Good News from Squirrel Country

Let the squirrels open your heart

Haven’t we all been waiting for a sign that things are going to take a turn for the better?  Well, according to my squirrel friends, it is finally time to celebrate an end to winter in Kentucky.  During the winter they come to our deck to selectively and rather quietly eat peanuts and steal seed from their bird neighbors.  They eye each other warily, and sometimes give a quick warning to others to keep away.  But this morning seven squirrels came for a rowdy visit.  They ran after each other in circles, they ‘flew’ from deck railing to tree branch and back again. They ran up and down the trees, across branches, flying back onto the deck to chase each other some more, occasionally stopping for a seed or peanut, only to start the crazy chase again.  One of them decided to get our attention by rattling the chain on the can I keep their food stored in, apparently trying to let me know he wanted a more extensive feast to celebrate the turning of the weather – or perhaps he was just making a bit of music as background for their party!  This revelry is a sure sign that winter is leaving, the sun is coming back, and we are all about to feel a little better.  I promise.

Spring Follies

One sunny spring day and people get silly headed. Shorts, tees and flip-flops abound, snow and lingering frosty mornings be damned.

Cardinals too, graze solitary on our deck all winter, guarding their private culinary cache, aggressively chasing all competition.

Spring sun arrives and they share their precious seeds, feeding each other beak to beak, a love fest.

I rise above, not easily seduced silly by fickle sunshine.

I unpack the new tent and pitch it in our living room. “Time to get ready for summer camping” I tell my love. “Come in and check out our pretty vacation home.”

Carrot Ranch April 5 fast fiction challenge using 99 words: Sun Silly

April 5: Flash Fiction


Another frigid April morning, and the pansies on our back deck look like they are done with this weather – 78 degrees on Tuesday, 29 degrees this morning – and inches of snow predicted for the end of the week. They droop, their leaves frost-bitten, the promise of spring apparently revoked.

Everyone looks tired and hopeless when I arrive at work. Colleagues walk through hallways muttering about the relentless winter that just refuses to go away. Students keep their ears plugged with music no one near them can hear or interrupt. My ride in the elevator is frigid as the cold air outside. Not one person speaks or looks up from the floor.

The morning news has offered nothing to lift our weary spirits, no promise of warm regard for the welfare of humanity. For months now we have discerned hardly a glimmer of hope lighting the horizon.

But still, outside these dreary rooms and oppressive ruminations, the daffodils raise their golden faces to the sun. The squirrels scamper across lawns, up trees, jumping from branch to branch chasing unchaste companions ready to procreate. Goldfinches have lost their winter drab and compete with the daffadils for the yellow ribbon, best in show. Buds burst open on flowering trees along city avenues, their faith in future grandeur ultimately unshaken by the frosty night they have just endured.

I tell myself that spring always wins no matter how cold and resilient the winter blast. The ruby throated hummingbirds will soon come back from Mexico. The wall of winter will not separate us forever. The life- warming rythyms that connect love and beauty and fruitful harvests will prevail.

Even the news will likely get better if we can hold on long enough.

Isn’t it time to prepare our gardens for kinder and warmer days?

Written in response to the Daily Post’s one word prompt: frigid

Spring on Ice

In fickle spring I decide to launch my canoe on a frigid Adirondack lake. The seductive sun is full of false promises.  Soon loons will return to nest, mayflies will entice rainbow trout to dance for food, and vacationers will arrive in noisy droves. For now, I journey alone on this peaceful water. I rest awhile in the center of the lake, sipping warm tea from my thermos.  It’s an idyllic day until clouds roll in and the temperature takes an ominous dive. Floating chunks of ice menace the canoe, pushing together, refreezing, as I frantically paddle toward shore.




Written for Carrot Ranch Literary Community: February 15, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story on ice. It can be an event on ice, a game on ice or a drink on ice. Go where the prompt leads you.