Winter in the Mid-Ohio Valley is not one of my favorite things.Cold, damp weather does not agree with my arthritis, and our "F" score on the Lung Association's particulate matter scale does not agree with my breathing (and while some of us around here joke that breathing is overrated, it is an activity that is generally necessary). Snow is pretty, but there is nothing pretty about the ongoing mud season that has been with us since Halloween or so. The last few years, I've been threatening to move back to Florida, where it's warm (when it's not oppressively hot) and I can breathe (at least when not stuck in traffic).
My spouse's truncated holiday break did not improve my mood. A major snowstorm is bearing down on Toledo, so he headed back today--on Tuesday--so as not to be stranded away from a mandatory Friday meeting. (Weather Underground is threatening a foot or more of snow between now and Thursday, and we have become quite the weather wimps when ice is involved.)
But then, filling the feeders, I noticed a heavily-striped LBB perched on a lonicera near the compost pile. If it was what I think--a fox sparrow, though I didn't get that good a look--it was my first. A life bird, literally in our own backyard.
The neighborhood was noisy today as well. The wrens were caroling from the top of the American holly, chickadees were making their cheerful chickadee sounds, and assorted chirps were coming from the bushes. Being grumpy around wrens and chickadees is probably not possible.
One of the Black Squirrels of North Parkersburg decided to pay a visit, as did the leucistic cardinal first sighted last spring. Another cardinal variation--this one an orangey bronze--showed up at one of the feeders.