedroom, Samuel had already been outside, and he was standing in the front hall eating snow out of his mitten. But the snow soon melted and only patches in the grass remained.

Because of the snow, Gerald did refill the bird feeder on the deck that the wind had tipped over, and we are getting some small birds. They are brown with some reddish feathers.I think they are finch. We have hoped to see our pair of woodpeckers again who came all last winter, but so far we haven't. We rarely see cardinals here at this house while we used to have an entire side lawn full of a flock of them occasionally over at Pondside Farm. So it was especially sad for Gerald to find a dead cardinal on the deck the other day.

We assume it ran into one of the glass doors. We hadn't had the problem here. (Barn swallows used to do that on the porch at the other house.) We do have hummingbirds who get into Gerald's high-ceiling shop and can't find their way out, and he cannot shoo them out. It amazes me that they can find their way to Mexico and back and yet they cannot find their way out of the large open doors that they flew through into the shop.

Without snow on the ground, there is no need for birds to come to the deck. The current government conservation plan for farmers to plant native grasses for ground cover provides abundant bird seed. Our fields are full of birds feasting there. They don't usually need our handouts. I'm not talking about the ducks and geese, however. Gerald has them spoiled for regular snacks of corn spread beside the lake. They gather at the edge in the lake below my bedroom window and noisly breakfast most mornings.

The Cedars and we had a hello/goodbye lunch in a Marion restaurant yesterday with Erin, who drove in Saturday evening from the Chicago area after her California trip. She left us to complete her "grandmother run" to go on past our place to her other grandmother and great grandmother's houses. I suspect by now she back on the highway again returning to South Bend. Her spring semester classes begin in the morning. I bet the snow hasn't melted there.

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