It is no secret I am not a fan of winter.   I used to love it.  I spent my childhood playing outside in the snow and I skied every weekend of the winter for many years.  The older I get, the less I seem to be able to tolerate cold.  I never understood why retirees would pack up and move south for months during the winter.  Now I get it. I have a very strong hibernation instinct.  Since I don’t have to get out and drive to the office everyday, it would be very easy (and tempting) for me to stay in my jammies wrapped in a blanket all day.

In an effort to combat the hibernation instinct, I go to the gym most mornings.  It makes me get out of bed, put on clothes and leave the house, thus resisting the temptation to go back and hide under the covers.  Working out is an added benefit.  It would be too embarrassing to drive all the way to the gym and not do anything, although I’ve seen plenty of people who are there for social reasons only.

I also try to get out and take the dogs for a daily walk.  My dogs love winter.  Of course they do – they are big and black and furry.  The cold weather invigorates them and frankly, if they don’t get out and get some exercise during the day, then they are full of energy and don’t want to go to bed at night.

I’ve always been of the mind that winter is when everything dies  and just waits for the weather to get warm to come back to life.  However, my daily walks with the dogs have made me start noticing there is a whole winter cycle of birds.  I don’t just mean the occasional blue jay that I used to see living in town.  I’m talking flock after flock of geese and waves of blackbirds that look like clouds in the sky.  This has been a daily occurrence for months.  How did I not know about this?



They usually come through just after sunrise and then late again in the afternoon to feed on the leftover corn in the fields.  The noise can be deafening.

When the blackbirds take off from the fields, it sounds like thunder in the distance.   It’s incredible!

Now that we are moving into February, I have hope that I will survive until spring.  I know we have a few more weeks of cold weather, but walking the dogs and watching the birds give me good reasons to bundle up, go outside and get out of hibernation!