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Starting to Look a Lot Like Something Else [Jan. 4th, 2012|05:24 pm]
It's worse than I expected. The azaleas are blooming. There are two blossoms, and a dozen buds showing color. When azaleas bloom at the beginning of January, January is just too mild. The prevailing weather pattern appears to be sticky, too, so the whole month could be mild. The peach tree could bloom. The camellias will surely bloom. Then the weather pattern could shift and all the blossoms get slaughtered in a February freeze, and that would mean a shortage of flowers in spring, and no peaches again this summer. It's not unusual for us to have a false spring here in February or March, but January? Inconceivable! Or at least unspeakable. In Los Angeles a balmy January is a pleasant bonus, but up here it's the doorway to disaster.

Still, the sparse clouds make for lovely sunsets, and it's nice to have the evenings hang around a bit longer. I'm sure the feral cats are happier with the dryness and the mild temperatures than they'd be with icy cold and rain or snow. They've been spending the lengthening evenings in frolic or contemplation, then leaving the yard for an hour or two, or longer in Timmy's case. In fact she's been making herself scarce for hours on end.

I don't know how far she's venturing, but she certainly takes her time coming back. By midnight, her two littermates are always napping in the chair on the back porch, but Timmy sometimes doesn't reappear until near dawn. So far I haven't seen her bring any rodent or bird cadavers to devour on the lawn, but I'm sure she's eating at least a bit of wild food, as she eats less from the bowl than she used to, but she's still pretty fat.

Portia, on the other hand, has been spending less time abroad for the last few days. I'd have expected the unseasonable mildness to have kept her out until all hours every night, but she's usually come in to stay by ten o'clock. Maybe she's just trying to be a useful lap-warmer, since my lap is where she spends most of her time. Not so bad when I'm just watching television, but rather inconvenient when I'm at the computer and have to stretch across her to reach the keyboard.

Anyway, winterless winter. Come to think of it, I don't recall hearing any flocks of migrating birds yet this year. I don't know if they've shifted their route, or have stopped short of California, or have simply stayed in Canada this year. Maybe they were heavily invested in mortgage instruments and can't afford the trip. I miss hearing them, though.