Hope springs: Sky and salt tide lines 2014

Feb. 11moonrise_2_12_2014

February is the bleak nubbin of winter. With holiday glitter a tarnished memory, snow and slush both present and predicted, it’s a granite time that winnows the New Englanders from the snowbirds.

And yet, the signs are there. Days are longer and the sky is somehow softer. My sunset walk is under candy pink and purple clouds, quite unlike the steely crystal skies of January. At the top of the steep road I call Cardiac Hill I’m stopped in my tracks by the sight and sound of 50 or more robins fluttering and chirping in a suburban yard.

One flies across my path, so close that I can hear his feathers flap. He’s too busy to be afraid of me.  Females and russet-breasted males mill about, socializing and finding berries. You never see robins in big groups in summer, when they are raising their young in  established territories.

Seeing this flock led me to find out more about these charming birds who share our yards with us. Looking here and there, I found that some robins stay in our area all winter, and it’s the scarcity of food that brings them together in flocks to eat berries.

Last year at this time, I was struck by the salt tide lines on the pavement. Here are some more.

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salt_lines_2_11_2014_1Feb. 25

Saw a pair of deer on High Street. Like the robins I saw earlier in the month, it’s probably the heavy snow cover that causes them to wander in search of food.

deerFeb. 26

It’s 29 degrees out, but a brisk walk feels great. By the time I hit the top of Cardiac Hill, I’m as warm as can be. The salt tide lines delineate the water flow down the hill.salt_tide_2_26_bEarlier, the sky was full of formless, misty clouds in the west and these fluffy ones in the east. The misty ones disappeared, leaving these to catch the sunset.

sky_2_26Green lights on Washington Street are telling spring to come along.

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