Here is my curmudgeon view on the Christmas shopping season, not that shopping is not good for the economy, but don't let the Christmas spirit get squashed:
This part of New England continues to be cold and quiet, particularly today - almost spooky; all stores closed, parking lots empty, with no scavenging gulls or crows, hardly a car on the road, the sky a lowering gray. I went down to the West River trail to give my dog some exercise and distraction. He had been sitting at the end of our drive way listening and hoping for a neighbor's dog to come by. We were alone on the trail.
He amused himself by chasing a green tennis ball on the half-frozen snow of the adjacent field. I heard a Northern Cardinal call, but as soon as I got close enough for a photo he flew away. The Marina Restaurant, a favorite eating spot in the summer, is closed for the winter and looked bleakly shabby and forlorn.
Back of the restaurant. The West River is frozen solid.
I checked on some crab apple trees on the way home. At first nothing, then a large flock of European Starlings descended on the trees, power lines and on the ground, filling the air with their conversational twittering. In the quiet what a welcome sound!
Upon looking around I discovered a large flock of Cedar Waxwings in another tree further off, making forays down into the crab apple trees.
Next I discovered several American Robins also partaking of the fruit..
Cheers to lengthening days and warmer times to come!