December here began with a few unseasonably warm days, sixty-degree ones that had me imaging that poor old Al Gore was on the right track and that maybe, just maybe, there'd be no winter this year. No freezing rain, no ice storms, no blizzards. No shoveling white cement for hours at a time. No aching back and frost-bitten fingers, no snot icicles hanging from reddened lips. No heating bills to make the heart sink, no frozen pipes, no gloves and hats and earmuffs, boots or thermal socks.
Now it's turned cold as hell. I bought forty pounds of bird seed yesterday and today I put up our bird feeder. It's our winter home entertainment center. For a relatively modest investment in time and seed, we have drama and comedy all winter long. It's better by far than most of the crap on TV. Without the ads.
After pouring seed into the feeder, I asked Judy who she thought would be our first customer. She said, "A cardinal." I put my money on a blue jay.
Twenty minutes later we looked out to see a cardinal and a blue jay chowing down. A brace of sparrows and a red-headed woodpecker appeared. They'll soon be joined by finches, chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, junkos, robins, starlings, mourning doves. And squirrels.