Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All God's Creatures

When the boys were young, we used a Countdown to Christmas calendar. It had a pocket for each day that held a strip of paper with an activity that would help us get ready for Christmas. Even though I haven't used that calendar for many years, I still like the concept of spreading out the holiday activities, and try to do one or two things every day to make the season less hectic.
It's been quite cold here.  Yesterday on the way to work the temperature was 4°. Today was a bit warmer, and tomorrow the high is supposed to be a balmy 29°.  This afternoon, when I tried to take a drink out of the metal water bottle I keep in the car, it had a half-inch thick layer of ice around the perimeter.

The cold weather means that the inch of snow that came down on Saturday night is sticking around.  Our deck is covered in snow, so it's hard to get to the bird feeder that hangs from a shepherd's hook on the rail.  Normally under these circumstances I'd leave it empty, but in the spirit of Christmas, the last few days I've been making a special effort to provide food to all the creatures that stop in to eat.  (Even the squirrels. In this nasty weather I'm not begrudging them a share of the food.)

The layer of snow makes it hard, but I now have a system. Once I put on my coat and boots in the family room I grab the container of bird seed and open the outside door.  I've done the job so many times now there's a nice path around the deck perimeter from the door to the feeder.  I fill it up, then retrace my steps back to the door.

The family room is carpeted, so I don't want to walk in with snow all over my feet. After I open the door, I set the container on the countertop right inside the door, shake the snow off one boot, take it off, set it on the counter, then step halfway inside.  I repeat the process with the other shoe.  Once I'm completely inside, I close the door and carry the snow-laden boots to the kitchen to dry.

I wonder if the critters know how much work I'm going through for them?


  1. The birds are enjoying our feeder, too. But I move the seed to a window box in the winter...I just open the window and fill! ha. Yes, I'm lazy. But we get to see them up close, which is fun!

  2. You sound like me making a beeline out to the pear tree with squirrel food. After a rain, our yard can be quite muddy from the patio to the tree, and it's clay mud at that. I either leave my shoes outside the patio door or come in on the rug and take them off, leaving them there until the next trip outside. I'm just glad it's not as cold as you have it.