Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wonders of Winter

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago down near Frank's place. Come wander and wonder with me. And please remember to click on each image to enlarge.

I wonder what snapped this branch from the tree. Was it old age? A heavy bird? Too much icy snow? Wind? Perhaps it snapped when a kidlet decided to swing on it. Maybe it's just lying there waiting for someone to take its photo.

I wonder how long it was after this moment when Benny decided to turn around and find a warmer surface for his paws - like a comfy lap. Chances are good that he was already on his way home by the time the camera left my eye. I also wonder if anyone else noticed how Benny's shadow looks like a penguin. I hadn't, but my observant sister did and pointed it out to me. Hi, Andi!

I wonder how a place can look so icy cold and yet so golden warm at the same time. This late-day sun always brings a warmth to even the most frigid of days.

I wonder how we're going to manage to walk this path. The creek overflowed one rainy day in January which flooded the walkway. Freezing cold weather turned it solid and slippery. Somewhere under this ice is the usual paved path but we might not see it again until spring.

I wonder if anybody actually tries to sit here now that the flood and ensuing ice have made this bench seat almost flush with its surface.

I wonder when this jovial face appeared along the creek's shoreline, and just what is it laughing at?

I wonder how long these plants will rest here watching the creek flow by, and how long until they absorb enough strength from the sunlight to give forth new growth.

I wonder what made these tiny tracks on the snowy banks of the creek. It has a tail, which almost makes it look like a string of dangling Christmas decorations.

I wonder if its descent into water is a clue. A small aquatic rodent - must be a muskrat. Google images confirmed that.

I wonder if this place will ever come alive again with wild flowers and tall grasses, shorebirds like Herons and the elusive Kingfisher and the sweet smell of cedars. Of course it will. It will just take time, and I'm learning to be very patient.

Please join me for more winter images in a few days.


Frank Baron said...

I TOLD you those tracks were made by a muskrat!

"Confirmed by Google images" indeed! Humph!! :P

I wonder how to exact revenge....

Nice pics, though. ;)

Land of shimp said...

As always, wonderful pictures, Hilary. By the way, have you ever seen A Fish Called Wanda? Whenever someone says, "I wonder..." I conjure a mental imagine of John Cleese. As it happens, I like John Cleese, so for me, it's a win-win situation.

Lovely pictures, tall Brits. Whee!

colbymarshall said...

muskrat tracks! LOVE!

Maggie May said...

Love these photos that you could easily have titled..... *Shades of Mauve*.
Just LOVED those little tracks!

Nuts in May

Sueann said...

Great images Hilary!! I love the one where the sun is kissing the shoreline. Beautiful!

Nessa said...

These are such fantastic pictures. That is some flood and it's amazing that it all froze. The tracks are fascinating.

The Simple Things Challenge

Steve Gravano said...

Love the muskrat tracks look like a bas relief.

Anonymous said...

Terrific, makes me almost, but only just, think that winter is not so bad after all. Truth is I have never felt the cold quite so much as I have this year, probably because I have not been as mobile as usual.
I love the words you attach to each picture,and the thought of someone sitting on that bench is hilarious. Now that would have made another good picture.

Brian Miller said...

wonderful pics...we often find tracks in the snow or mud and fantasize about what might have made them...

Carol Murdock said...

Great photos! Love the ice face!

Merisi said...

What a wonderful stroll through your winter wonderland! I love how you captured the shadows (Penguin? Yes!) and the light playing with the icy surfaces, the tracks in the snow, all of mother nature's bounty! I am sure soon you will hear the water running again under the ice, snowdrops slowly surfacing and the one or other bud open!

Happy Sunday to you! :-)

Tabor said...

Looks like our place now. The lettuce photos were taken in January just before our numerous snow storms rendered everything a frozen white. We got over 2 feet here in the city and at least a foot of slush down at my palace on the river...looking forward to trying to get in!

Pauline said...

One could bask in that golden late day sun, even if the temps were frigid. The grinning face looks like a polar bear!

Thumbelina said...

It never ceases to amaze me how nature can seem to be so frozen as to be beyond supporting life, yet in a few weeks will be so alive, so full of colour and noise and sweet smells...
You capture it beautifully. Loved the tracks and to see the perspective on the bench, which I've seen photographed on warmer days... Amazing how high those waters got.

Thank you for a little bit of paradise again friend. And for your support and friendship. :0)

Thumbelina said...

PS. Tell Frank to stop sulking! Any woman with any intelligence will check out what the man says with Google. ;0)

Anita said...

I love all the captions under the pictures! You have a great vision of life and much imagination.

SMS said...

Cool shots.
Next time it freeezes I must take my camera and go out looking more carefully for possibilities.

Michele said...

Oh brrrr.... this post made me shiver. It is cold indeed. But how neat to see the muskrat trails. We have the muskrat but never really noticed the snow tracks it makes, I'm going to observe them the next time for sure!
Very nice photos!

ellen abbott said...

I love the pic of the creek's shoreline, the layers of snow. Beautiful. Also the one beneath of the dried plant stalks. You have such a wonderful eye for composition.

LadyFi said...

Ah, gorgeous photos! Love the bench up to its seat in snow! And that delightful syrupy golden light on snow - just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ Frank!
Hilary, I love the photos and your wonderings! That face in the creek is AMAZING. I love how Benny is a closet penguin, ha ha! I read about the flooding near your place, but they just mentioned the town in general and I know how big a place it is! May I suggest those ice crampons? I got a pair at Cad Tire for $15 so I could walk the woods here when it's an ice rink, which is basically all the time these days!

Linda said...

Great pictures! Love the penguin-shaped shadow!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Frozen beauties captured through the expert's lens!


Sandi McBride said...

Wow wow find the most fantastic glad we have you! Winter is suddenly beautiful again.

Anonymous said...

Love your winter pics. Keep 'em coming! Have a great Sunday! :)
The Bach

Grayquill said...

The pictures ara as always great. I saw crocuses this morning. Nice! No snow - only in the mountains where they belong.

@Frank Baron - I think you already have something in mind and I wouldn't call it revenge :)

Anonymous said...

Confirmed by Google images AND Frank Baron! LOL

That first picture of the broken limb now has *me* wondering....

And I wouldn't have noticed Benny's penguin shadow without being told -- I was too busy looking at his cute face! Now we know he is secretly a penguin! :)

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Those are beautiful images, Hilary. You can almost hear the quiet--well, except for the splash of a muskrat tail, anyway. :)

Mage said...

Muskrat....wonderful. :)
Often I'm left wishing I could see your images in a larger format. There's some powerful shapes there.

Thank you.

Cricket said...

Looking at the photo of the branch reminds me of something Frank Zappa said (I'm paraphrasing): he said that we can elevate something to art by framing it. Interesting, I think. We put a frame around something and declare: I now will this to be art. Hm.

Did you see the face, then photograph it or, like the penguin, the other way round?

A little Andreas Vollenweider? Maybe White Winds?

Saz said...

winter wonderful.....and l adored frostography and l dont think l told you so...
saz x

Hilary said...

• Frank your lips were moving so I might not have been listening. I'm sure you'll find some way. I'm glad you like the pics. Thanks :)

• Thanks, Shimp. I haven't seen the movie but I guess it's time to put it on my "to watch" list. Thanks for the always warm comments. :)

• Colby, I thought of that song too.. but.. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• SueAnn, thank you. It pleases me to know that you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks, Nessa. It did something similar last year, with huge chunks of ice (about 2 feet tall and a diameter of 3 or 4 feet) strewn all over the place. Many trees were uprooted. Something needs to be done about that. Frank? Do something! ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Steve, you're right. It absolutely does. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Moannie, I've come to similar conclusions about winter ever since I've been taking my cameral along for walks. It's not so bad, and bordering on pretty good. I can understand why you're feeling the cold. You're still in recovery mode, and yes, less mobility would do it too. I'm glad the bench gave you a smile. That in turn, makes me smile. Thanks always for your very kind words. :)

• Brian, the answers are easily found if you photograph them and look them up online. Or just ask Frank. ;) Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thank you, Carol. :)

• Thank you, Merisi. We can hear water running its narrow path in the center of the creek at almost all times, but yes, it would be nice to see true signs of spring. That's still a fair way in the future, but it's coming! Thanks for your very sweet words. :)

• Tabor, we've really not been getting snow storms. Just lots of rain, alternating with deep freezes. This too shall pass. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Pauline, the sun is most welcomed at any time, but especially in winter. It sure helps visually and to keep warmer. It does kind of look like a polar bear! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thumbelina, it's rather amazing, isn't it? It looks deader than dead sometimes and then spring happens. The floods must have looked pretty amazing. We only saw the aftermath. Thank you so much for your always-kind words, my friend. :) Oh and as far as Frank goes.. just smile and nod. ;)

• Anita, thank you so much. Your kind words are so appreciated. :)

Hilary said...

• SMS, thank you. Those possibilities are all around. Happy shooting. :)

• Michele, I'm not surprised that you're shivering. It really was cold! I'm not accustomed to really noticing tracks all that much either. I really do have Frank to thank for pointing them out. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Ellen, thank you. That means so much to me coming from such a fine artist. :)

• LadyFi, thank you. That bench is encased in ice from the flood, not snow. I love that kind of light too. It's as delicious as you described it. :)

• Rain, I do that LOL @ Frank thing a lot too. ;) I knew you'd like the creek face. It might have been having a chat with the trees on the opposite shore.. or perhaps the muskrat. "Closet penguin" cracked me up! Too funny. He sure is comical like one. I'm not sure that you and I are talking about the same flooded town. This one is a very small area. It's where Frank lives, not Mississauga where I reside. And I don't think we got flooded. :) Ice crampons sound like a good idea... particularly for Frank who walks Benny around there every day. I'll make sure he sees this. Thanks!

• Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

• Angie! Good to see you. Thanks for the kind words. I guess you're rooting for New Orleans.. probably, eh?

• Sandi, what a sweet thing to say. Thank you so much. You make my day! :)

• Bach, thanks very much. They'll be coming for a while, I suspect. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Grayquill, thank you. Geesh, I don't think we'll see any spring flowers for a few months still. I envy your weather. Now, you just quit having dialogues with Frank about his so-called revenge! ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• KC, yes - the double seal of approval. ;) I wouldn't have noticed the shadow either but it stood right out to my sister. Hard to imagine this scampy little dog all dressed up in a tuxedo. Who knew he was a cross-dresser? Thanks for the visit. :)

• MP, thank you so much. And there's always the gentle burbling of the creek. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie, thank you. I fear though that if I were to make my images any larger, the blog would take forever to load. Each image is about 3 MB as it is. Maybe I'll try for a tad bigger and see what happens. Thanks for dropping in. :)

• Cricket, that Zappalosophy is pretty much the concept behind the "art" of photography. We can make others see what we want them to see.. not the cruddy mess just outside of the frame. Not the boring building just to the left. Not the huge expanse of green bush but the tiny flower growing from it. The face only started laughing at me when I was sorting through my photos. I had already decided to post that one because I liked the layers of icy snow. It suddenly popped out at me when I was about to upload them. A fine music choice. I found it on YouTube and am listening as I type. Thanks always for your visits. :)

• Saz, thank you so much.. for both. :)

Karen said...

Muskrat tracks! Cool, I've never seen them before. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Great pictures Hilary,the ice overflow looks so inviting,as a child can't you just imagine running and sliding into a fall then hysterically laughing with your friends? By the way, the face in the creek is laughing at Frank.

Debbie said...

Nice Pictures! I especially enjoyed the frozen lake with the sun shinning on it.

Kelly H-Y said...

Wonderful photos AND comments!

Wendy said...

I was going to say a raccoon, until you showed the tracks going into the water. Looks like Frank was right.

Love that face on the shoreline. And the bench - looks like you have more snow than we do? Strange!

Thanks for taking us along on your walk.

Dianne said...

now I'm humming Muskrat Love :)

I love Benny's penguin shadow!!
and I love his little paw up in a semblance of a ballet stance - that's a cat like pose but we have already established that Benny has some cat traits - makes him even more lovable

all your shots are wondrous - as always

Rosaria Williams said...

How stunning the place looks. You capture such fine details.

Tammie Lee said...

I enjoyed seeing the world through your eyes! Those tracks are a mystery to me and they sure would have gotten my attention as well.

photowannabe said...

Love your wondering wanderings.
Each picture is special, though the tail and tracks one is a favorite. That's a lot of snow to be even with the bench. Too slippery for me.

SandyCarlson said...

I will be back to take in more of this wonderful post. But I so count on Bennie to make my day or night. And he did. Somehow he reminds me of what is important.

MaggieGem said...

The flood walkway is amazing... that was quite a flood from the looks of that park bench!

Thanks for stopping by!

Michael said...

I like the photo of the bench. I don't actually know why, but it just feels wrong not to. *shrugs*

They're all wonderful. Thanks for sharing. :)

ds said...

How great that Benny's shadow is a penguin (does he know he has an alter-image?)! Loved all of these. Thanks so much, as always, for sharing.
"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

järnebrand said...

Beautiful photos. I love how it is possible to find warm light on cold snow. That seems hopeful, to me. And of course there will be Spring eventually. In Sweden we'll have to enjoy winter for a few more months first, though. Maybe it's the same way in Ontario. I love how you followed the muskrat tracks too - how exciting! Me and my kids do that sometimes. :) Take care.

Zuzana said...

And I wonder why your images are always full of *wonder*! Nice shots Hilary, I love the tracks! I guess we had similar sentiments about snow this weekend.;)

Anonymous said...

I wonder why God decided I needed you in my life? Maybe to teach me to "wonder" more? I don't know for sure, but I'm so glad I've gotten to know you, my wondering and awesome friend.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: Very neat look into your scenes from Winter, very beautiful.

the Bag Lady said...

I knew those were muskrat tracks, too! (And I wonder how Frank will exact his revenge..... :))

JC said...

Great pics. I love the questions dialogue.

Suldog said...

You notice such interesting things. I was oblivious to the smiling ice face until you pointed it out. I also wouldn't have noticed Benny's inner penguin.

Daryl said...

Icy lovely .. tracks? what tracks? LOL

jingle said...

those photos are super cute,

an award 4 u,
please visit me to claim it...

Anonymous said...

the tracks are amazing... and I would sit on the bench :))

Phyllis E said...

Love the bulbous nose on that ice face. Kinda reminds me of W.C. Fields.

Cuzzie P

Kat said...

Beautiful winter photos. Still, I'm ready for spring. :)

cheshire wife said...

It is amazing how snow and ice can transform the landscape.

Sydney said...

Beautiful, loved them all.... And YES I do see a perfect penguin in his shadow. That totally rocked. I could not believe the laughing face in the snow. If anything I was looking at that as shallow waves on a shore flash =frozen. And the bench... I miss the snow!!!!

ethelmaepotter! said...

I wonder if you have any idea just how close I was to insanity over those tracks? Thank you for solving the mystery!
I will never again be able to look at a little spotted dog with looking for a shadow of a penguin!

Unknown said...

Thanks for these images, and for your wondering while wandering.
Benny' s shadow is classic,
but I love the late afternoon sun.
Very peaceful

Nancy said...

Spring will come - we have to have faith!

All the pictures were wonderful, but I really liked the laughing ice face and the little tracks.

Teri and her Stylish Cats ~ Coco the Couture Cat, FurryDance Brighton, and Disco NoFurNo said...

What did we do before google? Love the frosty photos!

Debbie said...

These are incredible! I love the tiny tracks.

Redbush said...

Lovely snapshots. Hope you're able to get on your path again! Benny looks like he's pointing at something of interest perhaps as his next pounce! As I write, Bonzi is trying to snatch shovelfuls of snow as hubby shovels the deck off!

SandyCarlson said...

The tracks in the snow, the over-snowed bench, the blend of cold and warmth--the marvels of winter. So amazing. I have noticed this about this season. Some moments in winter seem to wrap all four seasons together.

abb said...

I wonder where I can find an imagination - and words - as wonderful as yours!

I see the penguin and the laughing man. And all I can say, you gonna need VERY short legs to be able to enjoy that bench!

Hilary said...

• Karen, they were new to me too. :)

• Lisa, thank you. Yes, I can indeed imagine that. I can also imagine myself laughing hysterically (but very quietly) right along with that creek ice, at Frank trying to stay upright on the ice. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Debbie. :)

• Kelly, thank you kindly. :)

• Wendy, shhhh! Not too loudly. Frank gloats when he's right. ;) There really isn't much snow at all. That was all ice from the flood. Thanks for joining me. :)

• Dianne, yes. He's very cat-like but that was just a cold paw. He's a sensitive little fart. ;) Thanks so much for your always-kind words. :)

• Lakeviewer, thank you so much. :)

• Tammie Lee, thanks very much for joining me. I like to share. :)

• Sue, there's really no snow. It's all ice from the flood. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Sandy, that's such a sweet thing to say. Benny has a way of making things quite enjoyable. I'm glad it reached you. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Maggie, it sure was. It'll be quite some time before that melts. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Cabo, I like the way you think. :) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• DS, I think Benny probably has several. Great quote.. we can hope (which springs eternal). ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Joanna, yes. It's pretty much the same here. We won't enjoy warm weather for a another few months. Thanks so much for always stopping by and leaving your kind comments. :)

• Thank you, Zuzana, my dear friend. :)

• Sandra, that was such a sweet thing to say and I feel the same way about you. You're such a sweetie. Thank you. You've made my day. :)

• Thanks very much, Fishing Guy. :)

• Baggie, I'm not telling! ;)

• Thank you, JC. :)

• Suldog, I never noticed the penguin either. My sister wrote to me and told me about it. And the smiling face only appeared to me when I was about to upload the photos. But thanks. :)

• Daryl, in nature, tracks are paw prints. In New York, they're something trains ride along. You're such a city girl. ;)

• Jingle, thanks so much for the award. It has proudly joined the others in my sidebar slideshow. :)

• ED, thanks. I'd join ya! ;)

• Cuzzie, too bad the next photo wasn't of a little chickadeeeeeeeee. ;)

• Kat, I hear you. Me too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• CW, it's pretty amazing, isn't it? I'm looking forward to spring though. :)

• Sydney, thank you. I'm really glad you enjoyed the photos. I can't say that I miss snow too though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• EthelMae, I'm glad you didn't have to go insane. There's just too much of that going around as it is. And I think you can probably see shadows of unspotted dogs too... ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Deb, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Nancy, oh yes. It will indeed come. Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Teri, before Google? There was Frank. He's about a reliable as Alta Vista was. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Debbie, thanks very kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Redbush, thanks. We should be able to get back on track by April.. hopefully sooner if we get to and stay above freezing for a long while. Benny does the exact same thing that Bonzi does. He'll eat a ton of snow while playing and then shiver and pee for hours afterward. They're nuts! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sandy, you're so right about that. I think some of my next photos will prove that too. Autumn colours are still alive in winter - given the right light. Thanks for always sharing such wonderful thoughts. :)

• TSannie, thank you. Yes, very short legs or very big nostrils because you'd be sitting with your knees up your nose. Just like at parent-teacher conferences for kindergarten kidlets. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

abb said...

You're welcome! Stopping by is always a pleasure for me. Always something of interest/beauty/humor here!

Maria said...

I particularly loved the evening sunlight photo, and the plants by the creek.

Kerri Farley said...

I wonder how you come up with such stunning pics and fabulous words to go with them? You are truly gifted!!

steviewren said...

Thanks for the walk in the snow. We don't have any here to enjoy...this might be the only place in the lower 48 without it tonight! Love the sunken park bench.

Hilary said...

• TSannie, it pleases me to know that you enjoy my posts. :)

• Gaelikaa, thanks kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Kerri, thank you so much. That means a lot to me. :)

• Steviewren, we have very little snow here too. It's highly unusual but I'm not complaining. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Louise said...

It's hard to be patient when it's cold! But your winter pictures are worth the cold.

I see Frank has a bit of a chip on his shoulder! ;-)

Hilary said...

Thanks very much Louise. And yes, Frank often has a chip on his shoulder. He's a messy eater. ;)