216: A visit from the Green Man

Knowledge was inherent in all things.  The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks… We learned to do what only the students of nature ever learn, and that was to feel beauty.

~ Luther Standing Bear (1868-1939)

This morning I stood at the back of the house and looked out at the meadows stretching out towards and around the pond, the meadow grasses merging with the wetland cattails, the cattails leading the way to the woods.  Everything is so incredibly green.  It’s as if the Green Man himself came by and with one touch brought the greening of the land.

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189: No significant accumulation?

(Spring temporarily gives up.)

I have a small, tattered clipping that I sometimes carry with me and pull out for purposes of private amusement.  It’s a weather forecast from the Western Daily Mail and it says, in toto, ‘Outlook:  Dry and warm, but cooler with some rain.’

~ Bill Bryson, Notes From a Small Island

I have to admire the folks who predict the weather.  It’s not a job I would want, especially in these parts.  Weather is just, well, unpredictable.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to work in an occupation where you are frequently wrong and nobody fires you for it.  I’m joking.  A little.  The fact is, I’ve always been fascinated with weather and once thought being a meteorologist was one of the coolest jobs on the planet because you get to work with weather and weather patterns, and all the cool techie stuff such as radar.

Winter hugs spring

After posting yesterday I turned around, looked outside, and found that what I’d posted was inaccurate.  “No significant accumulation” is, I believe, how I quoted the latest weather report.  Ha!  Outside my window was some quite significant accumulation for nearly the end of March.  Makes me wonder what the weather folks consider significant.  Granted, in January this would not have been a big snow event.  Even at the end of March it isn’t a big snow event.  But it’s still accumulation in my book.  If it sticks, it’s accumulation.

Yesterday, while the snow was still falling and accumulating in an insignificant way

I gotta hand it to Winter, though.  It pulled me right back in.  I immediately bundled up, got out the snow boots, and went outside, camera in hand, and started taking pictures like I hadn’t just spent an entire winter photographing snow.  I can’t help it.  (Does that make me addicted to Winter?)  It’s beautiful, especially the way the wet, heavy snow decided to stick to everything including the branches of the trees.  Winter mesmerized me once again with big, fat, feathery snowflakes dancing and whirling and swirling from the sky.  I never even noticed if it was cold or not, I was so caught up in Winter’s Waltz.

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

I took my walk early today, around 7:30am.  It was foggy, misty, and magical.  The snow laid a hush over the land, but the fog distorted and carried sounds.  It was a lovely combination since about the only sound out there was that of the birds singing and chattering.

The Early Bird (a robin)

I wonder how the birds and the almost-blossoming flowers feel about the snow.  While the flowers weren’t talking (I suspect they decided to go back to sleep for a little while), the birds sure seemed to have a lot to say.

I have to confess:  I took a ton of photos.  None of the photos in this post, by the way, were shot in black and white or converted to black and white in post-processing.  I did not attempt to change the blueish-gray tones of some of the photos since that is the reality of the colors this morning.  I did very little in post-processing.  I did some resizing so I’m not putting giant, economy-size, photos on the blog.  The fog and snow created interesting effects on their own and didn’t need the help of an editing program.

Walking towards the timothy grass meadow

The pond was like glass.  It hasn’t been this still in at least a week or so.  In addition to ushering in the chilly temperatures, the old north wind that had been plaguing us kept the water wavy and ripply.

The stillness was, simply, amazing.  The reflections even more so.  It was easy to get lost in them and imagine myself in a watery, upside down, world.

I did take a few shots with the white balance set to tungsten, just for fun.

The vignetting effect along the edges of the photo are due to lens distortion.  I know that is not always considered a good thing, but I sometimes like it (and can always crop it out if I don’t).

Be still and know

The last photo is my favorite of today’s batch.  Yesterday was about the dance, the whirling, the twirling, the swirling.  This morning was about the calm and stillness of the morning after, when the mind and body relax and meet in the quiet and peacefulness of a foggy, snowy morning in spring.

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

~ Ram Dass