Back on Track

Long winter shadows

It is very cold and last weekend we had quite a lot of snow. In the park near my home the trails are almost deserted. In fact, as long as there is no wind it is lovely to walk in the brilliant sunshine. At noon it is about -15 and I got quite hot marching around the lake with my hiking poles. I am trying to train a bit. If Covid dies down I might try the Portuguese Camino. Got to keep moving!

A tiny joy

Snowy afternoon in the park

These two friends were standing in the picture- book snow, their hands outstretched , birdseed on their palms, waiting for tiny finches to come down and take what was offered.

Once again it was a struggle to force myself to go and walk. Instead of my usual track park. I decided to go to Angrignon Park. It is closer in and with huge snowflakes drifting down in a thick veil, it was a paradise for cross-country skiers and devoted dog walkers. I figured if I walked around the big lake a couple of times it would make up about an hour of exercise. I took my walking poles and it was a good thing as the snow was already thick underfoot.

I was fascinated to see the little finches come down to feed from the hands of these patient bird lovers. I arrived just as they were leaving and I called out to ask if they had had to wait long for the birds to come.

“Oh,no. It’s easy to attract them. They know people come here to feed them. We just saw two big cardinals too. Beautiful! “ I guess I must have looked like a bird-feeder wanna-be as one of the men pulled out a little container of seed and poured some into my hand.

“Go on,” he said. they don’t care who gives them the seed.” He and his friend walked off into the thick snow and there I was with a handful of birdseed.

And down they flew, one after the other. Their little claws wrapped around my fingers and the boldest of them stopped to pick up two or three seeds. One, a little smaller than the others, made a few timid passes and I thought he would never pluck up the courage to take a seed. Finally he did, however, and then his wings whirring, he retreated to the safety of the bushes.

My hand became very cold and after a few moments the little finches disappeared. I have had a few unexpected lovely moments with birds over the past few days. I wonder why.

It’s winter

And it’s beautiful. Close to my home is a large park. Today as I walked through to go to the Metro I noticed that the pond was starting to freeze over. The reflection of the few leaves left on the trees will soon disappear but the sky was still lovely. After a dark and dreary day, the clouds lightened up and colour from the coming sunset softened the mood. The Canada geese have left and the fat squirrels are almost manic in their search for food for winter. I confess to hating squirrels, a hold-over from my gardening days when they were my mortal enemies.

In Angrignon Park

I went to my volunteer English conversation class today. I had a chance to walk through a city neighbourhood where our family used to live. In fact, from my bedroom window my husband and I could see the bell tower rising over our flat. This church is one of a couple of Byzantine revivals built in the early twentieth century. It’s a magnificent building. The cold air made me take notice of my surroundings as I walked after class to get myCovid booster shot. I had my flu shot last week so this pincushion is ready for the onslaught of winter. Bring it on!

Against a winter sky