My brother has been in town. He came for an event but the plans for the week exploded wonderfully into visits with his children and grandchildren, sisters and niece. It was fun to see everyone. His grands are growing into lovely people. So much growth in the few months since we last saw them. And like a whirlwind, he is gone again.
In the midst of all the chatting and coming and going, I always do best to quiet myself although that can be very hard to accomplish – or even remember! But this week, I did. I got outside a bit to check on what the earth is giving. Of course, I have to show you. It’s best to crouch down and have a close look, sniff, or listen. I’m rather excited about the new growth near the rock. I planted packets of bulbs last fall and I’m anxious to see what they will produce. Hyacinth blooms multiplied and the Hellebores are always charming as the first harbingers of spring here. There are ponds on nearby properties and the other night, when it was warm, I heard the sweet spring peeper chorus.
It has been so very dry this winter, hardly any snow or rain, but last night, the storms came and the rain fell through the day. I had an appointment in town and drove my favorite long way home through the reservoir. There were very few cars while I was there so it was a bit like my private park. A few geese searched the ground for nibbles while I sat and enjoyed the trees.
And on a canvas of glass, I watched the rain make art.
Do click on the photos to see the “modern art”.
For a fun video of the rain, visit my Instagram page: elaineweger.
The month of June has been unsettling. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, working and thinking, sometimes writing a word or three. Wondering if the writing can or even should continue.
As I rarely post without photographs and I am having a bit of a learning curve challenge with some photo software issues, I feel somewhat lost.
That said, I have taken many photos with my phone, especially of flowers.
I’ve been using Instagram for a while. Stop by, if you like. I post under my name.
Sumac red and dogwood mahogany fade to apricot this long and extraordinary season.
Russet and gold mellow; the world is quieting.
Ice begins to form on the birdbath and this year the Snowbirds compete with the Goldfinches at the thistle feeder.
Frost twinkles in the early light before sun.
Contours and features long hidden in green come back into focus.
And one night, the first snow drifts down. Time to settle into warm clothes, lamplight, comforting foods and wrapping my heart extra tight in gratitude for wonder and blessing.
Leftover rain glistening on grasses – calm beauty sustaining the dental chair visit!
I believe these to all be mosses. Brilliant greens against the dry old leaves and litter of the forest floor; living color shining as filtered light dances down through new leaves tossing in the wind.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures…He restores my soul”, a long ago shepherd boy said.
While not a pasture, looking at these simple plants slowly forming soft colonies and feeling their gentle cushion as I tread gently on some was amazingly restorative. I am so grateful for small wonders!
As I was involved with food for the dinner table, there was a shout from hubby, “Pheasant!” Our food was forgotten as I found the camera, careful not to startle our feathered friends at their dinner.
The color and markings were extraordinary. Pheasant is a rare sighting here.
Taking photos through window glass certainly reduces clarity and focus is difficult. If you click on the first photo, you will be able to see the wonderful markings more clearly.
Information on the Ring-necked Pheasant can be found here.
At the end of our Christmas visit to Longwood, I found an enchanting book ion display in the shop, Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo. I was taken in by the photograph on the cover and leafing through the pages, I knew this was a book for me. Robert LLewellyn has transformed photography to open my eyes to wonder. When I settled in with her prose I was not disappointed. Then, I had the opportunity to hear Mrs. Hugo speak a few weeks ago between ice and snow storms. It was so fun to be taken into her passion and joy for the wonder that is a tree. Taking advantage of the season, I had been looking at bark on some trees in the yard.
cedar tulip poplar black oak
After reading about the American Sycamore and learning that this tree likes to follow along watercourses, I went looking for them. The soughing off of the old bark reveals their startling white beauty in the winter barrenness and makes them easy to spot in the landscape. Beautiful!
Hibernation sounds like a good thing. I’m grateful for down comforters and cozy quilts, crocks of soup and stews and the warmth of home. Simple things like watching birds and light and shadow, reading and coffee seem to fill the days while chores sit and the list of things I planned to do on snowy days is long forgotten in what seems like a never ending winter – and it is only January <sigh>.
The amaryllis has been such a joy and I will miss its cheerful greeting as the blooms begin to fade.
A few years ago we left our winter snow and went south. Far south. Where it is cold in summer. I decided to share a few photos from that January when I didn’t mind wearing my winter coat.
And yes, the birds in the background are penguins!
These are Magellanic Penguins. They nest in burrows. January is summertime in Punta Arenas, Chile but the season is short; the chicks grow fast and the parents take them down to play in the water’s edge.
The most wonderful thing was that we walked on a simple path marked out with sticks and twine right along the edge of their mounds and they didn’t seem to pay the slightest bit of attention to us as they went about. They, however, had our full attention!
Such amazing creatures hidden away in a remote part of the world waiting for eons for people to even know of their existence, delighting their Creator.
It was to be a quiet Christmas Day for two. We decided to splurge on the drive and spend time in the beauty of Longwood Gardens. We were a bit surprised at the number of folks with the same plan. From the voices traveling around us, many were far from homes in other countries.
It has been a number of years since we visited and always there are cameras. This year it seemed that at least half our fellow travelers were using other kinds of devices.
Progress into the conservatory was slow as so many groups and couples posed every few feet.
I had taken my camera so I was caught up in capturing everything I could see when I suddenly realized the camera was flashing its low battery signal.
And it came to me – my battery was low too and I needed to recharge: breathing fragrance, looking deeply into plants, enjoying the laughter, marveling at the gardeners work,
walking slowly, holding hands, watching sunlight fade and lights glow from trees sharing dinner, walking in cold, crisp air, recharging, rejoicing!
We had seen stars shining, nature singing! Singing the praises of their Lord and Creator this Christmas Day! Joyous Holidays to you!