Okay, maybe a little. I’ve lost count of the snows here in Virginia (the South!) since December 4–at least 4 major snowfalls including the 18 incher right before Christmas and a few piddly ones between. When I left for Fort Myers, a foot of snow was on its way and when I came home Tuesday evening, it was snowing. And now . . . the Great Grandaddy of All Snows has folks here whipped into a frenzy. There are no eggs in any grocery stores. Ditto bread. No books on the shelves in the library. Ditto DVDs.
I was cruely sent to the grocery store yesterday and today. Yesterday at Wegman’s was like the last helicopter out of Saigon. Today when I went to the Giant to pick up the things I couldn’t find/reach/smack out of someone’s grubby paw in Wegman’s, it was like rats on a sinking ship. Apparently people here think they will be holed up for weeks on end and will have to break up the furniture for firewood and fix casseroles out of candle stubs and cat food. They say bad weather brings out the best in people. Clearly the person who said that was never in the produce section of Wegman’s duking it out for the last banana.
Predictions are running wildly from one foot to five or ten feet, depending on which station you listen to. Me? I’m paying no attention to this horrible weather. The last few weeks I’ve heard the winter birds (the ones who winter here) singing spring songs. They pay no attention to the weather either and use the lengthening days as their calendar. I’ve seen robins since January, though they had slightly panicked looks in their eyes. If they could speak English, I’m sure they’d say, "Whose idea was it to head north early?"
But no, I’m not talking about the snow that’s flying outside my window (I have my back to it). Instead I’ll talk about the few precious days I had in Florida and share some of my lousy photos. I was staying with a good friend, helping her with her novel. Coaching her was the best thing I could have done–I reinforced what I know (and seem to forget with each book). Her husband is an avid photographer. He had a very nice Nikon with a real (detachable) lens. I left my Nikon (with the non-detachable lens) and took my little Sony Cybershot. Her husband told me about a photo editing program he uses that looked much easier than Elements, but I can’t remember the name of it. And so my photos are unedited, as usual, and blurry because I was always either in a moving boat or hanging off the rail of the Corkscrew Audubon Refuge about to drop my camera in the swamp because I was trying to photograph a pair of raccoons or an anhinga diving for a minnow.
I have a red dot that’s a pileated woodpecker. A white dot that’s a white ibis. Another white dot that’s a snowy egret. A brown dot that’s a grumpy red-shouldered hawk. If I knew the name of this photo editing program, I might be able to blow those dots up into recognizable birds. That’s a little blue heron staring into water covered with zillions of teeny little leaves or plants. I added four birds to my Life List–anhinga, little blue heron, white ibis, black-crowned night heron. I began my life bird list when I was nine, scrawling "robin," "crow," "blue jay" in an old advertising address book (like many bird listers, I cheated–I still have that list and know I did not see a Baltimore oriole.)
Still, it was wonderful to walk outside in just a sweater and slip-on tennies. To eat grouper sandwiches outside at the marina. To taste Florida Pink shrimp fresh off the grill with grilled asparagus. To sample my first sea trout with lemon pepper (freshly caught and grilled). I came home with a strong desire to run out and buy a Weber grill and charcoal and drop a chicken neck off a pier to catch crabs for supper. But . . . here comes that darned snow I’m not going to talk about and all thoughts of grilling are fading like the sunset over the Gulf.
If I was a good sport, I’d shift my culinary tastes toward hot chocolate with marshmallows and chicken noodle soup. But I’m not. I’m sick of winter and already sick of the snow I’m not going to talk about.