Nature's little dramas play out just outside the window

Jerry Apps
Our views of nature during the long days of winter help to relieve stress and provides a window into nature.

On these cold, snowy, often dreary days of midwinter, cabin fever, enhanced by fears of COVID, comes visiting. Ruth has discovered a remedy for this problem. A simple remedy. Look out the window.

In front of our bedroom window is a bush about five feet tall. On a sunny morning, little birds gather there. A bunch of them. Ruth watches them and listens to their chipping, which is loud enough to hear through the window. She imagines they are talking to each other.

“Did you hear about Charlie, he rammed into a window the other day. He was a bit dazed,” says loud chipping, Ethel.

“Charlie is usually dazed,” says Joyce who continues, “I found just the best bird feed. Only a few doors down, too.”

Just as each bird seems to be talking at once, a pair of cardinals, a male and a female appears. The little birds fly off, and now Ruth listens in on the Cardinal talk.

“Just about time to start whistling in the morning,” says Clarence, the bright red male. “Days are getting longer.”

“Do you have to whistle so loud?” asks Clarence’s mate. “You are such a show-off.”

And then there are squirrels, what fun they seem to be having on these cold snowy days. Chasing after each other through the snow. Climbing up the maple trees and leaping from snowy branch to snowy branch. Digging in the snow for some food stored away last fall. Climbing on the empty bird houses. Curious. Never resting it seems. Not bothered by the snow one bit. Or the cold.

A pair of rabbits sits by the woodpile, watching the squirrels, one squirrel says to the other, “Don’t those squirrels ever get tired?”

When you tire of looking at the four walls of your house, look out the Window. You might be surprised what you see.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: What would we do without windows? A joy to see nature in winter.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to