Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Uncommon and the Ordinary

Yesterday’s chill seems warmer already -- Minus six degrees at first light. Air is calm and very still.

Yes, it may be colder in some parts of the country but when steam vapors rise with every respiration of the goldfinches and chickadees, this is cold enough for me! One fluffed up little goldfinch was perched on a ledge above the clothes dryer vent; clearly appreciative of this warmer niche on a very cold morning. Other birds are lining the deck inches apart eagerly gathering seeds to fuel their own internal heaters. In the city our primary visitors were English Sparrows, House Finches and Rock Doves. So far, we have not had a single one of those city residents travel out here to our feeders.
I can think of few places where we have enjoyed so many lovely woodland creatures coming to our front window or door to entertain us. The cold weather simply adds to the numbers of daily birds and animals who come to visit. I am beginning to feel a bit like Sam Campbell with all the birds and animals that came to visit him at the Sanctuary of Wegimind, which was a game preserve in the forests of northern Wisconsin, near the town of Three Lakes.

Some of my best hours as a child were spent immersed in Sam Campbell’s books. If you haven’t yet spent time enjoying the wilderness with him, you can now find many of his books online. Our grandchildren now make a fourth generation of fans who have found joy and inspiration in meeting the animals through his books.

Lots of necessary, but not too glamorous, things happening today. We are waiting for a delivery of fuel this morning. Since there is a severe storm on the way we hope the truck makes it early in the day. Guess we will be selling our house in Texas today – now the question is can we find a notary before the storm keeps everyone home for the next few days.

Wow! Now I know that I am beginning to think like a senior citizen! The “man” came to do the seasonal cleaning of the furnace before our fuel delivery. I have grandchildren older than this young man! Amazingly, he is competent and efficient. I shouldn’t admit it but he seems to know his job better than some of the technicians who are considerably nearer my age and assumedly have more experience.

As a child, our preparations for winter were to get out an umbrella and perhaps a pair of galoshes (which we seldom wore). I never thought about “winter fuel” much less wondered --- “If I wait a week how much will the price of fuel go down?” It is really great to deal with suppliers and service people who treat us as neighbors instead of a number that is almost too much trouble to enter into a computer. One of the many things I like about living in the country is that neighborly sense of community. When the fuel truck left, we gave the thermostat an upward nudge and relaxed knowing that as long as the power stays on, we will be warm and snug during the coming storm.


Blogger Dennis said...

I still cant get over how fantastic your bird pictures are, thank you for sharing them.

12:35 PM  

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