Mother Nature has been a bit of a drama queen lately.
Perhaps my favorite meteorologist, Paul Gross, said it best in the first line of today’s forecast:
DETROIT – Last night’s cold front sure created some weather whiplash.
He’s right … it has been two weeks of wacky weather where the temps have been up, then down, then up again … just as erratic as the stock market sometimes.
In the span of a couple of days, we have experienced a 70-degree weather turnaround and just last night we dropped 30 degrees in a matter of hours, with howling winds that whooshed like those that whisked Dorothy and Toto to Kansas. We’ve endured snow squalls and freezing rain that coated the trees and non-grassy surfaces resulting in tons of accidents and power outages. And, when nothing has been falling from the sky, the wind was gusting at 30-40 miles per hour. Are you sure you got that forecast right Mr. Groundhog?
I’ve slipped way behind in my walking efforts, just managing one walk on each of the past two weekends and I hope to remedy those statistics tomorrow, although a quick glance at Accuweather online tells me snow will start up in 55 minutes – sigh.
I’m a weather worrier for sure, so I am happy I trekked to Council Point Park last Sunday and fed the furry fellows.
Grab and go and swoop and swipe.
There’s a lot of grabbing and going and swooping and swiping happening in the ‘hood these days. Hanging around the house has enabled me to witness such goings-on. I’ve not been to the Park since last Sunday, due to the wacky weather and Monday I ran errands as I wasn’t sure how long that ice storm would mess up the roads.
I still have my little porch pals, Grady and his friend, who continue to visit daily, and, if I’m not out there early enough to their liking … well, they decide to plant themselves on the porch to wait on me. One day I just know I’ll get a knock on the door wondering where I am. Yup, sometimes they make me feel like a slacker. I usually wait until I’m dressed, except for my coat and boots, before wiggling my hand out the front door to make a “dropping”. If I peer through the peephole before opening the door, (if the screen door isn’t frosted up), I’ll find this dynamic duo pacing on the porch steps. They are wearing the same pained expression that you have, as you keep looking out the door for your pizza delivery guy, imagining him lost in the ‘hood and all that glorious melty cheese dotted with pepperoni just congealing all over the box. Yup, it’s that same look.
I’ll be watching you.
Grady the Gray Squirrel has trained me well … I just put some peanuts on the porch, a couple on the brick ledge outside the front door and another few on the far ledge. Okay, I’m a quick study. I watched you while I was warming up the car in the driveway a weeks ago. I didn’t miss a beat, and neither did you, as you climbed up the wall lickedy-spilt, then danced along the edge with that prized peanut to nosh on it at the other end of the ledge. Now I make a SPD, a/k/a “a secret peanut drop” just for you, because the other squirrel is too fat to climb up there.
So, Grady’s got the world by the tail doesn’t he? He eats his fill on the porch, politely leaves a few peanuts for his pal, then he hones in on the rest of his cache at his leisure. What Grady doesn’t know is that there are others that covet those peanuts, and I might just have to clue him in on what I have observed while hanging around outside the house, rather than pounding the pavement on my walks.
A female cardinal and a blue jay were similarly trolling for peanuts. This morning, as I placed the peanuts on the opposite side of the ledge, the female cardinal hurriedly flew past my head and began a flurry of tweets in the big bush where she has her nest. I guess she was saying “hurry, I’m hungry!” Meanwhile, in my neighbor’s tree, a hungry blue jay, sitting on a tree branch that threatened to topple him in the raucous wind, similarly eyed those peanuts, calling out that well-known and recognizable screech, a noise that the wind carried from his beak to my ears. I moved faster, feeling a little intimidated by these two.
Grady dear – in deference to you, since you’re so darn cute, I put more peanuts out for them and YOU too, because life is tough and “if you snooze, you lose” so don’t forget that!
I know I was cold walking around outside, my hood pulled over my hat and huddled down in my jacket, mittened hands stuffed in my pockets. I was checking for missing shingles and looking for trouble, but not wanting to find any. Nothing was amiss, despite a noise that woke me up from that wind. I was mindful of those poor birds braving the elements with just their feathers to protect them, so yes, I dug a little deeper into my coat pocket to retrieve the Ziploc bag of peanuts and gifted everyone … a round of peanuts for all!
I left bread for the birds last week during the Polar Vortex. I always have a package of tortillas on hand in case I run out of bread – they have a very long shelf life. Well I didn’t run out of bread but the tortillas were past the expiration date, but still okay, so I tore them up for the birds because I pitied them during the Polar Vortex. Every morning I could hear sparrows huddled together on the back window ledges, their faint tweets in the still early morn– well, my heart just melted. One small problem though. Those tortilla tidbits froze to the snow as soon as I scattered them and they were so pale laying on the snow and snow-laden bushes, no birds discovered them. I don’t blame them – obviously they would like rustic bread, preferably a darker type, like pumpernickel, that they can see in the snow. I have to find a new kind of bread myself because Meijer grocery store no longer carries my favorite “Dave’s Killer Bread” and all other rustic-type breads just pale in comparison to it.
So the birds ignored the tortilla tidbits and I grumbled every time I saw it, as I figured I’d have to scoop it up come Spring, but alas, when the snow melted, the squirrels ate it. Thanks guys!
I’ll leave you with this quote: “All life has just one home, the earth, and we as the dominant species must take care of it.” – Dr. D.D. Sheldrick