Tuesday, February 12, 2013
159 (years) and counting
I sat at the kitchen table this morning, as I do most mornings, reading the words of Henry David Thoreau. I am enamored of his journals even more so than I am his works like Walden. I like to follow along with Henry’s entries, reading a day at a time, measuring his words against what I see outside my own door. This morning: “...you hear the lisping tinkle of chickadees from time to time and the unrelenting cold-steel scream of a jay, unmelted, that never flows into a song, a sort of wintry trumpet, screaming cold...” He wrote this on February 12, 1854.
I can’t say that I ever thought of chickadees as lisping before, but I love the idea. The blue jays are perfectly captured, even as three zoom in to my own feeders, descending like fighter jets onto an aircraft carrier, scattering the chickadees (and everything else) as they screech to a halt on the feeder’s platform.
This morning the fog of yesterday is lifting. The sky is still overcast but threatening to clear. That won’t last even if the sun succeeds. Tomorrow, a bit of snow is predicted, possibly even a tad more than another dusting. Not enough snow for snowshoeing, but possibly enough for cross-country skiing, if I don’t mind scratching the bottoms of my skis a bit.
I will be glad of the snow. I noticed this morning how dark the woods were on my early morning walk with Dog and Baby Dog. For the first time in weeks I needed a headlamp again. Since early January snow has illuminated my path in the pre-dawn hour, and this morning I had only darkness.