This morning was indeed an early surprise of snow and cold. With the temperature hovering around 10 degrees coupled with the wind, I found myself wearing more layers to keep it from biting. Since I’ve always been a bit of a freak about keeping the front sidewalk of my office clear of snow and ice, I was out there quite early in spite of the wind. I don’t know if it has something to do with global warming or not, but I have noticed in these past three or four years how often we get a straight westerly wind. The wind was out of the west again today. In all the years past, I would rarely find the wind blowing from the west. When we had that straight westerly wind several years ago, I was shocked to find how many trees and treetops were toppled simply due to their not having grown resistant to wind from that direction. Trees seem to “know” how to create a greater resistance to the normal wind patterns when growing, but when a strong wind comes from an unusual direction, their resistance is compromised.
I encourage everyone to be exceptionally careful when driving on these wintery roads. Far too many careless drivers were out again today. Three times I encountered people driving straight through stop signs. Seems they tried to slow but couldn’t so they just kept right on going. I was at a gas station today and found that someone had torn away a huge section of concrete that was protecting a gas pump. When I asked the attendant what happened, he said someone driving a big truck caught the barricade with his rear bumper while driving away. I’m sure that caused quite a stir with those who witnessed it.
I’m not sure if I’m being a bit of a Humbug about Christmas, but I do think the businesses are rushing the season. Between the big box stores loading up with Christmas decorations as well as Christmas trees being sold, I have to keep reminding myself that Thanksgiving isn’t really even that close. I guess I’m old fashioned in not wanting to see the commerciality of Christmas arrive until after Thanksgiving.
I was still at the office when darkness was approaching and happened to look outside and discover the flocks of crows flying into the city to roost. I do hope the city fathers do find a way to deal with them. Some of the sidewalks downtown including in and around Central Park get really messy from their droppings. I have absolutely no idea what got them started doing that about 10+ years ago. It seems there’s more of them each year. Whenever I see them still roosting in the trees in early morning, it reminds me of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds”. Some mornings they are so thick in a given tree that from a distance, it looks like the tree has miraculously grown black leaves. If there’s any real harbinger of winter’s arrival, it has to be the crows. When I was working out of our old office, I used to move my car around the corner because for some reason, that office was in the path of their return to downtown and would make their last little in-flight dumps before they landed in nearby trees. Not a pretty sight on a black vehicle. The first time I found it on my windshield, I was indeed glad pigs can’t fly. Along with the crows, I think we’re all feeling the freeze.