Thursday, March 5, 2009

Snow Day

We had almost five inches here by the end of the day on Monday--the only substantial snowfall of the winter. Schools closed (our part of Virginia is not well equipped for snow, and the back roads can stay treacherous until the snow melts). I'm NOT a snowbird, growing up in the desert and all--I find it beautiful but way too cold. Still, the accumulation was still light on Monday morning, so I ventured out with my camera.

My Camellia japonica picked this weekend to start to open its buds--I hope this one is still tight enough that the flower won't freeze, though there are plenty of of buds still forming.

One of my other "flowers," however, was quite happy to be dusted in snow--more on him later.

In "Desert Places," Robert Frost wrote of snow, "The woods have it--it is theirs. /All animals are smothered in their lairs. /I am too absent-spirited to count."

A dogwood,

an ironwood (golden leaves still clinging),

a holly.

But absent-spirited as I may have been (or, to deflate Frost's powerful but disturbing images, "under-caffeinated"), some of the animals were out of their lairs. A flock of red-winged blackbirds were passing through, and stopped at Salix's birdfeeder for a little respite during the storm, providing some nice blacks for my "color" photography (nature wasn't up to her full spectrum that day . . .) .

The male bird's wing adds a little splash of red in the otherwise monochromatic image:

The brown-and-white striped birds are the females, colorful in their own right.

Here's one puffed up, even hawkish in her diminutive way:

And this isn't the greatest picture ever made, but I loved the flash of red as something spurred the flock into flight:

Another animal out of his lair was brave Ranunculus, leaving his couch and warm fire to explore the snow.

He found it ticklish at first.

But quickly discovered that it's cold but joyous (again, not the best shots in the world--except to me and Salix)--

We'll be feeling the same way soon--when we head to the Caribbean tomorrow for Spring Break. So I'll be off-line and absent from blogging until the 15th, which means my Bloom Day post will probably be very late (there's the whole going-back-to-work-thing that we'll have to factor in). But I'll have great pictures of other people's gardens to offer when we get back . . .