A beautiful day dawned, with the sun shining brightly for most of it, but we worried it might not be a good day in the end. Last night, Simba couldn't stand up, and this morning was no different. She didn't seem to be in pain, and we wondered if she might have suffered a stroke. She's nearly fourteen years old, so anything's possible.
Romie came home from work so we could take her to the vet, since I couldn't lift a 60-pound dog into the van by myself. When he lifted her up, she was able to stand, but very shakily. Dr. Kleman checked her over and determined she was having back pain about midway back. A cortisone injection and oral medication for the next few days may be all that's needed. She's already moving around much better!
When we got home, I walked around the yard because it was such a pretty day. Temperatures were in the high twenties and there was barely a breeze, so with the sun shining, it was quite nice out there. I heard a woodpecker above me and when I looked up, there he was, pecking away at the shagbark hickory. We've got many different kinds of woodpeckers here and I could probably hear one pecking away every day if I really listened. This one was a male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), the smallest woodpecker in North America.
Snow still hangs heavy on most things . . .
Radiation frost (also called hoar frost or, sometimes, hoarfrost) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form when the air is moist, the wind is weak or absent and surfaces are cold. It is often seen on clear winter nights, especially in valleys and hollows. Hoar frost can form in these areas even when the reported temperature is above the freezing point of water.¹
At this point, I'm still enjoying the snow. It hasn't yet gotten dirty from cars, or taken on that weary look that it gets after it's been laying there for awhile. No mud, no crusty ice. Just fluffy, pristine, and white - Nature's meringue.