Christmas and New Years bells are silent, and many of the window candles no longer proclaim the message of the "Light of the World" though all who know Him still have Him in their hearts.
Soon, if not already, many folk will have removed their Christmas trees and other decorations until another year. Homes will be back to normal, although some will soon add other embellishments in keeping with the winter season. I'm thankful I already have numerous snowmen around our home representing this season, so I don't have to add other adornments. If I didn't already know winter had arrived, I'd know by looking just outside my door.
Some snow began falling the week before Christmas, and on Wed. Dec. 26 we had our first real snowstorm. Since then we've had a bit of drizzling rain and then colder temperatures and some more snow. Although it's not as much as we often get this time of year, on Friday, Dec. 28 we had received 25 inches thus far. It's been enough so we have some long icicles on our house.
As you all know, I don't dislike winter, but nowadays usually I like it best when I see all the beauty outside from inside, especially if there's a strong wind. Part of that reason is because I have to bundle up more nowadays. Not only do I have to wear the typical heavy coat, boots and hat, but, because of my asthma, I have to wear a mask, especially when it's windy. That doesn't work as well for it makes my glasses steam over, and I can't see much. However, the wind doesn't usually blow much on the back porch, so I can still feed our outdoor visitors which are currently numerous.
Meanwhile, since I am not outside as much, I have more time for reading, and often I read one of my bird books. My most recent one is "Hawks in Flight" by Pete Dunne, David Sibley and Clay Sutton, published in 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston, N.Y.
I'm not as familiar with most of those birds, and the only one I see behind our house is a hawk. I know they kill little birds, so if I see one out back of the house, I tell it it's not welcome. However, I've been enjoying learning a lot about various raptors in the aforesaid book. It gives a lot of interesting information about them. Although they may not seem very noteworthy, surprisingly some of their habits are beneficial. Moreover, they have a special kind of beauty, especially when in flight. Their colors are varied and might not seen as pretty as other birds, but they too are spectacular. I plan to watch for those raptors more during this new year and learn still more about them.
Speaking of the new year 2013, I wish you all a very blest year.