It is towards the end of January and we are about to enter a period of the “doldrums“, which in common use means a “period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression.” The “doldrums” also is a word used to refer to a belt around the Earth, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is familiar to all sailors. This zone is a place where trade winds from the northern hemisphere collide with trade winds from the southern hemisphere. In this area there is little surface wind, thus sailing ships are becalmed, often for weeks at a time. I feel as though we are becalmed as well, with nothing much happening and it being so cold outside that we are pretty much stuck.
We haven’t had any new snow, but we still have some that’s been hanging in there on the ground since the end of December. It is basically solid ice now, so we have to be careful if we step on any of it. The roads and sidewalks are pretty bare, though, but we have to watch ourselves nonetheless. Slippery ice can sneak up on you.
Linda tries to take a walk whenever she can, and I sometimes accompany her. On our last walk, I hung around the parking lot at the park while she navigated the path around it. I snapped a few pictures with my phone and the only one that looked decent is this close-up below of the ice particles.
We have a slight chance of snow next week, but I wouldn’t count on it. We aren’t anywhere close to our usual accumulation of snow, but the winter is still young. I’m not particularly hoping for more, although I do like to watch it coming down. It’s the aftermath (the shoveling of it, the driving in it, the trying to walk in it) that I’m not too crazy about. Although we haven’t had much snow yet, we have had several days with Freezing Fog, and that is just as pretty as snow without all the mess. The sun does manage to come out occasionally, and that is always a plus.
I am still getting a lot of visits from hummers, and I have decided that one of the hummers that I thought was a female is actually an immature male. I took this picture below a couple of days ago, and upon viewing it in large format on the desktop computer, I could see a few feathers at the base of his beak that looked (at least to me) like the beginnings of a beard (I have edited this post to say that, originally I had said it looked like a mustache, but it was below the beak, not above). Now, I don’t know if male hummingbirds typically have beards, but that sure is what it looks like. Also, there are a few feathers on either side of his neck that stick out, which looks very similar to the way the feathers stick out from the side of a mature male. Below are a couple of pictures where you can see these two things if you can zoom in, and I have included a picture of Rodney (a mature male hummer) below them, so you can see the feathers sticking out to the side.
Speaking of Rodney, I have seen the male hummer come to the feeder several times this week, but I do not think it is the same hummer as my original “Rodney“, mainly because this one does not guard the feeder 24/7. However, I am still referring to him as Rodney because I like the name. He doesn’t care, either way.
I still don’t have any video to share with you, but I am making progress on my problem with Apple. I finally called again and got yet another person to help me…I think this is person #5 that has been helping me. I am scheduled to talk to him again this morning and get an update from the developers on my problem. Due to that phone call, my blog this morning is a little bit short, but hopefully I will finally find out something about getting my iMovie back. Wish me luck!
Summer Girl has evolved into a total lap kitty this winter! We can’t sit down without her jumping into an available lap, and if one isn’t immediately available she lets us know right away that she wants a lap!
Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.
4 thoughts on “IN THE DOLDRUMS”
The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is a new one for me, as I’d never heard the term. Doldrums, however, is an old expression of the mid-winter blahs when nothing of interest is going on. It’s an excellent time to escape into a book with either a cat (Summer Girl?) or with a dog (Charlie, my Cocker Spaniel). I just finished reading one of the books from Christmas, Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest little novel, written like a journal.
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I know, I had never heard that term before either. I’m currently listening to an audiobook by Kazuo Ishiguro, Kara and the Sun. It’s kind of sci-fi “ish”.
The winter doldrums; I can relate since it reminds me of my time living in Yakima and Ellensburg; when winter came I just wanted to hibernate. Impressive photos!
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Thanks so much!
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