06 November 2004 by Published in: in my life 1 comment

So I didn’t quite make it to a post every day this week, alas. That’s what I wanted to do, and I started off pretty strong, but things kind of petered out. Thursday’s entry was super brief, and I was planning to do an entry last night but Kurt got home sooner than expected and I had missed him too much to hold to my plan to blog at night before bed. I still have plenty to say, believe me, but having Sophia home all day makes my writing opportunities narrow. Couple that with a thousand little before the move errands and I just didn’t quite get to it every day this week. The good news is that I got to it almost every day. And tomorrow is a new week, with a new chance for a daily post.

I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I hate this time of year. I hate the cold, and more than the cold alone I hate the combination of cold and dark. Falling back sucks. It makes me feel like hibernating. I gave in and turned the heat on Thursday night, because it felt cold to me inside, which is all kinds of wrong. The whole point of inside, of shelter, is that it isn’t cold there. It got down somewhere in the 40s at night. It’s only the first week of November! I will admit, however, that even though I needed a sweatshirt for my morning walk, it was nice to have it be a little lighter then. Still, overall, this time of year is dreadful.

I don’t know how to dress for cold. It occurs to me that I may need to buy all kinds of new clothes for St. Louis, clothes that I don’t know the names and arrangements and uses of. I will need someone to tutor me in the ways of cold weather clothing. There’ll be gloves and layers and whatnot. I don’t particularly want to buy new clothes at this point as I’m still fatter than I’d like (but less fat than before!). On the other hand, being cold sounds miserable as well. I hope it’s not too cold this winter there, or I will lose my nerve about living away from the South.

In birding news, there is a female robin at our bird feeder who is wounded. Her wing looks unnaturally ruffled and she keeps one foot up at all times and it’s bent funny. She seems to be able to eat as much as she wants, despite the fact that she doesn’t fly so well, so I’m not too worried about her. I’ve also finally identified a bird I failed to find the first three times I tried to look it up in my book. It’s this one : <%image(20041106-LouisianaWaterthrushLRR.jpg|486|309|Louisiana Waterthrush)%> the Louisiana Waterthrush. The white eyebrow on the one at our feeder is really something else. Stark and well-defined, much more so than in the book and part of what made me miss it the first few times I checked for it.

However, the real news is in the birds I can’t see. I’ve mentioned that I have wanted binoculars, and this was partly because of the eclipse, but also partly because of two extra elusive birds in my neighborhood. These are birds I hear, but do not see. One is an owl. I have never lived in a house where I could hear an owl hooting at night, but now I do. Sometimes at night and sometimes on my morning walks I hear it in the trees. I’d love to lay eyes on it, but don’t know really how to go about that. The other bird I can hear frequently but have yet to see is a woodpecker. Some people are bothered by these birds, but I love hearing that rat-a-tat-tat as they tap on trees. I know if I just had patience and binoculars, that this guy would be easy to see. He doesn’t come to the feeder and he’s high up, but I can tell exactly which tree he’s in when and I know I could see him if I had better tools.

I’m going to miss the variety of birds that we see here, being on a migratory path and having a temperate climate. I don’t know for sure if this is the case, but I know I will have to do research before putting out a bird feeder in St. Louis, as it is probably one of those places where you have to take feeders down to make sure birds go south when they are supposed to or something. I hope we get some exciting birds there. I have no problem with sparrows and blue jays and cardinals, mind you, but it’s nice to see the large variety we get here, and to hear Sophia shout, “Carolina chickety!” and to scramble for my book all the time trying to name things. Ultimately, watching birds at a feeder is a little like watching fish in an aquarium: it’s less about the individual fish and their type than it is about their movement and their life and the peacefulness you get watching animals do what they do oblivious to you and your meddling ways.


Sat 06th Nov 2004 at 9:57 pm

St. Louis is still pretty south. I don’t think the culture shock will be as much as you seem to fear.

We don’t have weird invented clothes, we just wear the ones you probably skip over in the catalogs. :)

Also, I think this is the perfect time of year to move norther than you’re used to. I LOVE winter clothes. In the summer I struggle to find something to wear to work that’s more interesting or neat or girly than polo shirts or button-downs. In the winter I have a thousand sweaters that I love, and I get to layer stuff, like wear a tshirt that would never be nice enough for work by itself under a jacket or cardigan or long-sleeved shirt that’s boring by *it*self.

Buying a coat is fun. Buying gloves and a wool scarf and a hat is fun. Everything fits; it’s not like buying summer clothes or pants or skirts, where there’s frustration if you’re not the size you want to be. Any scarf you pick up will always fit. Any ladies’ gloves will always fit. Even coats will pretty much always fit. I like that.

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