Hellebores, budding daffodils, and cascading winter jasmine starred with sunny yellow blooms -- not to mention a thunderstorm, mild temperatures, and frogs singing in the fish pool a few days ago -- had lulled me into thinking spring-like thoughts. But we awoke this morning to a veritable winter wonderland and I slogged through ankle deep snow to fill one bird feeder.
Clouds of purple finches and cardinals descend on the crabapple tree near three of the bird feeders, covering it with the illusion of puffy red and pink flowers on the snowy branches. All the feeders are crowded with customers and just outside my window I hear a rapping and look up to see a little downy woodpecker, sidling along upside down under the eaves as he mines the crevices for hibernating insects.
My husband suits and boots to brave the snow -- the cattle have to be fed and he kindly agrees to take hot water down to the chickens, saving me the treacherous trek down the slopes. The Border Collies go with him, delighted to have Something To Do, even if it's only mindless barking as they follow the tractor into the field where the cows huddle around the feeding ring, waiting for the hay.
The other dogs make very quick necessary dashes outside, then scratch and whine to be let back in. Molly heads for her dog bed while Bear, Maggie, and Eddie curl up together for a quiet day on our bed; William claims a comfy chair in my workroom, and Miss Susie Hutchins stakes out one of her favorite cold weather spots atop the warm computer router by the window. There's a fire in the fireplace, classical music on the radio, and the whole day ahead.
A good day for a writer . . . time to dive back into Miss Birdie's world and see what's going on there.