Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happiness in the Kitchen Sink

We still have a frozen septics line, but we're in good company as almost everyone in the park has at least one frozen line or tank. It has been murderously cold the past few days, with wind chills down to -25 C. Luckily we are warm and cozy inside and can work around the frozen line. The park's bathroom is a bit of a hike to dump wastewater, but the site next to us is empty so we are simply pouring our dirty dishwater and leftover tea down the septic opening there.

I was washing dishes this morning, a pretty mundane chore, when I experienced one of those treasured moments of sheer happiness and utter contentment. And why not? If we wait for perfect circumstances before we allow ourselves to be happy we may never achieve it. Even though it was -15 outside the sun was shining and I had some nice music playing. Tony was snoozing on his bunk and the cat was blissed out on my bunk, sleeping with all four feet in the air. What could be more perfect?

I finally broke down and bought a bird feeder and seed. Almost everyone here feeds the quail. They are so fat they can barely waddle from site to site. But I want them to do more than run through our site on their way to the neighbour's. I want to be able to watch them close up. Hence the feeder.

It had been up for all of three minutes before two juncos discovered it. Two minutes later two quail noticed the juncos pecking at the seed I'd scattered on the ground under the feeder and they rushed over to get their share. In another two minutes there were a dozen quail packed as tightly as sardines, scratching and pecking at the grain. They seem to be little clowns. One picked up a twig and waggled it in the face of another and they played a bit of tug 'a war.

Today's birds; a yellow-shafted flicker, right outside the kitchen window in the apple tree, a pair of chickadees, about 100 quail, 10-15 slate-coloured juncos, and numerous sparrows, including the white crowned, which has a lovely song.

The cold will pass, eventually. We'll probably be at a much more comfortable temperature by this time next week.

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