The frigid weather blasted into Evansville on Sunday evening. It was accompanied not by the poetic grace of snow but by lousy rain. I was so disappointed.
We did get a dusting of just enough snow for things to look festive as we watched the temperatures plummet and hoped for furnaces to keep working and pipes not to freeze. The lowest temperature that my thermometer registered was -2.8 degrees, and that was with gusty winds so the windchill was much colder.
Monday I watched a frigid sun rise.
Meanwhile, I’ve never seen my feeders so bird-encrusted.
I’m reading a new book, Birds in the Yard, Month by Month by Sharon Sorenson, the woman who writes a column about backyard birding for the local paper. I started with the chapters on January, February, and March, and she spends a lot of the time talking about how much energy birds need to consume in the winter just to stay alive.
The coldest morning, the birds were sucking down the thistle seeds and I could see that the feeder would be empty before dawn the next day. I went to the shed for refills, but the lock was frozen solid.
Holding the lock between my double-mittened hands.
Heating the key with a flame before putting it in the lock.
Pouring rubbing alcohol over the lock.
Didn’t work. Gloves now smelly.
Look at those poor, freezing birds, Amy! Do it for them!
Pouring a jug of hot water over the lock.
The tumblers released!
I filled the bird feeders and put the bags of birdseed in our kitchen so it would be easy to get to.
The birds weren’t the only ones who were happy about filled feeders.