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January is days of snow and nights of clear frost. Every morning, birds flock around bird feeders in desperation. They might look sleek and fat, but in truth they are having a hard time. Most birds now roost for the 15 dark hours and spend daylight hours in a weary search for food to get them through the next 15 hours of night.

January is snow being whipped into huge drifts, and the following morning some remote towns and villages are cut off from the outside world . . . And it is two UTA commuters telling each other how ridiculous it is even to try to get to work, and how their bosses will have to put up with it.January is two sad-looking ladies sitting by a large window in a Duchesne cafe looking at the slush and driving sleet . . . And it is excited children going to their sledding in Sugar House Park.

It is sheets stiffened by ice on the clothes line, while a nearby bird gains the top of an apple tree. First it sits still and then it begins bobbing up and down like a duck in the water.

January is the fender-crumpling, black-iced road that one would gladly exchange for a dusty lane. It is icicles dangling from the roof where the sound of gentle rain thereon would be more preferable . . . It is winter that will be around for a long, long time yet, and where nothing is gained by feeling that it has already over-extended its welcome. - H.L.