Wow!

Today has been a real chiller, weatherwise! The temperature never climbed very much and the winds were quite brisk!

This morning, while Mark was in the shower, I decided to sit in the rocking chair in the living room where the fire in the woodstove was so warm and inviting!  The chair is located near the window where the bird feeder is hung. As I was about to sit, an intensely red patch of color on an oak tree outside caught my eye. Yes, it was “HER”!

We have an infrequent Red-Bellied Woodpecker who comes around to partake of the sunflower seeds in the feeder.  I stood watching her, then bounded up the stairs to get my camera. I raced back down the stairs and she was still there.

This bird is more than shy when it comes to humans or maybe even movement near the window. One day, when I spotted her from the upstairs bedroom window, as soon as I placed the camera near my face, she took off in a huff, not to return again! I figured since the rocking chair sits in front of the window, if I balanced myself on the chair, perhaps she wouldn’t be so flighty. The bad part about this is that I was shooting through the window…I knew that if I were to open the window, she would be gone right away.

These pictures are certainly not very good, but you can make out her features. The distiguishing difference between the males and females of this species is the male’s red “cap” extends from above his beak all the way to the nape of his neck. The female has a break in between, so she ends up with two red patches.

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We went out this afternoon, as Mark wanted to do a little shopping. We traveled quite a distance, and when we went into Sam’s Club, the kids said they wanted to stay in the truck with the Scotties.  While Mark and I were in the store, Michelle called on the cell to ask if maybe she could call her friend who lives near the store. We had initially told the kids we would hurry, but Michelle called back again in a few minutes to tell us that Joey was there in the parking lot….she said no need to hurry as the three of them would sit in the truck and talk.

After shopping, the kids asked if perhaps they could go to the theater to see a movie. We looked to see what was playing and they decided to go see a Veggie Tales movie just for grins….While they went inside, Mark went into another store while I stayed in the truck with the Scotties. It was so cold, but since Mark has an inverter for the truck, I was able to use my laptop and it kept my lap warm! I had brought some warm blankets, and the Scotties snuggled deeply into the fluffy down-filled blanket as though grateful for the toasty warmth!

After the movie, the kids wanted to go to Taco Bell, so we hopped over there for a bit.

On the way home, blowing snow was a force to be reckoned with….Mark took it easy, but other cars flew past as though nothing would slow them down. With temperatures in the single digits, there is little the snowplows can do…most compounds they put on the road do little when it is this frigid!

As we came into one area, a vehicle was sitting on the side of the road with a different light flashing on its dash. We wondered what it was doing, but as we progressed,  we passed two firetrucks, an ambulance, and a volunteer firefighter in a pickup. Mark surmised that someone had slipped off the road and they were searching for the vehicle. The very thought of this sent chills up and down my spine. Anyone trapped in a vehicle in this cold could freeze to death in a pretty short period of time.

We got home after 10:30, and after being out in the cold, we were happy to be greeted by coals in the stove and warmth in the house! This was a fun day. The kids were able to meet with their friend and Mark and I didn’t feel any pressure from them, as they were happy to be doing something different. An impromptu meeting was just the ticket!