Friday, February 27, 2015

Ruminations on a Single Snowy Day in Texas

Winter came late to North Texas this season.

Outside my windows, the streets and grass are white, the trees and bushes gilded with clinging snowflakes. We don't get the pretty ones with six points and endless variation. We get pinches of sizes ranging from scarcely visible to penny-sized,cottony fluffy stuff. It is falling rapidly, but the flakes are small enough now that, after three hours, we have maybe three inches.

We had sleet and freezing rain Monday and Tuesday, truly nasty stuff. The coverage was scant--although branches limned in crystal clear ice are rather pretty. Schools were closed then, because temperatures and wind were in the 20s, and the scarcity of such storms means our supplies of street protection are limited because of the expense. Better if people stay home a day or two.

Today, the snow came early. We were preparing for a noonish event. I had planned to go out for a few hours and went into my bedroom at 8:40 a.m. to dress. No precip at all. I came out 20 minutes later to find a full cover of white over the landscape, streets included. The cottony-sized snowflakes were falling heavily and rapidly.

I called to my destination and was told I was not needed, to stay home. So I have. I have spent a lot of time at my windows watching the birds. They have hit my sunflower seeds and millet like a high school football team finding a lone 7-11 convenience store open on their way home after the game. Much gobbling, shoving, intimidation.

I have put out food three times in three hours and will wait until later in the day for more. I don't know what has happened to the blue jays here; I never see them any more. I have had many cardinals, mockingbirds, and I don't know what the sparrow-looking bird is with a flash of pale green on the chest, many juncos, who look so round all puffed out. White-winged doves are actually fairly gracious about sharing. Late in the morning, however, a gang of starlings found the cache. I sighed. They were aggressive, numerous, and allowed no other birds in, even the cardinals, who seem to feel pretty entitled most of the time. I love their choreography together in the air; they must be fed. Today, I would even be gracious to the grackles, but none came.

The dogs loved it, not wanting to come in. Later inside, Brody wanted to play, chasing his tail and pouncing, dancing around the living room scattering the rugs. Gracie was intrigued, but highly concerned that it was a trick so he could swoop in and get her rawhide chew. (She considers it perfectly acceptable if she does the same, and if he tries to retrieve, she gives her bully bark you can hear three houses away.) Brody HAD his own chew, but she was not enticed. His exuberant dancing made me laugh.

Daughter-in-law called on her way home after her office closed to tell me they would pick my granddaughters up from school today, "of course."
I appreciated the call. It's the wisest thing. And I paused, just a minute, to remember.I used to drive 40 miles each way in snow and sleet, park six blocks from the office, and never missed most days. I played in it, and hot chocolate just isn't the same when you haven't gotten good and cold first, Wind chill currently is about 10, just two days after we hit the 60s briefly. Such go many winters in North Texas.

It is not to be envied, our lack of snow or sleet or freezing rain up till now. It may mean our drought will continue for the fourth year. Heard the other night that the Dallas-Fort Worth part of North Texas has gotten more rain than the rest of the state. Our lakes are 68 percent full. Lakes--and all but one in the whole, huge state of Texas are man-made--are at 38 percent elsewhere. This is the drinking, farming, irrigation water. We have no rivers. And every day, several hundred more people move here. Scary.

Today, for me, isn't a day to dwell beyond what is. I am fortunate to have warmth and shelter.

I have soup on the stove, chicken in the oven. A pretty view, and the weatherman has promised it won't last more than 2-3 days. A predicted high of 70 by Tuesday.

Sometimes, indeed, change is good.

1 comment:

clairz said...

Your high school team birds made me smile this morning. Stay warm, enjoy the beautiful snow while it lasts.