Saturday, February 12, 2011

Winter's Grip

Its been bitterly cold around here for about the past month with several spells of heavy...even historic snowfall. As I get older the winter's get more difficult, or if not more difficult then more difficult for me.  The birds around the apartment tend to huddle more closely in the thicker bushes and are less visible.  But the past few days we've had milder, more comfortable weather.  The temperatures have gotten warmer and the forecast is for 50's and 60's next week.

So today Amy and I went to one of our favorite conservation areas, Jame A. Reed Memorial CA.  JAR as we call it is a 3000 acre area with 11 lakes located in a suburb of Kansas City.  Its close to home and one of our favorite places to birdwatch.  At the right time of year you can see almost anything, with its lakes, wetlands, fields and forests it provides ready habit to many species of birds.

The land was still largely covered with snow and there was a constant chill in the air.  The trees were bare and ice still covered the lakes and ponds.  Snowdrifts and snow piles were scattered along the edges of the roads.  Ice fishermen plied their craft in once last hope for a winter catch.

The occassional bare patch of ground became the collecting point for small flocks of song sparrows, robins...and a bluebird or two. And the gravel roads had turned to slush and mud.  Red-tailed hawks soared over head and every now and then a bird would burst forth into joyous song,  One field was filled with the chorus of black-capped chickadees singing their hearts out.  With the hope of the coming forecast for warmer weather and the signs of the coming spring my own heart slowly started lifting out of its winter blues.  The stark landscape took on a brighter hue.  Winter was losing its grip on me and on the land around me.  The ice and snow of the past month are slowly yielding to a new season.  Even the bleakest landscapes are beautiful if you have hope in your heart.