Intense cold has kept outdoor activity to a minimum over the last week or so. That is, all except for heating oil delivery trucks, which have to hustle to keep tanks filled.

I’ve wanted to go ice fishing but low temperatures coupled with unrelenting winds have kept me home, sitting by the warmth of a floor register, writing and playing musical instruments. But this can’t last forever and soon, temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s will become the norm.

Under the feeder

If human activity has slowed down a bit, bird activity has increased correspondingly. In fact, I’ve seen some new feathered friends this past week. A small flock of robins, a group of starlings, a lone junco and a mourning dove graced my lawn one morning.

This, in addition to chickadees, titmice, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, both hairy and downy and goldfinches. Add in the local group of crows and you have an interesting bunch of birds.

I spoke with my neighbor down the road, Lawrence Brassbridge, and he mentioned local birds appear to make the rounds each morning, beginning at his place and visiting all the other feeding stations in a regular order. Well, nature is nothing if not ordered, and the birds prove it.

Lawrence also mentioned a carved, wooden bear made by Allen Gallant of Waldo now resides at the Waldo Pierce Reading Room and Library, and as soon as the library feels safe enough to open, the bear can be seen by anyone who visits.

Allen began making these, mostly chainsaw-art bears about three years ago. While visiting the Windsor Fair with a friend, Allen saw some other bears made by another artist. Allen said, “I could make them,” and immediately upon returning home, got out his chainsaw and began work. The bear in the library is one of his early works.

History note

The Republican Journal, Feb. 28, 1901: “The village school closed Friday, Washington’s birthday, and exercises of a very patriotic kind were given in all three schools. A large crowd were present and much enjoyed the exercises, which were unusually good.”

Weekly quote

“There is a pleasure in the trackless woods.” — Byron