I watched two squirrels at the bird feeder this morning. I thought I’d outsmarted them last month after I moved the pole a few feet farther away from they tree they were using as a launching pad. Nope. The piles of bird seed under the pole and the well-fed squirrels around here are proof to the contrary. The happy little chickadees I was feeding early in the winter have been replaced by a posse of furry pigs.
The smaller of the two was sleek and black as ink. He had a long tail like a cat’s. He was lean and kind of twitchy… constantly on the move, climbing first one tree and then the next up to the highest branches. He was definitely the athlete of the pair. The second, larger one was slow and fluffy and gray. She spent an hour under the feeders with her head down, sullenly munching away at the seed the other squirrel had scattered.
It is the last week of the shortest month of the year. Can I get an AMEN? This is a good thing for chickadees, and for some people, too. I made it through another Minnesota winter without punching anyone for being too cheerful about the snow and the days of sub-zero temps. Not even the guy in the Sorel boots at the gas station who said, “cold enough for ya?” the day that it was 29 below zero. Oh, I wanted to. I really, really wanted to. However, the rational side of who I am knows that a lack of sunlight is just not a good enough reason to punch anyone. EVER. Because it would never stand up in court and I’d end up in a jail cell with no windows at all. Even if February does turn me into a sad, somewhat homicidal, Troll. So instead of punching people, I follow the dog around the house searching for afternoon sunbeams and take extra vitamin D and wait for April.
This morning, I made my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and stood looking out at the woods beyond the kitchen window. Overnight, freezing fog had transformed every tree into white lace. This magic act, set against the canvas of a periwinkle blue sky was breathtaking to behold.
Oh, February… dreary, loathsome February. Just when I’m convinced that there is nothing to love about you, you go and do something like this. And then I appreciate, once again, the beauty that is all around me here in this spot in the maple trees. Even in February, the shortest, longest month of the year for trolls.