February 21, 2012: Ever since I was young, I enjoyed watching wildlife in the winter– birds at the feeders, squirrels stealing the birdseed, whitetail deer meandering through the field behind the house, tracks of wild cottontails bouncing around the backyard. Taking a few moments to wander around the perimeter of my parents’ house in the freshly fallen snow on my last day home, I scooped up a handful of ice crystals and took a big bite. The birds singing in the trees were louder than the traffic a mile away on the highway. The breeze was crisp and more fresh, the stars twinkled brighter. And the cardinal in the pine fluttered starkly against the white snow. Grandma loved cardinals and I can’t help but think she might have sent the bird my way to thank me for coming.
When I was young, one of things which enraptured me was holding still enough with birdseed in my hand to have a chickadee land in my palm.