Towards the end of February in western Massachusetts there in often, actually mostly, snow or the remains of snow on the ground. Some think, by this time, that the concept of snow on the ground is depressing. Now if you go to the Chicopee River, there is ice fishing. Further west and north there is skiing. There are always some places for kids (and adults) to coast or skate. Still, we feel an ennui settle in, for we know two-thirds of March will bring more of the same. Some folks fly south now, although less did this year because of the virus. There may be some movement now that those over seventy-five took advantage of their access to the COVID vaccines of Pfizer or Moderna.

The cold and snow affects animals as well. My dog when let out at six in the morning is back at the door in milliseconds. In the middle of a few days, despite snow on the ground, if the sun is shining, Othello will enjoy the cold; but only under those conditions. He does like playing in fresh snow. We’ve had a fox in the neighborhood. Good thing too. The gorgeous redhead entices Othello to the edge of the fence where he barks incessantly. He needs his vocal cords stretched. Fortunately, my neighbors Trudy and John are kind and have never once complained. Less squirrels are out now that Mr. Fox is plodding around. He is particularly arrogant when he prances swishing his gorgeous tail on my front walk as Othello barks, the squirrels hide, and the feral cat snarls and disappears under my fence. The cat is not deterred by Othello and appears to be pleased to be the cause of the dog’s increase volume level in barking.

Ah, such entertainment given to me. Sometimes I just stare at the various wildlife occupying my city landscape. Did I mention the birds? They come in droves. It’s time for nesting, I think. It must be because they sing for me. You may ask me how many hours of the day do I spend watching these activities and my answer would be: probably too many. However, I write mystery novels. I need a happy soul to allow me to invent scenarios, characters, and dastardly deeds to use in my novels. My soul is lifted by my friends living or using my grounds. This is my therapy for fighting any thought of being down.

K. B. Pellegrino, Author

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