For the first time in two weeks the temperature is well over freezing. The last time I looked, it was 41°, and that is a blessed warm-up from -20°! I’m noticing the sun’s higher location, too—now it clears the trees on the hill to our south, making the day seem much brighter than is was even a week ago.
The huge pile of snow in front of the locust beside the chapel will be there for some time to come; it’s over five feet tall, and is made of more ice and dirt than snow now. But the treacherous ice patches along the curb all melted today, in part because the sunlight now reaches under the locust.
The snow pile is doomed.
The ducks are in full molt, and this warmer day must be quite a relief to them, too. Wing and tail feathers don’t add much in the way of body warmth, but still … the ducks look more comfortable to me as they hunker down under the bushes, waiting for new feathers to form and start pushing their way down the quills. Molting takes a lot of energy, and relief from the sub-zero weather of the past few weeks must help.
Winter is hard on everyone and everything. Even in dormancy, there is a sense of struggle in the darkness. I feel that way myself along about now. It takes a lot of effort and close attention to notice that all is not hopeless. Spring is coming, and there are tiny signs all over the place.
I know this is true, even though it’s just too darned cold to go out and look for them.