Wednesday 7 November 2007


When I rose this morning, at 7:00 a.m., I ran to check outdoors for the snowfall, anticipating the beauty. I was disappointed that all I could see were the frozen, shrivelled leaves. Perverse, I know, but I love the changing wheel of the seasons. The sunrise was beautiful.

There is frost. The weather forecasters blew it. The "Lake Effect" rains were predicted to change to snow. Orillia was to have 5 - 15 cm of snow, once the temperature shifted in the afternoon. The weather front was to bring 5 - 10 cm to Muskoka. All we had was rain as it stayed at 3 degrees above zero. I rather anticipated the change in weather.

A cloudy, cold day. The thermometer registers just below zero. Today I had to dig ice, as well as spent seed hulls, out of the bird and squirrel feeders. I could hear the blue jays in the trees. They were cheering me on - or trying to rush me. It is a peaceful beginning to the day. I had my morning work out and then popped on a coat to do the chore. Not a chore, but a ritual. The squirrels, lower on the pecking order, dig the seeds out of the frozen chunk of water. The woodpecker -I never remember the difference between the downy or hairy - got scared when I opened the door to take the photo.

It flew to a tree in the background, where it quickly took off. The squirrels were chasing one another around and around that tree, perhaps singing Ring Around the Rosy, determined to keep the other away from the squirrel feeder.

The blue jays bravely land on the feeder, eating a peanut, then squirreling it away (excuse the pun) more in the nooks and crannies of tree trunks. Then the fun begins. It is similar to one of those party games where the first person opens a gift, then the next person can either open the gift or take someone else's gift. The critters all run around trying to find the hidden treasure. It is better than cartoons.

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