0814/15th December 2022

A group of Sparrows, I’ve decided ought to be known as a “scavenge”!

“Host” may be the proper name, according to Google, but I believe my title is more accurately descriptive.

Bottoms up.

You’ll have to excuse my little friends.

Someone told them there is a storm coming.

So they are in a feeding frenzy.

Even the suet was under attack this morning.

Normally this is the Woodpecker’s feeder.

Unless we are visited by a murmuration of Starlings.

In which case everyone else sits back and waits for them to go.

When the seed trays are empty the Sparrows repair to the hedge outside my window.

There they sit gossiping and trying to draw my attention to the fact that they are really still quite seriously hungry and wouldn’t I like to do the noble thing and provide another top-up.

“Storm coming, missus!”

What form it will take when it arrives depends on whether the temperature moderates. If predictions are accurate it will likely be a big mess.

Meaning snow turning to rain turning to ice.

To continue through Saturday.

How very grateful I am to no longer be playing snow-frolick at the airport.

That is where life gets seriously tedious.

Though one of my personally worst airport experiences was not caused by snow.

In fact it was a Summer weekend which commenced with a record rainfall that flooded the Belt Parkway, it being my only route to work.

To make things particularly challenging, I was driving a car in those days that tended to overheat when subjected to any sort of stress.

Which being in a traffic jam of that sort certainly was.

Traffic was being diverted off the parkway onto whatever dry ground was still navigable and I found myself on a narrow bridge heading in what would normally have been the wrong direction.

That was when my temperamental Capri called a halt to my personal progress. While I am not certain precisely which year this was, it definitely predated the luxury of cell phones.

Now what? “You must search for a phone!” said Brain.

So, abandoning the car in its quite inconvenient location, I walked in the down-pouring rain along a service road where large trucks somehow managed to be driving with some speed.

The drivers of said trucks seemed quite put out that a crazy woman was walking along their road and as they drove past, splattering me with mud, they shouted out their unkind opinions of me.

It’s hard to imagine now, but I actually found a public phone booth and managed to inform my employer that I was running a bit late.

In the back of my mind I think I had been hoping that whoever answered the phone was going to exclaim:

“Oh dear! I will come and rescue you!”

Disappointment reached a new depth.

It wasn’t that no-one was willing to mount a rescue. Simply they rather had their hands full with more pressing things.

So I splashed my way back to the car to see what would develop, fully expecting to be confronted by an irate policeman for having abandoned my vehicle in such an inconsiderate way.

But the traffic chaos was so complete, my car was just one of many.

So I climbed in and thought I’d attempt to start it now that it had had time to cool off its temper tantrum. Ignition!

Then I proceeded cautiously, hoping to avoid stalling again.

As I squelched into the office, some hour late for work, one of the guys caught sight of my bedraggled appearance and greeted me with:

“Damn Carolyn! You’re WET!”

Nobody cared that I was late or wet, they were just glad to have another staff member in any condition.

It turned into a memorable weekend.

Despite the inconvenience and sometimes deadly results of storms, I have always found them exciting and energizing. Something to do with the power and forces of Nature, perhaps.

For the longest time I have always seen savage storms as a commentary from an angry Nature, a message to mankind:


5 thoughts on “Scavenge!

  1. Thank you, Carolyn, for the little bottoms and the heroic story of getting to work..
    I understand your lucky birds, as it is freezing cold here, and I am writing covered with three blankets and in two long cardigans to survive!.


  2. ‘Bottoms up’ … I had a good giggle 😄! The fact that you found a (working) phone booth is quite astonishing! Storms – not something we experience often here, but today … on the day we are going camping, thunderstorms and heavy rain are forecasted (I can already hear the thunder in the distance) … I’m not quite sure how putting up a tent will unfolding …
    You photos are so lovely – all the colours, it’s beautiful!

  3. I am also fond of storms. Until they flood the shed or garage, knock out TV reception, or bring down power lines and cause blackouts. Otherwise, I enjoy watching them.
    But not breaking down in a car in one of course! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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