Squirrels don’t like snow

Turned back from my walk yesterday at the ess curve. Face-stinging winds and the prospect of slogging miles through 9 inches of snow would have proved more pain than pleasure

Today  I held off until late morning because of cloud cover and a late sunrise (7:18).  Though still cloudy, the day was mild and pleasant. Also, the city plowed the park AND the Armory Street sidewalk (though it remains an icy terror).

I arrived too late to be greeted by the cardinals, but the crows were hanging around. A jay called over and over, seemingly all alone, but eventually I heard responses.

My pocket bulged with extra peanuts because I felt guilty. I imagined squirrels on bare branches with snow swirling and fur ruffled by wind gusts as they waited in vain for yesterday’s treat. I scanned the white blanketed ground and glanced up into trees as I walked, but I saw no sign and heard no skittering. I left my offerings and hoped they might square my account.

I made a mess of my field notes.The spiral bound pad got wet more than once. I jammed it into my pocket with gloved hands that lacked sensitivity. The edge of the last page is rolled and jagged with tiny tears. I smudged pencil marks. But it’s the last page, on the last day of the year: Monday; 11:25 AM, 33 degrees (F); cloudy. I listed jay, robin, crow, junco, titmouse, chickadee, cardinal, nuthatch, woodpecker and starling. Yet I’ve missed many life forms. So each day holds the promise of surprise for me, – and I am never disappointed. Tomorrow with a fresh notebook, I’ll begin another cycle of walks in the park.

I wish you a Happy New Year, – and for all of us, I wish that in 2013 more cities will act to protect and preserve nature.


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