Watching Northern Flickers at the bird feeder

Watching Northern Flickers at the bird feeder leads me to only one conclusion, they arrive at the request of the squirrels. Lying down, and taking up an entire side of the feeder, one will swing its bill from side to side flinging seeds every which way. Soon the ground is littered with fresh seed, and the already-fat squirrels just sit there and nibble away.

This spring-like weather, here and across the northern plains, is unreal. Am I to mow the lawn in January? The tufts of grass here and there suggest so. Don’t say I didn’t warn of this with my snow blower purchase last fall.

If it does snow, it will be unexpected as one time years ago when I returned late at night from a business trip. Heavy snow had buried the airport parking lot and all the cars in it. Consequently, all the aisles needed to be plowed placing a mound of snow behind, or in front of, every car still in the lot. Next, there was a freezing rain followed by plummeting temperatures. So waiting for me was a 90 Honda with a concrete-like windrow of icy snow across its rear-end.

When I arrived back in St. Louis and back to my car, I thought I would never penetrate the slick drop-forged armor of frozen water encasing the doors and windows in order to get into the car. I did, finally. Then I thought I’d never get over the mound behind the car. Shoveling with an ice scraper does take time. I was able to drive part way out before the bottom of the car got hung up. Fortunately the front wheels were still on the ground – dry pavement being in the snow’s shadow  – and I could move forward. More shoveling. It was  very late when I arrived to the warmth of our home.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy what we can of this weather and prepare for whatever may be next.

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