Now our landscape sits frozen, eerie with its white pointed statues scattered about the front gardens, testimony to the trauma looming in the icy air. It looks more like a cemetery than the birthplace of a soon-to-be mecca of massive color.
Fickle are the sunlit days which lived here only a week ago when I had my lunch lakeside, watching ducks dive for their fishy noon-time meal. They, like I, had tasty snacks in the warm afternoon sunshine. Sailboats moved quietly in the distance while pups joined their human friends in a lazy afternoon stroll. Feet and paws moving in rhythm along the water's edge reminded me of how this place bustles with energy when sunlight shines its healing beams.
Yesterday my husband shared his pocket hand-warmers with his friends, the stellar's jays and squirrels and songbirds, who dine on seeds and nuts outside our windows. He added these packets of temporary warmth to fresh water bowls, hoping to keep the shallow water flowing so everyone could have a drink. Birdbaths nearby are now solid sheets of ice. We remembered that the tiny chickadees and other songbirds must have many extra seeds to survive the coldest nights so we added suet cakes for more energy-making feasting and gave the squirrels and jays their daily dose of peanuts. With tails arched high in the breezy air, the squirrels devoured most of their nuts as soon as we emptied the bag. Soon we saw a couple race across the rocky garden wall to hide some nuts for a future hungry day, then play chase in the afternoon's last light.
We will get lost in the Sunday Times and warm our bellies with hot chocolate before we amble into the morning's chill to hang orange slices from the evergreen limbs which protect our feathered friends. Then we'll draw straws to see if today is filled with a myriad of household chores or a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island!
Wolfgang Wander gave his kind permission for the use of his photograph of the Chickadee.
Please visit his website: http://www.pbase.com/wwcsig
and see his work and profile at http://www.nwpli.com/photographers/wolfgang/
Photograph of the Ferry: Courtesy of our private collection.