Friday, February 18, 2011

Nature Notes: Full Snow Moon

Woooo Hoooo! Look what's happening in my front yard!

We've had a few days in the 40's and yesterday was up to 56 degrees, positively balmy. The pussywillow is already popping out fuzzies, and last night I stood on my front porch without a jacket and experimented with full-moon shots using new camera:

Full Snow Moon

The February full moon is the Snow Moon, or the Hunger Moon, as this is generally the month of heaviest snow. It certainly has earned its name this year, but I think the worst is over. If pussywillows are out, spring can't be far behind.

We made it!

(P.S. I had to fiddle with the moon images in editing to reveal the details, but I am encouraged by how clear they turned out. Don't know why the moon turned from white to yellow in the process, but I'm working on it.)

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

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday Photo Shoot: Love

Carly at Ellipsis hosts a photo meme called Monday Photo Shoot. Appropriately enough, this week's theme is Love.

I don't often participate, but the prompt got me thinking.

How do you photograph love? Hallmark cards come to mind: people kissing, hands entwined, sepia waifs holding flowers, sprinkles of hearts. All nice, all romantic. But on beyond that is something deeper, something quiet and subtle.

My work day ends at 11 PM, and in winter it means shoveling snow and scraping ice off my car in a freezing, dark parking lot, followed by a slow and treacherous 45 minute drive home.

This is where the love comes in. Though he gets home late and tired, my husband always plows our long, winding driveway through the woods for me, and he places markers at the edges that are hard to judge.

Best of all, he leaves me a crackling fire in the den. He's already in bed when I get home, so I have the fire and that warm corner of the sofa all to myself, a place to unwind and read until I'm relaxed enough to sleep.

I love that fire. I love being home. I love that sofa. I love reading late at night in the dark, warm silence. And I love, love, love that man.

For other entries, please do visit Carly at Ellipsis

Monday, February 14, 2011

Here Comes the Bride

Happy Valentine's Day!

And what better day to announce that we're having a wedding. My older son and his fiancee have set the date: May 5, 2012. Mother of the Groom, a whole new adventure. More to come as things unfold.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nature Notes: Tweet


So there I was, enjoying the comforts of my ... er ... bathroom, when something somewhere chirped. One note, musical, but somehow alarming. And I didn't recognize it. A couple of minutes later, another chirp confirmed the worst: The house is broken.

Time to hitch up my big girl pants and go find out what's about to explode. I started with the serious stuff: carbon monoxide alarm; radon alarm; sump pump failure; well pump failure; furnace. Nada. But whatever it was was still chirping, and I couldn't quite locate where it was coming from.

Moving on, I checked the fire alarms for dead battery warnings; phones off the hook; the door ajar alarm on the fridge; and finally the new coffee pot. Which is near the kitchen window, which is directly under the aforementioned bathroom.

And that's when I found the culprit. It was, of all things, a blue jay. He was perched on the shepherd's hook that held the feeder before the Squirrel Wars began. And he was chirping. Just the one note, and a pretty one, in fairly regular intervals. I had never heard a jay make any sound but a raucous, crow-like call.

I had to laugh, surprised, relieved and delighted all at once.

Song Sung Blue

In other news, We are up to three squirrels, a rabbit, and at least one mouse around the bird feeder. I'm waiting for deer to show up. The raccoons must be hibernating.

AND there is a blizzard warning tonight. I will go in to work, but it's supposed to start while I'm there, so getting home again at midnight could be a project. If I make it back tonight, I'll let you know how it went.

P.S. 11:42 pm. I didn't make it home. Got stuck in a snow bank on the way home, but some nice guys in a pickup stopped and pulled me out with a tow rope. I'm crashing at my son's house for the night.

When they said "blizzard" I had no idea how bad that really was going to be. Howling wind drove icy snow so hard you couldn't see 15 feet away, and the roads were so drifted you couldn't even see where they were. I have to admit, I was scared.

I had stocked the car with a comforter, water, food, boots, and sundries just in case this happened and I had to spend the night in the car. The one thing I forgot was the one thing I really needed - a shovel.

Anyway, I'm OK. Glad to be safe and warm, and grateful for those angels who stopped in the storm to help me out.

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