Possumhaw: A good day for somebody



Shannon Bardwell



"Duck hunters and anglers joke that bluebird days are good to sit on the porch and talk about hunting and fishing. At least the weather is nice."


Mike Doyle, liveabout.com




Once I lived where there were four distinct seasons all within their proper boundaries. It was quite predictable, though the winter seemed long and ice and snow turned to brown slush lasting well into spring. There's a certain advantage to growing up and living in the South. Very often all four seasons come within the same week. It would be hard to get bored with the weather as none of it lasts very long. Even if the rains go on for three or four days, it's really only our impatience with the inconvenience. Then cold blowing winds with temperatures dropping into the 30s will suddenly vanish into a sunny day tiptoeing toward 70 degrees.


I'm always amazed on warm winter days to see college students donning shorts and sandals. Do they keep them handy for such days so as to take book in hand and study while reclining on the campus lawn? There are more walkers on the Riverwalk on such days. Coats, hats, gloves and boots are shed. Spirits seem lifted all over. How blessed we are to live where we do.


Outside my window I caught a glimpse of the quince blooming with its pink blossoms. The loropetalum shows her fuchsia blooms and the forsythia her yellow. It remains to be seen how this early blooming will affect our spring flowers, but for now it lovely.


Bluebirds still spar for the bluebird box. Multitudes of chickadees and sparrows raid the birdfeeders. The large birdfeeder accommodating cardinals was demolished by squirrels last year. I delayed purchasing another so we've seen very few cardinals this year.


Last week Sam heard a familiar thud on the window. A cardinal collided with the glass and lay stunned on the ground beneath. Sam carefully lifted the bird in his hand. First, he tried setting the cardinal on the shepherd's hook beside the feeders. The bird gripped slightly then fell. Sam caught the bird mid-air. Next, he took the cardinal to the birdfeeder with squirrel cage protector fitting over the birdfeeder feeder. The cardinal gripped the cage but didn't move.


Sam's next thought was to retrieve a birdcage from the garage for the bird's protection. On his return he found the cardinal still clinging. He looked down at the cage and then up, and the cardinal had vanished into thin air.


The next day I purchased a new birdfeeder for cardinals in hopes he would come back and bring more with him. No matter how often you see a male cardinal they are always stunning, especially on a beautiful sunshiny day.


Not everyone enjoys a warm sunny day in winter. A "bluebird day" is not good for duck hunters. Ducks don't fly as much on bluebird days. Fishermen want windless days but not clear and sunny. Fish don't bite well on clear days. Deer hunters need clear, cold and high wind velocity for optimal hunting. Looks like on any given day it's a good day for somebody.




Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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