It’s been ages since I saw my shadow while I was out walking, and, though Ol’ Sol has dared to peek between the clouds later in the day, it is usually long after I’ve returned from my walk and am sitting here pecking away on the keyboard.
I am still toting my camera with me on my daily jaunts, though I must admit that taking pictures has lost some of its appeal. Unlike the Christmas décor, a few hearts here and there for Valentine’s Day aren’t much of a draw to whip out the camera, then, besides the lack of sunshine for the shot, it takes too long to capture the antics of an animated creature when you must first fumble to get the gloves off, plus deal with your frozen fingers.
We sure were spoiled by those mild temps. The weather folks say we had the warmest December on record. But, we knew it wouldn’t last and now we are smack dab in the middle of this bitter cold spell which has settled in and doesn’t want to budge.
The temperature was 21 degrees with a wind chill of 11 when I left on my walk. I glanced up at the sky a few times and dark gray clouds were looming – it was a snow sky for sure, and an hour or so after I returned from my walk, a fast-moving squall blew through, laid down a dusting of snow and caused some fender benders.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping, so I strolled up and down the aisles at Meijer, but walking through the parking lot, it was blustery out and the wind had a definite bite to it. The store’s dual themes now are Valentine’s Day and tax time. The massive Christmas decoration display is gone, with all the holiday décor now relegated to one small corner where it stays ‘til they practically give it away. In its place was a large, wide-open space, soon to be filled with outside furniture, grills and gardening supplies. The days may be getting longer, but it sure is difficult to think Spring-y thoughts in this bitter cold weather. It is much too early to think of flowers and plants; after all … my “Spring Hill Nursery” and “Jackson & Perkins” catalogs have not yet arrived!
But, … what has arrived, unbelievably, are the daffodils at a corner house that I pass daily. It must’ve been that warm weather around Christmastime. Those spiky-looking, pale green leaves are already so tall that they are drooping over. Maybe the frost nipped at them? I am sure there are other plants and trees that are confused as well. I’ve even seen buds on a few magnolia bushes.
Today was garbage day on Emmons Boulevard. I was amazed how many Christmas trees were out at the curb to be picked up. I didn’t realize so many people still enjoyed a “real” Christmas tree. As I walked by each one, I was silently naming the type of tree it was, based on a class in grade school where we first learned the difference between evergreens and deciduous trees. One homeowner had dragged a short and stubby-looking artificial tree to the curb and I wondered if that obviously fake- ’em-out tree would just get hefted into the City dump truck with no questions asked?
As usual, when I crossed the footbridge I scanned the murky water for any of my feathered friends and noticed there was a light film of ice on the surface. Along the banks of the Creek, a crusty outline of ice was at the water’s edge, no doubt where the water lapped up there, then just froze in place. About three dozen ducks were gathered in the only spot where there was no thin veil of ice. I stood and watched them diving in the icy Creek for their breakfast, and they made me shiver just watching them, so I moved on, snug in my down coat and assorted woolen paraphernalia, but all the while wondering how their down feathers really could keep them warm on a cold day like today.
I have wanted to share some of the shots I took on Christmas Day. I believe it was the last sun-filled walk for me. I took many photos of the Canada geese at the footbridge, along with some ducks paddling around at the River’s Edge Marina that day. I will add them to my posts over the next few weeks. This regal-looking fellow separated itself from the rest of the crowd, so I got the opportunity for an up-close shot without any photo bombs of its brethren hissing or flapping their wings in the background.
It’s wishful thinking, but … maybe I’ll just channel Annie and perhaps the sun will come out tomorrow?