In the thesaurus, “snow“ is relative to: snowflake, sleet, slush, hail, ice, snowstorm, blizzard and flurry. Yes - that just about covers the descriptions of what has happened across our beloved state of Oklahoma since the last days of 2006. Whether it was feathery pieces of white falling from heaven, or large, splattery clumps of mush, snow has been our oft unwanted companion. But on the other hand, with the advent of Spring, just think how green our pastures, fields and yards will be!
He came to tell me something - that was for sure! He beckoned to me from the backyard elm tree, “Caw, caw, caw”…over and over again. I made my way through the snowdrifts and looked up at this huge, black crow balanced on a limb just above my head. He looked down at me as I asked him what he wanted. Without changing his cadence or tone, he continued his harsh call, even as his eyes held mine in sway He was hungry - that was the message I received. So I mixed up some dry dog/cat food, a piece of bread, and some pear halves. I scattered the meal on the snowy ground beneath the tree, and returned to the house. The phone rang, the cawing stopped, and the food was gone when I later went to see if he had eaten. That same day I bought bird food, along with squirrel food, and because of one noisy crow, his cousins, the sparrows and finches - little flitting creatures that must endure the elements - are now being fed. May you do the same for our feathered, and bushy-tailed friends!
And while we're on the avian subject….last week I drove out west, being on a quest to find a moment of pure peace. The landscape was foreign to my eyes, the white of the earth blending seamlessly with the cloud-covered sky. On the edge of the road ahead of me was a dark spot - a dark spot that morphed into a magnificent bald eagle! Like with the crow, the eagle's eyes met mine as I stopped to admire his regality and beauty. Although many of you may not think it unordinary to see such a creature just west of town, I was surprised, and I counted this encounter as a blessing, even as I wondered if he was hungry, too.
Also, several people have mentioned seeing flocks of small blue birds darting around town. I keep looking for them, but haven't yet seen a flash of blue or heard their sweet song. Perhaps, should their flight paths cross, that crow will direct them to my yard?!
Yes, the snow brought not only moisture, but also change. Cliff White has been our county Emergency Manager (EM) for several years. He was assigned the title, after he was hired to be our county safety officer. The EM position is not a paid position, but is strictly volunteer. Time passed and we had no emergencies, and Cliff concentrated his efforts toward safety, being that he is a retired Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer. Then the storm came, and suddenly Cimarron County became an emergency zone. Cliff will admit he wasn't prepared for such a thing. But then, I dare say any other entity or official was prepared, either. I know almost every ordinary citizen sure wasn't prepared! But together, and with much aid from downstate, we weathered the storm, and in the end I believe we each performed the tasks assigned us.
Cliff didn't seek the voluntary position of county EM, unlike two of your fellow citizens. As of this past week, the torch has been passed and Bonnie (Heppard) Miller is our new county Emergency Manager, and I am her deputy. Together, and with your help, we will hopefully all be more prepared the next time nature or man decides to wreak havoc on our county!