Snow, glorious snow! So cold and so fluffy. That’s all I got, I’m too busy being euphoric. Watching the remnants of brown leaves shiver in the wind and beginnings of light snow delights me. I’m watching a squirrel go by on the backyard fence — the dogs haven’t seen it yet, so I am spared the frantic barking and the speedy exodus through the doggie door.
I thought that squirrels hibernated in the winter? This requires research — let’s see what Google says. All right, I’m enlightened now: squirrels do not hibernate during winter because their body temperature stays fairly constant throughout the year. However, in the winter, they spend less time foraging outside their dens, and it’s more common for several squirrels to share a den.
Ahh, I just visualized two or three squirrels snuggling in their little burrow, and in my mind’s eye it’s one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Apparently, they don’t eat a lot during the rest of the year, just gather their food in a stash, and during the cold season they spend a lot more time inside their den, snuggled up. Aww, a snug squirrel is a cute squirrel.
I have to admit, I don’t actually like them very much. Rats with lush tails, they are. But it seems that they are intelligent, and have a great memory, including remembering the humans who feed them. I remember when we were living in Des Moines, Iowa, these upper Midwestern squirrels would grow quite fat during winters, which can be brutally cold. There were times we would see them lumbering across streets, and getting hit by cars because they were too slow to skitter and run. Particularly harsh winters would find chubby squirrel corpses littering residential neighborhoods. That may have sounded harsh, and it certainly wasn’t pretty, but it was a fact of life (and death) for Iowa squirrels. But I digress.
It looks like it has stopped snowing. I am writing this on a Friday, but won’t publish it until Tuesday, so there is a disconnect in the weather reported in this blog. On Monday and Tuesday we’re expecting to hit 50s — an unseasonably warm patch. I know about this because I have seven weather apps — yes, seven — so I can compare and contrast their various predictons. Right now, I am counting the UVLens app, which isn’t a true weather app. I have told you before that I was a weather geek … ahem, weather goddess. Regardless of my self-imposed title, knowing about the coming weather (or lack thereof), helps me enjoy it in the now, the present cold and wintery moment.
It took me a while to realize how different my love of inclement weather was from everyone around me. My mother enjoys nothing more than laying out on the beach, enjoying the sun and the heat, and eating fresh mangos. For me, laying on the beach has always been a sort of hell, since it’s very difficult to read in the blazing sun. Also, I find it supremely uncomfortable to be hot and sweaty, and, excepting a few refreshing swims in warm water, the beach to be excruciatingly boring. But I was the only one complaining (mildly) — everyone else was having a good time. And even now, I hear people praise the warmth and the sun, no matter how unseasonable, and I want to lash out at them. You can’t take off more clothing than the law allows, I want to yell, but you can always put on another layer against the cold. Of course, I never actually do it — yell, that is, but the desire to do so is strong. However, I am an adult, and part of adulting is knowing when to keep my mouth shut. All right, I still have trouble with that one, but I’ve never gotten into trouble by keeping mum. As Mark Twain once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
For now, the weather is cold and blustery, and just about perfect. I hope wherever you are, the weather is to your specific liking.