Monday, December 12, 2005

winter fever

I have not blogged much the past few days as I have been laid low by fever. Stretched out on the couch by the fire, too tired to hold a book, I have been watching the birds out the window. The last bag of bird seed I bought was a disappointment, filled with fat red seeds birds do not favor, a stingy handul of sunflower seeds, millet, which they do like, and a sprinkling - like salt at dinner - of cracked corn.

Nonetheless, the weather has beed cold, icy, and windy. Digging for seeds among the snow-covered bushes, I suppose, has beeen no easy task, so the birds have attended my ill-stocked feeder. We have had several types of sparrows this winter. The house sparrows have been joined by chipping sparrows, with their rust-colored berets, and the large Harris sparrow. I have also seen one, with white and yellow stripes, that I do not know.

We also have a healthy population of cardinals, which one never tires of observing. One bird I don't see often anymore is the blue jay, a noisy creature known for demanding peanuts at the back door and tormenting the cats, but it is a bird I enjoy having around. We have a narrow wooded bluff at the back of our house so also enjoy many woodpeckers, nuthatches, and small hawks.

I must be feeling better because late this afternoon I realized that the birds had emptied the feeder. I put on coat and shoes and went outside. The dogs pranced around excitedly, hoping this meant I was going to play with them or walk with them back to the woods.

The cold damp air tingled inside my nose. The ice and snow crunched beneath my feet. I listened to the outdoor sounds - the squirrel chewing out the dogs from its perch on the power line, the wind, the birds, the cars and trucks, the bird seed tinkling into the feeder.

Having to stay indoors for a few days can be tedious, but I did enjoy being reminded of the simple joy in the smells, sounds, and sensations I find walking out the back door.

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