Baby it’s cold outside

January 18, 2018

Mid January now and winter seems to have settled in for the duration, complete with slippery roads, snow flurries and temperatures down in the teens.

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

A bright spot on Tuesday was a respite from the flurries and some sunshine outside which raised the temperature all the way to 26 degrees and boosted spirits around town even more.

At least it boosted mine when I had to venture out for interviews and pictures for the upcoming “Best of the Best” section, which comes out in just a week now.
It’s been pretty cold out there, but still fun getting out and seeing more people than my usual group at the regular meetings. Most of the time I stick pretty close to home as much as I can, especially in January and February.

I have to say these two months are my least favorite in the whole year, when bills are high and spirits are low…except when the sun makes its occasional appearance to perk us up again.

No doubt about it though, it is a beautiful time of year with the trees frosted in the morning and the sun coming up to color the sky in pink and blues. Steam rises from the river when the water is warmer than the air and adds a lacy layer of frost on the trees and bushes along the riverbanks.

The scenery is outstanding this time of year. It would be a great time for a walk … if it weren’t so darn cold out there!

Sunsets are just as spectacular and we try to remember to look when the sun starts going down.

Sunrises are still pretty late and sunsets arrive pretty early this time of year, so we watch one with our morning coffee and the other when we have to go out or when we remember to peer out in the late afternoon.

Activity around the feeders is always frenzied to say the least as birds, squirrels and even deer show up looking for their “share” of the goodies out there. What started out as an occasional visit from one doe who delivered twin fawns in the spring several years ago, has now grown to a small herd of about ten, who have worn a regular trail across our front yard and that I believe huddle in our little woods at night. One ingenious doe has discovered that she can stand on her hind legs and knock seeds out of the feeder for a little snack. And they have discovered the corn Jack puts out for the squirrels and clean up those ears pretty regularly too.

Many times coming home after dark surprises two or three deer right next to the garage and when we let our little Peanut out, and they don’t even run away anymore. She is getting so blind in her old age she never even sees them. Guess they know they are safe here.

1-19-18 Partridge in tree

Partridge in the pear, oops, crabapple tree.

We have had constant visits from our usual group of “moochers” – bright red cardinals, winter brown finches, chickadees in their black and white tuxedos, blue jays, sparrows and assorted small and large woodpeckers, including the giant pileated woodpecker, who always sharpens his beak on the feeder posts. In fact those 4×4 posts will have to be replaced in the spring. He has rubbed it nearly into a round post!

The 9 foot slider on that side of the house also prompts a rash of “suicides” this time of year, as some of the birds fight their reflection in the glass. Not the chickadees though, they know we are inside and come to let us know when the seeds are getting low…

We even spotted a partridge or possibly a grouse in one of the crabapple trees out front the other morning. We have never seen one so close (just 10 feet from the front window) before.

We’ve also spotted otters and an occasional mink on the riverbanks across the water, usually when it warms up a bit and they come out looking for a bite to eat. It seems like Jack has to fill those feeders almost every other day now.

Guess I can’t blame the feeder moochers. Food gets kinda scarce this time of year.

By the way, today is the boss’s big birthday! Happy day Mike!

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *