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Beauty on Ice

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sometimes, when it's so cold you don't even want to stick your nose outside, the colors are so beautiful that you MUST put on coat, hat and gloves and do your duty as an intrepid liver of life. Chet and I walked out to the mailbox to see Phoebe and Liam off to school. The hayfield was a cluster of diamonds.Each stalk of dried Queen Anne's lace was that much lacier.Chet Baker made his way through all that beauty, holding up first one paw and then the other. See how his mouth is all drawn up? That's his cold face.
The milkweed pods had a special magic.Back home at the feeders, things were hopping.

Our gorgeous female hairy woodpecker paused in her search for more suet.

The male red-bellied woodpecker glowed like a hot coal in the single digits.A cardinal offered up his own coals, his tinged with ash.
It's good to get out on cold mornings.

This morning at daybreak, I heard three peents from a woodcock in the field. Just three peents, no display flight. "I'm here. But it's too cold to think of love." I was glad to hear him, and I wondered what he'd been through. While we were gone, our feeders all went empty; all the Zick dough I'd labored to make up in advance had never been put out. It had been in the single digits and we'd had four inches of snow, topped with ice. I grieved for my bird friends, what they'd been through in the worst of the winter without me to help them. Today, I put out three feedings of Zick dough, and three bluebirds, a bunch of cardinals, a red-bellied woodpecker, and the leucistic junco Snowflake (who I've renamed Queen Frostine) came to partake. They're so glad I'm home, and I'm so glad to see them! I know they don't need me as much as I think they do.

I'm running around, re-provisioning, taking out garbage, doing laundry, cooking, watering, digging out. Treated myself to a Shila massage, trying to re-align muscles and bones bent by carrying a backpack full of lead-weight optics all over Guatemala and North America. I was amazed how much more in-tune I felt after some adjustment.

I hope frosty scenes like these will be a distant memory now, in the latest, coldest early spring I can remember. The daffodils are budding anyway. Here's a little titmouse. He looks as wistful for balmy breezes as I feel right now.It's about time for some Guatemala color, don't you think?


Queen Frostine! Yeah! You've been playing Candyland.

Glad you are back. Ready for a visitor?

Yes! Post some pics from Guatemala :)

Julie, I just love all these photos! I agree that it is hard sometimes to get outside but we still find a way to survive the cold! Was that your first Am. Woodcock? Shouldn't be much longer before ours return!

Ahhhh. I love it here.

I'd like to claim that phrase, "intrepid liver of life". Yeah.

That's what I want to be.

These pics make me miss Ohio winters. Beautiful.

I am hoping the warm front that blew through here today reaches you and your frozen birdies.
(LOVED Chet's "cold face")

What gorgeous photos! We have Spring flowers here now, but it's good to remember what it was like not so long ago.

What a contrast from Guatemala, though! A few years back we spent January in Costa Rica after spending Christmas with DH's aunt on Cape Cod - we went from snow and frozen sea to hot sun and tropical temperatures - almost surreal, one day to the next.

Just great. I can almost smell on the air your stalled spring. Isn't it amazing how things push past the weather, each in its own way.

I miss titmice here.

Bring on Guatemala! :c)

Guatemala, si, but these winter shots are just superb. Any winter paintings likely to emerge from them?

Not sure whose lips look more closely pursed -- Chet Baker's or the titmouse's. And who knew titmouses (titmice?) had lips, anyway?

lovely pictures--but if you're like me you're sort of over the cold and ice right about now....

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