$@#& Snow!

Although St. Louis was spared from the extreme snowfall that hit much of the country yesterday -- we just got a couple of inches of sleet at my house, with a couple of inches of super-fluffy snow on top -- snowfall severity is really relative, isn't it? A couple of inches of snow in Chicago is just a heavy frost, while the same amount in Atlanta means school closings and multi-car accidents.

The same goes for size. A few inches of snow and we humans are wondering if it's worth the effort of putting on boots, while for some other creatures it changes everything.


Take for instance this squirrel. Normally he can just agitate the birdfeeder then grab the fallen seed from the ground.

Today though, he's actually got to do some work for the sunflower seeds.

It's not quite foraging for nuts in the forest, but he does need to dig through a thick layer of sleet and ice to find out if there are any seeds left down there.

But he's persistent, and dedicated to the task.

And it pays off, as he finds some seeds to nibble.

If I sprinkle seed all over the place, I wonder if I can trick him into breaking up the sleet layer from the whole driveway for me? I spent a couple hours today clearing about 1/8 of my driveway, and I'm not looking forward to doing the rest of it. By the way, did you know that 2 inches of sleet weighs as much as 12" of snow? (Something like that -- I just estimated.) It's like the kid I saw sitting a few rows in front of me at the hockey game a couple of weeks ago eating cotton candy. He wadded a big hunk of it up then crammed it into his mouth. It took him quite a while to chew it -- he wasn't eating less candy, it just took up less space.

I'm not sure where I was going with that... oh yes, sleet shoveling is much like this squirrel digging on my driveway: very much work for very little payoff.

I almost forgot: happy groundhog day! I think he didn't see his shadow, so spring comes early this year! Although that never made sense to me, like the saying for remembering which way to set your clocks for Daylight Saving Time. "Fall forward, spring back" always sounds right to me, even though it's "Fall back, spring forward" (I think, or did I reverse it again?)

So spring is on its way! Groundhogs don't make mistakes.

Edit: It's supposed to be the squirrel that is cursing the snow in the post title -- I don't know if that was clear. I'm certainly not cursing the couple inches of snow we got here.


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