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More Sexy Snow

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The feeders were HOPPIN' all through the storm. I kept them topped off, with fresh offerings scattered under the bower, the spruces and pines.


When Bill and I planted the blue spruces in 1992, I didn't even think about the fact that they'd grow up to be marvelous bird feeders. The snow never gets all the way under them. I throw a big scoopful of seed right into the tree, and the birds clamber all through the needles to get it, and cluster beneath its sheltering boughs to hide and feed. The leaning evergreen to the left is our Fraser fir from Christmas, bungeed to a post. We'll burn it come spring.


When the sun finally broke out, I went into a frenzy of photography. Dawn colors snow with the most delicate peaches and blues.


This is one of my favorite photos from the storm's aftermath. Bill and I thought it looked like our penguin had skiied into the yard. Actually, the tracks were made by ice, falling off our telephone line just overhead.

We had so much trouble with our telephone line that about five years ago the phone company came and buried it. I saw the phone guy about to take down the homely cable that runs into the house and stopped him. Where would the bluebirds, tree and barn swallows sit? Where would the Carolina wren stop to sing? Where would the yellow-breasted chat land after his flight display? The phone guy liked that idea, probably mostly because he didn't have to take it down.

Our shitepoke weathervane had never looked so true-to-life. Go ahead, click the link if you don't know what a shitepoke is, or why this photo makes those who know chuckle. I'll tell you.

Sun on the meadow was surreal. Chet and I lit out for the farthest reaches, sure we'd find a wonderland.Our ordinary path was filled with mystery.

The little bluestem bent in supplication, making a mounded fantasy landscape, a maze of wonder.

Spiky lines of young sumac pushed up, refusing a snow coat. We're not cold.


Colorado or Ohio? I couldn't tell. The transformation was complete.

The older sumac, its fruit long dehisced, was a flock of dancing cranes.

Smooth sumac still offered sustenance to the hermit thrushes, woodpeckers and bluebirds, if they could get around the snowcap.

When we finally came in, spent from thrashing through the powder and underlying crust, Chet Baker thawed himself and dried his damp brisket by the gas fire that had kept us warm the whole time. Little CatDog. He baked until he was hot to the touch. That's why he's The Baker.

I look out the window today and it is snowing again, temperatures in the twenties, ferocious windchill. A lone redwing at the feeder, too cold to konkaree. Tomorrow I begin another journey--to Honduras. While on planes and in airports, I'll try to finish up with writing about Guyana so the Honduras images and memories sure to crowd in don't wind up replacing those precious things in my addled brain. There's only so much room in there, after all.

Don't worry. I've been cooking and cooking; the pantry is full and you will have plenty of Bacon while I'm gone. But man, I won't miss this wind and these loaded gray clouds; the parka and hat.
Tonight I'll offer a sacrifice to the airline gods, cruel and capricious though they be, to get me there in a reasonable way. Cross your fingers for me? JZ

21 comments:

I was just going to say how beautiful that weathervane photo is and you had to go and say shitepoke. Have a great trip -- may the travel gods be with you!

Your snow pictures makes me think of seven minute frosting with its peaks and mounds.

Safe travels, safe home.

WOW! Your feeders were hoppin! Very nice photos, love the weathervane.

Julie, shit-poke is a word I learned from my father-in-law in Maine a few years ago. I had never heard a great blue heron called that before! Such gorgeous photography. You and Chet Baker were well rewarded for your tromp through the snow. The little birds in the first photo look like gems scattered across a snowy evening gown! Glad to see you have your priorities straight when it comes to birds and wires! I had to smile at that one! I can't put a brush pile out here in my neighborhood due to HOA regs, but Gus use to laugh at me leaving my Chrismtams tree out for the birds when we lived in other places. He's pretty tolerant of me and my bird watching but sometimes he thinks I take it a little too far! Have a safe trip and leave room in your brain for all those new experiences!

Hi Kathie,

Yeah, it's pretty crazy to leave ugly phone wires up when you don't have to have them any more, but that's the way we hang here.

Please allow me, because I'm snorting with affectionate laughter, to wish you a Merry Chrismtams.

Dog is my co-pilot,

JZ

Another adventure...soak it up.

Hug the Bacon real good!

It's well past time to go back into your profile and add yet another mastered art form: photographer. These images and the ones in the previous post are ravishing.

Your keen eye and that new wide-angle lens are a match made in heaven! What a world you show us. If I can be jealous of your winter wonderland whilst sitting under a hot pink bouganvillia plant in the 77 degreed Indochinese tropics - that says something about your artistry with the camera. I love the way you see the world. Thanks for sharing. Now, that said: more Guyana, more Guyana, more Guyana!

I'm with T.R. - Guyana and Honduras please. ;-)

Be safe in your travels.

I have to share with you that I wasn't a fan of Boston Terriers at all. I thought them quite homely. Chet Baker has changed all that. He made me laugh out loud when I see the pics you have of him. He is obviously quite intelligent, and more obviously adored.

Pat, I didn't like smooshy-faced googly-eyed dogs, either, until I had kids, and then a switch got flipped in me. Well, the switch flipped when I realized I wasn't going to have a third child. So I got a dog who, as my friend Margaret pointed out, is going to look like a baby for the rest of his life. And weighs just what a toddler would when lifted. Ahhh. These things are not coincidences.

I have a post coming up on Boston terrier prejudices that you will probably enjoy.

I too will be making an offering to the airline gods for good weather and no delays, as I wing toward Texas and temps in the upper 70s and lower 80s. I'm only packing shorts!

Wonderful post. I miss my marsh.

You are one travelin' fool! I wish you safe travels, and I hope that you have fun and learn lots and see things that make you jump up and down. Can I have butter and jam with my toasted Bacon brisket, please?

Now that's SEXY snow!

I enjoyed Pat's comment and your remarks about it. Do people really see Bostons as "homely"? I laughed out loud at that one!

Well, a day or so from now, you will have even more sexy snow, LOL~

Hello,

I just stumbled upon your blog and love the photos you took of the snow.

Beautiful. I am coveting your camera...

Fantastic photos Julie! Some of the best I have ever seen you take, and that is saying something. I know people want to see more of Guyana and Honduras but what attracted me to your blog (and book) in the first place was the appreciation of the beauty present in our own backyards. Thanks for sharing your home with us and please continue to do so.

Ahh... Oh.... LOL! This snow series has been lovely and get fun!

God Speed. And/or Dog Speed. Enjoy your journey.

I'm glad you left the old phone sires for the birds. I still have the old TV antenna on the roof, disconnected since I got the satellite dish. It is perfect for a whole family of purple martins or one territorial mockingbird to perch.

Wishing you good weather and safe travels,

~Kathi

That's "wires," not "sires," LOL!

Now, phone sires would be nice - no more paying for new phones, just breed 'em!

~Kat, wondering why there is no "edit" feature to comments

as always, splendid landscapes and adorable small Boston

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