The Beauty of an Ice Storm

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I went for a walk in the crystal landscape of our backyard. There was so much ice I didn’t know where to start taking pictures.

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Three limbs broke off the pine later that morning.

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It would be interesting to know just how much weight the pine was holding.

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The wind apparently influenced the shape of the ice on this oak’s leaves and branches.

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The effects of the day kept changing gradually.

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The ice created a crystalline “world of wonder.”

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                                                                                                               Different angles created different effects.

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Beauty came in all sizes.

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This is a different side of the pine.

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The tree on the left is in our front yard. The one on the right is the huge one across the highway. Luckily, no ice damaged either tree.

An Evening Drive

Our youngest son called to tell my husband and I that there were swans in a field east of town.

(Please excuse the quality of the pictures. It was almost 5 p.m. and cloudy.)

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 Eleven swans fed in the farmer’s field.

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They seemed to ignore us while they fed.

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I hope they stay in the area so I might see them again tomorrow.

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Several Canadian geese feed in the last field we came to.

So ….. my fingers are crossed that the swans and geese will still be around tomorrow.

A Foliose Lichen

I find all kinds of lichens when I pick up sticks in the yard.

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The larger lichen with the leafy appearance is a foliose lichen.

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Blister lichen, with the dark disc-shaped fruiting bodies, is also a foliose lichen. The leafy part shows better in the upper right of the picture.

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The black “hairs” along the edges of the lichen are called “cilia.” I seldom see them on lichens.

Billbergia in Bloom

This billbergia plant is a family heirloom. I have no idea of its age.

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It’s a bromeliaceae from the pineapple family.

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This plant has bloomed for at least three weeks, and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.

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Obviously, it adds color to dull winter days.

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It was passed down to me from my grandmother.

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I have no idea how old the plant is.

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It does look happy beside the picture window.

Buffy

 This is definitely a disjointed blog, and

a sad day.

Buffy, our 12-year-old chocolate lab, passed away over the weekend from complications of old age. She was a big girl, weighing almost 100 pounds.

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Actually, she was our son’s duck and goose hunting buddy when she was younger. When she got older, she became my hiking partner.

  We hiked a LOT! … and camped occasionally too.

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   Southern Illinois has a wide variety of places to hike, and we visited and revisited several of them over the years.

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Lately Buffy was sick enough that we only went out when she wanted to take a short walk in the backyard.

This picture was taken when we were both much younger.

My days now are ……

A No-Name Mushroom

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These mushrooms grew at the base of a sweet gum tree in our backyard.

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I found them on November 24th last year

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and was excited over their appearance.

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 Rains kept me from taking more pictures until November 30. The largest one measured 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

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Mushrooms are beginning to frustrate me. I find ones I like and then can’t find them in any of my six mushroom books.

Oh well. I can still enjoy them anyway.

Reflections

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I can’t resist the reflections and

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the distortion of water drops

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in their surroundings.

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Nature’s

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magnifying glass.

(this blog was completed in July)