We got snow! Not the Big One, which had so many folks hereabouts dithering in dread and fear, while the rest of us awaited in gleeful anticipation…but a big enough snow to be fun—and breathtakingly beautiful. Somewhere between 7-8 inches here along the river; folks only a few miles to the north got more.
The bulk of the snow arrived sometime after midnight and before I got up and looked out just after 6:00 a.m. Prior to that, in spite of having snowed all day yesterday, temperatures throughout had hovered around the freezing mark, so most of the snow melted soon after it came down, while any that stuck was a wet slush…not quite 2 inches of the stuff when I went to bed. I was disappointed—I'd been hoping for a real humdinger belly-deep-on-a-bulldog snow. A blizzard would have been fine.
When I realized we did have snow, I knew the birds would be coming to the feeders in droves as soon as it got light—and knew the first order of business (before coffee!) was to make sure their breakfast table was set and served. It was still dark when I stepped onto the deck, but the cardinals were already in the big hackberry by the door, waiting impatiently for their meal. I swept an area near the base of the tree and tossed out several scoops of cracked corn. I made sure there were suet cakes in the wire cadges and topped up the seed feeders.
Even in the dark, I could see the river was full of slush. A wind was gusting, too; I hoped it held off at least long enough for me to make some photos of the fluffy piles of snow atop limbs and small branches.
I barely made it back inside the cottage before a dozen male cardinals and about the same number of females were on the ground and tucking into the fresh corn. Even on a morning when food would be at a premium and the key to survival, the redbirds beat their competition to the feeders by half an hour—and except for that lone junco, most species didn't show up for a full 45 minutes!
Once it got light—a glowing white since the sun remained hidden for much of the day behind cloud cover—the feathered mob moved in…woodpeckers and sparrows, finches, a wren or two, chickadees, titmice, more juncos and a lot more cardinals, starlings, a single blue jay, a pair of doves, nuthatches, and probably one or two others I've forgotten. Later the ducks, mallards, came up from the river and cleaned things off. I threw out a post-noon meal of corn, and another just a few minutes ago. No hungry beaks and bills.
Unfortunately, Myladylove had to report for work this morning. No snow day for her. Not that anyone who's lived in Alaska is intimidated by a few inches of snow…though she would have enjoyed the time off and the chance to get outside.
Moon the dog and I certainly had a fine day of it. I took photos. She loped and leaped, stuck her nose in the snow, wallowed, barked, wagged, and played like a pup. I love seeing my old dog frolic, though there's always a bittersweet recognition that time for her runs at a faster pace.