I try to encourage the Old Man with a smile. The winter shadows cling along with the crusty snow that outlines the skeletons of the trees.
Eventually, the sun hits the dark bark of the big oak tree and I feel like I am seeing some rare and beautiful episodic painting that lasts only a few minutes and then melts into day,
I have been sleeping on and off all night. There are four or five pods of Canadian geese that shelter in our finger of the river. They erupt in cries and cackles periodically. Loud and arguing through the darkness of night, perhaps over whether they are far enough from the edge of the river to avoid that beautiful rust-colored fox that lives somewhere in the ravine.
Every year in the darkest of the night it sounds like a wild frat party across the stillness of winter. For Canadians, they are not all that well-behaved, until the sun makes their white breasts glow like searchlights, and then they get quiet and start their quick regimented paddle to the more open river.
There are four Mourning Doves that hang out near the bowl of seed and the heated birdbath on my deck. Some winters they just wait on the edge of the bath and enjoy the warmer air. They do not coo at this time of year. They are patient and can wait for their turn at the food, although I have seen them argue among themselves as to who will get that last sunflower seed. I do not see them chase others of a different kind. Maybe because they know we make them the symbol of peace. I think that dove above is flirting.
Well, now that bear is fully awake, I need a second cup of coffee. Thanks for reading.