Winter wonderment

Two days ago it was 70+ degrees here in Colorado and I went out for a run in a t-shirt. Yesterday, the temperatures dropped to about 25 degrees. Today? About 11 degrees and the snow keeps falling. I’m trying to focus on the cozy aspects of being “trapped” inside. Tea, books, space heater. More tea.

I’m also keeping an eye on the feeders.

Northern Flicker. February 4, 2020.

S[he] who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.    ~ John Burroughs

 

Got to have the terror

Today is cold and icy. Again. Unlike two weeks ago, I am not venturing outside because I very much do not want to slip and fall again. Instead, I went in search of an appropriate quotation for this ice-encrusted day. I found the following . It speaks to me, despite never having directed a film. I read it as “Writing a novel is mystifying…”

Directing is mystifying. It’s a long, long, skid on an icy road, and you do the best you can trying to stay on the road… If you’re still here when you come out of the spin, it’s a relief. But you’ve got to have the terror if you’re going to do anything worthwhile.
~ Mike Nichols

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Suffice to say, I’m firmly in the white-knuckle, can-I-pull-this-off portion of the writing process right now. First drafts can be simultaneously exhilarating and puke-inducing.

In defense of not living in the moment

Lilac bloom on May 17, 2018.

The thermometer currently reads 18 degrees. The sky is gray. It’s snowing and blowing, and is forecast to continue like that through tomorrow morning. I try to live in the moment, to be mindful and present in my life. But right now, in this moment, I’m looking ahead to spring and lilacs in bloom.

Fight me, Pema Chödrön.

In the eye of a bomb cyclone

I’d never heard of “bomb cyclone” until yesterday and now Zippy has repeated that phrase so many times Zebu and I are debating drinking a shot every time he says “bomb cyclone.” Might as well have some fun with it, right?

The wind is blowing hard and swirling every which way. Windows on all four sides of the house are affected.

 

North. South. East. West. Everywhere I look is a snowy-blowy mess. Bomb cyclone.

Oops, everyone take a drink!

 

Bunny Monday

I just got back from a 4-mile run around the neighborhood. Emma started with me and then bailed at about 3/4 of a mile, possibly due to it being only 27 degrees. But it all worked out because as I dropped her off at home, I had the sense to put on my mask. Suddenly, it felt quite pleasant out there.

And when a bunny ran in front of me, I grinned and remembered that it’s Bunny Monday!

I’m sorry I don’t have a bunny photo to share, but here I am at home again, reenacting my Bunny Monday grin.

We would be robots

Poppy downed by May hailstorm before it had a chance to bloom.

If we were to lose the ability to be emotional,
if we were to lose the ability to be angry,
to be outraged,
we would be robots.
And I refuse that.

~  Arundhati Roy

 

Good thing there’s no such thing as climate change

In the last ten months, every house in our neighborhood got a new roof following a hailstorm last summer. In fact, roofers were working on a neighbor’s house minutes ago when the sky turned dark and another hailstorm blew in.


As Marcel watched, hail drifted up against the sliding glass door within minutes.

Here’s a view out the front window.

I’m very worried this storm just ruined all the new roofs. Again. I hope I’m wrong because otherwise there’s a whole lotta shingles headed for the landfill and a whole lotta hammering in our futures.

If you move it, they will come

For years our main bird feeder hung off a branch near the trunk of our red maple. We had a great view from our dining room window and spent many happy hours watching the birds. The good news is our maple tree has thrived in our yard (our one and only true success with planting trees at this house), but the bad news is that we could no longer see the feeder due to all the growth.

Out of sight equaled out of mind, and filling the feeder became hit and miss. For the most part, the birds gave up on us.

Today we purchased a feeding pole and moved the feeder to its new location outside the other dining room window.

The feeder is located next to the stump from the ash tree that used to reside here but has since passed on.

The feeder is now located next to the stump from the ash tree that resided there before succumbing to our bad tree juju.

The feeder is now also located close to where our bird bath was situated. We foolishly left our heated bird bath out there all season and it fell victim to the same hail storm that destroyed our roof. We were (and still are) sure there’s another unheated bird bath somewhere in this house, but we’ve been unable to find it. So today we finally caved in and bought another one (which Zippy insists means we will find the missing bath), and set it up on the patio.

This bath seems to be the one stable structure out on our ever-shifting patio.

The insurance company is replacing our heated bath, but we won’t put that one out until the temperatures drop.

Now all that’s left to do is sit back and wait for the birds to find us again.

 

 

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Mixed feelings

Three years ago Zippy and I finally faced reality and replaced the shake shingles on top of our house. Our former neighbors, the ones higher on the hill than us and with a view of our roof from their kitchen, were thrilled.

We were tired of retrieving shingles from the yard every time the wind blew. Also, we were concerned the roof might start leaking.

The main reason we’d delayed action was that we couldn’t decide on the type of roof we wanted. Actually, that’s not true. We knew we wanted a steel roof because it was a more sustainable and environmentally benign material than asphalt shingles. But our budget finally pushed us toward asphalt and we consoled ourselves with the knowledge that the house had had the same roof for many, many years and that the new roof would last another many years.

Wrong.

A while back, my neighborhood was hit by a hail storm that ruined every single roof. (Except for the steel roof two streets over). Every day there’s hammering somewhere in the neighborhood. Today, that hammering is close to home.

Not my roof, but the same scenario.

Not my roof, but the same scenario.

Right now there’s a roll-off dumpster in my driveway filled with three-year-old shingles torn from the roof. Tomorrow the roofers will install a new asphalt shingle roof.

While I’m grateful for my home and the literal roof over our heads, I also feel a great sadness. We’re sending another load of waste to the landfill.

 

 

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A Little Pema for a Windy Day

I believe I’ve mentioned my aversion to wind. If not, suffice to say I do not like the blowy.
The blowy sets me on edge. I don’t enjoy listening to wind when I’m tucked into bed, I don’t like wind pushing me around when I’m running outside, and I don’t appreciate wind sucking (blowing) the life out of everything.

Today is a very windy day.

Enter Pema Chodron from When Things Fall Apart:

The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever.

Okay, Pema. I have met the wind and I hear its sound.

Windy day 014

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Picture this: Tracy trapped inside her house, armed with nothing but a camera, as rain pours down outside.

Someone left the Kong out in the rain...

Someone left the Kong out in the rain…

Mourning Dove 005

Nothing like waterlogged nut-munch...

Nothing like waterlogged nut-munch…

Squirrel rainy day shots 030

Birds squirrels & rainy day shots 031     Birds squirrels & rainy day shots 032

Leaves in puddle 040So far all this rain in my neighborhood has only added up to really, really soggy ground, but just 20 miles away the city of Boulder is flooding. It would be best if the rain stopped falling. I’ve got no pull, but perhaps the weather goddesses will listen to Batman:

“I am vengeance. I am the night. I. AM. BATMAN!”Batman in rain 007I believe the rough translation is: KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE RAIN, YO!!!

(Damp) Bird on a Wire

We’re experiencing uncharacteristically wet weather here in Colorado and are in day four (I think?) of off-and-on-again rain. Dare I say it? Yes, I dare: It’s exceedingly  M-O-I-S-T around these parts (apologies to those who loathe that word but I could not resist).

This morning I looked out and saw a member of the typically debonaire American Kestrel species out on the wire. In the rain.

bedraggled American Kestrel

bedraggled American Kestrel

I thought about offering an umbrella, but the always-present-even-under-wet-circumstances imperious kestrel-tude let me know it was best to keep quiet.