Tuesday, March 20, 2012

spring in the snow

Walking to the woods on this beautiful spring day the sky was so blue. There were red tailed hawk sentinels at the edge of the woods, sitting high up, surveying their surroundings, scrutinizing every movement - friend or foe???
There were eagles, I never saw them until the swoosh of their wings alerted me that something was afoot (awing) if I could tear my gaze away from its earthbound focus. Four or five birds sailed over the woods, the dog and me - adults and imatures alike. In their wake came the ever vigilant crows and ravens, not to mentions the squarks of the blue jays, not as visible, except to the inner ear.

It was a lovely walk through and through, I heard so many more birds - not 'only' chicadees but also song sparrow and robins announced that they were ready to embrace longer, warmer, brighter days.The drum solos of the woodpeckers were also echoing through the air.

Towards the end of the walk, back only 50 feet from the exit I had to swipe a hand across my face - recalling other spring times - and once again I wondered, who exactly is it that spins/extracts these long invisible soft support threads which with ghostly precision reappears day after day, hour after hour - once the air has reached a certain temperature.
This day I got acquainted with one of these miniscule little creatures - an inch worm I think you can call him (will call him 'he', since I don't know if it was one or the other) His girth measurement was about 1mm at its thickest and really I almost missed him being there, swinging in the sunny wind from his invisible trapeze - well, I had better call it a rope, for he held onto to just the end of it, there was no trapeze stick to cling to.

Once I caught him in my scarf he turned long and stiff as a stick on the purple mohair. Nothing moved, neither eye lid or tiny feet.  Then he was rolled onto the palm of my hand and back to the scarf. I suppose the warmth from my skin must have made him curious to see if it really was summer already for he started to move about - not for long though, suddenly he was into another pose - perhaps doing yin yoga, hm, who knows.

The fact is, he moved along inch worm like, holding on at the back, stretching out the front, then holding on at the front and folding his long body into a loop reattaching his hind quarter close to the front end and ...repeat of the exercise. Every now and again suddenly standing. sitting, hanging, stock still - pretending to be something non-edible I suppose - a hard little piece of stick or a leaf end, not wanting to announce his yummy protein rich little juicy self. We had a lovely session - hm - it was lovely for me, I wonder if he was scared or just embracing whatever fate had in store for him.
In the end we found a tree trunk with a small branch where I gently put him down - he blended in ever so nicely with the bark - I have to wonder, was that even in the direction he wanted to go in? it is hard to know when you pick someone off a swinging line, hither or dither, no sure indications.

And my trusted tromping through mud, sludge, snow and rain companion Freia. She doesn't disappear when I pull out the camera to explore some texture or other. She will meander a bit and then, she places her body in a relaxed position, resting muscles and bones as she patiently waits for me to finish up whatever it seems to her that I am doing.
That day I was working on understanding .... what it is that I brush off my face walking in the woods in the spring.
Now I know!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Extra cold and feeling prickly!

And this is really rather funny!
The fact that last week after a -13 celcius night the world's surfaces looked like this

Today it is more like +10-15 celcius outside, hardly a trace of ice or snow left - well - except on protected, shadowy north facing spots.

The day I took these photos, I had to be quick. My fingers froze for there was a slight wind, and my fingertips got numb sooner rather than later.

It was intriguing to see how the water crystals had been forced up and out of the fence post surfaces - when I got inside and the photos were on the confuser I could see how each little section resembles the leaf of a fern - isn't that curious now.
Then there are these prickly burdock seed heads. On that day they were all looking prickly and ready for debate on their stalks in the little fenced in area next to the hen-house.
A few days later there were considerably fewer burrs on the stalks for......the snow was melting and the lambs were bouncing .....right over the fence (which admittedly isn't overly high) and so now, there are lambs with burdock in their short fleeces. Every now and again, my arm catches a little bouncer and works on getting a bunch of prickly irritants out of their otherwise promising fleeces.

How to pretend to be a barbed wire fence - wait for a really cold day and it will work easily and perfectly!

And the last one, a wild cucumber seed pod or what is left of it on its vine - it is just hanging  there, the seeds gone since fall - an empty pod, at this moment decorated crystal like, later turning into a perfect delicate lace structure, no longer spiky, but amazingly pleasing and delightful to rest your eyes upon.