A Cardinal in the Thicket
A row of crab apple trees is the vision that greets me every morning through the window. As winter weather lives up to its reputation as the dreaded "thief of leaves", I'm once again left with a tangled mess of densely arranged branches. As I adjust my eyes to the grey morning light, the fog hovers "thick as peanut butter" (as Yukon Cornelius would so eloquently describe it) over the bleak landscape. The frost collects around the holiday decor, looking equal parts frigid and romantic. A red cardinal arrives unannounced between the ominous branches, looking like a lone ornament on a Christmas tree stripped bare of its greenery. There he sits in the thicket, offering a dazzling and astonishing dash of color against the monochrome backdrop of winter.