Today’s driving rain has turned into an icy wintry mix on the mountain. The trees, bushes, vines and bird feeders are coated in a thick layer of dripping glass. The boughs are hanging low in the road, scraping the roof of the cars. Branches lay scattered in the yards where they collapsed from the cold and the weight. Today is not fit for man or beast.
When I rounded the corner to start the drive around the lake, the road conditions worsened. As I climbed the last 500 feet up the mountain from the lake to my house, I slowed to a crawl skating on accumulated ice and sleet. Along the street all the snug homes with welcoming lights shining in the windows offered shelter from the storm. The windshield wipers slapped and I flipped the heat to high. I was eager to get home and out of the elements. Safe.
When I crept up my drive, I noticed immediately there was no movement anywhere. Not a chirp, a flutter of wings or any indication that there was life on the planet. It was a silent frozen world. Where there should have been birds snatching that last seed morsel before bed, there were none. It gave me pause.
Where do all the birds go in this kind of miserable weather? I have a screen of 35 two-story arbortivae. My neighbor up the hill has a large stand of hemlocks. Perhaps they huddle in evergreens away from the wind. I can only hope so.
My mother bought me a Chickadee winter roosting box that I have neglected to put out. First thing tomorrow, after filling the feeders, I am going to find someplace out of the wind to put it.