So we have had crap loads of snow this week. Yes I could have said that delicately, but I’m not in the mood and it IS a ‘crap load’ – the total is a vulgar number - some 20 inches of maddening ground cover I venture no one welcomes. Usually when my birthday lands on April 25th there are tiny little sprigs of Dutchman’s Breeches (a native orchid that shows itself for a few weeks in early spring) peeking through the ground, but seeing as they are under CRAPLOADS of snow I will not be seeing them for a goodly while. So yes lots of snow very late in the year. Besides making me somewhat moody, this unusual weather occurrence has caused issues for the local wildlife also.
I have a little lady Robin who seems to be in dire straits. She meets me every morning when I attend my feeders and I mean meets me – at the front door, two feet away. She comes from under the protected place between an unreasonably large snow drift and the edge created by the last board of house siding and the foundation. She meets me by hopping out from under her hidey-hole which makes me I think she is too weak to fly.
Her predicament consumed my attention over the weekend despite the nonsensical blizzard we had or maybe because of it. At any rate, in between episodes brushing off feeders and shoveling until my arms felt like they had grown 4 inches and were dragging on the floor behind me like some kind of a disengaged slinky, I considered what I could do to make her more comfortable since she wouldn’t quite let me get hands on her. I was running low on bird seed and grit (very important during the winter months – and apparently APRIL this year!) so while the wind and snows were obliterating the neighborhood, I donned my backpack and walking poles, then slogged my way to the store to resupply my feed bucket with some Robin goodies like blueberries, raisins and mealworms.
But they did not have meal worms so upon my return, I minced some salmon trimmings, which I keep on hand for Crow and family, and put them out with the fruit. Robin hardly moved for the first day and a few feathers blew off her breast as she sat on her pile of seeds and fruit, eating every once and a while – so sad, so silent. I would go out and brush off the snow from her pile of food. She seldom moved. It just didn’t look like there would be a good outcome from this spring blizzard, not for some.
Then, slowly, she started showing signs of strengthening. She moved about more. Robin began to walk a short distance away when I replaced food and water. And this morning after filling feeders, I came back in the house and while I drank a cup of coffee I heard a familiar chirp. Then another. I looked out the door and there sat Lady Robin, repeating a single note. Not her usual spring song, but beautiful no the less.
We never know how the little things we do throughout the day, though they may be inconvenient, can have a big impact on someone. Celebrate Earth Day by helping out the local wildlife during this difficult spring.