This Sunday and Monday, we shivered through another cold snap. Yesterday, when I looked out the window and checked the thermometer in the morning, it was -34°C. That’s cold, very cold. By the time I had made my usual rounds outdoors, looking after the horses, topping up the birdfeeders, I felt like I would never be warm again! Even turning up the furnace and sitting close to a blazing fire didn’t seem to reach the deep freeze that had settled into my bones.
Thankfully, today the temperature has ameliorated and it is comparatively balmy, a mere -18°C this morning. If I’m glad, I can’t even imagine how glad the birds are, outside day and night. Their very survival never fails to amaze me. But there they are, coming and going at the feeder as usual. In the photo below, you can see a little flock of American Tree Sparrows on the ground, while a Downy Woodpecker approaches the suet on the post. The whirr of wings near the grass stalk to the right is a Chickadee, and a Blue Jay is about to exit the scene. These were the birds brave enough or hungry enough to approach while I stood near the feeder to take their photo, but many more were waiting in the wings for me to leave them to their breakfast in peace.
About this point in the season, I begin to long for something green and growing. I’m not a big seed-starter and don’t have Grow lights. I have a modest windowsill garden to admire, though. Each year, my sister gives me an amaryllis bulb for my birthday just before Christmas, a longstanding tradition. I added a second bulb from the post-Christmas sale table and a few paperwhite bulbs. So far, the paperwhites are off to the best start and it shouldn’t be too long before they are ready to bloom. The amaryllis bulbs take a bit longer to get underway. They should bridge the gap to the spring growing season nicely once some mysterious rhythm convinces them it’s time to grow.