Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Li'l Febber's Last Stand

Talk about an ice show. All this week, Arlington birders have been sharing photos and emailing each other about the bald eagles on the ice of Lower Mystic Lake. An adult and a second-year juvenile were seen down on the ice shelf, dining on something, fish or fowl, while interested crows hung around, hoping for scraps. At one point the adult (smaller) eagle goes stalking off with its wings raised above its head as if to say, “I raise you from an egg to get attitude? I don’t need this!”

That photo I didn’t get. But I did come upon these seven Canada geese yesterday, all arrayed on the lake ice and facing the free water of Mystic River, as if they were all that stood between winter and spring. Their domain is cracking a bit, the ice awash today. And tonight the battle goes on. To the west and north, snow is falling at two inches an hour, they say, but here in Boston, it’s supposed to be a little of this, a little of that, some snow, then some rain, maybe a little sleet. How about some nice hail maybe?

It’s February’s last stand. Not meekly is it going out, but with a sense of inevitability. What March comes in like—lion, llama, or lima bean—depends on what February goes out like. Maybe like a frustrated eagle, maybe like a stalwart goose. But whatever it is, today begins its last Napoleonic, wintrish, waterish, week. So goodbye already, short stuff: here's your parka, what's your hurry?

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