Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Depths of Winter

This year is beginning to seem like a repeat of the previous one. We've had a number of snowfalls so far but we probably have a way to go before we approach last year's records. Most of these photos were taken shortly after the most recent accumulation. A couple are from last winter. Please remember to click on each photo to enlarge it.

“There is still vitality under the winter snow, even though to the casual eye it seems to be dead” ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull
I'm not sure how this plant looked in the warmth of summer, but you can still see where its flowers bloomed. (please click to enlarge)

"It's snowing still. And freezing. However, we haven't had an earthquake lately." ~ A. A. Milne from Winnie the Pooh
Most of the pond is frozen over, but the ducks work hard at keeping a small portion of it open throughout the winter. (please click to enlarge)

"Nature is full of genius...so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Just some snow on the bark of a tree - up close and personal. (please click to enlarge)

“Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Usually a welcoming site, this park bench was just a tad inhospitable after the snowfall. (please click to enlarge)

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?" ~ J. B. Priestley
I've posted photos of this spot before. The tree branch which extends over the pond catches my eye in all seasons. (please click to enlarge)

"The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only." ~ Joseph Wood Krutch
Here's the same tree as seen from its pond shore, further along the path. (please click to enlarge)

"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem." ~ William Hamilton Gibson
A small sprig of needles which fell from a nearby evergreen, partly buried in the snow. (please click to enlarge)

“Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, Nor time unmake what poets know” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
This Downy Woodpecker was partially obscured by a small branch. Photoshop is my friend. (please click to enlarge)

“There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.” ~ William Sharp
This one was actually taken last year, immediately following one of our many snowfalls. (please click to enlarge)

"When they looked out into the whiteness of the world the wind flung it sharply at their narrowed eyes and foreshortened their view of everything." ~ David Guterson from Snow Falling on Cedars.
Another one from last winter. (please click to enlarge)

“It snowed last year too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea” ~ Dylan Thomas
I snapped this shot this morning from inside my kitchen. The little boy next door built this snowman a couple of weeks ago. It's still standing, clothed in hat and scarf, ready to greet passersby. (please click to enlarge)


Lyn said...

Lovely shots Hilary ... you have a wonderful eye. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photos yet again. My favorite is the one from your kitchen. Snowmen take me back to my childhood days.

Frank Baron said...

You plucked some great quotes to match those shots. I especially like the glass-half-full philosophy of Winnie the Pooh. :)

NJ said...

As always such pretty photos. Unfortunately, it doesn't make me like winter any better...when is spring? :)

Nancy said...

You pick such lovely poetry to go with your lovely pictures. I especially like the bird pictures. I had the wonderful good fortune to see a Great Snow Owl (I think that is the name - it is pure white with brown spots on its wings) last winter at our home in Minneapolis. It flew at eye level all the way around my house so I could run from room to room watching it! Its wings were massive. Sooo beautiful. When we read about it, we found the Twin Cities is as far south as it goes, as its home is Canada.

Jinksy said...

The kitchen window picture looks like a beautiful Chinese scroll - fantastc!

Dr.John said...

Great pictures. I love the pictures but hate the snow.

mansuetude said...

you got some real real snow, i just got a soft dusting, but mine doesn't come with poetry. LOve the Emerson quote!

Russell said...

Hard to pick a favorite quote as I like them all. The last one made me laugh! I imagine them having tea with battered clothing and maybe a black eye!

I think I will pick the quote from William Hamilton Gibson as my favorite (though this is akin to picking a favorite child - can't be done!): "Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem."

I like that one a lot. I liked the sprig in the snow a great deal. Though I confess the snow covered bench caught my attention, too.....

Take care.

Andrea said...

Winter is actually quite lovely through your camera lens! :) And I love the quotes!!

Reb said...

Hilary, you are so talented! I love the quotes and how well they suit each photo. Love the snowman through the window and the sprig of pine.

lime said...

that shot of the downy woodpecker is quite impressive!

blunoz said...

My favorite out of this post is the picture of the woodpecker. What a beautiful creature!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Love the quotes that accompany the photos!

Anonymous said...

I love the advice quote and the bird picture today. Perfect!

Zuzana said...

Simply beautiful.
When we were kids, we loved the snow on trees; we used to call them "whipped cream covered trees".
We have only gotten very little snow this winter, but there is still February. That is when the snowstorms usually hit us. And when I am so ready for spring.;)

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Brrrr...it's bone chilling cold here today. At least we don't have snow. It's very pretty though. Wonderful photography!

Suldog said...

Very odd, Hilary. You know what I thought, upon seeing the first shot? That you had somehow discovered a bacon bush. To my eye, it appeared that there was bacon hanging from the branches.

I fear my mind is going bye-bye.

the Bag Lady said...

Another wonderful post, Hilary. Perfectly appropriate quotes.
Have to admit, though, that the downy woodpecker was my favourite - they are just such pretty little birds!

Angie Ledbetter said...

All great, but loved the ducks on ice and the woodpecker best. Thanks for sharing your world-thru-the-shutter with us.

Dianne said...

some of your shots make the snow look like lace - how do you do that! :)

Indrani said...

The snow quotes are wonderful, You have collected plenty of them and each so apt for the photographs.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

just like last year, you have a lot more snow than us, how did that happen? HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Love the pine needles that look like a half-buried porcupine, and all the rest too. Another beautiful photo show.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Love the woodpecker shot...and the Winnie the Pooh quote :)

Daryl said...

All of these are wonderful .. I especially like being inside looking out

photowannabe said...

A delightful walk in your neighborhood. You make the dull, grey days of winter so interesting. Love the quotes you added to your pictures. I love 'Winnie-the-Pooh quote the best.

Anonymous said...

There is no bleakness in your prose and photos of midwinter.
The bench looks like an inviting bed with a soft fluffy duvet.

ds said...

Wonderful photos,and I loved the different quotes with each; so perfect. I think the downy woodpecker is my favorite.

rosecreekcottage-carol.blogspot.com said...

Hilary...You are so gifted. I love photos of snow on trees...and birds. Can't get enough of either!

A. Malone said...

Every time I think, "Man I wish I was somewhere warm right now!" I just have to look outside and realize just how beautiful the winter season is.

Sandi McBride said...

Such beauty in winter, Hillary...these are great shots...we had 5 inches of the white beauty yesterday...mostly gone today...the perfect snowfall!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Lyn. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, E. I took that shot at the last minute.. just before I published the post. Now I'm especially glad that I did. :)

• Thanks, Frank. I kind of thought that one would stand out to you. :)

• Thanks, NJ. Not soon enough, I'm afraid. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Lover of Life. That's very cool about the Snowy Owl. A rare sight I'm sure you'll never forget. Lucky you! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Jinsky. That would be the horizontal blinds, I guess. :)

• Thank you, Dr. J. The snow isn't so bad when I have my camera in my hand. Otherwise, I'd agree. :)

• Thanks, Mansuetude. I'm glad you liked the post. Sometimes I'm envious of the light dusting.. like when it comes time to shovel. ;)

• Thanks, Russell. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and the quotes. I got quite a kick out that last one too. Sibling rivalry at its best. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Andrea. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by with your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks, Lime. It's a cute little critter, eh? :)

• Thanks, Kevin. That woodpecker has some fans! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Pat. I'm glad you did. :)

• Thank you, Meredith.. much appreciated. :)

• Thanks muchly, Protege. What a lovely way to describe the snowy trees. I like that! I'm always ready for winter to end. January is just a little too early for me to start dreaming about that though. Thanks for stopping by, Z. :)

• Thanks, Debra. It's been pretty cold here too but we've been keeping warm by shoveling! Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Only you, Sully. Now you've gone and made me hungry. :) I'll paste the link to the "bacon tree" joke I sent you in email, so that everyone can see it.

• Thanks, Baggie. They are indeed little beauties. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Angie. You must be a big bird lover. Not a Big Bird lover.. that would be a Sesame Street fan. But .. well you know what I mean. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Dianne. Nature sure does create some lovely patterns, doesn't it? :)

• Thanks, Indrani. It was fun finding them and matching them to the photos. :)

• I don't know, Gary. It must be some Amurikan plot! ;)

• Thanks very much, Crabby. I never saw the pine needles as a porcupine. Thanks for that perspective. :)

• Thank you, Cowgirl. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. Me too. It's much warmer that way. ;)

• Thanks, Photowannabe. You're welcome to walk with me anytime. How about shoveling? I don't mind sharing. Really! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, KC. It does look soft and cushy.. but cold! Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, DS. That woodpecker sure is a popular little guy. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Carol. I'm glad you like snow pics. I'm sure there'll be a few more before we're done with this season. Thanks for the visit. :)

• That's true, Lyrist. But it doesn't stop me from wishing. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandi. That is the perfect snowfall. Particularly if it melted before you had to shovel. Thanks for the visit. :)

Kerri Farley said...

Oh, a lovely post Hilary! Your snow shots are gorgeous. I know a lot of those who have gotten a LOT of snow so far....but....we've only gotten about an inch. These pics make me long for one BIG SNOW..and then for Spring!!

And the quotes you've chosen were PERFECT for each!

Tink said...

I love enjoying these beautiful wintery scenes from the comfort of my computer screen. ;)

Rain Blanken said...

"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem." ~ William Hamilton Gibson


Ian Buchan said...

The pics are really good, the snow is always fascinating to a resident of the (sub-tropical) parts of the southern hemisphere! I've only seen Canada in summer, and my friends on a farm told how the winters could be -- snowed in on the farm in Ontario for up to two weeks! Out here it's unusual to have snow below about 7000ft. Thanks.

Cheffie-Mom said...

In the first photo, the frozen flowers look like snowflakes. The last one is my favorite. Wonderful photos!

Clowncar said...

Lovely images, as always. Really enjoyed the quotes, the J. B. Priestley one in particular.

I'm not sure about the Emerson. Yeah, sun can't bleach snow. But it can, like, melt it.

Merisi said...


that a snowman lasts through several weeks must be unheard of here. Deep freeze gave way to almost springlike air for a few days, wiping out most of the snow that accumulated during last week.

I got photoshop, but never used it because my computer does not have the power to upload my pictures fast enough and my time does not allow to play with it either.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I love the texture in these photos. And why is it, I adore shots of winter when I dont' take them! You make white look pretty Hilary!

Anonymous said...

Love the snowman, he seems to be peeking in at you, curious at what you are doing. All the photos and quotes are beautiful. I thought, at first glance, the one on top was a sculpture. Snow does that to things...turns them into something they aren't. Thanks for posting them.

Country Girl said...

Beautiful photographs accompanied by the perfect wintertime prose. Thanks for a good post!

david mcmahon said...

You deserve many accolades for your many talents, Hilary, but you must know that your comments are a source of much hilarity. Your ready wit is a wonderful day-warmer.

Your comment on my Photo Story Friday post today was perfect.

Oh yes, and I really enjoyed this post - but you know that I am your No.1 fan.


SandraRee said...

I believe we all are, David. :) You make me miss my childhood, Hilary. I miss the beauty of snow. Beautiful. I've certainly missed your talent.

Shrinky said...

I love the shot of the snow filled bench - beautiful. Smile.

HeatherPride said...

I love the snowman next door. He just looks so happy and cute sitting out there!

Jo said...

Once, again, what beautiful, beautiful pictures, and wonderful quotes!

It's spring here in Vancouvver. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, we can smell the ocean...

Shammickite said...

We have certainly had more than our fair share of snowflakes so far this winter, haven't we? The piles of snow either side of my driveway are almost taller than I am! Your pictures are lovely, as always. But wouldn't it be nice to take come pictures of SPRING!!!! Arrgghh! We still have February and March to go!

Michelle said...

Hello again Hilary!
Your photos really make me miss winter! I love the snowman, what a great shot!
- Michelle

dixymiss said...

Greetings. Your witty comment on David's photo story post begged a visit. It's a pleasure to discover your beautiful photography and eXcellent quotations (two of my own pet interests)!

Unknown said...

these are truly beautiful images. I love the haunting feeling of the bare branches and the obvious cold weather but the light is so warm that they almost seem welcoming.

I missed you! I love visiting your blog and reading your posts.

Aly @ Lip Zip said...

Those poor ducks! I can't blame them for sticking around, though. Your surroundings are so gorgeous.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much for the kind words, Kerri. I'll tell you what - you can have the BIG SNOW and I'll take Spring.. deal? ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Tink. That's a pretty comfy way to enjoy them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• I'm glad you liked it, Rain. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Ian. I'm glad you could enjoy a taste of winter though my photos, and that you came by for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Cheffie. At this point, everything looks like snowflakes. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Clowncar. I keep hoping the sun will fulfill some of its melting obligations but so far, not so much. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Merisi, generally speaking, snowmen don't last all that long here either but it's been really cold. It's still standing today - going on three weeks now. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Mama Geek. It's because you stay warmer that way. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Sizzie. I'm glad you like the photos. The snowman really does seem to have a personality by now. I'll be disappointed when he disappears. Thanks for your kind comments. :)

• Thank you, CG. Very much appreciated. :)

• David, thank you so much for your warm words. I have a lot of fun commenting on your posts because you challenge the punster in me. And of course your photos always inspire. Thanks for stopping by. Your comment made my day. :)

• Thanks, Sandra. It's good to see you back on the blogging circuit. I've missed you too and am looking forward to enjoying your posts again. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Shrinky. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thank you, Heather. He's become part of the neighbourhood now. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Jo. You're making me long for spring. Stop that! ;) I'm glad you're enjoying fine weather. You got dumped with a lot of snow not too long ago, so enjoy the warmth. Our turn will come.. at least by July. ;)

• I hear you, Shammie. You're lucky you have two sides to your driveway. I live in a townhouse and can only toss it on one side - and carefully at that so I don't bury that snowman! ;) I will be happy to greet Spring when she graces us with her presence. So will my camera. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Michelle. I'll save you a snowball or two in my freezer. You can come collect any time. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Welcome, DiXymiss and thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you dropped by and hope you'll come back again soon. :)

• Thanks so much for the very warm words, Chessa. I'm so glad you can feel both the icy cold and the warmth in the photos. That's pretty much how it felt out there. Thanks for visiting. :)

• Thanks kindly, Aly. It's hard to imagine that they can keep warm, eh? Thanks for stopping by. :)

Carlis said...

brilliant photos!
love it;)

~iqa rasol

Tricia said...

Wonderful photos, Hilary. I love the freshly-fallen snow, before anyone walks on it, or snow plows it, or salts and gravels it... Every time it snows, it's like a blank canvas all over again.

Susan English Mason said...

I'm an avid bird lover so I have to pick the woodpecker shot as my fave, although it's a difficult choice for me to make. I can just picture in my mind's eye my 5-year-old Granddaughter Kya thrilled to be the first to jump all over that bench. She would be delighted.

Lulda Casadaga said...

You will have to revisit that little bush after the snow is gone and keep track of it. :) Just more lovely pictures to make me jealous!! Our weathermen predict some snowy/icy mix for the end of this week...we'll see...we'll see.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very kindly, Iqa. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Tricia. I agree. That pristine state of a new snowfall is unlike anything else. Nothing in nature changes the landscape so quickly and so dramatically. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Susan. Perhaps you and your granddaughter could watch the woodpecker from atop that snow-covered bench. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Lulda. I hope you're getting the weather you're hoping for. I'm looking forward to spring but not minding the winter all too much... yet. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Louise said...

These are great!! A favorite is hard, so I'll tell you 3 I really like... The Downey Woodpecker because we have none in my immediate proximity and when I go where there are some, they don't want me to take their picture, the picture from last year because it just looks like a pleasant path, and the last one because of the lighting and just a tiny bit of the snowman. All wonderful!

ceecee said...

I can't tell you how much these photos take me back to my childhood winters in New Jersey! I always loved being out alone in the snow covered woods. You've captured it perfectly. Visiting you from David McMahon's blog. So nice of him to tip his hat to us! Will visit again.
All the best,


Anonymous said...

That red summac was breathtaking. It is like a hint of what is to come, the blossoming of color and the revival of the world. I am so sick of winter. How many days till spring?

Hilary said...

• Louise, thanks so much for taking the time to tell me which photos you like best and why. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Catherine. I'm glad you enjoyed the nostalgic tug from these photos. Congrats to you too for that POTD from David. Thanks very much for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Kelly. I'm glad you liked the photo. As for your question. I'd say that there are far too many days until spring. I'm with you. Winter gets old really fast. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

the last shot of sunlight filtering through the window is precious......i would just curl up with a warm mug of coffee in that patch of light and let the world go by.......

Hilary said...

Thanks very kindly, Moi. I believe you might have been a cat in a previous life. Thanks for stopping by. :)