Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cold, Bare Trees, and Birds

We are still dealing with nights in the teens and days in the thirties, and there is lots of ice everywhere. Brrrrr.

The season does have some compensations. For one thing, we can see more birds now that all the trees are bare of leaves. And lots of birds are drawn to the hackberry trees in our yard to eat the berries.

It’s nice that birds like our trees as much as they do, but we park our cars under those trees and, well, the birds are very dirty. This morning, I couldn’t see through all the bird droppings on my windshield, so I drove to a gas station to use the squeegee. But it was stuck in a bucket of solid ice. I dry-cleaned the windshield (sort of) with paper towels, but until the cold lets up, or the birds finish off the berries, our cars will remain very yucky.

Usually, we don’t even see the birds that visit because they come while we're at the office. But today, I was at home studying my tax classes when a flock of robins came to feast right outside the window. There were about a hundred birds, no exaggeration. From my dining room table, I could comfortably watch their chubby bodies wobbling on the frail branches or hovering like helicopters to get at the berries. I would have bought a ticket to see such a fine show, had someone asked me to pay.

Birds are also drawn to our yard because we have fresh water on the ground. Someone's water line is leaking uphill from us in the alley behind our house. The leak has created a treacherous ice field on our parking pad and sidewalk, and I’ve called the city to come and fix it. But pipes have broken all over Little Rock during the recent freeze – and the city workers are busy fixing more serious flooding in other places. So meanwhile, as compensation for the ice hazard, I get to watch birds of all kinds flocking to our back yard to drink.

And that's the news from Lake Wobegon. I still miss my friends. Hope life is treating you well. Cheers!

Here is this week’s picture of Honey. She’s way too young for a bike, mind you. But we were in the bike shop leaving her dad’s bike for repairs. And she really wanted to test drive this one. I wish you could hear the happy noises she was making as I pushed her around the store.

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