Monday, January 5, 2015

In Which Lady Cardinal In The Snow Bodes Ill For Biking

Magnolia bud in my back yard as snow falls Jan. 5, 2015.
“Lady Cardinal” sounds like a character from Downtown Abbey, doesn’t she? Come to think of it “Lady Cardinal in the Snow” would be a good fictional village name.

I watched the opening episode of DA season 5 last night, and, spoiler alert, it begins with Lady Edith riding a bicycle to a see a marigold. Actually, to see Marigold, her illegitimate daughter.

And that tells you enough that you either A) Would never want to see the show or B) Are kicking yourself if you missed episode 1. It was everything Downton Abbey is expected to be: an engrossing period soap opera that both immerses you in a faux 1920s England and occasionally sets your teeth on edge with dialogue that almost makes you weep for all the wrong reasons. Despite it all, I’m already hooked on season 5. Let’s hope Bates ends up pushing Barrow in front of a Lorry in London.

Screen shot of opening of episode 1, season 5, Downtown Abbey, viewed at:
Still, I have to get my biking fix from watching Lady Edith. There won’t be much bicycling in Iowa for some time. We’re getting multiple inches of snow on this Monday, and the week ahead is forecast to be windy and bitterly cold. Under the right conditions, I’m often back on two wheels within 48 hours of snow—but it doesn’t seem that this week will feature the right conditions.

Anyway, of course I drove to work today, and I left a bit early due to the heavy snowfall. When I got home and looked out the back window, a pretty boy cardinal was hanging about in the fading afternoon light, so I grabbed my camera. As soon as I did, he rapidly retreated.

His girlfriend was a bit braver and stuck around, sneaking seeds from the ground beneath the bird feeders I have in the back garden.

I think Lady Cardinal looks a bit pissed off as she collects seeds in the snow beneath a bird feeder. Honestly, if you look at them up close, cardinals usually look a bit maniacal and robotic, so maybe "pissed off" is her default mood.
You’re welcome to the food, Lady Cardinal. Tell Master Cardinal it would be OK for him to eat and be photographed, too. What is the point of his ridiculous scarlet coloring if he’s too shy for the camera?

And Lady Edith, spend more time on your bicycle, it may lift your mood and prevent you from moping about and burning down the abbey. Opps. Spoiler alert number two, too late!

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