Friday, January 7, 2011


Scott hasn't been feeling well for several days, so he's been home drinking hot water with honey and cinnamon, and lying on the couch in front of the TV.

Alas for me, that means I can't sit in the living room in the afternoon to have my daily tea and birdwatch. Not without listening to the TV, which frankly I need to escape at every opportunity as it's a great big time-wasting teeth-gritting too-much-frigging-advertising irritating brain-drain that hypnotizes me just as hard and quickly as the next guy, if I let it. I've been spending most of my daytime hours in the office with the door closed, and my nights in the bedroom reading, though sometimes I get stuck in front of the tube in the evening too if I'm not careful.

For the deep relaxation that comes from 15 minutes of birdwatching, I've brought an old milking stool from the barn and set it against the outside wall of the house. After the walk, which gets my blood flowing, I brew a single cup of Red Rose tea in a travel mug and sit outside with the dogs. In my hand-me-down (thank you Aunt Jean) mink, ski pants, Sorels, scarf, tuque and glove/mitten combo, I am toasty warm, the dogs get their fill of petting, and I am content. The weather has been mild this past week. In 30-below it wouldn't be so welcoming.

Constant visitors to the oak trees are hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, redpolls and chickadees. Dozens of them. There are magpies that come too; not while I'm out there, but they check out the ground beneath the feeders every day and I like them even though they are despised by Scott because they have been known to peck the eyes from newborn calves. How awful is that. I figure if they get enough to eat they might not have to bother the cattle, though warm, moist newborn calf-eyes must be quite a treat to them.

Nature is too cruel.


  1. Okay the mental picture of the calves will haunt me tonight, my mind is a little too Steven King.
    But I am glad you haven't had to give up your bird watching while Scott has the couch.

  2. I agree with you re. the tv. And what a lovely relaxing routine you have. Those few minutes of contemplation are so important!

  3. I love this..."great big time-wasting teeth-gritting too-much-frigging-advertising irritating brain-drain". What a fabulous description of the TV.

    I wonder why we don't have birds in the Winter. There are woodpeckers and ravens and that's it. I haven't seen any other kind of bird since the early fall. I thought it was because it is so cold, but you're just as cold as we are, I think.

    I love the picture of you I have in my mind's eye. All dressed in fur and mittens and toque, with a steaming cup of tea and dogs at your feet...lovely!

  4. For 12 years prior to my marriage, I didn't own a tv. Then for the five years of my marriage, there was a tv (his) in the house. A tv I rarely watched, having fallen out of the habit long ago. Thankfully, as went the marriage, so went the tv.

    If you ever make it to Texas, you can sit with me in my backyard and watch and watch the activity around my birdfeeders and in the pasture - Cardinals, chickadees, dove, Mexican canaries, woodpeckers, numerous variety of finches, hummingbirds, purple martins, hawks, owls, and the occasional snowy egret. I often sit out there with my bird book because at least once a week, some unknown, migrating loner flies in. It is a very, very peaceful pursuit, indeed.

  5. Every once in a while I see a crow. It does not relax me.

  6. Nothing worse than a sick man. Hope he`s feeling better soon and you get you space back.


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