Sunday, January 30, 2011

In praise of weeds



Weeds are under appreciated plants, they are very hardy, and some even remove toxins from the soil.
They grow where nothing else will and flourish where you wish they wouldn't.
A few weeds can help keep moisture in the soil during time of drought. And then there is that lowly weeds are the origin of our domesticated plants.

When I was a little child I once told my Mother that I had " pulled the Swedes out of the flower garden" interesting seeing as most of the neighbors were of Scandinavian decent and that a member of the turnip family is called a swede.

One man's domesticated plant can be another man's weed, think chives and soapwort. One man's weed can be another man's dinner, think purslane and dandelion. To me St Michealsmass Daiseys are beautiful flowers, but to most they are a weed. Sneezeweed which looks a lot like Gloriousa Daisye is another example.

In the winter weeds with their sturdy stalks and huge seed heads look sculptural, even architectural.
Though I would gladly pull them up in the summer, now they are .....well beautiful.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

more snapping pictures out of the car window

looking so tranquil

undisturbed


a giant in peaceful slumbers




unconcerned with our curiosity


keeping a secret


for now

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The light in the kitchen



The florescent fixture in the kitchen, gave up, and so I hung an old wall lamp near the table, thinking it would only be there for awhile. But somehow I keep forgetting to buy a new fixture, or I have some excuse not to. In these long, dark winter nights I realize, it is the warm golden color of the light that keeps me from going back to cold blueish florescent light.
That soft golden light, so like the ones in every house on the street I grew up on. Those lights often left on for the men who worked second shift at the machine shop, where almost everyone worked. The glow of those lights carried through the winter darkness, "the shop" was in easy walking distance of the houses, and they were perhaps a beacon, and perhaps they just made it easier to find the newspaper that muddy or wet shoes were to be left on.
If I was not sleepy I would go to the hall window and watch the men, including my Dad, walking the path, swinging their lunch pails and lighting cigarettes, Some nights talking loudly and some nights the only sound was footfalls.

Several years later "the shop" closed, my Dad worked in one of the first sections to be shut down.
Little did he know at the time, he was one of the lucky ones because he found a job, many of the others were out of work for a very long time.

But the lights stayed light in the evening, even though there was no one on the path for them to guide home.

It lingers still.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Full Moon



I walked out very late last night to salt the steps and walkways, there was supposed to be freezing rain, which thankfully arrived as snow instead. The landscape was bright, there are a few street lights along the roadway, and and some illumination from the near-by houses, but basically the moon and the headlights of passing vehicles light our nights.

A warm night for January, I couldn't resist standing very still and listening for owls, the only thing I heard was the sound of distant traffic, and walking out past the canopy of the Norway spruce, I could see the the waxing moon surrounded by a glorious halo.

Tomorrow is the first full moon of 2011. The moon that has been called the Old moon, the Wolf Moon, Moon after Yule, and the Full Snow Moon. because of it's relationship to the horizon this moon will appear larger than usual.
Perhaps I would call this the Reading Moon, because if it is visible through the clouds which seems unlikely, the reflection off the fresh snow will make it very bright indeed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

becalmed in a sea of snow



Here we are at the doldrums of winter, it is seriously cold, below 0 most nights, and there is no thaw in sight. Icicles hang from the eves and the days are just starting to get longer, just enough to be noticeable. Christmas and it's excitement is long over and the decorations put away, the house looks terribly plain.
The landscape looks terribly plain, Gia soundly asleep under her blanket of snow. Is not even ready to stir for a few more weeks. I would love to curl up in my softest blankets and sleep until spring.
Some nights and owl can heard, calling for a mate. A stillness has settled on the woods and it is only broken by the wind, and the occasional chickadee. The snow falls and swirls as if it were inside a snowglobe.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

who goes there?

The chill of winter has taken up residence in my bones, I don't think I will ever be warm again.
But I say that every year.

An Just to remind myself what it was like......










Tuesday, January 11, 2011

soapbox!!!! again


Its
1-11-11

What a fanciful date.
this year we have
01-01-11
01-11-11
11-01-11
11-11-11

A whole lotta ones, a whole lot of chances to start over. No not by making resolutions. Resolutions are negative, they are about changing what we think is wrong with us.
Note the word think, it does not mean that it is really something wrong, it is something we, or should I say a person thinks is wrong with themselves, perhaps no one around them sees this as being something wrong, but that person who makes the resolution does.
"If it ain't broke don't fix it."

Instead, find things that are positive and good about yourself, let them glow.
Take your light out from under the proverbial bushel, and let it shine.
Don't make lists of what is wrong with you, make lists of what is right with you.
Let them glow, let them grow and pass them on.

my thanks to Kim Mailhot, and Mama Donna.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Please pass the crackers.


When my son was young one of his very favorite stories was "The Very Hungry Thing", in which a huge beast comes to town and keeps asking for things like "boop and smakers " and "feetloaf". Unfortunately the townspeople have no idea what the is saying. Also obviously a town without any 4-year-olds, who would have caught on right away and had a good laugh at the slow witted adults.

This being the season for soups and having a little bit of this, a dab of that and whole lotta something else, plus a large container of homemade tomato juice....and can't forget that can of Great Northern beans that has been on the shelf forever, hey presto! it's whats for dinner.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A walk in celebration

A few days before the start of 2011 I took my camera for a walk in the woods.









o"as dry leave before the winds came"

a tiny casualty of the bitter cold

Monday, January 3, 2011

The sun, and rainbows in the flour

The earth is the closest to the sun it will get all year today....sure doesn't feel like it.
Here is a link to a neato site that has all sorts of info about the 'sky show"

http://earthsky.org/tonight/earth-comes-closest-to-sun-every-year-in-early-january

It is a cold but sunny day, the kind of bareground day that freezes the ground, which didn't freeze under the thick snowpack we had. This made walking in the garden, or off the path in the wood difficult. Any place where the ground wasn't packed down it had heaved up from the frost and when I walked on it it was like walking on evil pillows.
A Fierce beauty in it's own way
The kitchen is awash in tiny rainbows made by the numerous prisims, some old some new , some plastic, some glass and a couple lead crystal that are hung in the windows.
Rainbows being illusive things, and dependent on the viewing angle don't always photograph well.
But my reckoning this one is some sort of sign.




Sunday, January 2, 2011

I went shopping instead



I resolutely resolve not to make any New Years Resolutions.

And i solemnly swear I am up to no good.

I also plan on getting an extra memory card, so I don't miss great pictures like I did yesterday because my memory card is still in the computer. I didn't want stay home and cook sauerkraut, though Hoppinjohn and corn bread sounded good. And I had some coupons to redeem, and it would have been the third day in a row that I shopped.
I HATE to shop, really I do, but I was in a rut. Today, I think I'll stay home.

You will just have to take my word for it, it was a warm for January and rainy and the fog was thick, as "snow eating fog" usually is, and pretty much the roads were empty. Sorry, I don't have any pictures, but they would have been mostly whitish with a few ghostly outlines of trees or headlights or something.