Tag Archives: Winter

Rhoda, the weather lady

 

snow day

This is my friend Rhoda, the rhododendron. Rhoda lives outside my bedroom window and is the perfect weather reporter. When a look up at the sky tells me little, Rhoda can be depended upon to report rain, sleet, snow and especially frigid conditions.

The day this photo was taken it was not too cold as the leaves are open to catch the snow. Today they are open and drip with icicles so although it is below freezing, it is not much below. As the temperatures drop farther and farther, the leaves will curl back, sides to middle, till they look like tight little green cigars and the whole plant structure is visible.

Rhoda has been known to give hospitality to nesting birds. The Mockingbird is especially fond of this location. And of course she blooms beautifully each spring. Here she is in the top left corner.

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Spring! Coming soon!

My computer is currently being held hostage for ransom but I am working to be able to upload new photos through hubby’s which will include Rhoda’s weather transformations.

Robin watching

I learned last year that robins only migrate south when food sources or extreme weather conditions force them to do so. Facultative migration, it is called.

This holly tree can be seen from a bedroom window. It grows by our front deck. This afternoon, it was a very busy robin feeding station. The last frame shows a mockingbird getting his share.

The flock invaded the backyard as well, where they were joined by starlings and all were busy running to and fro turning  up leaves looking for a tasty snack and enjoying the lovely, sunny day. It seemed quite a party!

robins

Merry Little Christmas!

Happy New Year! Blessed Epiphany Greetings!

Christmas Tree

Growing up, I loved Christmas music. Throughout the season I would search through the old records and play them over and over. This one lingers in my memory still. To me, this version of We Three Kings has a rich, mysterious and regal sound. The person who posted to Youtube has added some beautiful artwork to the page, if you care to linger there.

Magi once travelled far from their comfortable homes to seek, to gaze. I think about them each year, the seekers, the searchers, the brave adventurers, the courageous explorers. Their breed has not vanished from the earth, you know. They are among us still.

There is a stargazer inside me – one searching for The Star; longing to gaze into His face, His eyes.

However, I am a bit like this one – see him? Wise Men  Down on his knees, begging his camel to come along… I find it all too easy among all the festivities to become distracted by things that are to serve us, and to serve them. And not only that, but see how the others have become distracted too? Yah, I can lead others to distractions too. Then we miss the shining path through life.

This year, I want to follow our pastor’s encouragement to ‘step into my dark and look up for the star.’

star light

I want to find my way to the promise of grace, wonder, glory and great beauty in this New Year.

May  you find yours as well.Nativity scene

Several years ago, I read and interesting book by Brent Landau titled, Revelation of the Magi. This is a translation of an ancient Syriac document. It is a fascinating story of the Nativity told from the point of view of the Magi and told with great reverence. You might find it interesting.

We had the gift of a light snow today. The beauty offsets the bitter cold.

IMG_4713 It follows after evening and morning glorious of Monday which I simply must share.

evening & morning

{You may click on any photo to enlarge it.}

 

Winter Marches along

Marching ducks

Last week we had an out and about day. While hubby kept an appointment, I strolled through the nearby import store. I felt so warm as I returned to the car that I threw my heavy jacket in the back seat. Driving along to the library I realized it was 28 degrees. What a winter to leave me with the feeling that 28 was warm! March at the MarshShopping, services and office buildings were built near the edge of marshland. I took what I hoped would be a shortcut back and was totally distracted. Geese strolled along a stream and drew my attention to a pond full of birds.

Gulls at the pond

They must have quite a fan club from the footprints left in the snow and I was disconcerted as they came flying and running toward me. Since I was not offering them treats, some stood nonchalantly while the white ducks moon-walked away without a backward glace. ducks on the MarshIt was such a glorious afternoon and the duck chatter and antics as they slid across the ice had me laughing out loud. It was so fun to find such a treasure hidden so close to the familiar.

At the Marsh

Weather or not

There are those among us who have endured an unusual winter of steady, deep cold and white and now look at the turning of the calendar page as magical. Not so Theresa who serves at the local bakery café. “March is mean.”, was served with my coffee this morning. She’s right, that is the history here. No magic March will happen this year either; the forecast continues for bitter cold and more snow to come. No magic acts here, at least not the kind that folks want, of disappearing coats and hats and snow shovels.

But under the snow and ice and cold, wonders are happening. I’m waiting for the real magic show to begin. As a preview, here are some photos from last March.March

Learning to see

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.

IMG_2345 cedar  tulip poplar tulip poplar black oakblack 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!IMG_2323

It’s going to be a long winter…

…”and what will the birdies do then, the poor things…” an old camp song goes through my mind… be sure to drag out loooong. Yesterday with everything covered in ice, they foraged at the feeders, sought shelter under the shrubbery or just sat on ice covered branches thinking bird thoughts.

We were grateful to have shelter, cold sandwiches and a warm fire.fire placeCold, hard beauty could be found.

icy trees  icy trees  icy trees

Late in the afternoon, the temperature rose above freezing, the sun came out, and it rained a thick layer of “ice cubes”.   ice          ice

Melt will come and the work will begin to clean up all the cold, hard sad.

ice damageThe birds were happy this was not the branch that holds their feeder; we are happy it did not fall on the house itself although it certainly woke us up when it hit.ice damageThat mound of icy greenery totally hides the shed. From every window and door we see piles of winter storm prunings to be gathered up.

ice damageThe pine tree that welcomed us home all these years and weathered many a hurricane and winter storm has fallen. I shall miss this old friend.

 

 

Weather repeat

I don’t really collect stats on weather or seasons in my life. I do remember cold winters and snow and ice winters but this one does seem relentless. Heavy rain in the night turned to rain and snow and sleet and left a coat of the heaviest kind to be pushed and shoveled.

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But it was very beautiful and perhaps it was that beauty and the slightly perceptible lengthening of daylight that was energizing. I enjoyed creative time in the kitchen and we were delighted to share our muffins with the man who plowed and then helped to shovel, too! God bless Joe!

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