Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snowy Sunday

11:45 am - Snow is falling outside, dancing and blowing under a leaden sky, and triggering in me a strange perfectly reasonable desire for yarn and tea. In a few hours I'll be suiting up to take a walk in the whirling whiteness, but for now I can sit tight and remain a spectator of winter. Time to put the kettle on....

2:00 pm - The snow has turned suddenly heavy, with miniature clumps the size of quarters falling thick and fast. Freezing rain is forecast for later; I'd better go while the going's good.

The temperature is a very mild 20 - positively balmy compared with a few days ago. In 5 minutes I'm out the door and into the falling snow. The thyme which grows next to the doorstep is still, amazingly, green (albeit a very dark green):


Do its volatile oils somehow keep it going where other plants have given up for the year? Before spring comes it will dry up completely, but how has it survived in the frozen ground and the extreme temps of the past week?

Today's destination is the park, which I haven't visited for quite a while. On the way is this outbuilding covered with vines like bobbed hair:


Snow has a power to transform the everyday into something magical. This plain brown staircase becomes a line of snowy rooftops when I tilt my head (and the camera):


Goldenrod sprays are coated with white:


It's hard to tell where the fuzzy blossoms leave off and the snow begins.

The snow's texture is gradually changing from fluffy to firm; tiny pellets strike my jacket and collect on my hat brim. A pine cone, half-buried in the snow, begins to sparkle with ice.


I like the mottled pattern on the bottom of its scales:


The park's inner pond is edged with all sorts of lovely dried flowers. Some tall and stately...


...some rather exotic-looking...


...and some daintily lacy.


A tree trunk wears snow like an icy saddle:


On the far side of the park, the lower branches of certain pines are an amazing rust-colour against the grey-green needles. They look almost as though they've lost a layer of bark:


Beneath them the shoreline curves away into the snow-blurred distance.


Another of the striking pines. These branches remind me of a spiral staircase (and make me think of the Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse):


Freezing rain is now falling thick and fast, and rattling on the leaves of a nearby oak....


(How's that for making you feel warm and cozy and glad to be indoors?)

My jacket is damp with melting ice; time to finish my circuit of the park and head for home. No more photos! (Well, perhaps just a few....)

A park bench beaded with ice pellets looking for all the world like pearl sugar:


A cheerfully painted birdhouse on the side of an oak:



And one more snow-crusted park bench:



The once-soft snow is now granular and crunchy, and the temperature is rising. If the weathermen are correct, by Tuesday it will be in the 40s (and raining, darn it). We're in for a foggy, slippery few days before the temps drop back down.

Almost February. Soon winter's back will be broken, and we'll be halfway to spring. (Usually by now I'm growing impatient for warmer weather, but this year I'm in no particular hurry.)

Are you enjoying winter, or do you long for spring to come?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

38 comments:

  1. I like your cone in the snow capture and the trees! That first snowfall sounded wonderful with huge floating flakes! The freezing rain couldn't have been quite so much fun and it can make walking dangerous. It's so nice to get out for fresh air and enjoy it all and lovely to get home again with a hot drink and a bit of yarn work!

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    1. Thanks Sandra - I was hoping to get photos of the huge flakes, but they were already thinning out by the time I made it out the door.

      P.S. I have boot attachments - called Yaktrax - that make it possible to walk safely over ice. You can bet I wore them yesterday! :)

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  2. Yesterday it started to rain and now almost all of the snow is gone. I'm glad it's going back to normal. The snow made it a messy, slippery world and now I can walk outside without being scared of falling.

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    1. I feel just the opposite - I would like it to snow and snow, and NOT rain until spring! :) Because our temperatures get so low, whenever it does warm up, the snow melts just enough to make puddles, which then re-freeze and make everything icy.

      But I'm glad your weather is returning to normality.

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  3. I LOVE snow. you made me long for real winter now again...i miss it so much. but your pictures refreshed me, really, like I also went for that wonderful walk..
    enjoy winter days!
    with loads of love,
    Anna.

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    1. Thank you, Anna - I can't imagine what a difference there must be between your homeland and sunny India! :)

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  4. The pines look like Scots Pine to me - one of my favourite trees. You are quite right that snow transforms the everyday into something magical - I love the way it can make us look twice at things we might normally not even notice. Juliex

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    1. Yes - that's exactly what I wanted to say but the words just wouldn't come out right. Thanks Julie! Also for the tree i.d. :)

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  5. A lovely outing Sue, enjoyed it from the comfort of my couch and the aircon!!
    Beautiful photos......

    Claire :}

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    1. It's almost enough to make you appreciate that hot summer, I should think...for a few minutes anyway. :)

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  6. Thanks for the walk. Here it's getting warmer too, but winter is not over yet. But I'm okay with that. :-) Have a good time! Regula

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    1. Our temps will drop again by Wednesday or Thursday, back to near-zero, which is normal for this time of year. Ah well - variety is the spice of life. Stay warm! :)

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  7. Oh that birdhouse, and bench and close-up....ooooooo...scuh great photos. We got a storm yesterday too. This mornings sunrise made everything an icy blue. So pretty.

    Stay warm and have a good week!

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  8. Thank you for sharing this lovely, lovely walk with us. As you know, I'm too 'olden' for this. Thank you, for taking me/us along.

    "Auntie"

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    1. Ha! You're not too old - and look at that lovely hat. That would keep you warm through anything. :)

      Thanks, Auntie.

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  9. Lovely pictures...it was fun tagging along with you on your walk in the park! :)

    Blessings always

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    1. Thank you! In a few months I hope to be posting cycling photos instead.... :)

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  10. I remained safely inside. Once it started I looked out and saw a layer of ice. It just got worse from there. I sure wish I had made a grocery run before the storm started. Oh well.... it is supposed to warm up so maybe???
    Beautiful photos as always.

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    1. Thanks Beth! (So you got the ice storm too - drive carefully this week!) :)

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  11. There is so much beauty in winter, glad you took us along so we can enjoy it too.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  12. Oooh, must have hit the wrong button as my post disappeared.
    What a lovely winter land. Here it is much warmer and mizzly wet and the kind of cold that sinks into one's bones.
    I loved you sock journals. I have never conquered double points. I may as well herd cats!
    Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks Ellen - believe it or not, it was 50 today (Tuesday) and incredibly foggy. Tomorrow, heavy snow, and the next day back to below-zero temps. Crazy weather! Stay warm, and don't despair of herding cats. You never know.... :)

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  13. Ooops again...I should have typed in "your" and not you. Good grief, get a grip, Ellen.

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  14. I see the icy saddle and I love it.

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    1. Thanks - and also for stopping by. I have just been over to admire your kittens. :)

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  15. I enjoyed listening to the sleet. It did the same here yesterday. As I sit here, at my computer, it is thundering and lightning outside my window. We are to have warm weather tomorrow and then the next day in the teens. What a strange winter here in No. Illinois.
    Balisha

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    1. Same here - and we too had a thunderstorm last night. Very strange weather indeed.

      :)

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  16. Thank you for taking me along on your wintry walk. Sunday was drab here until the freezing rain. We had snow leftover from Friday, but it was all sadly washed away overnight. Up to 61 today! And brown. Very brown. I miss the lovely blanket of white we had last week. Hope it comes back soon!

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    1. Sounds very like our weather - only warmer. I miss those lovely white blankets too, but they should come back tomorrow (!). How nice to hear from you! :)

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  17. Oh! I read Miss Buncle and Miss Buncle Married! What fun reads! I am so glad you recommended them to me, my friend. They kept me excellent company during a bout of recent illness. I got them for Christmas. Very lovely paperbacks reissued just last year. Wish they would reissue The Two Mrs. Abbotts. There are only first editions on Amazon and they are over 100 dollars last I checked! Yikes!

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    1. I can't remember if I've read that or not ... does your library system have it?

      I'm so glad you enjoyed them - Miss Buncle is a hoot. That and the Mrs. Tim books are my favourites by D.E. Stevenson. :)

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  18. You are a brave woman. I would have stayed in the barn. I guess what with the weather as it was, it was too much to hope for a shadow shot. Hope springs eternal, though. :)

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    1. My dear Marigold - there were NO shadows to be seen that day. Or if there were, I was too busy dodging ice pellets to notice them. :)

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  19. Geez! You sure make a winter walk look good! (These days I'm a big chicken about falling on the ice!) Some extraordinary photos you have here. I'm so glad you are capturing the beautiful parts of winter.

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    1. Thanks Deb - I'm a chicken about ice too, but my Yaktrax give me total confidence. :)

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