I got up and went into the kitchen. It was snowing. Just a little bit at that point, but I knew more was on the way. They’ve been predicting it for weeks and it’s a huge storm. It’s still snowing in Chicago and New York. I think it’s snowing over most of the country from the mid-west to New England.

It was just a few light flakes when I got up this morning, but it got increasingly intense as the day progressed. It’s supposed to keep snowing through tomorrow and maybe into the early  hours of Wednesday. We haven’t had a big snowstorm in a few years. It’s easy to get over-confident that it won’t happen, but don’t lose track of your shovels and that guy who plows the driveway.

Chipping Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker

Today, there were the usual birds at the feeders. Goldfinches, older, younger and a few adolescents. Titmouses. Nuthatches.  On one branch of our tree, there were half a dozen Mourning Doves lined up, one after the other. Hunkered down because it was colder than most of the winter.

It’s supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow and there are early buds on the trees. At least a month early and in some cases, more than two. The weather has been zephyr breeze-like from late Autumn until winter was officially past and Spring has technically come.  So we got our first snow for the season today and it will all melt tomorrow.

Goldfinch in snow

I wonder how much of our current plague has to do with how badly we’ve treated the earth? No one has said anything about it, but the world is very different than it was merely ten years ago. The changes are deep, profound, and every bit as worrying as the current plague. As soon as we stop sheltering in our homes (those of us who are lucky enough to have homes in which to shelter) will be instantly sideswiped into the planetary crisis.

When we stop dying of plague and we have something resembling an economy, we will be back to the upcoming and not far-off death of our (human) position as the dominant species on planet Earth.

What is this world I am living in? I know how we got here — but I also don’t understand how so many of us let it go. Tomorrow was always another day while we were busy dealing with today’s issues.

Snowy Goldfinch

We don’t seem able to plan ahead. Individually maybe, but collectively we are failures. Despite our upgraded brains, we aren’t that much ahead of our dogs and cats. We live in the moment because tomorrow, much less the year after, is far too complicated. Now is too complex for most of us to manage. You have no idea how often I want to throw my arms into the air and say to the universe: “You win. I give up. I have nothing left with which to fight.”

But, I have this blog. I can write. That’s something. I can take pictures and hopefully do my best to make people feel better. I also try to tell them (to the degree that I have the correct information) what’s going on. I try to make people laugh, though laughs are harder to find than they used to be.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I feel a bit lost. I see what’s happened and can only imagine what will happen next. So much of the things I’d hope would happen haven’t happened or went horribly wrong. The rest look like they will get lost in the hysteria of a collapsed economy, and all those Coronavirus deaths. I am hoping to not be one of them.

Categories: climate change, Coronavirus - Covid 19, Health, Humor, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography

Tags: , , ,

9 replies

  1. These are such strange and disconcerting times we are living through. 20 inches of snow yesterday and today 2 to 4 more… Hard to believe. Longing for consistency, normalcy.


    • I remember when a lot of snow in NY was normal. Not daily, but at least two or three times every winter, we’d get a foot or more — and a day off of school. I remember when I was commuting to college, using snowbanks as benches. We’ve gotten used to warmer winters and less snow, but the world was a lot colder 55 years ago. And even colder 200 years ago.

      As for the REST of the craziness? That’s a whole different ball of wax. I don’t know if we’ll ever see “normal” again. What WAS normal? I don’t remember.


  2. You are getting your snow late in the season.


    • No, this is actually the biggest month for snow. This and for some reason, December and the beginning of March. We’ve had our biggest storms in early February and around my birthday in March. Yet by April, the leaves are budding and the birds are singing. The northeast has a strange and unpredictable weather pattern. It probably has to do with wind and ocean currents.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had that feeling throughout the pandemic — though I never expected the cull to be this deep! Marilyn — those are gorgeous photos — they make me smile at things I’ve never seen!


    • You should have SEEN the birds this morning. There were hundreds of them. ALL kinds of birds, including birds I’ve never seen here — crows and a couple of magpies and a lot of really (apparently) starving (but nonetheless fat) squirrels.

      The rest of the world is crazy, but the birds just want an endless food supply. I was mentioning to Owen that I was a little sad that we don’t get the flying squirrels because we don’t keep those big feeders they love — and HE pointed out that they were knocking back 10 lbs of food every night. We really couldn’t afford them. As it is, the birds are expensive to feed and we’ve had to make choices about what kind of food we put out because if we invite the bigger birds, the little ones will vanish.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you are not one of them too!
    I have wondered whether this is Nature’s way of reminding us that we are not the only ones who can cull an over-invasive species…


    • I think a lot of us wonder the same thing. These plagues that come up and remove a few million of us are regular visitors to our planet. The Black Plague killed off at least half the humans on earth and many people think it might have been quite a few more than older estimates. Between the plague, the Crusades, the starvation that followed the plague, the forests grew back and the next century was better for it being less populated. Mind you, we aren’t free of any of the old plagues yet, though some can be controlled — when identified ! — with antibiotics. This one presumably will mutate into something less perilous. What no one wants to discuss is that is could also turn into something a lot MORE deadly.

      Humans like to put a pretty spin on reality, but we do seem to have greatly underestimated COVID.

      No one our age has gotten vaccinated yet in Massachusetts and few in Canada or any of the big states like New York and California. A lot of people seem to think that governments in disarray are using COVID to cover the mess. They may well be right. It’s hard to really know what’s going on anymore. Life is just surviving and hoping someone doesn’t come down sick and take us all with him. Things were better here and then they got suddenly — in December — MUCH worse. They have stayed much worse. If either of the new strains — yours or South Africa’s — takes over, we’ll all be dropping like flies and who even knows if these vaccines will work against the mutated variants? We waited far too long to take care of ourselves and each other and now?

      Will we ever see “normal” again? Do we even know what normal IS? I’m not sure I’d know it if it banged me over the head. I feel like I’ve lost my memory of anything except being locked in my house forever.

      Garry has a friend who used to be the Mayor of Boston. He has remained a friend. He was at our wedding and still has connections — although like us, many of is friends are past meaningful communications or died. But he does know the guv and Ray hasn’t gotten vaccinated EITHER. I think he’s close to 80! He said he’s going to see if he can find out what is going on. We’d really like to know. Even if we can’t do anything about it, I’d still like to know.

      I was really hoping you’d get a break and at least a few decent months without lockdown and fear of plague. I’m not sure any of us will see that now. I wasn’t this isolated after heart surgery. Even THEN I could go out and visit or at least have some company. Now, I have a feeling we will never see our many friends who live far away, even the ones who live far away in this country. England is closer than Arizona. None of us are willing to take an airplane anywhere and we are too old to drive far.


      • I don’t think anyone wants to contemplate this getting worse… and I am very much hoping that as the figures shift we may be able to get out in spring… and that I manage to live that longin decent enough condition to do so! I have freinds and family I would like to see, before it is too late, though I know there are many I will now not have th chance to see again, thanks to covid fallout and travel bans.
        Hope is something we are supposed to be able to count on… and the way a lot of this has been handled seems designed to leack that away too… and personally, I’ll be damned if I let officialdom take that away!


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Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



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