Posts Tagged ‘snow’

A Visiting Cooper’s Hawk

A Cooper’s hawk decided to perch in the sweet gum tree in our front yard.

Its brown pattern blended in with its surroundings.

Then it decided to perch on a sign across the highway, beside our neighbor’s barn. It was a cloudy day with a light snow falling.

The Cooper hawk’s tail has a squared-off end, where a  sharp-shinned hawk’s has a rounded tail.

The light snow was enough that I couldn’t get good clear pictures. This picture better shows the squared end of the Cooper hawk’s tail.

 The day remained cloudy with an occasional mist. The hawk came and went a few times.

So, I might have more time to hawk watch.

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Fascination With Ice

These pictures were taken in 2008 and were put in a blog when I started blogging in 2012.  Obviously, I didn’t post it. Since our winter has been relatively mild, I thought now would be a good time to post it.

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It was a strong snow and ice storm! The weather remained frigid and nothing melted.

I wish I had an explanation of how the ice formed on this coneflower seedhead.

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It was surprising that the rosemary could support the weight of the ice.

Notice in all the pictures at how the ice inverted all the reflections. The red in the left is an upside down reflection of our barn.

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I’m not sure what this plant was. It has the snow in the upper part of the reflections and the sky below.

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Thin stems reflections turned into wavy lines in the ice.

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I still don’t have an explanation for the lumpy shapes lining these stems.

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The whole backyard became a crystal showcase.

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I can’t remember what this was either. It was about waist high and looked similar to corn. I didn’t see how some of the plants could remain standing with all the weight of the ice.

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Red maple branches turned the reflections every which way. The duller red in the top is our barn in an upside position.

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I didn’t want to leave the lichens out,

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or the aster remnants either.

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I’m not sure what tree this was on

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or this one either.

The ice storm was one of those magical times that stays with you for years.

Well, Well, Well … Foxes

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 I was about ready to eat lunch, and my husband said, “fox.” To his bow room I went, camera in hand! This was on January 5.

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The visit was short.

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It jumped off the “platform” and trotted to the thicket in the back corner of our yard. There’s an opening under our neighbor’s fence that they use when they come and go.

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Then this afternoon (January 13), with the temperature rising and the snow mostly melted, I headed out for a loop walk of our backyard. I had planned to look for fox prints by the barn. And I actually found one. I snapped four pictures and suddenly there was a strong  nasty smell. A fox was under there, and it wanted me to leave. I did.

(The track is a tad hard to see because of the direction of the light. It’s roughly in the center of the picture.

The next day, Buffy and I were walking a loop around the back back of our yard. Buffy showed a lot of interest along the side of the barn. She went around there two or three times. The fox had about half of the backyard smelling!

As of today, January 23, I haven’t seen the foxes or seen any tracks in the snow. The male’s probably going out in a different direction. I know they’re still under there because they “scent” the backyard every time we’re out there.

 

 

 

I’m Back — Finally

I’m so excited to have my computer back and to be back online!

We had snow, then a heavier snow, then freezing rain and then sleet. This translated into my not leaving the property for two weeks. I want to keep my person in one piece.

Heavy rain is forecast for Tuesday with highs in the 50’s. I can’t wait. Here are a few of the pictures I took during this time.

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I took this picture last night about sunset. The snow/sleet was pretty firm, and I seldom broke through as I walked.

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Obviously, momma fox is pregnant! More about the foxes in a later blog.

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Jelly fungi hydrated from all the moisture.

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The layer of sleet fascinated me with the patterns it made.

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A couple days of warmer weather started melting the snow/sleet from underneath too.

Only See Fox Signs

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Eight inches of snow fell Monday into early Tuesday.

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It was late morning before a fox left the den. It headed toward the back corner of our yard where there’s an opening under our neighbor’s fence.

The temperature was low and the wind strong. I didn’t linger over each shot … obviously.

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The glare was so bad I couldn’t see what was on the camera’s display. I just took several pictures, hoping for the best.

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Poor Buffy. She couldn’t get under the barn where the intruders live.

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I added this picture so we could see the fox I didn’t see.

Fascinating Ice

There’s more to ice than just ice. I accidentally found a 2008 folder with 109 pictures from a serious ice storm. (Luckily, we didn’t lose power.)

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My backyard turned into a sparkling display of the many possibilities of ice. This purple coneflower seedhead took on a completely different appearance.

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Rosemary transformed into a dramatic composition.

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The fascinating thing about ice is how it distorts and reverses images. The blue sky overhead ends up reflected on the side of the ice.

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I wonder if this is where the phrase “frozen in time” came from?

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How can a uniform line of lumps form with very little underneath to create and hold them? They’re actually larger on the top side. Guess it was cold enough that the rain didn’t have time to move far after hitting the ice.

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Simple beauty formed everywhere I looked.

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The blue sky overhead and the red barn ended up reflected upside down in the ice … and the reflected snow made it look like a cloudy sky.

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I can’t tell what kind of lichens this is inside the “ice drop.”

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It’s been such a treat to relive the beauty of that ice storm.

Under a Full Moon

I know these pictures are a tad strange and suggest leaning back to view them.

Back in the early 90’s I wrote and illustrated weekly nature articles for several local newspapers. This meant I spent a lot of time hiking and camping in nature. I illustrated each article with an ink drawing. I also own 33 acres that is now a registered land and water reserve, translating to one step below a nature preserve.

My goal was to see the different plant communities in different weather, at different times of day and in the different seasons.

One winter full moon started out cloudy, and I had planned to go to my land and paint small watercolor pictures by moonlight. The sky partially cleared. I suited up and hurried the seven miles down there.

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Water ran in the creek, and snow blanketed the ground.

No flashlight was used. This first picture was viewing across the creek, with moonlight hitting the water, and trees casting their shadows across it.

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This was painted after I crossed the creek and where a trail started up the hill.

I painted with colors I couldn’t see.

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The night was humid and the paint didn’t dry.

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I became immersed in the night, the full moon … heard a barred owl hooting and coyotes calling.

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My last painting was of the grassy barrens with the wooded ravine in the background.

That night stayed with me for a long time. These pictures hang in my bedroom, and occasionally take me back to that special night.