Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow Day!

Well, here it is the end of another year.  I can't believe it will be 2013! It certainly has been an interesting year.  365 days of ups and downs, tears and laughter and moving from North Carolina to New York!  As I look back, I'm just glad that it is behind me.  I am looking forward to a fresh start.  A clean slate.  New beginnings.  Behind me are 365 lessons that I have learned well.  And, in front of me stand 365 opportunities!  And, I, for one, cannot wait.

This Chinese New Year, which will be on February 10th, this year is the year of the Water Snake. The Water Snake is apt and able to make astute observations.  When I read this, I said to myself, "That's what I want to do this year!  Be astute!  Be clever and not make the same stupid mistakes that I make every year.  So, I guess you could say that will be my New Year's resolution!

Let your heart be gay this night.  Hold someone you care for very close this night.  Take a moment of silence for absent friends, family and friends this night.  Be safe this night.  Remember last year this night.  Dream of the new year just hours away this night.  Vow to seize every minute to come this night... I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

So, the other day, it snowed and snowed and snowed.  It was an official "SNOW DAY" for the adults.  None of us could go to work that day.  I decided to bundle up and go out and take pictures.  I didn't go far as the snow started to fall harder and the wind picked up.  The snow, I find is peaceful and beautiful.  I am amazed by these tiny little flakes of ice falling from the sky, no two ever the same.  I am not a photographer by any sense of the word, but I hope that you enjoy these few pictures.

Our back porch.

The picnic table all covered.

The original pump for the house is almost all covered.
All settled our back yard!

Summer toys. The kids had a blast making snow angels on the trampoline.

This determined little nuthatch would not let a silly snow storm keep him from his suet feeder.

Between those two little bushes and me is our road.

Snow clinging to the side of the trees like icing on a cake.

I don't think we should park the car there.

A puzzle of branches.

Tall grasses bend with every breath of the wind.

Newly broken branches.

More puzzles and more icing.

Our house in the background and a snow nest in the crook of the tree.

I love the "weave" on these trees.

All the trees were laden with snow on that cold, cold day.

I wonder how many snowflakes are nestled atop these berries.

Baby pine trees getting a taste of their first real winter snow.

Our road.

These belong right in front of a gingerbread house.

When I saw this tree all I could think of was it needs lights!

"I told you I had too many clothes on!"  (My grand-daughter)

"Mommy, push us harder!"

"All I need is a little ball of snow to start my snowman".

"I wonder if I could eat the whole thing?" (My grand-son)

Even though she kept yelling at her little brother, not to eat the snow...guess who we caught red handed?

"What ya doin' grandma?"  "Taking pictures," I said.

Doing what Daddies do best.  Carrying the sled back UP the hill.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wonderful Nature!

What is this strange fascination that we, as humans, have for seeing animals in the wild.

My family and I have moved to the upper Hudson Valley, New Baltimore, NY, to be exact.  We live in a house built in 1820.  It sits on a lovely dead end street that is surrounded by woods.  These woods are teeming with all sorts of critters.

I remember one early morning in May looking out of the window in the living room and seeing a large doe gently grazing.  I was so excited I ran and grabbed the camera and snapped a picture.  It was too early to wake the rest of the house, so I just left a note and wrote in large letters, "LOOK AT PICTURE!"  

With the exception of my daughter's boyfriend, everyone else was all a twitter.  Ever since that day we anxiously look out of our windows to see if we could spy our deer.

We moved into our quaint little house in mid-May of this year.  So far, we have had many deer; a wild turkey; Turkey Buzzards feeding on grubs; one little chipmunk who lives in a hollow log; loads of bunnies; a murder of crows; several Cooper's Hawks; and, we suspect a fox, nearby.  We can smell a slight "skunky" smell every now and then.  My grand-daughter keeps telling me that she saw something short with a long orangey tail.  We have this poor pine tree with a bald bark, all due to the Pileated Woodpecker scavenging for grubs.  Every morning we hear the call of the Blue Jay among the trees.

This past summer I had about ten different hummingbirds.  I suspect we would have had more had the little male not been so proprietary about his nectar.  I only had four feeders for them this year, a lot more!

So, now, with Fall here in upstate NY, I have put cracked corn out for the deer and whatever else feeds on corn.  Suet feeders are going up next in various limbs of trees around the yard.  And I will be filling bird feeders with wild bird seed.

By Spring, the garden beds will all be finished and there will be different types of herbs and flowers that will attract butterflies and, yes, more hummingbirds!  There will be a nice little fence around the garden so that I can harvest my hard work.  I will be sure to share with the wild creatures that surround us.

My grand-daughter, who is five, at the moment is absolutely enthralled with our little menagerie.  She and I try and talk to the deer so that they get used to our voices and, perhaps next year we can actually hand feed them.

My daughter and I have gone outside during the evening with a flashlight just to catch a glimpse of our little deer herd.  One night we were surprised to see a deer bedded down right in our neighbor's yard.  We shone the light on her and she must have been very comfortable, for she did not move.

We have one doe who comes around on a weekly basis, with her twins.  When they first showed up in our yard the twins were very small and their spots still quite vibrant.  Now, they are about half the size of mom and their color is a beautiful tawny brown.  It will be interesting to see them "grow" up this fall and winter.

There is also a very young buck that we see once in a while.  He is all by himself and extremely skittish.  He is almost a medium taupe and has two very small antlers.  I've only seen him once or twice, but perhaps he will come around a little more now that there is corn to be had.

Every day here in this little hamlet, that, we now call home is a reminder of how beautiful nature can be.  I find myself sitting on the back porch at all hours just admiring and getting inspired.