Today was probably the peak of the warm cycle, but there's no sign of full-on winter returning anytime soon. The feral cats' water bowls will not freeze overnight, and I won't have to pile any extra blankets on myself. At most, we'll get a gray day or two, and maybe a few rain sprinkles. I'd welcome more rain, though. I'm actually beginning to worry that the ground will dry out and the lawn will turn brown again. I expect brown lawns in summer, but I'd hate to see one in January.
Before shopping I had a few beastly encounters. Squirrels ran across my rooftop early this morning, making a startling racket. It's remarkable how noisy they can be for such small creatures. I also saw a feral cat who has been visiting my yard now and then for the last couple of months. One of his back legs has recently been injured, and he isn't getting around very well. I usually don't feed him because he harasses the other cats, but today I put some food out for him. That was probably a mistake, as it will encourage him to come around more frequently even after he heals, but he could starve without a handout right now. He didn't stick around long today, though, probably fearing to run into the other feral cats, and he was in no condition to deal with them.
Later, Portia went outside and stalked birds for a couple of hours. She didn't catch any, though they were plentiful. She's probably too fat to catch birds anymore. While she was out, I had to deal with a fly who had gotten into the house. A fly, in January! That's one of the disadvantages of having such mild weather this month, I guess. It was totally worth it, though. It was as nearly a perfect day as I expect to see this winter.
by Conrad Aiken
In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and furtive,
The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves,
In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices,
I suddenly face you,
Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you,
They shine into mine with a sunlit desire,
They say an 'I love you, what star do you live on?'
They smile and then darken,
And silent, I answer 'You too—I have known you,—I love you!—'
And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves
Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight
To divide us forever.