THE CHANGING SEASONS MARCH 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, March 2020


I suspect we will all remember this as the month during which we saw the full-throttle arrival of Coronavirus. My birthday was March 11th and we went out to dinner. The following day, they closed Massachusetts and much of the rest of the country. Interesting birthday. Interesting times.

My picture taking opportunities are limited to whoever flies to our deck to eat from the feeders … and will hold still long enough for me to get a picture.

I have pictures of lots of Goldfinches, House Finches, and a few common sparrows as well as flying squirrels and three young raccoons who come to raid our seeds every night.

They eat by sticking their paws into the holes in the feeder and pulling out pawsful of seeds, dropping about half of them on the deck in the process. This inspires all the ground birds to show up the next day to eat the seeds, though they never really clean up the mess that the raccoons make.

For flowers, we have some crocuses as well as some healthy orchids. Otherwise, we haven’t been anywhere except the grocery to pick up prescriptions or something to drink, bread, and cream cheese.

There’s no delivery here for anything. Not groceries or medication. They will mail drugs, but that takes a few days and I have a tendency to not realize I’m out of that medication until I’m really out of that medication. Garry’s even worse than me — AND our mail has a funny way of not showing up in any reasonable time frame.

Part of the problem is that even when our post office is fully staffed, there are only three or four deliverers for this area. Now, there are maybe two still working. Everything is being delivered very slowly including shipments from Amazon. I have stuff that’s been waiting for more than a month for delivery.

I am grateful to the orchids and the birds. All our Goldfinch have turned brilliant yellow, ready for mating. The House Finches are richly red and the Brown-headed Cowbirds are back.

42 thoughts on “THE CHANGING SEASONS MARCH 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Oh I feel I might have to order a Trail camera to see what action is happening about my place at night. Yours is so busy. I love the photo of the flying squirrel and am amazed at how the feeder does not seem to move on their landing on it. I also find the photograph of the raccoon climbing up onto the deck endearing. Do you ever pick the stamens out of your purple crocus? They look like they are the saffron types. I have picked thousands of stamens out of crocus, for a friend who is a saffron grower here in Tasmania. It is why it is such an expensive spice. Sorry to hear about your mail problems. We are so fortunate here in Tasmania at present. Some things are not available but no where near as bad as it seems in some areas of the US.

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  2. I believe everything was ordered closed here at 10 PM on the 16th. I guess that was to stop bars from having big gatherings on St. Patrick’s Day. Some smart guys had big parties instead. One guy who was interviewed on SKYPE from his hospital bed is sorry now.

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  3. Pingback: The Changing Seasons, March 2020 | Zimmerbitch

  4. Happy Birthday Marilyn (very belated).
    We had a similar experience with T’s birthday around the same time. We went to Christchurch for the weekend (originally we’d thought Sydney or Adelaide). Things were a bit panicky in Auckland, but down south life felt peaceful and normal. There wasn’t even any panic buying of toilet paper! We were barely home before everything changed.
    Your photos are wonderful; it gives me such joy to see unfamiliar birds — and the raccoons. And your orchids are beautiful.
    Hope you are both safe and well.

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    • We are doing our best, but I really feel like the sword of Damocles is hanging over everyone’s head. My doctor says that neither Garry nor I should go out for ANY reason at all. This can be difficult because they are shutting even more businesses … and there aren’t many businesses open in the first place. Even before they closed mostly everything, we didn’t have a lot of businesses — ONE grocery with a pharmacy, a lumberyard, a few places that cut hair and do fingernails and a really atrocious Chinese restaurant. If they close the liquor stores, there will be riots. We don’t drink, but a riot sounds like more fun than we are currently having! Our football team put their airplane in the air, flew to Russia and brought back a couple of million ventilators and proper masks for our hospitals. It’s nice to see someone with a lot of money using it well. I’ll have to be a better football fan.

      I hope you and T are doing well — or at least managing. It’s a good time to be retired. We may not have much money, but at least no one can fire us.

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    • It’s a very cheap night camera, a Neewer Trail Camera. $65 from Amazon. For a couple of hundred more, you can get a much better camera and if you have serious money, you can get a GREAT camera. But this one at least shows us who is hanging out on our deck. I didn’t even know we HAD flying squirrels, but I suspected the raccoons.

      It’s not a bad camera for seeing what’s happening in the woods. It would work better if we had more distance between the camera and the subject, but it’s a small deck, so we either shoot the woods where we might see deer (maybe, if they show up) or the feeders where there’s always some kind of action.

      I love the flying squirrels. They totally tickle my fancy. I want one gliding around my house. Not very practical, hilarious in a time of not great hilarity. Now, if ONLY it would stop raining for a while.

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  5. Did you see the video on line of the little squirrel sitting and eating at a picnic table? This man had a lot of squirrels in his yard, so he built them a picnic table/chairs attached to his fence. A little bowl of food sits atop so the squirrel can nibble. Does Owen have any stray lumber around…? 😀

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        • Owen is just one of the millions of people in the same or worse position. At least he knows that his job will still exist when this is over. And while retirement money isn’t big money, it’s steady money and no one can fire us. NOR can they take any of it if we fail to pay other bills. It’s safe money. Whoever thought social security would be better than anything?

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  6. I love your photographs, Marilyn. Everything is so colourful and interesting. We also can’t get home deliveries. The grocery store said a delivery will take 2 weeks so that isn’t much good. I haven’t tried the chemist yet as I got everything we needed just before the closure.

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    • I take mountains of blood pressure medication and pain meds for my spine and something to help me sleep because I have been a major insomniac since I was pretty young. But these days, I really need sleep. Those five hour nights don’t do it for me anymore. I’m good for about two more weeks but after that …

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