cabin fever countermeasure

2.9.21 ~ solitary birch, Birch Plain Creek

I bundled up and braved the cold again. We decided to stay in our neighborhood for a walk in the snow. It’s been snowing a lot so far this month, and sticking around for a few days. I took fewer pictures this time out in order to keep my fingers tucked into my thinsulate gloves. We drive by this gorgeous birch tree often, but since it’s wedged between a busy road and a creek it never feels safe enough to park, get out of the car, and get a picture. So I finally walked down and got one after living here for 27 years!

red-bellied woodpecker

We heard this woodpecker calling and looked way up in the trees and at last spotted him. Not sure what he was up to but it was fun to see another being out in the frigid weather. I’ve always loved walking in the snow but it must be that getting older is making me much more sensitive to the cold. I’m torn between wanting to get out there and not wanting to feel frozen!

It was the kind of snow that brought children running out their doors, made them turn their faces skyward, and spin in circles with their arms outstretched.
~ Eowyn Ivey
(The Snow Child)

Birch Plain Creek, snow covered ice

This folding chair (below) has been sitting by the creek for years, but I’ve never seen anyone sitting on it. Sometimes it gets knocked over but most of the time we find it upright, ready and waiting for someone…

The bare trees are that smoky-lavender, gray and withdrawn. … I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.
~ Sylvia Plath
(The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)

One last picture before the camera battery died… Time to get back indoors! After we came inside it started snowing again. 💙

33 thoughts on “cabin fever countermeasure”

  1. Beautiful photos of winter’s glory. Had about 15 of the Flicker Woodpecks in my yard in a group. Just like the woodpecker you pictured in this post. Have never seen that many grouped together at once.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. Wow! That must have been an amazing sight! All the red-bellied woodpeckers I’ve ever seen have been all alone, I cannot imagine a flock of them. So many strange things going on. An injured pelican with frostbitten feet was found in Connecticut. The rescue folks treated it and then flew it down to Florida for rehab.

      1. My zoom on my camera could not reach to the back of this 3 acres to capture a good picture of those woodpeckers. Went out to sneak nearer, but they flew into the cedars. Lucky pelican – got to go to Florida.

        1. That’s too bad they flew away, but at least you have the memory to savor. Yes, that poor disoriented pelican is one lucky bird! He would have froze to death if he hadn’t been found.

  2. Lovely! I’m glad you got yourself out of the house in spite of the cold and snow. To me it was always a joy to find creatures abound and the scenery covered in snow…

    I’ve pretty much been stuck inside too. Mostly cooking and searching for a new apartment.. Snow has been coming and going here as well.

    1. Thank you, Jeff! 🙂 It was all a joy to see, as long as I kept moving and tried to ignore the biting cold. Sometimes one has to give oneself a pep talk to come out of hibernation. Oh how I wish I could enjoy cooking and eating again… Wishing you the best of luck apartment hunting! What a nightmare you’ve been living through…

  3. Your photos really show the starkness of a winter’s day. The snow makes the scene so “black and white,” in a sense. We have at least accumulated two feet here, My guy shoveled a path from our front door across the lawn to the birdfeeder. I don’t think it’s smart for him to shovel, but he’s determined to keep that bird feeder full, and i do applaud him for that. The woodpeckers are so grateful for the suet hanging in our back deck. I LOVE watching the flickers and smaller red-bellied woodpecker snipe at each other over who gets first pick. I have started hearing more bird talk, by the way. Are some birds returning from the south already? If so…. they’re too soon. It was 10 degrees here this morning.

    1. Yes, there was a distinct lack of color in the landscape, which is why I loved Plath’s mention of ‘smoky-lavender,’ describing the barest hint of a tint. Sounds like you’re having a good old-fashioned winter, like what I knew as a child in Storrs, Connecticut. I miss having snow stay on the ground but we’re finally getting a little taste of that here on the shoreline, only in inches, not feet! Lucky you, I don’t think I’ve ever spotted a northern flicker around here. Looking at a picture of one as I write this and imagining one sharing the scene with my red-bellied woodpecker. I think a lot of birds are confused by the weather patterns these days. Whenever we think of moving we dream of moving north, perhaps to Vermont. We had 11°F yesterday morning, and this morning it is a balmy 24°F. 🙂 More snow tomorrow…

      1. Flickers are astounding to watch. The couple we have are so big they stand on the suet feeder and don’t care how close we get, staring eye to eye. I think they know they are the winners! 😬😉

  4. Barbara. I loved the photos – and it must have felt so good to stop by the tree at last and find that cute little guy! I was out too – It is bitterly cold, 10 Fahrenheit, and a bit of wind. It feels sad to notice that I don’t enjoy being outside in this kind of cold anymore.

    1. Thank you, Leelah! Seeing that woodpecker made my day and I was so happy he kept calling until I spotted him. 🙂 So, I’m not the only one getting more sensitive to the cold — it fills me with nostalgia to remember those days when we could play in the snow without the cold biting us. Keep warm over there, my friend!

    1. Oh my goodness, Ally, how awful! My son-in-law must have had a similar experience. A couple of years ago I bought a suet feeder for my granddaughter so she could watch the woodpeckers at her house, too. When we asked where we might hang it (I should have asked IF we could hang it) he told us in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t inviting woodpeckers anywhere near his house, citing all the damage they do. I was stunned because I grew up in the woods and we had suet feeders for the woodpeckers but they never touched our house. They did their pecking in the dead trees. Well, I guess I can’t blame either of you for snarling!

  5. There’s something magical about walking in the snow — particularly when the sun is shining, the wind isn’t howling, and the temps are at least to the freezing point. We haven’t had that for way too long here. Thank you, Barbara, for reminding me how beautiful winter can be! That woodpecker looks like he’s as fascinated by you as you were by him!!

    1. You’re welcome, Debbie! Snow walks are enchanting, especially when the sun creates sparkles. Unfortunately the sun wasn’t out the day of this walk, in fact, the gray clouds were getting ready to snow some more. But these gray days have their own appeal — the woodpecker’s call contrasted magically with the quiet stillness of the scenery. I hope I can get some sunny snow pictures soon! 🙂

  6. I so enjoyed this glorious celebration of the beauty of winter, Barbara. Your words of calm and wonder describing the cold and your adventurous walk were a true joy. I love the story of the birch tree and how you conquered the dilemma of photographing it. And the folding chair that sits upright. Great quotes too, I espec. liked the first one, so expressive, by Eowyn Ivey. Thanks for braving the frigidity and sharing this marvelous day.

    1. Thank you, Jet! It was inspiring looking at the lovely birch from a totally new angle. Perhaps I’ll take this walk again in a few months to see what it looks like from the new perspective in the spring, maybe summer and autumn, too. Maybe in the summer it will be so hot that I will remember this frigid walk with a bit of fondness… (And maybe some day I will find a person sitting in the chair!)

    1. Thank you, Donna! Not seeing too many birds up north here, but then again, I’m not getting out much. Brrrr…. Plenty of trees around, though. 🙂 I will be so startled if I ever see someone sitting on that chair!

  7. Winter does have a certain beauty doesn’t it Barbara? Although I admit it is not on a city street where salt and tracks mar the snow-covered roads, but the pristine natural setting like you have here. I like your Red-bellied Woodpecker who is checking you out and it looks like Bernie took his chair to enjoy the fresh air and he went somewhere to get a mug of hot chocolate. I hate when the camera fires slower due to the extreme cold, or the battery doesn’t last as long and then you see a good shot and can’t take it.

    1. Winter can be very beautiful and was my favorite season as a child, but I grew up in a little house in the woods and now that I live in a small city it gets harder to capture the magic I used to feel. The “pristine natural setting” you see is carefully crafted by selective editing. One of my pet peeves about living here is the view out my front window, a parking lot and a dumpster. (Hence the birch tree planted in front of the window to obscure it!) I chuckled at your idea of Bernie sitting in that chair!

      1. I have not been to Lake Erie Metropark this Winter, but some of your photos remind me of that venue. I don’t have any view at all out my window and the closest to a natural setting is at the Park, a mile away. Right now down at the Detroit River, at Dingell Park, a small dog is on the ice, having been chased there two days ago by a coyote. I don’t know how it has not frozen to death and people wanted to rescue it and the police have forbidden people to go out on foot or on an air boat as someone went missing yesterday a few miles away on the Detroit River at Belle Isle. There’s some controversy over all this and all the news stations have been called to step in and thwart the animal control’s position that it is not safe. That chair is begging for someone to Photoshop Bernie and his mittens there. 🙂

        1. How terrible for that little dog stranded on the ice! It doesn’t sound like the story will end well. I hope by now they’ve figured out a way to rescue it without endangering any human lives. That’s too bad you don’t have a view out your window. I’m not sure which is worse, no view or an eyesore view. 🙁

          1. Well Barbara, unbelievably the dog’s cold-weather ordeal is over for the time being. They did rescue him this afternoon and interestingly, the Detroit River is still frozen in many spots and he had walked over closer to Canada, so a LaSalle, Ontario fire department rescue worker got him from the ice and brought him across to the shoreline at Dingell Park where a local animal rescue team was waiting for him. They had enlisted the aid of local police/fire/animal control officers who refused and closed the park down to keep people from trying. That was Thursday and Friday. He has been taken to a vet and you can see the story in this link. His poor paws were damaged and there was ice embedded in his fur. He also has pancreatitis but the vet did not say if that was a problem before the ordeal or not. They had some follow-up comments on Dingell Park’s Facebook page. No one has claimed the dog, but several people want it. They have a fund to pay for veterinary expenses. But he survived – a minor miracle. I wonder how my two domestic Khaki Campbell ducks are doing – I think of them all the time and wish I’d alerted someone about their appearance at the Creek.

          2. It’s a miracle that he survived four days in those bitterly cold temperatures! I hope they find him a good home, poor little thing. Thanks for the link — what an incredible story. I hope your ducks are okay, too…

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