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.