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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Day Amusements

Yes, we have had our second snow day of the new year, remarkable for a college that had only two weather-related closings in my first twenty or so years of employment. Of course, today was predicted to bring lots of snow (which it didn't, although we had quite enough, thank you) and bitter cold (which it did, and the temperatures are still falling). I am ready to be Done With Winter, though the official start of spring is still something like fifty days in the future.

Ant least, snow days do have their compensations. Staying home, even if one is occasionally forced to don multiple layers of clothing to shovel a path for the mail carrier and fill the constantly-emptying feeders, allows for a good bit of looking-out-the-window time (though I did read quite a few student commentaries, answer lots of student e-mails, and spend some time with the Puritan settlers of New England). Today was a good day for looking out the window.

Hemlocks in snow are one of the delights of the Northern Hemisphere.

There was lots of activity at the feeders, including an early visit from Scooter, the neighbors' Maine Coon cat, hoping to find some unwary avian or rodent looking for spilled seed. There were none, as any seed was covered by several inches of snow, so Scooter plopped his substantial self down in a snowdrift for a good scratch before wandering back across the street. He and I more or less like each other, but we have major philosophical disagreements on the ethics of sport hunting.

After Scooter's departure, the birds arrived, including a wren who seemed very happy with his breakfast of dried mealworms (probably less frozen than the caged suet, which drew only starlings today). Robins were making merry in the driveway holly while a cardinal or two went for the sunflower seed.

A major development has been the regular presence of the Black Squirrels of North Parkersburg in the yard. This one (too far away for a good shot even with a zoom lens) ate most of an ear of dried corn.

Ignoring the lure of corn's carbs, one of the resident gray squirrels went straight for the fat and protein in the backyard sunflower seed feeder, despite the trickiness of balancing on its pole.

And while the local deer aren't finding much to eat in the yard these days, one of them did find a use for our back hill this morning.

Can't a person get a little privacy around here?

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