Sunday, December 11, 2011

December at the Lake

Early winter. Only early December, so officially still fall. Cold, but not bitter, mid-winter cold, about 30 this morning. A rime of frost on the railings of the deck, and on the grass out front, and on the chewed up dirt where they dug the sewer line where there used to be grass. A bit late for the main migrations but there is a bunch of ducks paddling across the lake – I can’t tell what kind – and later another flock honking (if ducks honk; I don’t think they are geese) across the sky. Later, I saw a kingfisher in a tree, and a great blue heron wheeling around the lake. The bird feeder Herbie bought, which I cleaned out of its clumped husks a few weeks ago, is doing a good business, mainly goldfinches and nuthatches. And we saw a strange (to us) nest hanging on a tree in the woods, apparently belonging to a Baltimore oriole.

I sit in the cold with a thick fleece, and wool gloves, and a towel spread on the metal chair, with a cup of coffee and a book I need to finish. It is already light out, and the sun is rising above the trees across the lake. The lake is not completely calm, but certainly not too rough to go out on. It is just still a bit cold. Maybe later, if the temperature gets to 40 or more, after eating. The dogs, especially Fry, are jumping around, wanting to go for a walk. Even though they are not on a leash, running around near the house isn’t enough, but they won’t go for a long walk without one of us.

Yesterday morning, in the West, in time zones where it was still dark when it occurred, Nancy and Amy saw the lunar eclipse in the morning. Amy, farther west in Grass Valley in the Sierra foothills, says it was very impressive. In Kansas City the sun was already up, so the eclipse was not visible, but last night there was a huge yellow full moon hanging in the sky, reflecting on the lake. It was very beautiful here.

The trees are bare, the air is cold, and the coots that spend the winter here are not yet in evidence, nor the otters. But it is very peaceful, and very pretty. I think that you would have liked it, Matt.

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