The folks who head to southern climes once the snow flies, a/k/a “snowbirds”, had better get a move on.
Unless you stayed hunkered down inside the house today, you know that Winter-like weather arrived last night with a vengeance.
The weatherman warned us yesterday to find the ice scraper and heavy outerwear because we were getting bitterly cold weather … and it arrived. This morning we were twenty degrees below normal and tied the former record low for this date set in 1913. Statistics like that on November 10th are a little scary, aren’t they? I know it was 19 degrees when I set out on my walk this morning, and I was bundled up to keep the blustery winds and frigid weather at bay.
I arrived at Council Point Park and knew that a few more of the regular walkers had dropped off the map by virtue of seeing just two cars in the parking lot. The last few weeks, the “regulars” … the stroller-pushers, bicyclists, joggers, and yes, even some walkers, have slowly disappeared, leaving just a handful of us diehard walkers. Only six of us showed up this morning … four men, and another woman and me.
In the past week, the guys have gone from bare hands and baseball caps to heavy gloves and knitted hats. As I passed Cheryl on the perimeter path, through frozen lips, I remarked she and I have gone from hoodies to parkas, earmuffs to knitted berets, and added scarves, gloves and heavier socks in the past few days, and, with all that warm-weather gear, it still felt a little brutal as you walked along the water’s edge where we paused to chat. But, on the bright side, there was not a single drop of moisture on the perimeter path, so we were assured a walk devoid of wipeouts due to black ice.
I saw a pair of geese stray from the flock flying overhead to land in the middle of the soccer field, where they grazed and took a breather from the rest of the gang. I’ve not seen the heron in the water this week, but one morning he was flying overhead. The usual mallards were gathered near the cement landing and also hugging the Creek banks. Still others had climbed aboard a partially submerged tree trunk to make it appear, at a glance, they were standing on the surface of the water. They made me cold just watching them.
The squirrels came running this morning as I started on the perimeter path, sensing perhaps that pickin’s are slim these days, so better stock up on what the nice lady offers you. They came bounding over to greet me like long lost friends, and were slipped an extra peanut or two for that effort, plus I’m such a softie for them. I don’t even ask those peanut pals to say “pretty please” for their treat.
As I travelled around the circular path at the Park, the wind was rustling through the trees, stripping the colorful loose leaves from them. It almost looked as if it was raining leaves since they were dropping down so quickly. Similarly, most of the trees in the neighborhood had lost their leaves, a result of those 30+ mph winds that blasted through last evening.
I got a five-mile walk in this morning, and, just as I was nearing the house, the snow began to fly … the first flurries of the season, and I had to remind myself that yes, it was still Fall and we have a long road ahead of us until those balmy days will return again.
P.S. – If you check out the photo above closely, you’ll see a startled sparrow hightailing it out of his harvest décor hidey hole. Perhaps the frost is on the pumpkin, or, he figured that once the homeowners haul out the Christmas décor, it’s time for him to head south to be a snowbird.