Listen, listen, listen

Listen, listen, listen

Good evening!  It’s the 70th day of my outdoor commitment.  Honestly, it rarely feels even a tiny bit challenging to go outside anymore.  After about Day 40, everything became much more commonplace.  A new groove settled in the brain which supported the action of heading outside to play, to explore, to walk, to look, to learn.

Guess what the temperature was this morning?  Twelve below!!  That’s twelve below zero, mind you, Fahrenheit.  Other locales surrounding us boasted (sobbed?) much lower.  Twenty below.  Twenty five below.  We’re near Lake Superior, which usually mitigates our temperature.  But now the bays have frozen so solid, we’re not so blessed.  It’s darn frigid.

Today is the last day of February, so Spring must be waiting in the wings for Winter’s curtain call.  You can tell by certain signs.  One, the sun warms everything and melts much quicker than in January.  Two, there’s a certain smell in the air.  It’s a smell of moisture, of melting, of change.  Three, your spirit knows.  Your spirit starts to quicken with a sense of anticipation.  You nod your head, remembering that Winter will end.  Maybe not soon.  But it’s headed out.

Dolphin wind chimes on our deck

Dolphin wind chimes on our deck

See the dolphin wind chime on our deck?  I won it as a prize at a wedding shower a few years ago.  Sometimes I forget that it’s there, especially in the wintertime.  It’s not a noisy active chime, clanging boisterously in the wind.  It’s rather quiet, subdued, tinkling occasionally.  Today, smelling the whiff of spring, shoveling the deck, I glanced at the wind chime.  Thought of dolphins.  Thought of my parents in Florida. 

Usually, at this time of year I’d be feeling such restlessness.  An inner insistence that it’s time to escape, to get out of here, to run away from the snow and cold and ice.  This year, it’s not happening.  (That doesn’t mean I’m not going anywhere….it just means I’m not desperate to go anywhere, an important distinction, mind you.) 

Seven to eight foot plowed pile of snow near the bird feeder

Seven to eight foot plowed pile of snow near the bird feeder

There are huge plowed piles of snow surrounding our driveway!  I tried to take photo after photo to show you the immensity of piles.  Nothing quite worked.  Barry said I need some object in the picture by which the observer would measure.  I tried to find a stick (such as the spiral stick to which the bell is attached) but the depth and height didn’t begin to cooperate.  The above snow pile measures seven to eight feet tall.  Want to come visit? 

Speaking of visitors, Barry’s brother arrives from Georgia on Tuesday evening.  They’ll be ice fishing for four days until he departs again.  The poor lad doesn’t know what he’s in for.  We can only pray the fish are nibbling.  When the fish get really hungry, they’ve been known to eat anything.  A local fisherman said he caught a trout once on a hot dog.  Another put down a cigarette.  I kid you not!  Not that I’m supporting such uncivilized behavior…

Leaving you tonight with one last photo.  I became uncivilized with the chickadees earlier.  Please forgive me.  I wouldn’t leave them in peace after delivering the sunflower seeds, quietly moving away.  Instead I internally bargained:  “If you pose for a photo, I’ll go away.”  Finally one brave fella landed and pecked at the seeds.  Hurray!

Brazen chickadee poses for photo

Brazen chickadee poses for photo

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