Friday Five ~ Reasons to be grateful for an extended winter

Maybe I’m reaching a bit, but…

1. Bare branches reveal shy visitors:

Strix the Aviatrix

Strix the Aviatrix

2. It’s the perfect time to make this citrus salad with goat cheese-stuffed dates. Even if you don’t eat it, you might get some vitamin D just by looking at its sunshiny face.

3. Since the garden and lawn are still covered by two feet of snow, you likely have a free fifteen minutes to sit and watch this:

4. If you decide to venture out, you might see wildlife on the move. Like last night, when I was invited out by a friend to a great talk about the history of local brick making, and, on my way home, I watched a young fox cross an ice-covered pond, its deep red fur neatly outlined against the pond’s whiteness. Also, talks about brick making are fascinating and these are the types of things that only happen on winter evenings when we need an excuse to get out of the house.

5. You have a little more time to snuggle down with your books and prepare for National Poetry Month. As in past years, I’ll be posting a link on this blog to a different poem every day in April. How will you be celebrating?

A Barred Owl

The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.

–By Richard Wilbur, from Mayflies: New Poems and Translations. Copyright © 2000 by Richard Wilbur.

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