Harbinger of snow . . .

A suet block hangs in my brother’s snow-covered tree in southern Ontario

My brother wrote to me that Sunday morning had turned into a beautiful bright and dazzling snowfest, and also, incidentally, that inspired by my bird feeding musings, he seems to have got the new suet block feeder up just in time! The little birds are very keen already, as his photo shows.

I’m wondering if the snowfall across the Atlantic might be the beginning of the moisture laden jet stream that’s said to be bringing snow our way for Friday. I suppose it’s hardly surprising that an expat Canadian might long for snow, even though the thought seems to fill everyone around me here with dread. When you grow up with it, it’s a fact of life, and I’ve never lost my childhood delight over a blizzard’s fierce blow and the snowdrifts that the wind carves.

Thinking of things sitting in plain sight but somehow managing to be unobserved, he also mentioned a sculpture from MetalBird.ca, of a cardinal that he said he’d perched strategically in the tree. I could not see it though I searched and searched. I wasn’t looking for the flash of red (cardinals are completely red birds, with a crest rather like a blue jay) but I wasn’t expecting the sculpture to blend into the branches either. Suddenly, and without trying, my mind managed to see the cardinal’s silhouette! I felt a little shiver run down my spine, then. How had I missed that one? But once seen, it refuses to retreat into the background.

I reckon it’s part of its charm, sitting there as unobtrusively as seems creatively possible, almost a part of the tree. There but not there, somehow. I’ve taken to joking with my beloved over my spy credentials, but she knows I could never make a good spook. I might try to blend in, but my accent will always give me away. That, and my delight when the snow falls.

So auguries for Friday might strike terror in the hearts and minds of everyone around me, but if the blizzard swirls around and the icy snow stings my face, as I trudge up and down the track, just for the fun of it, then I will be, for a little while, in very heaven.

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