Well, it’s March and we turned over the calendar page. I still don’t know if the weather authorities proclaimed that March arrived like a lion or a lamb – unbelievably, not a single person mentioned this proverb in conjunction with March 1st.
I can tell you that in my corner of the world, today there was no wintry precip, the roads were clear and dry, as was the Park perimeter path, so it doesn’t get any better than that for Winter in Southeast Michigan. Sure it was cold – low 20s and a wind chill too, but the sun was out – pure bliss!
I was happy to get to Council Point Park this morning. I had really worried about my little furry friends, even though I was there last Friday and Saturday and gave them lots of peanuts, but I’d not been back in nearly a week. I worried my little pals would be hungry since the number of walkers toting peanuts has dwindled during the Winter months and the ground remains frozen solid.
I took the camera, but didn’t pull it out of my zippered vest. It was really cold and I just wanted to make sure I made the rounds and got as many squirrels fed as possible before I needed to head home and start work.
I am delinquent in posting. It’s unusual for me to let an entire week pass by without a peep, er … a post, but I figured any post would be a weather whine about the daily trudge outside, as opposed to a delightful walk at the Park, like I had this morning, so I remained silent. First, it was the Bomb Cyclone Sunday, then some strong winds hung around for Monday. It was slick with flurries on Tuesday, then we awoke to two inches of snow on Wednesday. Yesterday it was slick from the snow on sidewalks and streets. Really?!?! The weather has been a drag to be honest and snow is on the way tonight and Sunday, then we’re in the deep freeze with wind chills below zero next week. Along with everyone else, I am Winter weary.
As Winter wanes, there will be countless memes on social media about recipes for “Groundhog Helper” or similar groundhog dishes. Today the weatherman explained what happened to our promised El Nino … I’m happy for that, because I’ve been wondering about it myself since late September when we had a hard freeze.
In a nutshell, the El Nino didn’t have enough oomph to sustain a mild Winter, so we had the usual wintry conditions. Well, could we have El Nino next year, since we missed out this time?
Speaking of nutshells …
I have stayed away from the grocery store – in fact I’ve not been to Meijer since January 10th I stock up on pantry items all Fall so I don’t have to be traipsing around in the ice and snow in the dead of Winter. Actually, I have intended to get some refrigerated food several times, but, with the endless freezing rain events and gusty winds, the weatherman warned of power outages, so I was reluctant to stock up on too much perishable food. I lost a fridge full of food last June when an overloaded electrical grid left us with no power for nearly a day.
So, food-wise it was all good for me, but, um … I was horrified to realize last weekend that I was about to run out of peanuts. The weather was already crummy, with more bad weather on the horizon, so I started rationing peanuts, doling out much-smaller portions for the porch pals. I visibly cringed as I placed that meager offering at the front stoop, imagining what was going through their heads when it was so cold and snowy. I made my “dropping” then hustled outside to run the car after suiting and booting up. Sadly, the peanuts were already gone, shells littering the porch, but my furry friends remained nearby, as if to say “so when will part two be arriving please?” I was chagrined to have dropped the ball on my little friends who give me such joy in the dead of Winter, a rather joyless and gloomy time of year. Even the two jays gave their disapproval by staring me down from the neighbor’s tree and uttering screech after screech in an effort to intimidate me. (Have you seen their beaks? I was a little intimidated by them.) Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal perched on the barberry bush and tried to send a telepathic message about their peanuts. Obviously the squirrels had scurried off before the cardinals had their share. I made my apologies and then the pair of cardinals was pretty vocal with their tweets. Okay, I succumbed and went back into the house, peeling off my boots and grabbing a few more precious peanuts ‘til I could get to the grocery store. I hated being “peanut shamed” on my own front porch!
So, I intended to go this morning to replenish their treats. I could not bear to look those sad faces – what a sucker for sad eyes I am. I looked outside – a gorgeous sunrise, clear streets … sigh. How I wanted a walk. So, could I get to Meijer, grab a half-dozen bags of peanuts, head to the Park, dump out some peanuts there and make it back before work? And squeak in a little walk too? Then I remembered squirreling away a package of peanuts that couldn’t fit in the Rubbermaid container – whew! My walk was salvaged and I took half the bag with me and will hold the rest in reserve for the porch pals – it will be good weather in a few days and I’ll stock up then.
The collection of critters with their reproachful looks reminded me a little of a younger version of myself. I’d come home from grade school and Mom would give me some cookies and milk to tide me over until dinner. On the days she baked cookies, if some of them broke while moving them from the cookie sheet to the counter top, I’d get “bonus cookies” on my plate that day. She didn’t bake cookies every day, but I didn’t necessarily understand that fact, as I can remember looking at the plate, then over at Mom, puzzled where the “bonus cookies” were and wondering if I should be so bold and brazen to ask.
Speaking of bonuses …
Well, there was a bonus at the Park this morning. No, not the squirrels who climbed down from their trees and came racing over – they made me smile, especially Parker, as it had been a while since I visited with him. The perimeter path had been plowed – that was a first! In the nearly six years I’ve walked there, the paths have never been plowed, though I understand they used to do it back in the day. The parking lot was a little treacherous from all the ice, but the paths were clear as a bell. That was a real bonus for me.
Another bonus was chatting with a fellow walker who arrived as I was ready to go. He always feeds the squirrels and told me there is a new walker who is feeding them as well. The new guy is enamored with the squirrels and brings big bags of peanuts for them. So no more angst about my furry pals at the Park.
I added three miles to my total today – I am now at a whopping 103 miles (165 kilometers)!
[Lion and lamb photos are from Pixabay]