A Winter’s Day… without Simon and Garfunkel

We have this thing in Texas.  It’s called winter.  Sometimes we have it, for a day or two – sometimes it gets serious, more so for the folks up Dallas way. Not the reason I shed myself of Dallas decades ago, but it’ll do. People in the midwest and east who have been pummeled for weeks now will scoff at our wimpiness down here, but we were raised weak-kneed for winter, and it doesn’t take much to put us in a tizzy about it. We bow to their grit and survival, as we see our schools and business cancelled with but a dusting of snow. And y’all can have it, for the most part, with our blessings and good luck to you.  But it’s nice to see the wonder of it without the catastrophe.

So here’s how it’s been for our spate of winter, likely long gone by the time you get this. Winter’s for the kids and some critters. Having not the kid thing, I offer up Winter on the Ranch, the bird buddies, and, well, fun and frolic for the four-legged variety of kids I do have.

I figure there’s been enough soul baring and pontificating around here of late. Time for some winter ambiance. Disclaimer on the photography – this isn’t my “good stuff,” it’s just the good stuff of Life. It’s time to chill, or, um, maybe just to get by the fire and get warm. You can always click on the image to get the big picture.

A Walk in the Snow….

Wildness is not so far away. A step over the fence into the Back 40 takes me away from the houses and into what is left of a bit of unfettered Nature, but it’s getting more than a little fettered lately. I fear I’ll be losing that, or already have. Looks like there may be a treatise coming soon on Goodbye to the Back 40, but not now. Suffice it to say that just a little trespassing gets the blood going. This morning I found coyote tracks everywhere, and running down the road behind the property. It feels good to have the wildness so close.

It’s always fun to read the tracks. I’m usually pretty good, but I’m not sure what happened here. I need more homework, that’s for sure.

Same bushes, done in abstract. It’s all about stopping to look at the little things.

And speaking of little things, these little cups of snow are so tiny. Not even as big as the tip of my finger. But the spent blooms are big enough to hold the snow granules. It almost wasn’t snow – even smaller than sleet. They were merely particles of snow, but pretty all the same.

Just common yuccas, but transformed a bit with the white stuff. I like the flash of yellow with sunlight on the dead leaf.

We’re blessed to have a madrone on this property. There are some in the area, but they’re fairly rare, really, and almost impossible to transplant. I doubt that the drivers of the eartheaters know a madrone from a magpie, and it wouldn’t make any difference if they did. They’re cutting big roads into the far side of the Back 40, and I know there are cousins of this one falling. But this is supposed to be a peaceful entry, so I’ll stop now, with this lovely image of madrone leaves cupping their treasure of snow.

The deer water has become an ice sculpture. Three days constantly below freezing. Doesn’t happen much around here.

Bird Buddies

I’ve been working on photographing the bird populace. I’ve gotten most of them, but still no House Wrens, which is too bad, since they are my favorites. Ah well, one always needs the next something to do.

These are what we call Mexican Doves, Incas actually, much smaller than the White Tails. Not nearly as many of them, either. I was surprised to see so many at once.

And we have a few woodpeckers.  Rarely do we ever see this variety up close, but the cold brought this one in – a Ladder-backed.

Here’s a more common visitor, the Golden-fronted.  Funny, I was taking pictures this morning and said out loud, ” I need my favorite woodpecker to show up,” and less than a minute later, there he was.  Gee, what else do I need to ask for?

Want to see what a woodpecker looks like swallowing a piece of bread?

The Redbirds – Cardinals – are really red this year, and they also like the bread treats.

But I love this shot of a puffy dude. This one may do for the Cardinal shot I’ve been looking for. He’s not in a tree, but he’s grand.

Nothing like a bowlful of sparrows, the ones we call Sparroons.

And not too many cuter than Tufted Titmice, which we call Tithooties.

Unless it’s a Chickadee.

Sometimes when there’s a crowd at the food bar, you’ll hear a loud raucous bunch of noise, and shortly thereafter arrives a Blue Jay, not the nicest guys in the world. They’re beautiful, but they’re sometimes just plain mean. Here’s Boss Jay, having run everyone else off.

We have one other regular around here, and this isn’t his best shot, but this was today’s offering. He hates the cold, and the snow, and the ice, and is waiting as patiently as he can for spring. His magnificent sartorial splendor is about all grown back in, and he’ll be ready to rock and roll in just a few months. He’s headed for the shelter of the loafing shed on the south side, out of the wind. Doesn’t everyone have a Peacock?  I call him Magic, for he is.

And, of course, The Kids

Checking it out. It’s been a year since the last round, so time to get acquainted with this white stuff again.

Snow makes you want to RUN!

And dance!

Custody Dog, all ready for her close up, all frosted with snow.

Mr. Mugeon, with that Sound of Music song in his head….Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes….

So comes the end of the Winter Wonderland edition. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. And now, not having anything to do with snow, but not to forget, here’s the “end” to that Dead Roses post from a couple of weeks back. Quite an improvement, I must say.

Stay warm, y’all.

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5 Responses to “A Winter’s Day… without Simon and Garfunkel”

  1. Queenie does it again! Love the winter photos …and stories. And I know how cold you must have been to make them!! Lovely end to the dried roses. Thank you!!

  2. Mary Margaret Says:

    So sweet to see my beloved Sandy Girl having such a great time….I miss her more than you will ever know; I get a pain in my chest when I see her face…..but she looks so happy and healthy and loved. Doesn’t she deserve to be called by her given name…she really had nothing to do with the transfer of owners. I can see how blessed you are to have such a companion and I am sure if she could talk, she would say the same….you belong together, even if the hand off was unpleasant. Sandy Girl…she looks so much more like Sandy Girl than custody dog.

    Alexa, I absolutely love the photos you post….I go to your blog weekly to see your new work. It is just incredible and so moving. I am especially proud of the way your photographs manifest your wonderful talent for seeing beauty in everything, absolutely everything! Even if your psyche, which is your dreaded alter-ego, wants you to wander back and forth into past times, your will to look for beauty overcomes it! It is the ultimate quest in life for all of us, to find and love something WITHIN YOURSELF so much that you can separate and rise above your disappointment in others. Your work is from the healing heart and I just love every single photo. Give Sandy a hug from her aunt and uncle. Love, MM

  3. Love it – Beautiful! Stay warm!

  4. beautiful pix, beautiful story. a wonderful denoument to les fleurs mortes. your positive outlook reminded me of a wonderful song by david wilcox all about the capacity of the heart to hope & heal. enjoy it here: http://davidwilcox.com/index.php?page=songs&category=Big_Horizon&display=265

    he also does a delightfully tender version of john waite’s classic “missing you.”

    • queeniesays Says:

      Thanks, Derek. That is indeed a soul touching song, and Missing You has long been one of my favorites – great calm and tender version. I appreciate your passing those along. And that you take time to look at my words and pics here.

      See you on the trail….

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