A whole clatter of display birds showed up for breakfast. Two jays, two pine siskins, two downy woodpeckers, a red-bellied woodpecker, a lady cardinal. And two redpolls quarreling in midair directly ober the feeder, momentarily suspended as in an aerial pas de deux. Why didn't they schedule the Iowa Winter Bird Feeder Survey for today? But the real news this morning was the warmer, more tolerable air that I felt all the way down to campus. Probably because the wind was coming from the southeast rather than the northwest and only moving about five miles an hour. The sky was still clear at that point, but a few hours later when I went uptown to have lunch with Kate, the wind had picked up, and the sky had almost completely filled up with midlevel clouds—signs of the weather's gradually changing over from an arctic front to a warm front. And even if I hadn't checked the outdoor thermometers on the downtown bank building, I'd have been able to feel that the air was distinctly warmer after lunch than before. And warmer still by afternoon.
From Carl H. Klaus's Weathering Winter: A Gardener's Daybook