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 . . .

30 comments:

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Though everyone is excited for spring to come the snow was such a pretty one. I just love the bird pictures with the falling snow. Looks like your puppy was having fun too.

Randy Emmitt said...

Cosmo,

I can't believe you had Red-winged Blackbirds at your feeders, never seen that before. Grackles I've feed them by hand in FL. We had 3 inches here in Durham, NC it was pretty. Now for 4 days of temps in the 70s, YEAH.

tina said...

Your camellia looks great with the snow. Red and white are perfect matches:) Have the greatest time in the Bahamas. Soak up some some, do the limbo and party hearty. See ya when you get back.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Oh what fun and what beautiful photos!

Cameron

Gail said...

Great photos and the blackbirds look in the bright snow. The snowfalls have completely passed up by each time this winter...there's always next year! Have a great time and we'll see when you get back~~gail

themanicgardener said...

That dog sure looks happy! For someone who doesn't like snow, you certainly capture it well. And I liked your update of Frost.
--Kate

Phillip said...

It is beautiful. I love those red-wing blackbirds. I get them sometimes at our feeders. Have a great vacation. The Caribbean sounds fantastic!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cosmo, how fun to see Ranunculus dashing around like a puppy. Dogs must think the first snow is a wonderful adventure.

I loved your photos. Enjoyed seeing all the birds around the feeder.
Marnie

Rose said...

Just beautiful photos,Cosmo! The snow creates such a magical scene for great shots, but I prefer looking at your photos of snow to seeing it in my yard anymore:) Ranunculus looks like he was really enjoying himself.

Have a great trip--the Caribbean sounds heavenly!

Entangled said...

Love the "woods in snow" photos. Send some red wing blackbirds my way, please! I think I've only ever seen them once at our feeders. I like the colors and their buzzy song.

Have a great vacation!

Janet said...

Ah, Cosmo, have a wonderful trip. My dogs also enjoyed the invigorating snowfall. I call it 'idiot circles' as they run and run and romp wildly. We have lots of the red-winged blackbirds here pretty frequently. They live in the grasslands across the creek. I enjoy seeing them land on a long stalk of marsh grass and watch it sway back and forth.

Les said...

We just got you back and now you are off again to the islands. You better bring back some cool pictures!

Sarah Laurence said...

Five inches in Virginia –wow! Your flowers look so cold, but it is pretty. I’m a big fan of Robert Frost too.

Your tree photos are just gorgeous! I had to scroll back up to admire them a second time. The birds at the feeder are out of a storybook.

Lucky you: enjoy the Caribbean!

Cosmo said...

Hi, everyone--I'm having a lot of trouble commenting on blogs today--not sure if it's a personal problem or a blogger issue--but please know that I appreciate your comments and I've tried to leave a few. And Happy Spring to everyone--I'll miss blogging, but being away from internet service also means being away from WORK (yay!)

Cosmo said...

Lona and Randy, thanks for stopping by. Lona, I loved your pictures of the garden show, especially that VW fountain! Randy, the blackbirds are migrating, I think--we see some every year but they're not inhabitants.

Cosmo said...

Dear Tina, I will soak up lots of sun and send it your way. I'll probably soak up some wine, too.

Cameron, thanks. Ranunculus had a ball--I just set my camera on the "Sports" setting and started shooting--I got a lot of pictures with just snow but did catch a couple. I'd love to see some of Charm!

Cosmo said...

Gail, I would have happily sent the snow your way.

Welcome, Kate--I REALLY don't like snow but I had to do something besides sulk. But I love Frost so it gave me an opportunity to drag him out (actually, I dislike snow enough that I do sometimes feel Frost-like in it--scary--)

Cosmo said...

Phillip and Marnie--That bird feeder is a constant joy--Salix will fret while we're gone that the birds aren't being fed. We seem to be a stopping point on some flocks regular migrations (mostly robins, but we do love these blackbirds when they show).

Cosmo said...

Hi, Rose--Umm, I'd rather see pictures of YOUR snow. Seriously, it is truly lovely in the woods so I can stand one day a year.

Entangled, I have left strict instructions telling the birds to head north to South and then north to North (I told them you're a great cook . . .)

Cosmo said...

Oh, Janet, you're lucky to have the blackbirds living locally--ours are just visitors. They're so gorgeous--and I love the colors on the females as well.

Les, pictures-r-us--I have TWO cameras with me. The issue will be finding the time to post them when I get back.

Sarah, we will so enjoy the Caribbean--like you, we love the water (though I think we like things a little warmer than beautiful Maine supplies). I have Roberto Bolano's 2666 with me--I had to cancel class because of the snow day, so I don't have the set of papers with me that I'd planned to have, and the internet is too expensive, so I'm actually going to READ. Hope you all thaw soon.

Skeeter said...

Great Snow pics but I am sure you will enjoy the warm sun during your spring break a bit more! Ranunculus looks like he is having fun in the white stuff. We have Red-Winged black birds stop by at times but have not seen one in a while. I think they are neat looking birds with their red wings...

Have fun in the sun!

Phillip M said...

What great pictures!

Bek said...

The snow sure made for pretty pictures! I love those red-winged blackbirds. I have never seen them in our area here. Enjoy your break!! We still have to wait til mid April for ours..

Zach said...

Where are you Cosmos, I have missed you...

Josie Ray said...

What a beautiful blog. I love these snow pics, the hellebores, and the shadow moon. (I'll look further, later.)

Are you still there?

Josie Ray
Appalachian Dream

Simone said...

WOW - looks soooo beautiful. Great shots.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

Your dog is adorable....

Window On The Prairie said...

Lovely snow pics. I'll bet your garden is in full bloom by now. Our peonies are blooming their little hearts out. Come for a visit.
Suzanne

Lisa said...

I always dream that one day I can witness a snow. I am from the Philippines and there's no snow in here. I love the photos shared.

Lisa from Acoustic Guitar Software

Zach said...

We miss you Cosmo! Come back to us!