Near-record heat.

Or, as the kids sometimes write, "hottness"--as in, "He has that hottness about him."

It is warm yet again today, which makes all the walking to and from home that I do on Mondays more pleasant and less grr-charged than last week (though it was pretty warm last Monday, as well). All the work is still in the process of getting done, but it is getting done, and now there's a woodpecker on the tree outside my office, so I'd argue there's not much to complain about. It's no pileated woodpecker, to be sure, but sometimes a red-headed just has to be enough. And now? The woodpecker has dive-bombed a nuthatch that must have been poaching down below, and a goldfinch has landed on the roof, and a squirrel waves his tail about, watching it all--before (gasp!) charging up the tree to vanquish the woodpecker. Astoundingly good, all around--as one would expect from a day that began with my encountering Dickens's best simile: "It...had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar." As one of my beloved friends would say, L-O-V-E.

A postscript, because we haven't had one of those for awhile: After I left my office and headed toward home, I both saw my first spring flower--a wee snowdrop in the college president's backyard--and witnessed the beginning of the end of our warmth (or so I suspect), in the form of an enormous sweep of steely grey, blowing in from the west so quickly that I could barely keep up with it.

And, because I know you're suspecting as much, yes, that first picture is of the windowshade in my bedroom, and yes, I was reading my morning's reading assignment, with my morning coffee, in bed when I decided to take the picture, and yes, because that's not enough for you, here's another picture of another window. Here's how you know I love you, and how much.