Friday, January 9, 2009

The world is black and white and gray

My farm sleeps under a blanket of snow. Not even a breath of wind whispers in the unnatural silence.

Pine branches bend beneath the weight but the bird houses stand straight as sentinels.

The pasture stretches beyond the creek to merge with the gray sky.

In the Pasture

On the first day of snow, when the white curtain of winter
began to stream down,
the house where I lived grew distant
and at first it seemed imperative to hurry home.
But later, not much later, I began to see
that soft snowbound house as I would remember it,
and I would linger a long time in the pasture,
turning in circles, staring
at all the crisp, exciting, snow-filled roads
that led away.

by Mary Oliver

Wild grapes display a winter cloak of white.

Out of the bosom of the air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bore,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,.Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Phillip Oliver said...

Pretty photos, I like the bird. :)

A Wild Thing said...

What beautiful words to usher in a season of such raw beauty. I would truly love winter if I had a wood-burning stove, so I could thumb my nose at the utility companies!

We only got a skiff of snow last night, your landscape is far more typical of the season, all ours was nearly melted into giant skating rinks covering low lying fields.

But on those warms days we had in Dec., I actually had iris peeking through...bummer!

Enjoy the beauty...


flydragon said...

I have to admit, as much as I dislike winter, your photos make it look gorgeous. Looks so darn peaceful and calm I almost want all that snow here. Almost:)

Randy said...

How pretty! They are saying there is a big chance that we will get snow a week from today. I certainly hope we do, I really want it to snow here so bad!--Randy

Unknown said...

Everyone know by now that I love snow photos! Very nice ones here.

Dog_geek said...

Beautiful photos, although I think they made me feel cold! I wish that we would get a good snowfall here, instead of just rain and/or ice!

beckie said...

Marnie, your photos and poems make winter seem so peaceful and inviting. And it can be at time, but we know better don't we! :}

You captured the black and white and gray od your world so wonderfully. And the little bird is the perfect parting shot.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Philip, thank you.

Hey Sharon, I know what you mean, this old house costs a fortune to heat. I don't know how retired people survive.

We had a thaw and some rain that froze into treacherous ice. Sent me reeling a few times.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Flydragon, com'on up here. You'll soon get enough snow to last you for another season;)

Randy, I hope you get some snow. It's necessary to have snow to get the effect of changing seasons.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Darla, and I love your warm, sunny Florida photos;)

Hi DogGeek, snow beats ice! I hope you get enough to be beautiful but not enough to close roads and cause hardships.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beckie, I can take the snow just fine on the weekends. I just hate driving thru it to and from work in the dark. It is pretty and I really missed it when I lived on the west coast and then in Alabama.


tina said...

It is so beautiful Marnie. I like the poem by Mary Oliver. Very fitting and at first I thought it was talking.

Anonymous said...

Fluffy and White and undisturbed. Makes it seem peaceful and serene. Looks like you have lots of good book days to sit and have the indirect glow off the snow as a good reading light. I bet it can be too bright when the sun comes out. Lovely pictures.

Rose said...

Beautiful photos, Marnie! Thanks for sharing these images and showing us the beauty in a season that many of us wish would end soon.

I'm curious--did you use photo editing to make these black and white? I ask because when I have taken photos of the snowfall on a cloudy day they all looked black and white without any editing.

Sherri said...

Marnie, you really captured Winter in the black and white photos! Great job!! They were wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

troutbirder said...

Marnie Marnie Marnie.
Your captured the mood exactly right in words and pictures. I love it.

Gayle said...

I love your bird picture. I don't know how you are able to capture them in your photos. Winter can be so beautiful, you have captured the beauty well.

Gail said...


It has been many years since I have seen this much snow in Nashville. One of the last times I got to play in deep snow we were snow shoeing. In the deeper woods, with snow falling, it was a black and white world...Lovely photos and the Mary Oliver poem is very nice. Have a peaceful weekend. Gail

BeadedTail said...

Snow is so magical! Your photos are lovely - especially the bird!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

What a contrast to your June walk! The snow has a beauty all its own, but I think I like June and flowers better. It's snowing here in SE Nebraska this evening. We have our 1 year old grandson spending the night.

TC said...

This season can really be a bane to my existence. I hate and love it. Yes, it is "black and white and gray," and oh so da*n cold!

Mary said...

Very beautiful in all that snow! Perfect for B&W.

marmee said...

black and white, poetry and snow of no better things i know...

Anonymous said...

Marnie, loveliness abounds in your photos, words and the poetry. I love Mary Oliver and have her on cd. Gardening has made me appreciate poetry much more.~~Dee

The Birdlady said...

So beautiful, but all these snowy posts are freezing me to death.

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

Hi Marnie,
you captured so beautifully with your photos and the words you chose all that I love about a snowy day in winter.

Pat said...

Love the black and white of the bird. Great composition,texture and subject.I wonder how cold he feels...
Someday I'll figure out how to do black and white.By the way...a meme awaits you if you like to stop by.

Balisha said...

Beautiful words on a snowy day here in Northern Illinois.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey Tina, we expect another 6 inches of this beautiful stuff today;)

Hi Rose, yes I did use PhotoShop to change the color photos to black and white. The minimal color in snow photos is sometimes just a distraction.

Sherri, thank you for your kind comment.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Troutbirder, I'll bet you have a lot of the white stuff up in MN;)

Hi Gayle, bird photos are kind of hard to get but I've been practicing for years. Someday I hope to get good at it.

Hey Gail, didn't see much snow when I live in Tennessee and oddly I missed it.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beadedtail, your kitties would love watching out my windows;)

Hey Sue, I like the summer photos better too;) I'll bet you're busy with a one year old. I guess he's too little to play in the snow, maybe next year.

TC, you got that right. This week we will enjoy temps hovering around and below zero.

Hi Mary, I thought the B&W softened them. It was a very soft day.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Marmee, hope you enjoyed the pixs.

Hey Dee, I'm going to look into the CD, it sounds great.

Birdlady, I am absolutely freezing too. This is gonna be a long, long winter.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Nan, I don't think I did nearly as well are your hometown photo series. I really enjoyed that.

Patsi, thank you so much for thinking of me with a mimi.

I feel so bad for the birds, they bravely go about their lives no matter what terrible things nature throws their way. They can't complain but they must feel cold and fear when their food sources are buried under two feet of snow.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Balisha, stay warm and safe in the blizzard they predict for this evening.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I took some photos of my garden yesterday and it looks very much like yours! But I didn't get such a sweet close-up of a feathered friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marnie, I just love looking at your bird photos. Even in shades of gray, there is so much personality there, you really know how to capture the spirit of the birds!


sweetbay said...

Wow, look at all of that snow!

It's beautiful and terrible at the same time. Imagine trying to get enough to eat in those conditions!

I especially like the second picture. What a wonderful view.

sweetbay said...

Wow, look at all of that snow!

It's beautiful and terrible at the same time. Imagine trying to get enough to eat in those conditions!

I especially like the second picture. What a wonderful view.

joey said...

Marnie, you have made your black/white/gray world (which looks much like mine) come to life in these stunning photos. Do believe we're both in for a horrid week of weather, hopefully, camera worthy :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey. With the high temps hovering around zero this week, I can't see myself outside photographing. We just seem to be getting one snow storm after another.

SweatBay, snow is lovely and deadly at the same time. This coming week a lot of folks will suffer frost bite.

Hi Monica, these little juncos literally cover the ground where I throw out seed.

Hi Frances, I think their sunny personalties just come thru even in photos.


Cosmo said...

Marnie, those photos are just gorgeous--and your little birds are so lucky to have your feeders ready. I hope you're staying warm--I think snow is lovely to look at, but I don't envy your having to negotiate it. My Arizona family is arriving this weekend to sub-20 lows in VA--it's going to be a shock!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post and the I love Mary Oliver. There is something very hushed and muffled about the snow..

Beth said...

Happy New Year Marnie!
Loved your photos - and especially your cardinals. We never get cardinals up here - too cold I suppose. I'm not a big bird lover but they sure are lovely. I've been meaning to post some nice winter landscape photos but honestly, it's just too darn cold right now. Stay warm!

Rose said...

Each photo is a beautiful one indeed!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie!
Fantastic photos as always! It is pretty and at least covers the ugliness of the brown bane of winter, but still... we're getting way too much of it too often!

It sounds like your weather is just like ours over here, except you're getting it after it blows through Iowa. We had 7" Friday through Saturday morning and then just as we got dug out from that, we got socked with another 4" today and the wicked cold that followed it, so get ready!

I don't want to jinx things, but with any luck, we will have new paw tracks in the snow this time next week. :-) We're in the adoption process this week and are anxious and nervous about it! We're hoping it all works out because we are so excited to welcome a new pup to the garden....

marmee said...

stunning and breathtaking photos marnie, i loved them!

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Hi Marnie I must say I love you black and white winter photos. My world outside the window is all in nuances of gray, uttarly boring. I therefore stay indoors and travel through the cyberworld, visiting all kinds of lovely places like yours Marnie, B&W but beautiful.

Take care


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cosmo, it was challenging last evening. Cars in ditches, cars in accidents, even roll overs. Dangerous stuff.

RamblingWoods, I agree, Mary Oliver is a wonderful voice for nature.

Hi Beth, you are getting all this snow a day or two ahead of us. Supposed to warm a little next week.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Rose, thank you.

IVG, I'm excited for you. I hope things go well. I won't ask any questions cause I know you'll let us all know soon.

Marmee, thank you.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Tyra, in past winters we've had the gray too. I agree, boring and ugly but not as cold or dangerous as all this snow.

Catherine said...

Hello Marnie! You have captured the beauty of Winter! Beautiful the bird shot!
Happy New Year!
Keep warm!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marnie! I like your gorgeous black & white wonderland too. Of course because I'm just looking at it and not actually out in it! Snow photos are so much more dramatic in B&W, aren't they? I should try and venture out and capture some myself (as we are snow covered too) but I never seem to do it. Winter finds me indoors so much more than any other season and I don't think that helps make it go by any faster. the last photo is my favorite. Just beautiful.

Cordwood Cabin said...

The cats love to "help" ... especially Rowdy, who has to be shooed away from any paints (I think he's an aspiring artist, myself). Pumpkin is a little indifferent to what goes on around her.

Your winter photos are beautiful ... it makes me wish we had snow instead of simply cold weather!

Naturegirl said...

My world here is like yours grey and white most days.Crisp and white quiet and still. I'm rather enjoying my daily walks in the snow..capturing the many photos and accepting the fact that we've got 2 more months of this weather!
A great series of photos! :) NG

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Catherine, thank you.

I agree Kathleen, black and white lends a mood to snow photos. It seems colder, starker.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cordwood, my cats love projects too. They love scrapbooking, all those little papers that need to be chased. They love absorbing books by draping themselves over any open volume.

NatureGirl, I love your snow photos. You've captured some lovely scenes on your walks.


A Wild Thing said...

It just won't stop...the snows are still coming down and another pee-trail is evident and I too have to watch where I step...the advantage of a small dog...not a huge surprise.

Boy the winds are really rustling the snows, must keep the feeders full today!


garden girl said...

Hi Marnie, your photos are gorgeous! What a beautiful winter wonderland surrounds you!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love these photos and the poems are great. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets.

Bren Haas said...

THIS IS WINTER... we are finally climbing out of the negative temperatures. These are wonderful photos that capture the COLD! Thank you for sharing your garden in the winter.

Rock River Stitches said...

Hi Marnie, Thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods, neighbor!:) Your bird pictures are just gorgeous. Looks like we have some things in common with birds and cats!! I'm now a follower of your blog, I'll be back!


Anonymous said...

Now those are views you'd never get tired of! I'm so happy to have found your blog via Wytchwood Ramblings.

Ali @ A Cosy Life