A Parting Shot

I didn’t learn about the possible connection between “a parting shot” and “a Parthian shot” until just a few years ago. It seems that the Parthians who lived in a region in the northeast of what is now Iran, had a sneaky technique that worked very successfully for them in battle. They might be outnumbered four to one, but as long as they had a constant supply of arrows (which they always brought along to the battles), they could put their horsemanship and archery skills to good use.

Their tactic was to fake a retreat, understandable when they were outnumbered, and as the enemy fell out of their organized formation and pursued them, the Parthians turned to shoot at them with their large supply of arrows, and ended up winning many a battle this way.

This one (and many more) last shot as they (supposedly) fled, came to be their trademark “Parthian Shot,” and some believe that our modern expression “parting shot” derives its origin in this Parthian tactic.

Well, winter has taken a page from the Parthian history books and given us a Parthian shot this morning. After several warmish, springlike days, we woke up to this early morning scene.

Emma jumped up to her usual seat on the back of the couch to watch her favourite nature show of passing rabbits and eagles, and was dumbfounded. I heard her say, “What the …?”

The valley was socked in with a snow cloud.

But when the sun rose, a promising pink glow said, “Don’t worry, I’ll melt the snow off that willow in the front right of your picture. The pussywillows will still be there, unharmed.”

 

The birds are so happy that I refilled the feeders yesterday before it snowed.

 

Hang in there. Spring will come one day. I’m not going to be taken in by winter’s Parthian shot and go out there to shovel snow that will melt by tomorrow.

48 thoughts on “A Parting Shot

    • I know it’s a bit controversial whether or not to let the dog up on the furniture. We have two dogs and Emma is the smaller of the two, so she’s allowed up and the other (Ruby) is not. They don’t seem to mind the discrimination. Emma loves to watch for things moving in the hedge and then she starts bleating and quivering. Today she was in shock at the white stuff.

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  1. Love your “movie”. It looks like here in my garden. I have at least 50 of them at the same time and its almost dangerous to go out there when they fly so fast back and forth to the feeders. I wait with refilling their feeders till its noon, Around noon they are having a nap (Mittagsschlaf). Birds are so much fun to watch – I must be getting old, I guess.
    Beautiful winter pictures – and Emma on the outlook! OMG she makes me want to hug her. Very nice blog!!!

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  2. Now, there’s a motto worth hanging on the wall: “Don’t shovel what’s going to melt tomorrow!” It’s easy for us down here to wax nostalgic about snow, but we’ve had a good shot of winter this year, and it froze some of that nostalgia. Twenty and ice is nothing for you, but for us? We’re hunting for our heaters! Your photos are lovely, though. There’s nothing like a hint of pink to warm things up.

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  3. We had quite a bit of that nasty white stuff as well. By about 2 or 3 in the afternoon it was all melted off the driveway and the roads. So you are so right when you say “Don’t shovel what will melt by tomorrow”. Loved your photos and the video clip! The tidbit of history was also very interesting. Hopefully today you truly are snow free.

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    • There’s enough snow left to make about ten snowballs, and that’s it – hopefully for the winter. I’m ready to move on into spring. Thanks for visiting, Sonja. I was wondering if you’d been snowed under.

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  4. Bleh. But you know, as much as I hang my head with exhaustion at yet another snowfall, I also marvel at its beauty. We got a dusting today. February is usually a rough winter month here in the Midwest. So, I’m keeping my expectations low. ;- P

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    • I think that’s the important part – expectations. I was already thinking that spring is coming because we had a few warm days and the pussywillows were out, and then the snow came. Now, after two days of screaming wind and rain it’s a beautiful warm day (again), so I’m hopeful (again). Please, no more snow.

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