Vacation Rentals on Orcas Island
Tag Archives: birds
The alders are full of tiny birds. Because it’s overcast and we are at such a high latitude, everything is in silhouette by mid-afternoon and I can’t tell what the birds are. There must be over a hundred of them, fast moving. The look like they’re eating alder catkins but they are moving so fast it hard to imagine they can eat at the same time. Then, suddenly they are gone and it’s like they were never here at all.
Shortly after the cloud of little birds departed, a light rain started, a reminder to bring in enough wood for a couple of days, though it’s not cold, just damp. We’ve been promised serious rain (flood watch over all of Western Washington for the next few days) and it’s good to be prepared. That means a good fire, a great book (in this case, In the Woods by Tana French), hot soup with warm homemade crackers. The (normally outdoor) cats are waiting to get in, one at each glass door. They know it’s going to be a cozy evening.
It’s been two nights since it first started snowing and the temperature has been dropping ever since. Right now, according to my trusty thermometer, it’s just under 20 degrees F. The wind is howling. Yep, it a nor’easter, meaning the wind whips down from the Fraser Valley, right after it leaves the Arctic tundra. View of the water with its big waves is just magnificent, if you like to watch storms from the window of a warm room. The snow is swirling. Flakes today were tiny: a really dry snow. We have just over three inches, though it’s hard to tell because the last snowfall blows around a lot after it lands.
I’d post a picture of Frog in the snow and of the big waves, but, alas, my camera is broken. So instead, I’m posting a picture of a pigeon who was beginning to write a message in the snow. I took the photo a couple of years ago when we were living in Seattle for the winter. Do you remember that winter? Didn’t get above freezing for about thirteen days and the buses stopped running and Mayor Nichols began losing his job because of the weather, and how he didn’t manage street clearing and public transportation in a way that suited the voting public. Well, it’s snowing in Seattle even as I write this and the new Mayor is probably practicing his new religion, praying to the weather gods.
One garden note: There is a huge beautiful cauliflower that I should have cut before the freeze, but I forgot. Now I’m wondering if I can cut it frozen if I cook it right away. Worth a try anyway, particularly if I roast it. With garlic. And parmesan cheese sprinkled on right at the end. (Now it’s a few hours later and the frozen cauliflower has been cooked. The flavor is fine but the texture is a little rubbery.)
Anyway, I hope I get a new camera soon and I hope it warms up soon. (And, I’d like to tell you the rest of the message the pigeon wrote back in 2008, but it’s kind of personal.)