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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

white out

This time one year ago an ice storm attacked the east coast including my cabin here in West Virginia. It began with snow then the ice followed by more snow and ice. The trees were so heavy-laden that branches which, days before had been shoulder high, now swept the ground. When I stepped outside I was met with the sounds of limbs falling as they succumbed to the weight of the ice.
This was a good day to stay out of the woods. My irresistable walk was restricted to the field beside the house. Crunching sounds filled the air as I trudged through the ice and snow with my camera ready for action. The wind began to pick up as I reached the top of the hill. Whoosh! There went my hat, a wide brimmed felt topper perfectly shaped to roll and tumble across the field, not stopping until it reached the trees. I ran, huffing and puffing and crunching until I, too, was under the trees. Grabbing the hat quickly, I moved back out into the open away from the falling branches. This time I was sure to smash the hat securely onto my head as I continued climbing and taking pictures of the sparkling field. I was just turning for home as . . .Whoosh! There it went again. This time down the hill. If I didn't catch it soon It would escape into a nearby gully, not to be seen again until Spring. Once  retrieved, the hat went inside my coat. It was too cold to stay out any longer so, a few more pictures and home I went.

Before going inside I refilled the birdfeeder, scattering some sunflower seeds and peanuts across the ground to make it easier on the blue jays and juncos. Once inside, my shoes, gloves, coat and crushed hat were spread out by the fire, the water turned on for tea and I sat on the bed to watch the feeder. I was not disappointed.

Colorful blue jays and cardinals decorated the frozen maple with their bright blues and reds. Each scrambled for its place at the feeder. Once the Peanuts were discovered, the jays were happy to find spots on the ground and leave space at the feeder for other birds.

Later, a cardinal rested on the feeder platform. He had joined three other matching males who were on the ground along with several rusty females who watched from overhead between intermittant flights to the feeder relishing the black oil sunflower seeds.
As I finished my cup of warm chi green tea I thought of the dishwasher that needed emptying and the supper that needed planned. The birds would have to finish their meal without me.


Kate said...

I love the picture of the birds in the tree - simply stunning. And the one of the cardinal. I don't think we have cardinals in Scotland (I've never seen one anyway), and I really miss them.

Beyond The Garden said...

Thanks Kate. We here in West Virginia do love our cardinals in the snow. It is our state bird and are very common