THIS IS THE DAY when so many of you got so much snow and ice… my Cousin Sandy measured 51 inches of snow and ice on the ground in her back yard. Friends wrote to me of taking an axe out to chop thru the ice on top of the snow to get to something they could shovel. Their stories were amazing as were the temperatures… one cousin had –8 degrees F, while another was at 34 degrees above in Alaska where it should have been below zero.
Here, on the Eastern Shore, we had been warned of “significant rainfall,” and got about half an inch. But most wonderful of all, the temps soared to 67 degrees. 67 DEGREES!!!!! OMG! After a hectic morning of DR visits and errands, I headed out to the yard to quickly plant the 2 flats of pansies I got at Bobbie’s on Sunday – a Better Late Than Never Christmas Gift! I worked as fast as I could getting the pansies in around the birdbath close to where the bright red coleus and strobilanthes were last summer, and in the Circle, around the little critters’ graves. The ground was soft and wet, still lots of leaves on the ground and the kind of debris one has after a rough winter.
I love pansies, and part of the fun of living on the Eastern Shore is having pansies all winter and into the spring. These pansies had been sitting at Bobbie’s for a while waiting for all of us to find a time when we could get together. Each time we planned lunch, it snowed. The first time I told Bobbie I couldn’t come up because it was going to snow, she laughed at me thinking I was making a joke. I wasn’t. That was the beginning of our bitter cold, snowy winter. So, the pansies sat and waited.
Our morning started with a visit with the Onley Possum Weather prognosticator… Opie Possum (or O P –Onley Possum, Only Possum! Official Predictor of GOOD weather)… We do not have Groundhogs here on the shore. They would drown if they tried to burrow in our soil, too close to sea level. We also do not have chipmunks or porcupines or bears. We also don’t have rocks or stones, in spite of the pictures of them in my garden, unless they are brought in from other places. Most of my stones are from PA, a few from Maine… I digress, again. Anyway, Opie showed up for a bedtime snack to see if there was anything left from breakfast, since possum time is the reverse of people time. As I saw him saunter across the yard toward the cat food left-overs, I made note of there being NO SHADOW! Spring is right around the corner! YEA! Of course, that corner just might be 6 weeks away, who knows. But Opie was getting a snack as I hurried for my camera. So you will just have to trust me on the NO shadow part.
Anyway, Possum in bed, Pansies in the ground, I hurried inside to get cleaned up for yet another Dr’s appointment when I heard a flurry of activity out the front window. My new resident hawk was back looking for HIS snack, but so far, for all the times I have seen him out here, I have yet to find any feathers around. I have never seen him make off with any little critters. Now, he might have caught some of the mice that have built their little tunnels in the ground under the feeders… I don’t know.
Handsome fellow, isn’t he? Just posing for his mug shot. Um, turn the other way, please.
I told him to head on down to Rat Trap Creek where there are a couple of muskrats, so I hear, that pretend to be weather prognosticators, but, frankly, I think they are phonies, just like the Pungoteague Possum they talk about on the radio. WE all know that was roadkill JD found and pretended was a live possum whispering in his ear that Spring was on its way. What’s with these people? The official weather Possums have always lived right here and we always give them a special treat on Possum Day. But we also protect them from the press and being taken advantage of by reporters like Puxatawney Phil. That is animal abuse! Poor thing.
And that’s the end of this tail.