Poinsetta Red to Please You
The sky of winter is low, cloudy. No sun for awhile as if someone has the lights dimmed. Outside this morning, a small breeze had shot the wind chill down to a frosty minus 24. The chickadees are the only bird song these days, though song is maybe not the right word for their repetitive phebe notes, sounding like they are telling someone off. I see rabbit tracks leading to one of the bird feeders, the first sighting this winter. There is also a shallow furrow slicing through the snow toward the bird feeder. Unmistakably, a snake. That I have never seen before; I've always assumed they were snug underground in the deep months of winter. Maybe the recent warm spell enticed him out of hiding, like the houseflies spotted on the window pane last week. Hugging the house is a line of tracks that I recognize...house cat. I follow them and sure enough they disappear into the trees that face the neighbours' property; probably one of their barn cats trying her luck at the feeder. And it seems something has been lucky there...a few downy feathers stuck in the snow and signs the snow has been disturbed mark the spot. Poor things, so many creatures exist on the edge of hunger, a part of nature I hate to think about, but that is life too, life everlasting.