Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winter Color

A gray thick fog has set in this morning making these colorful birds a welcome memory of yesterdays vivid winter palette. There is a stillness of naked branch and fragile trunk lines of the various apples, lilacs and viburnums just outside my doors and windows. Though with the temperatures climbing into the 40's I imagine stirrings in roots anchored beneath the snow below the thawing earth. Rock Maples are dripping sweet sap and farmers gather buckets to their sugar houses.

Feathers of birds are slowly beginning to show more saturated hues towards Springs bounty of mixed colors and song. The Robins breast glows in tones of burnt sienna with touches of yellow ochre. The winter plumage of the goldfinch is still attached to part naples and cadmium yellow with a trace of green, while brilliant cadmium red and red purple hues paint the male cardinal. The males may add richness to their red colors by eating rosehips, as seen in this photo. They must be very agile while dining with the numerous sharp thorns surrounding the fruits.

These rich colors are what our mostly white winter landscape offers, while out west the desert is dotted with thousands of blossoms including California poppies... washed in orange and yellows from desert dandelions, brittlebush and desert sunflowers.

As we anticipate springs return here in New England, we are thankful for the fleeting flashes of color the birds offer us while feasting on fruits in the winter garden.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bohemian Waxwing Winter Pastel I

Visiting flocks of Bohemian Waxwings create quite a stir in the crabapple orchard. The colorful markings seem as if painted around their eyes, under the chin, rump and tail feathers. Try to find the tiny bit of red in their wing feather composition. The male and female look pretty much the same and they have made eating fruit a true specialty. If you ever notice them wobbling on the limb they may have over indulged in fermented fruit, the intoxication could possibly cause their death. I do not see my visitors here acting strange... quite the opposite as they have become very clever in harvesting the tiny crabapples. The seeds will go though their digestive system and perhaps a new crabapple seedling will emerge in time from their droppings. They are a joy anytime of year but especially in the long winter months. My photos were taken with a lens and the added lens of the window glass as these birds are very shy. The photos remind me of pastel paintings.

Bohemian Waxwing Winter Pastel II

Cascading Unfolding Blossom Wings of "Moth" Orchid

February can seem like the longest month of the year, with cold blue and white landscapes stretching into March.  This is a phenomenal time of year, however, as a variety of vibrant orchid blossoms inspire continued patience for those anticipating the first brush strokes of Spring hues.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blue Light Snowfall Study

The top photo here is taken with a nikon using a zoom and a filter, while the others are shot with a wide angle lens without a filter and show the lovely blue light at sunset during a snowfall. If you scroll down and compare the pictures below these, you will see the same views again taken without a filter, in yet another different light of day... after a storm with a clear sky and the sun is rather high. All the shrubberies and trees seem to be blooming wet snow blossoms.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Softly Worn Hills Slowly Move Southeast Towards Northeast Beyond Winter Shrubbery of Middle Gardens.

The lush green growth and colorful sepals... dormant... folded inside these skeletal forms ... varieties of shrubs and trees... as varied as the many branches dressed here in cotton flannel sleeves of snow... sleep... still... a tiny thaw. There is an urgency for now is the time to prune to sculpt the forms for pleasing lines and fruitful productivity. Apple, beauty bush, bridal veil, roses, lilacs, tree peonies, viburnums, hawthorns, mock orange, magnolia and hydrangea, to list too many... create a garden of delights. A gradual stirring in fleshy roots ... tingling and rising energy released into blossoms fills a hillside. But that is later on... for now the pruners and saws... clip... go back and forth... the seasons move with height and girth... added on... cut off. Spring will come in its own time. The empty spaces will fill with verdant abundance enticing humans and fauna alike.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Time of Day A Time of Year Lost in Blankets of Fog or Crisp and Clear

Winter may be holding on here in the Northeast, while others enjoy snowdrops, jonquil blooms and other swelling buds, we patiently brace for another round of snow and ice. The one winter gift I so appreciate is that of glorious sunrises... for while the sun is more to the south it rises here to paint the sky and mountain range... vivid hues... later it will not produce such drama in color... in our gardens winter sunrises are the best! Here the valley is seen clear then buried under a blanket of fog... with but the tips of Mount Tom and the Holyoke Range showing... still clinging for air.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nearby Waterfall White Winter Coat Muffled Sounds Snowshoes for Getting Around

A short drive down a country road... seven minutes from Flower Hill Farm ... takes one to these stunning magical waterfalls... the force of the cascading water is full of positive ions... the energy transforming. Along with the beauty of the several falls, an enchanting wood and walk along the river makes a visit here invigorating and refreshing. 

Being still... sounds of rushing water... enter and flow inside... washing out images and world thoughts ...  renewal a sense of peace...  soft sepals blossoms within... floating deep dark pools.
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