“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck
In previous posts, I’ve bemoaned the fact that our winters just aren’t the way they used to be. A good amount of snow for us here is a rarity anymore. Of course, many people are happy to have snowless winters, or less snow winters. Unfortunately, rather than snow we often get freezing rain that just makes a mess of things. If precipitation must fall this time of year, I prefer snow to ice.
A quick look outside this morning and it was quite obvious we hadn’t gotten snow. A glistening, coat of ice-covered everything. Every branch, every blade of grass, every spent weed stalk was dressed in ice. The morning light shimmered and danced about in the ice-covered world. It was a beautiful sight. The temperature read 32 degrees all day. Nary a smidge down, or up, in temperature, was evident. The trees and bushes looked as though they’d been dipped in glass. Jewel-like icicles hung from every surface.
As the day wore on a slight breeze, began to move the icy branches. As the branches swayed with the breeze, a soft clatter could be heard as they brushed up against each other. At first I thought it was the patter of raindrops, but soon realized it was the icy branches clicking against each other. Every now and then the crackle of ice breaking and falling could be heard.
As I watched the birds flock to the feeder, I thought how difficult a day like this must be for wildlife. The birds that rely on gleaning insects from the trees, or seeds from the dead weeds couldn’t possibly get through this coating of ice. They must have to search extra hard for areas sheltered from the ice. And, how do they stay warm and dry on these miserable nights when freezing rain and sleet, coats everything. It makes me even more thankful for a warm, dry place to call home.
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell