The season of winter has slightly less than two months to go before it officially ends; as to what winter does from now on weather-wise, that’s anyone’s guess. We’ve had some mild days in the 50s and also some sub-zero days and a moderate amount of frozen precipitation so far.
We all know those people who are always washing their hands and then use a paper towel to open the door. They will wear gloves on the train even in the summer—or the occasional surgical mask. They may be germaphobes, but with this flu season in full swing they may be the smart ones.
As I sit at my desk, the rain spatters against the windowpane, eroding the ice and snow that had built up just a few short days ago. Feeling pensive, I can’t help but reflect on the past week, which was both entertaining and thought provoking—centered, in a way, around water.
The other day I came upon a wonderful thing in my driveway. It lay in a tousled clump and resembled a shaggy rag. Bending to retrieve it, I discovered a beautiful gift from the natural world—the slightly weathered remains of a bald-faced hornet nest that had broken free from a nearby tree.
I was 40,000 or so feet above the North Atlantic a few days ago, on my way back to the States after nearly a year away. I was speaking with my seatmate, a young German grad student in economics, who was traveling to Canada to visit his Colombian girlfriend, who’s at university near Toronto.
There are many theories as to why I am always so cold. My family likes to speculate on why I am always dressed in multi-layers. Why does she always have a sweater on—even in July? I confess: today I have on three.
“Curiosity killed the cat!” my mother used to warn, wagging one of those finely manicured fingers in my face. “Face it,” she’d say. “You’re too nosy.” Hmmph. “I am not!” I would shoot back.
January 10 was my designated day to perform my part of the New York State Mid-winter Eagle Survey. The target day for New York has usually coincided with the “fly day” (or days), when the aerial portion of the survey was flown.
So far, 2018 has been a rollercoaster that knows only one direction—and it ain’t up. I might have mentioned having contracted the flu, which began Christmas day and hung in far longer than anticipated, but that issue seems to be fading away.
As we were coping with a third weekend of deep freeze, my inner optimist searched for things to be grateful for. First, I am grateful that we’ve had a good share of brilliant sunshine on many of these frigid days, which lifts the mood if not the thermometer.