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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

nature's way


Driving to the cottage for my family's Christmas Saturday we crawled through fog. Soon after arriving I went out to catch how it softened the lake on my digital sensor, which is good because through the day the fog thickened, and the lake disappeared. Warming temps and melting snow made a fairyland - blind and mysterious. When I shot these photos it was raining hard, so my brother Jim loaned me his wide-brimmed hat. That worked so well I think I have to get me one, and another for Mr. Nikon.
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The next day I was leaning back in the hot tub at home, before the sun rose. The wind was gusting at 50 mph, and I was fearful that a branch might bust and fly onto my head. But none did, and I lay there watching the high treetops sway and bob in the wind.
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The weather has been consistently inconsistent all week - ice, snow, rain, sun, wind, fog, warm, cold. Such is Michigan.
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After two days back on the farm I took a morning walk in the sunny meadow.
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Twelve inches of snow had melted in some places, leaving flattened Timothy grass, goldenrod, leaves and the rest of autumn's scattered bits. The sun shone on, and through, morning hoarfrost.




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A caveman must have used a leaf to paint this cave drawing on a crusty snow canvas. I love it. What an artist!-To me it looks like a mouse that's just eaten a snake.



Oh how pristinely the deer stepped.



Fallen sumac looked like flowers blooming winter petals or stamens.



And a friendly surprise: a wee pocket gopher ran across the path. Then he crouched shivering while I snapped away inches from his curious eyes, poor creature.


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Trees, plants and animals - leaning, watching and flexing under the sky's torrents - show how to tolerate the conditions any new day brings. All that bending and reaching without breaking, like doing Pilates stretches so I don't freeze up with age. Ah, close my eyes, pump the air bicyle with my legs above my head, like a locust or birch tree letting its branches bend in the wind.

61 comments:

M O R N A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M O R N A said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. :)

Kerri said...

OH, what a wonderful post! I felt like I was right there with you!!

And you are soooo right - it looks so much like a mouse that ate a snake!

But you must know that the water drop takes my breath away! WOW! I adore it!!

VioletSky said...

We've had a lot of the fog and snow here as well (as well as the wind, which is howling at the moment!).

Susan said...

Oh Ruth, once again you slay me with your beautiful pictorials! You make the smallest things extraordinary and profound. The picture of the gopher was exceptional. Someday, I would love to just walk along with you when you are in search of things to photograph. You see things that I would pass by with blind eyes.

We had the same foggy and warm (68) conditions as you did. Our enclosed porch, which has a 2-foot thick concrete floor with tile, was floating with about a quarter-inch of water. We had to keep mopping it up, so we wouldn't fall and break our necks. Ahhh, glorious, capricious Winter!

Donica said...

Truly incredible Ruth! Thanks for sharing these shots. The lake a the cottage is one of the best shots i have seen. Hope you are finding a way to stay warm!! Enjoy the rest of your winter holiday.

shicat said...

What a walk,what a winter we have had. Your pictures tell the tale.
Just lovely.


Question, for some reason by blog has a flag because of objectionable content?My pictures are not showing up??Do you know how to disable this? thanks

Barry said...

To say the weather has been changeable is an understatement. But, at least, it has helped you find some stunning photographs!

Barry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vicki Holdwick said...

Ruth,

What wonderful pix and accompanying text.

Thanks for sharing.

I must get my camera and get outside more.

Oliag said...

I am so happy I found this blog...these photos are so beautiful and inspiring...and the writing that accompanies them is also inspirational...I can't pick out just one that I like the best - it just can't be done - but what a great shot of that gopher! imagine him just sitting there posing! ...I want to go for a walk with you too!

Anet said...

I just love Michigan, what more could you ask for?
Such a cute critter!
He looks very curious about you. Maybe you are the only human he has crossed paths with.
You are forever in his memory!
Noah and I walked in the glorious sunshine early yesterday it was wonderful!!!

photowannabe said...

The images you painted with your words are breathtaking as are the images you captured with your Nikon sensor. I think this has been the highlight of my day. The final picture of the gopher is a prize winner .

Ginnie said...

Boo Hoo. Where is all the snow here at the Farm???? I MISS IT! Now that I am here, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

OK, now that I've said that, you know that I am thrilled by your lake photos. I missed it this year, I know...the whole cottage experience. But I get to see it through your eyes, so thank you.

I love that the gopher sat still for you and didn't budge. And to think you were then supposed to go stack up on groceries...and we did! That's uncanny, don't you think? Pretty cool!

Amy said...

That little critter is playing possum:) These are such breathtaking shots my friend;) thanks for the pilates stretches....I think I like those better then the rest:) Happy New Year to you Ruth;) xo

Sandy said...

Enjoyed the post and the photos but especially the gopher. Beautiful shots and love seeing the thaw and beauty there too!

Loring Wirbel said...

The opening photographs remind me of the movie Snow Falling on Cedars, which has always been one of my visual favorites.

We had wind gusts of 75 mph around dawn this morning - knocked down the mailbox, tree branches flying across the road.

Sophie said...

wow....amazing
i m spell bound!
Rauf...gave me this link
and i would love to see more of you!

Happy New Year

Ruth said...

Hi, Morna, yes it was lovely, lovely, lovely. I feel privileged to live with nature out the back door.

Deslilas said...

Très bonne année 2009 pour vous et votre famille.
I wish you the best for 2009.

Peter said...

So happy to have been allowed to accompany you on this winter walk! Amazed (but not surprised) by all the nice little things that you discover!

Once more, all the best for 2009!

Ruth said...

Kerri, I definitely thought of you with that drop shot.

Ruth said...

Sanna, the wind has been crazy! After we left the cottage the wind knocked out the power, so everyone just left for home.

Ruth said...

Hi, Susan, I would love taking a walk with you out back. I have no doubt you would see many things I don't see.

Ruth said...

Hi, Donica! Thank you, it really was beautiful at the lake. Boots was surprised that she could see the ground when she landed, but we got a couple more inches last night, so she was happy.

Ruth said...

Hi Cathy, I don't know why that flag would come up. Hmm. And there really isn't any support from Blogger, except the forums.

I hope it's better now.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Barry!

Ruth said...

Hi Vicki, as long as it isn't too cold. Take care.

Ruth said...

Oliag, how nice to have you here. Nature is constantly surprising and inspiring. I have never had an animal just sit like that for me.

Ruth said...

Anet, oh good, I'm glad you and Noah got outside. Now I am worried about that poor gopher though. He was shaking - maybe with fear. You know I think I terrified a couple of bluebirds last year. I wonder how we affect these animals.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Sue.

Ruth said...

Boots, the sky heard you, thanks to you we have a few more inches this morning. Yay!

Ruth said...

Hi Amy, hey, we could imitate the possums and gophers and not do any Pilates.

My Castle in Spain said...

What wonderful pics !!

sending you all my warmest wishes for a wonderful New Year

:-)

Leena said...

My warmest thanks for your lovely words on my blog !
I wish you and all your loved ones a happiest year ever !
Somehow I believe, that it will be just , how I wish :)

( Melli is still here ! )

Gwen Buchanan said...

All So Beautiful, Ruth....all those sparkly frost crystals...

and the little droplet of moisture on the end of the branch... says so much... in its quietness

I can almost hear your footsteps as you crunch across the frost...

Christina said...

This gopher is adorable. All of these pictures are stunning.

Happy new Year!

Wrensong Farm said...

Ruth, fascinating pics. I really loved the ones of the trees with the foggy lake behind them....and the mouse that ate the snake! :) Also, though I'm not a rodent fan I did like you quaint pic of Mr. Pocket Gopher! Thanks for sharing and can't wait to see what 2009 brings to your blog! Happy New Year!

Ruth said...

Hello Sandy! Happy New Year. I know how much you love critters, especially birds.

Ruth said...

Loring, that is a beautiful movie. So quiet. 75 mph is fierce, I hope you're snuggled in and safe.

Ruth said...

Hello Sophie, welcome to sync. You have a beautiful writing voice.

Ruth said...

Merci, Deslilas, et pour vous et votre famille aussi!

Ruth said...

Happy New Year, Peter! And merci!

Ruth said...

Lala, thank you so much. I send you and your cheri lots of wishes for joy and creative energy for 2009.

Ruth said...

Sweet Leena, somehow I believe it will be a good year too. I wish you the same. Please give our little girl a biiiiig hug and smooch from her aunty.

Ruth said...

Dear Gwen, we are both surrounded by nature. I know how much you love it too.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Christina. Happy New Year!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Tammy, I know you like the bigger animal variety, hehe. This one was tiny, I've never seen one before. And as Anet suggested, maybe he hasn't seen one of me either.

Cloudscome said...

These are really lovely! Thanks for the tour. Happy New Year!

rauf said...

simply brilliant Ruth, these are more than photographs.
The texture is chilling
Happy new year to you don and children

Ruth said...

Thank you, Cloudscome!

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear rauf. Wish you could explore Michigan with your cameras.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Oh such lovely photos! I just posted my first attempts with my new camera. Similar to your first two photos :O)

Ruth said...

So beautiful, Babs! Don't you love it when Nature gives us gifts like that? I'm interested to know what camera you got.

Anna said...

I love that gopher, and the single, tiny drop of water.

Beautiful photos.

Ruth said...

Hi, Anna, thank you. I still can't figure out why the pocket gopher sat there for me. I could have taken even more shots, but I had compassion on him.

Bob Johnson said...

Awesome shots Ruth!! That Pocket Gopher is too cute, all the best in 2009.

Ruth said...

I hope the pocket gopher will recover, Bob. Enjoy the auroras and blog list fame in 2009.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

Wonderful! Bravo! Fab pics. What kind of camera do you have? Nikon what?

Ruth said...

Thank you, thank you, Jackee. It's a Nikon D40.

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