Posted in Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder

Nature’s song

Stages.
Stages.

All of nature is song.  Sometimes the song is in a minor key, with purple tones that stir the soul, bursting the heart with pent-up emotions.  Sometimes it is joyous, full of rich melodies and grand chords that bring electric thrills.  Sometimes it descends into strange modes, guttural chants, and obscure dissonances.

~ Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao Daily Meditations

Before the ice storm arrived.
Before the ice storm arrived.

True winter doesn’t visit us very often here on the Eastern Shore.  It does get cold (for this area, which is to say nothing like you northern folks get), and sometimes the cold is accompanied by the dampness of rain.  We also have quite a few sunny days, more so than we ever saw in the Bogs (northeast Ohio) during the winter months.  But what I think of as true winter often eludes us.

Ice storm.
During.

Yesterday, true winter arrived in the form of freezing rain that left a layer of ice on everything.  Just about everything in the area was closed, including M’s place of work, so we were able to spend the day at home, and go out for walks around the ranch.  It’s easy to appreciate snow and ice when you don’t have to drive in it.

Meadow ice.
Meadow ice.

I spent a little over two hours walking around in the freezing rain yesterday.  You never know how fast winter will melt.  Had I waited until the rain stopped, it would have been dark.  Had I waited for this morning, the temperature might have risen overnight and the ephemeral beauty of the ice would have been gone.

Wax myrtle on ice.
Iced wax myrtle.

Those who know me, even not all that well, know I love the way Old Man Winter decorates the great outdoors when he puts his mind to it.  Freezing rain is not going to keep me indoors.  Layers of clothing, a warmly lined rain slicker, good boots, and good gloves help me handle the cold and the wet.

New day.
New day.

It was dark and beautiful yesterday.  This morning was bright and sparkling.  I walked through a glistening winter wonderland for a few hours, marveling at the wonder of ice greeting sunlight.

Fog and frost and ice.
Fog and frost and ice.

When the clouds broke up and the sun came out, the warmth and cold met and formed a light fog around the trees and in the woods.

The Mystery Woods.
The Mystery Woods.

The ice melted quickly, tinkling and dripping and falling from the trees in the woods and the plants in the meadows.  It was a lovely sound, unlike the harsh cracking sounds of branches breaking yesterday.

Winterized.  (Butterfly Bush.)
Winterized. (Butterfly Bush.)

What had been thick ice yesterday became delicate jewels today.

Jewels.
Jewels.

Do you know what never ceases to amaze me?

Winter coat.
Winter coat.

The magic available to us every day.  All we have to do is pay attention.

Pearls.
Pearls.

I reckon that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this glittering, sparkling day.  Most of the ice is gone now.  You can still find some in the shady spots, but it’s warming up and I doubt even that will be there by the weekend.  Let’s go down to the Point to watch the sunset this evening.  It will be cold, but the air is still so it shouldn’t feel too bad.  Sunset is at 5:07 PM.  Meet you there about fifteen or twenty minutes early.  We’ll probably have the place to ourselves.  Not too many people go out there on cold days.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and see an eagle or two.

Pretty lights.
Pretty lights.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

If you’d like to see some beautiful images of the ice from a place just a few hours south of here, and read some beautiful prose to go with it, see Bejeweled at the Forest Garden Blog.  Woodland Gnome shows and describes it well.

Priceless.
Priceless.

Today’s joys:  Finding magic in the meadows and woods; sunlight sparkling and twinkling; the chiming musical sound of ice falling and melting; a long walk outdoors; boot socks to keep my toes warm when I’m wandering around outside on cold days.

Hint of things to come.
Hint of things to come.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

37 thoughts on “Nature’s song

  1. What lovely photos, Robin. Your close ups are exquisite. The heron photo shows him so clearly. Oh, the poor birds and squirrels when we have weather such as this- Thank you very much for your kind words and for the link to my post. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, as I have certainly enjoyed yours! Hours apart by car, but our gardens looked nearly identical yesterday! Take care, Elizabeth

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    1. I worry about the critters during ice storms too, WG. Fortunately we thawed out quickly. I bought some new feeders yesterday, but it’s pouring down rain today so I haven’t had a chance to go out and put them up. Tomorrow looks like it will be sunny so I should be able to put the crook in the ground, fill the feeders, and wait to see who comes by.

      You’re welcome, and thank you. 🙂

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      1. Oh, you do know how to make your garden a popular hang out 😉 Can’t wait to see your photos of birds at the new feeders. You have a talent for photographing birds I can only envy. Best wishes, WG

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  2. I loved what you wrote and the pictures, but weren’t you afraid of falling? The streets by us were very icy and we stayed home for the day. The dogs were so bored but I wasn’t taking them out and risking a fall. Unfortunately, the only snow and ice was on the streets and our deck (which the min pin could not make up – I had to go get him each time yesterday). None of the branches got very covered.

    Thanks for sharing the beauty!

    Nancy

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. 🙂 I didn’t worry too much about falling. The slippery parts were the deck and the stairs. I kept a good grip on the railing and took my time.

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  3. I was going to choose the mysterious woods for my favorite photo…and then I got to the end. Really? REALLY? You have daffodils sprouting? OK. I still like the mysterious woods, but I’m in LOVE with what the daffodils mean.

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    1. That’s what I thought, too, Dawn. REALLY? It’s only JANUARY! I suspect we’re going to see crocuses blooming within a few weeks, if that, unless a deep freeze suddenly sets in.

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  4. That heron photo is outstanding! Your images of the ice decorating everything are so beautiful. Your determination to go out in the freezing rain is admirable (I’ve done the same thing when I know the weather will change and I’ll lose out if I don’t). The neighbors probably think I’m a bit nuts! Glad I don’t disappoint them. 😉

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  5. I love these ice photos. And at the risk of reaching for a really overstrained metaphor—whenever I see this kind of ice in person,thanks to freezing rain, and I see how heavy it is and how it breaks things and maims them despite being so beautiful, it reminds me that there’s quite a price to pay for being so still and self-contained like that. It’s stunning, but it takes its toll.

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    1. Thank you, CM. And you’re welcome. 🙂 One of the good things about living here is that businesses close when there is any kind of true winter weather so there are no worries about M or me driving on icy roads.

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 Those daffodil sprouts surprised me too. I think we’re going to have an early spring this year. As for protecting the camera, I don’t take the Canon out in extreme cold or in the rain. I usually use my old Kodak or Lulu if there are conditions I don’t want to expose the Canon to. The poor Kodak is on the fritz and can be challenging to work with, but at least I don’t have to worry too much about it as it’s sealed pretty well. I also keep the camera under my coat when it’s cold and/or raining/snowing. The Canon and Kodak all have their own little raincoats (shower caps I pick up when we stay at a hotel — they work beautifully).

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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