This beautiful little hawk visited our backyard yesterday. It is shockingly cold these days, and I am sure the reason he is here is that he is already headed south for the winter. I think this is the coldest and wettest "summer" that I can remember in about 15 years. It makes me think about migrating south myself! Last night the temperature dipped down close to the freezing mark, and it poured rain. It is 9:00 right now, and only 4 degrees Celsius, with the forecast high only 8 degrees for today, with rain. It feels like it could snow.
I have talked a lot about weather on this blog, but here in the north, weather is a big part of our lives. We buy clothing for our weather. We spend more money on clothing than most anywhere in the world. We have to have clothing for hot (34 degrees one day) and for warm (heavier fabric than for hot), and for cool (need a light jacket, or a sweater), fall (warmer jacket, getting into sweaters underneath or layering), winter (different type of jacket and footwear, mitts, hats) and for REALLY COLD (down jackets, fleece vests, sweaters, long underwear...). We spend more money on our cars, as the salt and sand placed on icy roads takes its toll on the undersides and finish of the car. As well, they seem to suck back more gas when they have to run in -40 cold. And then there is the gas to heat our houses. I really should turn the furnace on today - it is that cold in the house, but instead, I will add another layer of clothing and perhaps have a fire in the fireplace. And it is ONLY AUGUST.
Okay - I feel so much better now that I have ranted about my disappointment in the weather. When it really comes down to it, we don't have hurricanes, very little flooding, only an occasional tornado, no major earthquakes, no tsunamis, no monsoons. We have skiing, ice skating, and other winter sports that places like Dubai have spent millions of dollars building structures so that they can have just a small taste of that experience. We also have magnificent mountain vistas, foothills, prairies, and wildlife to enjoy. It is more than enough to make up for the little bit of shivering I experience every now and then. And when a small hawk comes and makes eye contact with me in my own backyard, I feel there is no place that I would rather be than here in this home, even if it is cold and rainy.