Sunday, February 14, 2010

Down In Flames

On gray, winter days I like to add a touch of warmth to our home, by burning a tray or two of candles. On just such a day, we stood just outside talking. In mid-sentence, "Uncle Franc" turned away & muttered under his breath, "Well, that's not good." In a flash, he stepped through the sliding door & returned with a full-page, paper plane fully engulfed in flame. As he stepped it out, he explained, "Maybe not such a good idea for you to burn candles while the boys are playing with paper planes."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Like Momma, Like Son

My brother gave my son his old camera. I just uploaded London's first set of pictures & LOOK what I found !! My 9 year old son, took his first macro shot! I am just beaming !

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Icicle Cliffs

It was 12 degrees when I headed out one Saturday morning & when the lake was frozen solid. I checked on the waterfall & discovered giant icicles all along the cliff. Some were twice my height. Uncharacteristically low & extended, winter temps revealed where water leaches through the rock face. I was able to walk around with ease on the frozen marsh & soon set about building a log bridge for warmer weather. I became careless & sunk over my ankle into frigid muck. THAT was a long, cold hike back up to the house !

Ice Magic

We have had a couple of ice storms in recent weeks. It is always so magical to look closely at the sculptures God has added to His majestic works.

I was struck by the geometric shapes on these tiny azalea leaves.

This dandy was tucked around the corner, at the base of our gutter downspout.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Caramel Currents

In recent weeks we have gone from a frozen, blue lake to raging, caramel waters. We have seen spring days & torrential rains, followed by an ice storm, spring again, a "wintry mix", & a return to spring rains & flooding. We anticipate the lake's activity by the weather in the mountains, as well as our own precipitation.

Twice, the lake waters flowed over with such force that the dam itself was not visible. The raging currents beneath were ferocious, as they thrashed the rocks on shore, hurricane-style. I once read, "do something scary every day". This was on my mind as the wind whipped my cape around me & I peered through my lens high atop the raging waters. The bridge trembled & shook under me as traffic flew by. The whole experience was incredibly invigorating!... so much so that I did it in the second flood, too !

The trees barely discernible in the shadows of the above pictures are normally on shore. Though not one of my favorites, I post this last image because my brother gasped in amazement & simply stared at it in wonder.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Frozen Current

This is my 10th winter watching the lake & I have never before seen it freeze solid. It was remarkable! We had a number of frights as lab puppy, Buddy would chase something skittering across the surface. Blessedly, the ice always held.

This full-size tree had been in & around the cove for months. It would wash up to the dock & the boys would delight in having the power to move the mammoth with a mere heave-ho. We would watch it floating about for days or weeks, before returning once again to dock's edge. One morning, I peered out to see it's very path frozen in place. It looks like some is liquid, but I assure you otherwise!!! The path of the current was completely stilled in ice. I wondered anew for many, many days as it held fast.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhogs & "Cotton"

Every February 2nd, a cutesy, little poem gets stuck in my head, from my days as a preschool teacher. Six times today, I opened class with the little finger play. They were shocked, horrified & many were greatly amused. (And they did get quiet).
"Mr. Cotton" walks the 2 mile loop of our neighborhood, twice a day; no matter what the weather is. When the roads are so frozen I can not walk up my own driveway, the marks his ice shoes have made in the ice can be seen along the road. He discovered that I collect odd & unusual things for my students to draw. One day while I was out, he stopped & asked my husband if I would like a stuffed ground hog. "Been dead over 30 years". Tom said that he was sure I would & they set about a trick to pull on me. They placed him in the center of the carport where I was soon to arrive. As I turned to walk up, there was "Chuck", standing directly across my path!