-16°C (3.2°F) As cloudless as a midsummer’s day. Sunglasses required. Easy to get lost in so much blue, so much light. The glare bounces off the back of my skull and rattles around inside my head, flirting with migraines.

The houseplants – two in particular – need lots of misting. The air inside gets so dry it crackles with electricity. My sweater clings to the cats, so I do, too. A little mist feels good to us.


21:31:58 PM

-17°C (1.4°F) chickadee in flight
Yesterday I could tell myself (and almost believe) that spring was on the way, but today we’re back to winter – a bright, sunny winter, but winter nevertheless. We’re supposed to get a warm-up this weekend, though, up into the 20s.

Yesterday also brought another bout of family togetherness with my in-laws. It was, in a word, wonderful – thoughtful, unexpected gifts, great food, and quiet comfort. A good way to start the new year.

And, believe it or not, I started out on one of my resolutions, getting in 5026 meters on my rowing machine
. I’m going to try to get a million meters before the year is out, so I’m ahead of schedule already! :-)

And, last but not least, I did a little sketch from a photograph in the latest issue of National Wildlife
(registration required). It’s quite a dramatic photograph of quite an everyday bird. Look closely, and you can see as much drama, beauty and vitality in your own backyard (or city block) as you can find anywhere else in the world. If you can’t, it’s a failure of vision – not because it isn’t there.