I don’t know about you, but I like cold and snow; I always have. I even like shoveling snow. I guess there’s something about bundling up in layers to keep warm – a “me vs. the cold” sort of thing – and all the other things I did keep the cold at bay. I still remember the snow pants that I had as a child, the ones with the elastic band that went under my foot to keep the pants tucked into my boots. And wearing so many other layers that my arms couldn’t move easily. I also remember as a child sitting outside in the fall, making a nest out of blankets and such, trying my best to see if I could stay warm. My grandma’s house was always very cold upstairs in the winter, and we all just piled on the blankets to stay toasty. Many a night I woke up in the same position I went to sleep in because the weight of the blankets kept me from moving! All of us would fight to stand on the heating vent in the kitchen once we came in from the cold. And my cats have been know to lay (or should that be lie – I never can remember!) directly on our heating vents. I’m not sure how they manage, as placing my hand on the metal for more than a few seconds is uncomfortable.
Other creatures in our neighborhood are doing things to keep warm. The squirrels are bushy with extra fur. The birds (cardinals, Carolina wrens) that come to our back yard will sun themselves or fluff up their feathers. Yesterday, I saw a red-tailed hawk in the tree across from our house. He seemed to be all fluffy to keep warm. By the way, Pete was very happy to hear that I saw that particular hawk; it seems they don’t always hang about near homes, unlike the Cooper’s hawk that is a more frequent visitor to urban areas. The woodpeckers and nuthatches that come into our yard must keep warm by hopping about on the trees. It still amazes me how they can do that without falling off.
Speaking of birds, Pete and I went for a walk on Thursday as the snow was falling. We went down through Wahalla Ravine, one of our favorite places to walk. The little stream that travels along the road is so musical to hear, and the snow covering the shale on its banks is lovely. I had wanted to take my phone to take pictures, but the snow was falling hard enough that I worried about it getting too wet. Anyhow, on our walk we went by a smaller tree planted in the tree lawn, about six or seven feet tall. It didn’t have too many branches, but yet, near the top, was a bird’s nest. Pete remarked that it takes so little to make the birds happy, that even the smaller trees can immediately make a difference in their habitat. Every little thing makes a difference, so image what all of the trees we planted in the Arboretum will do this year.
Until next time!