The snowy forest at night
Even though this long winter continues to snow and blow and freeze and fuss, I still think an icy snowfall sparkles beautifully.
This morning, captured under the glow of our deck light, heavy wet snow dressed the woods in grandeur yet again.
The woods before dawn illuminated by our deck light
After many mostly photography-less weeks, I reached for the Canon Rebel and lost myself attempting to capture this view, and that view, and how about this one?
Posted in February 2014
Tagged forest at night, life, photography, shoveling, snow, snowstorm, thoughts, Upper Peninsula, winter, wood pile, woods
Little Christmas trees in the north woods
Merry Christmas, dear readers, from our snowy Little House in the Big Woods in Aura, Upper Peninsula, Michigan, just a dozen owl hoots from the nearest four-way stop.
I wish you the happiest of holidays. May you enjoy this season of celebration as we surpass the darkest days of the year.
May 2014 bring you peace, joy and understanding.
I have so appreciated another year of blogging with all of you. You’ve all helped my life shine brighter than a star atop a Christmas tree.
Will be taking a blogging break now–and shall see you sometime after the New Year decks the halls with boughs of holly.
Many blessings! Hope you enjoy looking at all the snowy pictures, including a few oldies but goodies of my little ones when they still frolicked in the snow at our Little House in the Big Woods.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
We really must quit meeting like this.
We must quit telling stories blessed freezing winter day after winter day.
But why not tell stories?
The local Anishinabe huddled around campfires in wigwams all winter spinning yarns of Wenabozhoo and the North Wind and bright Nokomis, Grandmother Moon.
Certain stories might only be shared when icicles formed from tears and toes froze in deer moccasins.
Let’s toss another log on the campfire and heat the water for pine needle tea. What, you want coffee? In what century do you live, anyway?
What the woods looked like last Tuesday
Tuesday. Blessings of the flock.
You’re walking up the road. The air feels still. Silence reigns between tall trees with lingering yellow leaves. Fallen leaves smell crisp with childhood memories of burning raked piles. In the distance, a logging truck whines. Otherwise, you only hear your footsteps slapping pavement.
Suddenly, up above, all around, dozens of chattering birds surround. From treetop to treetop they call, they tattle, they sing. They dive, they wing between branches, they dance. What kind? You hear chickadee, you glimpse juncos, you see a nuthatch.
It’s the blessing of the flock! All around they create bird magic for you. They sing until you remember your dream-wings, the heft and tilt of flight. Don’t they remind you of seeds everywhere, hidden in bark crevices, to be found when needed and not a second before?
Later, down the road, silence returns. You catch your breath at the mystery of it, the way the flock surrounds and dissolves. How it teaches in a language of feathers and how it can change everything, simply in the arising.
Sometimes mysterious wild & crazy things just happen.
Like, let’s say, you’re visiting the bathroom early in the evening when–yes! outside the window!–a delicious almost-full moon arises. It settles between the branches of the poplar trees and winks boldly in the bathroom window singing its song of autumn harvests as it scales the past the colorful leaves, which, of course, one can’t see in the dark.
You search for your camera to try to capture the awesome beauty. Even though you fully know there’s only six chances in 100 that the camera will capture the Amore of the rising moon without a tripod.
Snap, snap, snap!
You return to bed with a yawn but now dream of love shining through a bathroom window, unexpected delight, Dean Martin crooning “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie..”
The next morning you upload the photos onto the computer. Yawn, yawn, one shouldn’t let that wily old moon keep you awake.
When–ohmygoodness!–holy moly!–what IS that appearing on the computer screen amidst the rather ordinary photos of a staid respectable moon?
Just sitting on the deck sipping tea
Surrounded by a yellow and orange forest
Jeweled reflections of sunlight against leaves
I breathe in beauty and sigh…
The way sound swirls in the dark
Last night, in the early hours before midnight, traveling silently through the dark house, I heard a strange sound.
Wind danced through the trees, blowing yellow leaves onto the earth. Wind’s melody crescendoed everywhere, but what else? What other sound sifted through closed windows, teased bright stars gleaming between clouds?
I opened the bathroom window and listened.
A quarter mile away laps the Huron Bay. Some music-lover, some kokopelli, some wild soul, threw wide the door to his heart and music reverberated across the waters. In stereo trilled the beckoning notes, urging us to follow.
Native American flute music-so loud you could almost reach out and touch its liquid mournful joy–serenaded us all.
The sun’s egg yolk eye of new possibility rises lower on the horizon these days. It’s starting to gab with the tree tops here in the woods. Some of the leaves turn starstruck with yellow, amazed that the sun pauses to talk with them. “To think,” some of the more spiritual ones whisper, “he even cares about us!”
Cold slips through the moon’s teeth at this time of year. You can’t see your breath under a full moon at midnight yet. (Not that I’d know. I’m asleep, dreaming, missing all the dark’s secrets.)
In the morning you debate: yes, no, maybe so. Should I start a fire in the wood stove? How much do you want to shiver early morning as you sip your steaming tea? Shall I wear my hooded 2000 University of Michigan sweatshirt over pajamas and burrow beneath the pink blanket?
I told Barry–no fire this morning. I’ll tough it out. He puttered away to work in the silver Buick. No need to scrape the car’s window yet.
Guess I lied. Match soon struck against box sending the sun’s cousin–firelight–working its magic against tree bark, igniting another early September blaze.
What it’s like to live in the woods
Sometimes I think I should write more posts about what it’s like to live in the woods.
How many people in this world still live in a forest surrounded by trees and more trees and a few more trees?
In a space carved out between poplars and maples and ravines with tiny streams flowing down to the bay about a quarter-mile away?
Posted in August 2013
Tagged chickadees, David George Haskell, forest, life, mosquitoes, nature, outdoors, The Forest Unseen, thoughts, Upper Peninsula, woods
We’re living in dangerous times, my friends.
It’s getting quite scary to open the front door.
We have eight–I repeat, eight–ruby-throated hummingbirds buzzing and squawking and hollering and dive-bombing anything that walks, flies or carries a camera.
Posted in June 2013
Tagged hummingbirds, humor, life, morel mushrooms, nature, outdoors, photography, photos, summer, thoughts, wood ticks, woods