That 40's feeling

That 40's feeling

Temperatures reached a high of 40 degrees yesterday! Call it a January thaw, or spring for a day, it felt good to get out of the deep freeze, to walk on ice-free sidewalks, even for a day.

Squirrels were running up and down the trees. Sparrows chattered from the rooftops. People were out riding bicycles in the streets!

Chiberia is not gone, even as a Saskatchewan Screamer is poised to bring a major winter storm from the Dakotas to the south and southeast–Kentucky and Tennessee are forecast to get more snow! This storm may bring some snow to Chicago, too, so keep the shovels and snow boots handy.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant is lurking like a stalker in an alley, or a carjacker at the corner waiting for the light to change. We are still living with so much uncertainty. Will we be buying N95 masks? Will we need another booster in the fall?

But even in the middle of winter, there is more light each day after the winter solstice. There are buds on the bare branches. Spring days are coming.

In spite of uncertainty, and fears that have plagued us going into the third year of these plague years, this is what 40 degrees in January feels like–positivity, lightness, hope!

Filed under: nature, seasons, weather


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  • Ahh, yes! Thanks for expressing hope so well!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks so much! It's wonderful to do stuff without fear of falling on the ice. What a gift!

  • Things are starting to get weird. There was a swarm of small black birds flying in circles, and pecking on snow on a concrete balcony.

    At least it isn't 20 below zero.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you, Jack. So glad it's not subzero! And the ice is melting away,for now. I wonder if those birds were trying to get water from the snow?
    The storm is forecast to be south and west of here. St. Louis and Nashville and Atlanta affected. Yes, weird times indeed.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    If so, the birds weren't too bright, as there is a rather full retention pond about 1/4 mile south, and plenty of snow on the grass.

  • In reply to jack:

    That's very strange! Do you have any idea what kind of birds they were? Starlings, maybe?

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Could be.
    A neighbor said they were hanging out in a line of spruce trees.

  • In reply to jack:

    The word birdbrain comes to mind.. maybe this is part of its origin.

  • In reply to jack:

    The birds are probably European starlings. During fall and winter they may be in large flocks, showing amazing aerial gymnastics when they fly. They were probably pecking at the snow to see if they could find seeds in it.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Thank you so much, jnorto!

  • “Hope” is the thing with feathers -
    That perches in the soul -
    And sings the tune without the words -
    And never stops - at all -

    And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
    And sore must be the storm -
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm -

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
    And on the strangest Sea -
    Yet - never - in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb - of me.

    Emily Dickinson

    Perhaps this is what jack saw.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Aha! That's much better than how I was thinking!

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    That's beautiful, AW. Thank you! I hope things are well with you.

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