Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WINTERLUDE

We have had so much snow this winter and not much of it has melted. Last Friday the snow was over the tops of my Uggs:)

Northern Illinois isn't alone when it comes to bad weather. According to the national news, two thirds of the country is experiencing unseasonable temperatures, snows or floods. There is some good news in the forecast. The jet stream has shifted and temperatures are supposed to be on the rise for most of the country.


White are the far-off plains,
And white the fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree
Falls down, scarce audibly.
The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound.

~ From Loreena McKennitt's Snow



A panoramic view of the fields around my house.

Winter is taking a toll on wildlife. Deer, rabbits, and birds are not able to dig through the deep snow to reach food. I have hundreds of birds in the yard where I ground-feed to make sure the doves, cardinals and juncos get their share.

The house finches are constantly pushing and shoving to get a better seat at the table.



I thought seeing some scenes from warmer days might cheer me up. Here are a few "then and now" pictures. The snow photos were taken Thursday.


The wren house with it's tiny resident carrying home dinner.



Much less inviting now with a thick covering of snow.


Colorful helenium Mardi Gras on a bright summer day.


Now just a collection of twigs.


A clump of miscanthus amoung the glowing maple leaves.



Now only a few brown stalks remain to catch the whirling snow.


Cats have the most wonderful imaginations. Perhaps today Toby sees himself as a snow leopard. Leaping into drifts, tunneling, rolling, never bothered by the cold. I had to cut his snow time short when he refused to stop harassing the birds.






39 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

What a gorgeous, GORGEOUS post, Marnie! The photos are exquisite, the quotation you use just suits so well...and then there's the handsome mr. Snowleopard Toby, looking very primal...til his feet get cold and he wants to come inside, of course!

Deb said...

You make winter look beautiful.

Sweet Repose said...

Oh Marnie, so good to hear from you, as I've been thinking of you too, but with the changes going on, I've had little time to visit my sisters online.

Your yard looks as bleak as mine, but we know what's in store ahead. I so miss the sounds of my lil' feathered summer friends and Scratchy has put on some weight due to lack of chasing the ball, she's too short in this deep snow.

Warmer weather all this week I hear, just so we don't get too much thaw all at once and start flooding again.

Thanks for the little views of last summer, it warmed the soul!

sharon

garden girl said...

Hi Marnie, Toby looks right at home in the snow. I love Loreena McKennitt, and that verse is perfect for winter contemplation.

I love the contrast of your then and now photos.

ShySongbird said...

A lovely post with beautiful photos Marnie and how nice to see some colourful reminders of Summer...ah Summer...how long ago it seems now!

We seem to have had snow forever but are promised a thaw this weekend :)

Gail said...

Marnie, I love this post...the contrast photos are stellar and seeing miscanthus in your fall garden was a treat....I want to see more shots of your garden! Please! gail

Chandrika Shubham said...

Beautiful pics with nice words.
I liked the birdfeeder pic the most.
Happy blogging! :)

joey said...

Your stunning photo of colorful helenium Mardi Gras on a bright summer day was just what I needed to feast upon for my winter white eyes, Marnie ... better than a shot of caffeine to wake the senses!

Kathleen said...

omg, it looks freezing there Marnie. Much like here, unfortunately. We've had snow on the ground since October ~ it doesn't usually stick around like that but we haven't had the warm-ups in-between snow storms this year. I hope you're right about the jet stream shift. I could use a thaw right now along with you and all the other creatures.
Great tip about the fencing around the evergreen to protect the birds from the hawks (on your comment to me yesterday). I have been throwing seed around & under the shrubs instead of putting up the feeders to give them a leg up but I hadn't thought of fencing. I will see what I can do if I'm up to braving the elements.
Good idea too to show summer and winter portraits like you did ~ you know which I prefer! Stay warm.

Skeeter said...

Bad Toby, you leave them poor starving birds alone. LOL, my fur balls have been at the windows watching the birds at the feeders being so busy. Sheba would like to go for the hunt but mommy will not let her out of the house....

Love the pic of the Wren with bug in mouth and the falling snow reminding me it is winter...

troutbirder said...

Now and then post. What a great idea Marnie. I think I'll steal it and do one of my own. Thanks :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie...having snow for the last four weeks, has given me some understanding, of those, who endure these conditions for weeks on end. I don't know how you cope with just white..... I have missed grass.....perhaps it is just what we get used to. Winter where I live, is usually wet and a bit chilly......but that is it.

Your cat is a beauty.......my favourite colour for a feline......

I have had starving rabbits in the garden.....my heart goes out to them....I forgive them for eating my plants......

Lets dream of warmer days and planting our annuals.......

Becca's Dirt said...

Beautiful photos. I am leaning towards the flower with the green grass. I love winter - I like the cold but this winter has been almost cruel to all of the states. Glad you are feeding those babies in the snow. Great photo.

I was thinking about how much snow the country has seen all over this year. When everything begins to thaw and melt the flooding this spring could bring catastrophic floods.

Rose said...

Marnie, you've captured the beauty of winter in all your photos. I especially love the contrast between the "then" and "now." These scenes make winter look so appealing--as long as you can stay indoors:) My cats don't even care to venture outside much and are less interested in the birds than Sophie is. They've all decided this winter they are "housecats."

I'm trying to figure out why Blogger doesn't always update my blogroll--this post didn't show up on my sidebar until this afternoon (Thurs.).

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Wow... it's really white there !!
I know you enjoy watching the birds at the feeders as I do...they bring joy to this less than fruitful season.

Haven't had a cat in years...love them. Your cat seems not to mind the weather. Nice shots as usual.

Kahshe Cottager said...

I really enjoyed your posting especially as the snow swirled round the page as I was reading!

Thanks for your comment on my Paintbox photo. I hope you enjoy the Topaz filters. If you decide to purchase, email me as I have a discount coupon code that you can use to get a reduced price.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I so enjoyed looking back at the summer garden. When it is so darned white outside it is difficult to remember the colors of the garden. Just beautiful. We are having a January thaw too. It feels wonderful after so many days of below normal temps. Even the snow is departing.

Basil Becky said...

I love seeing the bright red cardinals on the white snow! In my home in Kentucky, they are everywhere!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Marnie, You have had a wicked winter so far---much worse than we have had. We haven't had the snow --but our temperatures were extremely low for over a week. This week though, the temperatures have moderated --and the ice and snow is melting. Hope that is happening up your way also...

Take care and please stay WARM... Keep feeding those birdies..
Hugs,
Betsy

BeadedTail said...

All those birdies has to be tempting to Toby but good thing not a feather was harmed!

Carol said...

Marnie these are beautiful photographs! Your first is a work of art! I love all the bird shots and it is great that you take such good care of them all. Your kitty portraits are adorable. Enjoy your snow... we do not have that much this year. Carol

Nan and =^..^= said...

Oh, all of these photos are so exquisite!

sweet bay said...

Marnie the landscape surrounding your house looks beautiful if somewhat threatening. The wrenhouse is so charming. I remember that Helenium picture from earlier this year, it's really beautiful.

walk2write said...

Each season has its beauty, which you've managed to reveal quite elegantly, side by side. The Helenium gets my vote for best bit of sunshine in the garden flower.

thewritegardener said...

I don't know where I've been, not to have stopped in, since way back when!

Toby is one gorgeous feline! We have two dull yellow tabbies, one is what's called a six-toed Hemingway so he might not be all that dull. I'd take Toby off your hands any day.

Rosey Pollen said...

Marnie,
Such lovely photos... I am hoping that the wildlife can survive nature's harshness. It is good that you try to help them through these hard months.
Rosey

Darla said...

It will be bright and cheery again, before you know it!

Msrobin said...

Oh Marnie, you must be so weary of the winter's snow. We've finally warmed up, and much of the snow has melted. I enjoy the warmer weather, but now everything is just gray. No kitties here to bother my houseplants, so they grow quite well in my sunny house. Hang tight dear, spring will come, it always does!

marmee said...

your winter is beautiful regardless of the dead plants...
we have had the same furious activity on our feeders.
i love the writing in your new header photo.
happy january...this to will pass.

Teresa said...

Your cat is so beautiful. They are characters. You must have to waatch him near your feeders.

Dawn said...

Wonderful photos! I love the wren house, and thank goodness the weather broke.
Toby is a good cat for not being bothered by the snow, I have 3 cats and only 1 (he watches the birdies too)will venture out, sometimes....the others are getting chunky!
PS. I used the hair dye on the newest doll wig and it worked like a charm! Never to go back to fabric dye!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

An Excellent post with beautiful shots !! I really loved watching the photos !!

Cindee said...

HI MArnie,
Love the creative title. Sounds so much more serene and lovely than months of snow actually is. Now and Then pics were great. They remind us that "this too will pass".
Cindee

Kerri said...

A perfect winterlude, Marnie. You've captured the beauty of contrasting seasons so well.
I love the poem and Loreena McKennitt (just "discovered" her this Christmas). She sings so beautifully.
Our Sheba (barn kitty) looks much like your Toby. She's the best hunter we have. Saw her treeing a little squirrel out front just a while ago. Happily, he lived to tell the tale :)
Your photos are such a treat. The little wren is adorable on that cute birdhouse. I've only ever seen one wren here. Wish I could see more.
Hannah makes breaks for the door like your Toby. She's naughty about stalking birds too so I have to watch her carefully. She spends a lot of time at the patio doors watching them.
Thanks for sharing the beauty.
We have light snow falling this morning and 35ยบ. It's gorgeous out there and the bird feeders are busy!
I love your header!

Cordwood Cabin said...

I love the "before and after" winter photos (plus, that great shot of Toby playing in snowdrifts). May winter be a pleasant contrast to spring and not a frozen bane for snow and ice shovelers!

Diane at Crafty Passions said...

Love your sweet pictures ! Those birds are so cute!!! So is your kitty!!
Have a great day!
Diane

CIELO said...

I enjoyed seeing all your photographs... thanks for the joy!

cielo

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Regarding wrens...

I thought this might make you laugh:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/state-bird-reconsidered-after-latest-wren-attack,4732/

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!