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A Monday meander: The woolly bear and winter

Outside of the county health department, after my last Covid test (it came back negative, by the way).  What do you think the woolly bear is predicting?  A mild or severe winter?

Life is no different than the weather. Not only is it unpredictable, but it shows us a new perspective of the world every day.

~ Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for — sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm. . . . As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all — and to me it is a sound — is utter, complete silence.

~ Andre Kostelanetz, Sunbeams, January 2022

Snow spirits dancing by the pond.

Hello.  How is 2022 treating you so far?  I know it’s early days and there’s a pandemic surge going on, but hopefully you’re off to some kind of good start.  Did you make any resolutions?  Every year I say, “I do not make resolutions,” and every year I find myself caught in the energy of resolutions.  Challenges and new practices and free online workshops (that will lead to longer, paid workshops) show up in my email inbox or in my Instagram feed, and the next thing I know, I’m signing up for one thing or another.

The blue blizzard. (It wasn’t really blue, but the camera picks it up that way. I sort of like it, for reasons that might become apparent.)

At the Winter Solstice, I decided not to sign up for a variety of things this year.  “I am going to hibernate this winter,” I said to myself and to others.  The Great Winter Rest and Reset.  I signed up for quite a few things last year, partly because we were in what now appears to be the beginning of this pandemic, and it felt like a good thing to do to stay occupied.  I learned all sorts of new things, listened to all kinds of wonderful talks and poetry, and helped support a few folks who were doing good things online.

Blowing and swirling. (I toned down the blue a little.)

I think it was shortly after the solstice that I came across something on Instagram about a free, year-long workshop with artist Connie Solera.  I’d only recently started following her, and this particular event looked interesting and promising.  It’s called Monopalette and the idea is to work with one color every month.  Because I want to learn about colors and paints and how to mix colors, I decided to join.  I already love it even though I’ve only watched a couple of videos and only completed one exercise.

The color for the month of January is Prussian Blue.  I knew absolutely nothing about Prussian Blue until I watched Connie’s videos about the color and why she chose it.  I didn’t even know that if you add white to a color it’s called tinting.  Adding black to a color is called shading.  That is how woefully almost non-existent my art training is at the moment.

The workshop is set up so that there will be guest teachers every Friday.  It’s unlikely that I will join the live classes since the timing isn’t great for me, but I will be watching the recordings as they become available.

A walk in the snow at sunset.

As you can tell from the photos, we had some winter snow come for a visit last week.  I meant to post about it last week, too.  Better late than never?  We had snow on Monday and again later in the week.  The Monday snow was the best.  We got around 6-8 inches and it was perfect for cross-country skiing on Tuesday morning.  Before the snow arrived there was lots of rain and icy rain.  But once the snow started, the clouds cranked it out for several hours.  It was wonderful to watch.  It stopped snowing just before sunset.  M and I decided to go out and walk in Zeke’s Woods (formerly known as the New Woods) on what my oldest grandson calls the Monster Paths (because of the way the trees hang over the paths).

At the edge of Zeke’s Woods.

We did hang around at the edge of the woods for a little while as the sun appeared and played on the snow and trees.

Beautiful winter decorations.

There is not much more to say about the snow or the fun we had in the snow.  As you know, if you’ve been hanging around here or at my old blog for a while, I love the snow.  It fills me with joy, my heart sings, and I could spend hours walking or cross-country skiing.  In fact, I did spend hours out there delighting in it since snow doesn’t last long in these parts.

For just a moment, everything the sun touched turned to gold.

Well, I’d like to try to get caught up with y’all so I’m going to end this meander soon.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  It’s chilly so you’ll want to bundle up.  Sunset is scheduled for 5:02 PM.  I’ll arrive early so I can take a little walk before whatever show the sun and sky and water decide to put on for this evening.

Please be safe and be well.  ♥♥♥  And please forgive me for not responding to your comments on my last few posts.  I hope to get to them but would prefer to visit you at your place first.

Entering Zeke’s Woods.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,941)  Bella, hanging in there.  She doesn’t seem to be in pain and that’s good.  The vet decided against doing the surgery (because of her age but also because the Second Opinion Vet didn’t think her teeth were in such bad shape that surgery was warranted).  Whatever is causing her not to eat remains a mystery.  It could be the kidney problem.  Whatever the case, she continues to snuggle with us, drink plenty of water, and occasionally eat enough food to keep her going.  1,942)  Mild cases of Covid.  A couple of family members have come down with it but have mild cases so far.  1,943)  Playing with Prussian blue and other colors.  1,944)  This bright and beautiful blue-sky day we’re experiencing today.  1,945)  Being able to cross-country ski last week, and hike around in the snow for a day or two.

Trees, hungover from the snow, on the Monster Path.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

33 thoughts on “A Monday meander: The woolly bear and winter

  1. So much to comment on on this post! First of all I LOVE Prussian Blue! I never heard of it either until I watched a few water color tutorials. I have two tubes of it, neither of which I’ve been able to find for months and I’m thinking about ordering another one! 🙂 Second. I love to LOOK at snow. I used to love cross country skiing when I lived in the UP where we had hills. I’ve never tried downhill skiing, though I wonder why not, as the best part of the cross country I did was the down hills, and then trying to get up the next hill was so hard, when downhill skiers get to RIDE up! 🙂 🙂 🙂 And third…I LOVE ZEKE’s Woods and the Monster Path! These are sooooo wonderful! OH! And I loved the setting sun on the trees too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. Lots of love in your comment. ❤ I am falling in love with Prussian Blue. The more I work with it, the more possibilities arise. It will be interesting to see what happens in February when we switch to a green.


  2. Happy 2022 Robin and firstly had to look up your woolly bear prediction “The more black bands the critter has the harsher the winter conditions will be. So, if you love cold snowy winters, you want more black bands. ” You might be in for a disappointment as your caterpillar looks rather ginger!
    Enjoy your new art venture – it can only help your photography too (not that it needs it!) I am intrigued by the reality that painting arose from chemistry, including Prussian blue. And I especially the love the unsunlit snow photos with those blues!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura. 🙂 Yes, our woolly bears are predicting a mild winter. I’m not sure I agree. We’ve had some very cold weather. Maybe I should have looked at some of the other woolly bears who were out and about that day. They are about as accurate as some of our weather forecasters. I think you’re right about the art venture helping (or at least influencing) my photography. I’m looking at blues differently these days. Not sure how that will translate with the camera (other than wanting to leave them as is in snow pictures).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Robin! We did not get as much snow as you did, but it did look pretty. Your photos are beautiful, especially the blaze of gold against the snow, though winter blue is also lovely. I love “monster woods.” It sounds like something my kids would have come up with.
    Your painting and exploration of specific colors sounds like so much fun.
    i hope both Bella and your family members are feeling better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We also had the beautiful snow, which does get old after a while. Of course, you and I like our winter weather (as opposed to the stifling heat of summer in these parts!). I love the idea of the working with color workshop. I can’t commit to anything more now, but it sounds like a fun exploration. I don’t call them resolutions but more intentions. I think that expresses our desires and our deepest curiosities. I’m glad to see you are well, Robin. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kathy. 🙂 You lead a very adventurous life so I can see how you might have quite a bit on your plate. I like intentions better than resolutions, and exploring our deepest curiosities. This dive into one color has been quite interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love snow, too. Good thing as I live in Maine where there is usually snow aplenty. 😉 That class sounds great, and thanks for teaching me about tinting and shading. I am sorry to write that I did not know the difference. Oh, the things I learn from my blogging friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Laurie. I didn’t know, either. My knowledge of the art world is rather slim. I was just learning about the connection between Prussian Blue and Mary Shelley (and her story of Frankenstein’s creation). Fascinating stuff. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I, like you, love the snow. I’m less enthusiastic about the arctic cold we are going through right now (I swear, I’ve become wimpier over the years). Your blues are beautiful as are your sun-touched images… Well, as per. ALL your photos are breathtaking.
    Glad you have been able to take advantage of the snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dale. 🙂 I think the cold becomes a little more difficult to deal with over time (I prefer to put it that way rather than say “as I grow older and wimpier”…lol!). I have discovered the wonders of fleece (in the form of long underwear which can be worn as leggings or actually under something). I pretty much live in fleece throughout the winter months.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, do let us change the terms. It’s so weird. The year Mick died, the winter was so cold and yet, Zeke and I went out every day. Of course, I also went out so’s not to lose my mind so there is that. I have a fabulous pair of fleece leggings I wear to run in (I cannot believe I am still running!) I wish I had three more pairs! But, I got these at Costco last year so fuggedaboutit for now…


  7. Glorious photos of the snow, Robin – love the Monster Path especially. I’m hibernating for the winter after a brief flurry of Christmas visits and dinners, it’s taken me over 2 years to get to that point since retiring. Just being and thinking, not much doing – feels good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Robin, I enjoyed the snow too. The first one was about 6 inches here–wet and heavy–and the second was dry and powdery–about 3 inches. The first brought some branches down, but was otherwise really lovely. Mostly gone now. Your strategy for the year sounds good. Rest and reset.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 I think you’re about to get some more good snow in a few days time. Our weather guys are saying rain for us, but across the bay things are going to get interesting.


      1. As I read your comment the weather came on–snow starting mid-day Sunday, maybe several inches, followed by freezing rain and then rain. May just put the car in the County garage…


  9. I’m happy to look at your snow, Robin. Personally, I’m a summer girl — give me sunshine and warm temperatures, and I’m a happy camper! That said, I do love how the sun tints these snowy trees with golden beauty, and I hope Bella mends soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your snowy pictures are beautiful, Robin. Sending loving thoughts to Bella… and also smiling about you vowing not to make New Years resolution and then getting caught in the energy. There is a special energy that comes with the new year that just makes us want to reset and try new things. I hope you enjoy your color year-long workshop. The word “Prussian Blue” is almost as wonderful as the color, even though they say words and sensations are two different things altogether!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Our snowfall has been negligible and as such just a wussy mess. I like your photos. I also like the idea of focusing on one color each month. I look forward to seeing where it takes you. Happy New Year, btw

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ally. 🙂 It’s been interesting, so far, to focus on just one color. Even though the color is Prussian Blue, I’m seeing all the blues in a new way lately. Or at least noticing them more.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love the inviting entrance to Zeke’s Woods and the footprints leading the way. Like you, I love snow and all the childhood winter memories it brings back, growing up in the woods. Beautiful snow pictures, Robin! ❄️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The snow snaps are gorgeous! And I love the idea of the great reset and rest, Robin. If only the entire world could do that and come back ready to play nicely with each other (kind of like kindergarten naptime on a huge scale:)).


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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