If you have a dog, maybe he or she can help with the poem.
On the other hand, if you have a cat . . . you're probably on your own.
Two days ago, while out for a walk, I noticed how wonderful the air smelled. It smelled like nothing, which is just the way I like it. Cold. Clean. Easy to breathe. In summer, I find the heaviness of over-heated asphalt fumes, dust, humidity and higher air temperature is hard on my bronchial tubes.
I grew up - as many my age did - with a smoker. My father smoked at the table every night after supper, and I recall how the smoke always seemed to curl lazily right toward me, no matter where I sat. I might as well have been smoking too. It was annoying, but at the time I had no breathing issues, and indoor smoking was so common it wouldn't have occurred to me to question my dad's habit.
It's probably no wonder that I have bronchial issues now, even though I was rarely exposed to smoke after I left home forty years ago.
Anyway, air that smells like nothing is one reason that I love walking at this time of the year. Even the Fall can't compete because then someone is always burning something in their wood or pellet stoves. Why they worry so much about staying warm, I don't know! Don't they realize I can't BREATHE when they do that?? (Just joking.)
Some readers might remember that I started feeding the birds last spring. It lasted until I realized we were going to go bankrupt if I didn't stop. Right around the same time, there was also a bird virus that swept through the province, and people were advised to take down their bird feeders anyway.
In February of this year, I noticed some blue jays hanging around, and since the bird experts had given the all clear on feeding, and I still had some birdseed in the closet, I decided to set up shop again. Before long, the bluejays and several chickadee were dining regularly. But they ate so little that the feeder didn't need filled very often, maybe every third or fourth day.
Then all of a sudden, the newly-filled feeder was empty overnight. There was not even one seed left in the tray at the bottom, just a funny white residue which I thought must be from the rain or snow. Oh! I thought. I bet the crows found the seeds. Greedy things. And I filled it again, because I secretly don't mind if crows are greedy or not. Everybody has to eat.
Again, it was completely, utterly emptied overnight. This happened for several nights in a row. I couldn't catch the crows in the act.
Then it came to me - it wasn't crows eating the seed, it was deer. What would be enough seed for all the birds that come around this time of year is only a dainty appetizer for our nocturnal four-footed ruminant friends. And that would explain the funny white residue, too. Deer spit! Well ... everybody has to eat.
However, (according to some people) deer have become a nuisance in our town so we now have a by-law that says Thou Shalt Not Feed Wildlife, Except Birds Are Okay Because Nobody Has Complained About Them Yet. Now I have to figure out how to feed the birds without making the deer feel bad. Or continue to set out feed for the birds which then gets eaten by the deer who then get noticed by the neighbours who then call the authorities who FINE ME MANY DOLLARS.
Speaking of crows, I was lucky enough to see two crows breaking small branches off a tree yesterday. I could hear the branches cracking, and as I watched, one crow flew away with a forked branch as long as he (or she) was. I guess nest-building has begun and baby crows will not be far behind. It seems early to be getting started, but then again crows are probably not procrastinators like some other folks I know (cough*me*cough).
Can you see both crows?
I hope you all have a marvellous weekend, full of clean air and maybe wildlife sightings and poetry writing . . . and definitely NO fines :)