And yet the birds await us. “Please fill the feeder!” they seem to say. They take turns on the suet block which is already out there. Even the yellow-bellied sapsucker who rarely comes this close is willing to feed on the suet this morning.
Thirty mph gusts knock the snow off the deck railings and at last the birds have a place to perch without fighting snow. The wind almost knocked a cardinal off a tree branch and he had to seek a lower perch.
As I watch my husband fill the feeders, wearing his warmest down jacket, scarf, hat and removing a glove to open and close the seed holder, I wonder where the birds shelter when it is this cold? They are saying in our current conditions frostbite can occur on skin in thirty minutes. What about the birds’ toes? After a sudden snow squall moved through at twenty-five MPH the cardinals each had white snow around the feathers surrounding their eye on the side that was exposed to the snow. The red-bellied woodpeckers were lined up on one side of a thick maple tree like planes on a runway, but out of the blowing snow.
More importantly, what about the homeless man in our neighborhood? He walks and walks likely many miles per day. Sometimes he uses the toilet at United Dairy Farmers. Once I saw him go in there and slipped the cashier five dollars for him. He refuses things we have offered him and I thought she might have more luck if I did the offering anonymously. Our son has even offered to buy him fast food and he always refuses. Last year someone gave him a thermal jumper like some outdoors workmen wear. He wore it until it fell apart in the spring. But where is he today in this thirty minute frostbite warning? Where did he sleep last night? What about tonight?
Sunshine is forecast for this afternoon but the wind chill warning continues into tomorrow afternoon or longer if they extend it. I will pray for the man who is living out in this weather. His red hair and beard always confirm to me that, yes, it is the same guy. I do not know what ails him that he feels he must live that way, but Lord protect him. If there is some way we can reach out to him, please show us and we will do it speedily. Maybe I will run up to “The Dairy” and find out if they have seen him the last couple days. Perhaps buy a gift card for them to give to him?