Rainbow Snow Day

Seated at the kitchen table, again and still. It’s been two days of snow now, slowly but steadily increasing the white cover on the back lawn. I have trouble, on snow days, moving away from windows. This window is large, a bay, and my shepherd’s crook birdfeeder is just outside, so needless to say I’ve spent a lot of time here in the last thirty-six hours. Part of the kitchen time has been taken with stirring up new batches of suet for my hungry guests. I’ve refilled the seed and suet feeders several times since the weather turned wintry.
All the indoor lights are off now, children tucked away to bed. I’m alone, husband working in the upstairs office some more. I left on the back porch light, and it makes sharp-lined shadows of the porch rails, a black grid on the smooth white lawn.
The day’s been far from black and white, though. I’ve had Roy G. Biv at the birdfeeder! Red cardinals, red-bellied woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, and red spots on the downy woodpeckers. Orangey tummy on our little house wren, whose tail feathers somehow got shortened but who still flies in daily for a nosh at the feeder. Yellow underwings on magnolia warblers, a first for me; yellow dots on the white-throated sparrows’ faces added to the show. Green winter plumage on the goldfinches and the tiny olive-toned ruby-crowned kinglets. The grackles found the feeder today, and they finished out the rainbow with their iridescent plumage, black shining blue, indigo, violet.
One spot in the yard is not white, and at first I was unhappy with the brown, wet place near the garden. Midday today I remembered that the birds need water on frozen days, and I’d started to plan a water station when I noticed a cardinal and a slate-colored junco sipping from the muddy spot. I guess I’d accidentally given them water already – the wet place is at the base of a composting pile of leaves. I’m sure the heat from decomposition was melting some of the snow and sleet, and the meltwater flowed to the low place I’m planning eventually to fill with the compost. For now, though, I’m glad I didn’t finish the project yet, as my delay became a way of attracting and providing for my colorful, thirsty visitors.
Away from the kitchen window, I’ve watched a movie with the children, tried to make snowballs, helped make a snowman, made snow cream and three batches of cookies, dried a lot of snowy clothes, nursed a child’s injured finger, and built a small fire in the fireplace. I guess I’ll move away again and head to bed.
It’s been a quiet and colorful, memorable day.

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