Frosty morning

I often rise quite early in the morning, usually before the rest of the family stirs in the rest of the house, so I try to keep my activity as quiet as possible. My time is usually spent at the computer, editing yesterday’s work or composing one of my self-proclaimed literary masterpieces. But the other morning, I chose to sit at my desk by the large window that overlooks about a third of the farm, the new barn, the huskies’ kennels, and the new building that was erected to house properly my fancy bantams and other birds.

My intention was originally intended to catch up on a little reading, on which I am always behind, and answer a couple of letters that had long awaited replies. But that did not happen. As I viewed the heavy frost on the outbuilding roofs and the crystallized dew sparkling with the likeness of diamonds on the lawn, I noticed the huskies eyeing something intently closer to the house. This was not unusual, as we have a house dog, but this morning the house dog, Foxy, was not yet released, so I rose to get a better look at what was grabbing their attention.

I was rather surprised at what I saw, for there on the lawn, toying with a dead mouse, mole, or vole, were three large black ravens. I am sure any one of them could have swallowed it with a single gulp, but they were just tossing it about as though playing some sort of game. There was no apparent choreography to their jerky waddle other than occasional sidesteps, certainly not the invention of a new dance step. It appeared to be not more than that of a mock squabble. This continued for a full minute or more before they all took off, uttering guttural grunts, to faraway places beyond my line of sight.

Later that same day, as I wandered to the barn to take a look at the two-week- old chicks, a bluebird fluttered up against the barn window. Then it happened again and again, but it was not always the same bluebird. It was not until I looked closer that I found they were catching flies that had gathered on the window, both inside and out. When I went outside to take a closer look, there I saw a flock of bluebirds, numbering, I would guess, perhaps in the high twenties. It was probably a flock that was gathering to get ready to fly south, which had just stopped to pick up a convenient fast-food lunch. They stuck around for well over an hour, and, loving bluebirds as I do, I can express my pleasure in no words better than that which the locals up here refer to as “eye candy.”

This past week, too, as we drove around the countryside, I saw several flocks of wild turkeys in the fields where crops had recently been harvested, and on more than one occasion, we saw deer crossing the road in broad daylight. This was accented one evening when my upper teen grandson came home late and said, “I hit two deer crossing the road, just next door at the neighbour’s. One hit the right fender and the other rolled up and over the hood of the car.” The deer ran off, seemingly uninjured, but the car was a total write-off.

That probably accents my signature line more than anything else.

 Take care, ’cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins