Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nature Notes: Ice Water

Ice Flower 2

Ice on the water
Snow on the hill
Remembers the breath of the whippoorwill
Remembers the April
Remembers May
A sudden shower on a summer day

Whales and starfish hearts it fed
And garden pools by sunsets red
Filled a teacup
And a leaf
Drowned a baby
Bathed a thief

Drifted in clouds on the bright sun's brow
Frozen in crystal
For now

I was rummaging through a drawer for a notebook and happened across a really old one full of my scribblings and poetry from about thirty years ago. Apparently, I used to write quite a lot. I had forgotten.

Most of it was the drek you'd expect: self centered, meaning-of-life navel gazing. Even I found Young Me tiresome. But her little rhyme seemed appropriate for the occasion today, so I dusted it off and paired it with a photo from the archives for you.

The image is what happens when ice forms on standing water, then partially melts. The water level falls, then freezes again. Then it melts, the level falls again, and so on. We have seen up to four thin sheets of ice suspended in the air in the weeds like this.

Young Me lived when there was no Internet, no personal computers, no digital cameras. Wonder what she would think of it all.

Click here to visit Michelle's site and see more Nature Notes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nature Notes: Looking Forward


I'm dipping into the archives this week, taking comfort in the knowledge that all these wildflowers are still out there, waiting to awaken.

Another week, another inch of snow. It rained a bit yesterday and melted some of it, though. At 35 degrees, it felt like a heat wave.

On the plus side, when the snow was really deep the squirrel didn't make the trek from the woods to the bird feeder, so I was able to move it back to the hook on the deck where I could watch birds.

He's back now, though, and has brought a buddy. I've moved the feeder back to the post, and amuse myself by hanging various things between it and the post to block their raids: A toy racquet; two toy racquets; a piece of gutter pipe; the rack of an old roasting pan. (Really attractive. You can only get away with this stuff out here in the country.)

Each of my lame little ploys slowed them down for a day or so, but they always find a way around - which is actually pretty amusing to watch. I wouldn't mind them so much if they didn't chase away the birds.

I'm considering a new post away from the deck, with a baffle and weighted-lever feeder, but we're talking some money there.

I could try a decoy squirrel feeder with some cheap corn on the other side of the yard, but that feels like negotiating with terrorists.

Click here to visit Michelle's site and see more Nature Notes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nature Notes: Cabin Fever

Cast Aside

What can I say. It's still winter. There's still a ton of snow. I'm sick of photographing white fields and birds, and house plants are as close to nature as I can get these days.

Somebody gave me a cyclamen for Christmas, which was gorgeous for weeks but has now gone into a rather steep decline. I trimmed off the yellow leaves and spent blossoms today, tossing them into the sink.

Just before scooping the trimmings into the trash I noticed how lovely they looked, in a Miss Havisham sort of way. A corsage for a zombie prom queen.

So that's my big moment of nature appreciation for the week. I hope it counts. If not, here's another friggin' bird for ya:

On Silent Wings

Come on, spring...

Click here to visit Michelle's site and see more Nature Notes.