Monday, December 10, 2007

Dandelions in December


The children are working up a sweat in bare feet, playing at the park. They're happier than dogs at Petsmart, but do they wish for a snow day? I do. It shouldn’t be this way. Those children should be wearing warm jackets with an optional hood attached. This is not the Deep South. We should be enjoying hot soup and a fireplace blazing in the evening.


A small black snake moved into the garage yesterday – after a cold week, the suddenly rising temps forced it to look for cooler and moist living quarters. An angry and threatening snake it was, but Michael relocated it up the hill into the rocky culvert where it will no doubt make its way back down the hill for a drink and better living quarters. Michael needed a little time to recover after the capture and release!


The summer breezes are still with me. A wasp tickled my wrist and flies made their way inside the house. The summer we had and the heat has been hauntingly endless! The freezing nights left the house cold enough to wear sweaters and jackets indoors but we needed to shed them outdoors. That’s the way it will be for many days ahead. I keep reminding myself that we are not living through an ice storm, hence I should not complain...but


I walked the campus today and wish I could describe the dryness with my photos and somehow make those who don’t notice, hear the sound of lifeless, dry earth under their feet. It’s never been so dry and unseasonably warm here or anywhere I’ve lived. How does 80 F degrees sound during the holiday season? Not good for me!


Construction workers live and breathe dirt and dust, month after month. After a mile walk, I felt the grit on my skin. I heard only two Chickadees. The blasted drought is sucking the life away…

Three voice mail messages on my cell phone were waiting for me when I returned from my walk. An elderly lady inquired about her husband’s health records being transferred and left a very detailed and anxious message three times, five minutes apart. As a favor to her, I returned her calls, wanting to let her know she did not reach the doctor’s office but reached me, instead. I was certain I dialed correctly and her distinctive voice shot back at me loudly and clearly, screaming accusations of harassment, and swearing that she didn’t use the phone at all during the day. Sure, I was angry and shocked, but I couldn’t help but feel much sympathy for her…she needed a hug. I wiped the grit from my face and returned to working on budgets while counting the minutes until quitting time.


At home, I rushed outside while the shadows were beginning to hide a few gifts of life in the yard. These views save my sanity on days like this.





The suet cakes are beginning to melt. We might need air conditioning tonight.



Carol Michel said...

I agree, air conditioning in December is just wrong, in so many ways. Hang in there, you are bound to get rain someday soon!

mon@rch said...

The warm temps is soo wrong! I am jealous for sure. Want my snow, freezing rain?? Love your photos with Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, etc..

JeanMac said...

Great post as usual. We are in a chilly time enduring -5. It could be -20 or -25 so no complaining here.

Unknown said...

It would seem strange to me not to have snow at this time of year. But after the holidays it could go away and I would be fine.
Isn't it nice to be able to come home and see the birds. I feel just like you.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mare, it's just been a whole year of wild & crazy weather, hasn't it? On our local weather last night, the meteorologist pointed out that so far December has been the ONLY month this year with consistently *below normal* temps.

Love your cardinal and sparrow pictures! Thank God for the birds that can make even a crappy day finish up good.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am so sorry you are still drought ridden. UGH I can just feel the dust as you walked.

I am glad you can get some good pictures. Hopefully they will cheer you. They certainly cheered me.

How can you even think about christmas with this weird weather going on? Too bad you can't have some of Monarch's snow and Ruthie,s cooler weather.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Mary - you should move to Brittany in France - we've had SO much rain these last days - the ground is SO wet and waterlogged - perhaps we could pipe some over to you! It's generally not so wet at this time of year - that usually happens Jan/Feb! Aside from discussing the weather .. I love your bird photos - particularly the nuthatches!

dguzman said...

Ah, the south... We're getting chilly drizzly mist here now, and we're supposed to get some freezing rain and sleet tomorrow. What fun!

What we need is some place that's about 75 degrees all year round, with a cool ocean breeze going all the time... and birds. A private island, just for us flockers!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I just read a news article about your persistant drought conditions. I'm so wishing rain your way. Sorry you had such a crappy day. Thank God for the birds- right?

Anonymous said...

Here in Western NC we are having the same type of weird weather. Today is a record-breaking 75! The freaky weather will play a number on the already stressed trees. Last year they blossomed and leafed early; then the "Easter freeze" killed the blossoms and the trees had to re-leaf. This was followed by the worst summer drought in history. And now this!

It seems difficult to say one hates a sunny warm day, but for many reasons I am not enjoying this crazy stuff.

Great post, Mary

Cathy said...

Mary, sweet Mary. I've been reading your recent posts. Your longing for rain, the Christmas spirit, the energy of your younger days . . . Sigh.

Your memories of your mother's Christmas window made me homesick for things that are forever in our past.

Your broken ankle anecdote made me cringe. That, dear friend - is a nightmare, but I guess it goes to show: things turn out OK in the end.

The pup's stroll had me smiling and smiling. The elderly lady's confusion and anger - shaking my head and thinking she was lucky to have dialed your number rather than a less sympathetic soul's.

As for those worms . . . . I bought a little container once from WBU and nearly upchucked when I opened it. The birds are going to have to get up a little earlier if they want worms :0)

Sorry, I've taken up way too much space, but had to mention that the Carolina Wren hiding behind the ceramic birds - is precious.

Marvin said...

Tis the season of dandelions and melting suet just doesn't have the right ring to it.

Loved your cardinal photos.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Your words on the drought definitely painted the picture in my mind. Hope you all get rain soon. My parents live in Alabama and it's very warm there too. We are getting so much moisture, the snow has now melted and we are getting a good bit of rain. It would be so nice if it were spread around a bit. I'd love to share it and the cold too. However, you can keep your snake. YIKES!

NatureWoman said...

Dandelions and air conditioning in Dec? That just sent a still through my body as I'm sitting here waiting for the house to get somewhat warm after being gone all day. I love all of your photos, Mary.

Mary said...

Carol, we are hanging in there. There's nothing else to do but wait.

Monarch, I'll take your snow but not the freezing rain!

Jean, get those blankets warm in the dryer!

Toni, coming home to see the birds waiting for me is the best part of my day. I'm sure you understand.

Ruthie, you are below normal and we are way above normal. Extreme weather is the plague!

Lisa, being in the "Christmas" state of mind is something to work on. I'm doing the best I can! After work it was 80 degrees but I went out back and strung lights on a crepe myrtle near the pond :o/

Miranda Bell, it's so nice to have you visit! I hear that Europe is very wet and has been for some time. I wish for you to have sunshine!

Delia, you are certainly in the winter mode up there. I'd be up for an Alaskan cruise at this point - ya'll can head south :o)

Dear Linne, it SO GOOD to hear from you! I guess the drought is making national news as is all of the other crummy weather across the nation.

Anon, thanks for commenting - it's so good to hear another Carolinian with the same woes... We are about 80 degrees today. Record breakers!

Cathy, dear Cathy. You never take up too much space in my comments section. It's good to see you again! We all miss you.

Marvin, it's not seasonal at all, but we try to have some spirit, even when the suet melts.

Hi Robin! And I would spread some hot sunshine around if I could...just for a few days of clouds or rain. We have plenty of snakes :o/

Pam, I remember the days of arriving home and turning up the heat or flaming up the fireplace. Maybe soon....

Jayne said...

I'm with you dearie... it was 77 here today, but the highs are to be in the 40's this weekend. It's hard thinking of snowmen when you are in short sleeves, hey? Love your cardinals!

Susan Gets Native said...

It was 60 degrees here today. Good for birding, but bad for Christmas spirit.
I was watching the Weather Channel tonight, and it looks as if some precipitation is coming your way. Let's hope so.

Alyssa said...

That weather you have surely sucks!Would you be able to visit someone farther north for the holidays? Or just drive where there is some snow? My heart goes out to you - I would be in a very bummed mood too. Things can only get better. That red cardinal can't help but make you smile.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Beautiful photos as always, Mary!

Here we have rainy and hot days! Much thunderstorm, too!

Q said...

Dear Mary, Goddess of the Endless Summer,
Dandies and bare feet
Cardinals are so sweet.
Please to have some sun.
It would make my life more fun.
I shall send some rain your way
If I can have a clear December day!

Chrissie said...

My goodness your weather is so different to Q's! It may change so quickly, keep your sweaters near by :-) Here it is warm in the sun and very cold in the shade. I sympathise with the budget, I understand completely :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mary, you guys are warmer than we are! We're in the 60s feeling like a pleasant fall day with bright sunshine.

kate said...

Your bird pictures are beautiful Mary! I am sorry to hear that the weather is back to being warm and dry. That is too weird.

At the moment though, the thought of playing in barefeet in a playground sounds kind of heavenly.

Susie said...

We've got a fire in the fireplace as I type this at 9am. It's only 38º outside! (this from "sunny" CA!!)
Loved seeing your bird pictures. As always, the cardinal is my special favorite :)

KGMom said...

Wow--I am behind in reading. Here it is--Thursday--and I see you wrote this on Monday.
I have been thinking about you, though, when I hear the weather forecasts and the mention of high heat in the south east, including NC.
Yes, it is weird weather, but I fear we may need to get used to this. Unless we change our ways--and even then, it may be too late.

Larry said...

The dandelions remind me of an old neighbor of mine.He was a tough old polish man who loved to garden and make all his own stuff.He used to make dandelion wine and boy did that wine have some bite to it!