Weather Minded

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on March 27, 2011

It’s been a rather uneventful few days. Yesterday, I was going stir crazy. I had called for a snow plow on Friday — my back decided it could no longer put up with all the abuse I was dishing out and decided to wage a protest.

Well, we had so much snow on the ground that the snow plow drivers were all being kept overly busy. Everyone is tired almost to the point of exhaustion. Dealing with the snow is one thing but when you not only have all that snow to deal with, but power outages, some are without water, others are worried about losing their food. It can be a very stressful time.

The plow truck finally showed up – the next day, but only plowed the portion of my drive that I had already shoveled. The part I really needed cleared is still there. I’m trying to be understanding about it but I’m pretty irritated. Mainly out of frustration, because I am unable to clear it out myself.

We tried to purchase a snow-blower in Sonora last week but the store clerks only have lawnmowers and leaf blowers to sell. Though with all this rain, I believe we will have need of them soon enough – we are going to have more grass to mow than ever before. Has anyone else given thought to the mosquitoes? The last few years have been overly dry ones (if you don’t count last year) but the added moisture will make this area more attractive to insects that may have moved on because of the dryer conditions. Bats might prove to be an ideal solution to the anticipated influx of mosquitoes.

I may have forgotten to mention it has been raining non-stop for the past 24-hours and then some. The constant rain makes it difficult to keep the birds fed. With all this snow and rain, it’s hard to know how and where to feed the little dears. I can’t wait to get up in the morning early to hear their fresh joyful chirps. It makes me want to sing but I must be quiet or risk frightening them away. They don’t seem to care for my bird feeders. Sigh.

I had to laugh last night. I have been feeding the birds on the deck under the eaves and leaving the shades up, in order to watch the birds eat. My son called to me at dusk, “We’ve got quail.”

Well, for some reason these Mountain Quail just give me a thrill each time they come. They almost always come right at dusk and in a large group of 10 to 20 birds (possibly more). The Quail are nervous little creatures. They will march down the hill a few at a time, and gather to eat together in a group.

I had put out plenty of food on the deck, right in front of the sliding glass door, which we rarely open. There were a dozen birds congregated there. I was kicking myself for leaving the camera on the table by the door but if I made a move to pick it up, the birds would get spooked and fly off. So, I stood there watching them.

In the meantime, Sandy, our cat, was talking up a storm, she wanted my attention and just wouldn’t be quiet. Then she suddenly figured out what was distracting me — keeping me from paying proper attention to her: The quail. Purposely, she strolled toward the glass door, stopping directly in front of the flock of quail — the birds flew away in unison. It was an incredible sight like you see in the movies and my cat was very proud of herself.

She finally had my attention, which is what she wanted in the first place.

As for today’s weather report…

It’s very wet out there but the rain has stopped for now. The sky is overcast, visibility is poor. The temperature is currently steady at 37 and could reach the low 40s but I wouldn’t hold my breath. The birds are making a huge racket outside. I could sit and listen to them all day. My husband won’t like it but I’ve been trying to draw in a few woodpeckers and an owl or two. They are such beautiful animals. I can’t help but admire them.

Do you think an owl would carry my cat off? I suppose it’s possible …

I’m headed back outside to watch and listen. Maybe I’ll even dig out my binoculars. Oh, the possibilities.

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