You may recall I recently wrote about Jill Wellington, the Michigan photographer whose photos I often use in my blog posts. Jill has been learning macro photography on her iPhone and posting pictures of water droplets and snowflakes on Facebook. Above is one of a series of photos of snowflakes that landed on Jill’s outdoor grill.
I commented on how beautiful, unique and delicate those snowflakes were, and how they all stick together to make a snow event like we have today. Jill lives 120 miles north of me, so she likely will see double the snow that we are having. While she embraces these snowy days, I am always content to enjoy Winter through Jill’s eyes and the lens of her camera or iPhone … or, so I thought until this morning.
While I was outside shoveling, I got to thinking about those dainty snowflakes and decided that it is tenacity that keeps those fragile flakes from simply melting into thin air, and instead banding together to create measurable snow. They are kind of like those little acorns that held their own and grew up to be big oak trees. So, I decided I was going to write a post about those tenacious snowflakes, and the snow, and get some photos while I was at it.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday at exactly the same time I was watching the eagles soaring and today it was the snow that was flying. Saturday’s 4-degree wind chill was brutal and now just a memory, because today, at 9:00 a.m. it was about 40 degrees as you see in the below picture.
The freshly fallen snow was beautiful and there was no one outside but me. Down the street was a snowy vista on this silent Sunday morn, as not a single car went by, and any noises from the cross street or main drag seemed muffled by the snow. You could just feel the tranquility in the air. I disturbed that beautiful snow and the peaceful morn once I started shoveling. The rhythmic sound of the shovel blade hitting the cement was the only discernible noise and it did interrupt the tranquility. The flurries were coming fast and furiously and soon the driveway was covered once again by the time I finished shoveling.
I decided today, instead of grumbling about the snow, I’d embrace it, like Jill does, so I went inside to fetch my camera. I had to change into another coat and hat as the snow on my clothes was dripping everywhere.
These photos were taken after the initial snowfall. Thankfully we did not get walloped with the 3-6 inches originally predicted, but snow showers are coming tonight, and a couple more inches of snow are slated for Monday and Tuesday overnight as well.
I was admiring the view in my neighbor’s yard and snapped this picture.
Then something stirred slightly, so I zoomed in to see these four sparrows plopped on top of my neighbor’s weeping mulberry tree. I was fairly close to them and they didn’t budge. Perhaps they were looking for grub, or lost one of their brethren in the snowy landscape.
The backyard was awash in white. The dark bag on my log cabin bird feeder, which helps keep the wood from weathering over the Winter, certainly looked out of place in the snowy yard. The clematis is dormant, and not climbing up the trellis, clinging with its creeping tendrils until the vine curls around the front porch of the log cabin. Years ago a friend built the log cabin feeder and mounted it on a pole made of PVC pipe. He guaranteed me the squirrels could not scramble up the pole because it was slippery, and he even staked it in the middle of the yard. But, the determined squirrels would take a flying leap from the chain-link fence and land on the roof of the feeder, open up the hinged door to access the food, then gorge themselves silly on birdseed. We tried mixing a special red pepper in the birdseed to deter the squirrels, but they continued to attack the feeder with a vengeance, so I vacuumed it out and it is just ornamental now.
Gazing around the backyard at the sleeping roses and clematises I have there, I know those flowers are tenacious and will be back come Spring … they are like Timex watches that take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
My neighbor’s trumpet vine spills over the fence all Summer, with vibrant orangy-red blooms dripping everywhere and today its woody stems are blanketed in snow.
An empty chair awaits a colorful planter come May. It sits next to a snow-laden magnolia bush where, once Spring arrives, the Mama robin will build her nest and raise her young, and I will peek in between the leaves to check them out from time to time.
Jill’s dainty snowflakes and my trip outside reminded me of the saying:
“A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!” ~ Author Unknown
[Image of snowflakes by Jill Wellington]
Very pretty snow scenes! I love the little sparrows. I have several that sit and wait for me to put seeds out in the morning and then fly down to greet me.
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Thank you Rebecca. It was a beautiful snowfall, light and fluffy, so I could not resist taking some pictures. It looked like a snow globe out there. I love the birds and used to feed them all the time. A new neighbor moved in and left his dog outside 24/7 and we got rats – never had them before. I was heartbroken as I had to get rid of the feeders, as did my next-door neighbor. And we had to get rid of the bird baths as well. We had fed and watered the birds for years and I loved going out in the yard, and they would line up along the chain-link fence waiting on their seeds.
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Sorry to hear that! I can certainly see why you had to stop feeding them.
We got a pest control service for the neighbor’s house and our house to get rid of them. We were advised not to feed or water the birds anymore, and also there were bait boxes with bait in it that might be poisonous to the birds. I never fed them again after that and took the birdbaths away as well. I felt badly for a long time because I would go out in the morning and the birds would be lined up waiting for me to fill the feeders and give them fresh water. In the heat of Summer, I knew they would be parched, but I did not start up again as I did not want rats. We lost a lot of Blue Jays in the late 80s/early 90s due to the West Nile Virus. I remember going to Toronto to visit my grandmother for a long weekend, and we came home and I went immediately to the backyard to give the birds food and fresh water, and finding many Blue Jay bodies around the yard … called the DNR which is what you are supposed to do here in Michigan if more than one bird is dead in the yard, and these birds were not mauled by a cat. They confirmed it was West Nile. There are still incidences of West Nile here, but now more related to mosquito-borne illness, not birds so much.
Wow! I hope we never encounter this problem! Sounds really bad.
Yes, I wish it had never happened – the backyard used to be my paradise once upon a time, but no more. The back-to-back Polar Vortex Winters we had a few years ago killed off a lot of my hardy perennials I’d had for years … it even zapped mature evergreens that were planted in 1985. I lost all my butterfly bushes in the first Polar Vortex Winter (2013-2014) and I never replaced them since I was apprehensive about going out in the backyard about the rats, and the less time I spent there, the better.
Linda, I love how you embrace this pretty winter day and ventured out with the spirit of winter and your camera! The photos are great and I love seeing your birdfeeder with the pretty flowers in the summer, and all bundled up for winter. We got 6 inches here and my husband had to snow blow twice. I swear it was snowing all day long! Thanks for the light post.
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Thank you Jill, I am glad you liked my pictures and am flattered coming from a pro like you. I thought it would be interesting to use your black-and-white snowflake picture and all those pictures pretty much devoid of any color but white, then stick that colorful Summer shot in for fun. While, I am no fan of Winter as I don’t like to drive in it, and, if I was comfortable driving in it (after years of taking the bus and now working from home), I probably would not rebel as much once the snow arrives. Today, was just too pretty of a day to pass up without taking some pictures. I shoveled once, but it has since snowed two more inches (I’m going by Wyandotte which is close by and that’s what Ben Bailey at Click on Detroit said). With six inches of snow, it might now be too deep for your walk in the backyard??
Miss Linda…………………….thank you for the beautiful snowflake pictures………………I forget to appreciate the beauty that our snowfall makes all around us………………….when I have to un-bury my car and our neighbors cars and to shovel paths for them to walk with no time to get it all done……………………..I feel like we are: “take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”
You are a trooper and a kind-hearted soul Ann Marie for doing all those things, so I won’t complain about my double-duty shoveling. I think we got more snow last night – 2 inches or so – and hopefully, the expressway is in good shape for your Monday trip to the City to work at the soup kitchen, another good deed that you do. I now hear we have a big snow event the end of the week. The weatherman only gives the five-day forecast, so didn’t mention it yesterday. Hopefully, you don’t have a lot of things planned this week and can stay home. You may not even want to make the trudge to the exercise room this week.
Beautiful snowy pictures…loved the four little sparrows.
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Thank you and I saw your snowy pictures today too – it surprised me a bit. We are having more snow tonight for goodness sakes. I loved those sparrows too. I took that first picture of the neighbor’s snowy yard as it was very pretty with this snow on everything and then I saw something moved, so zoomed in … they sat there for the longest time. I love birds and I have no family … it’s just me. I had a canary that was my sole companion, and I work from home, so I spent many hours with him. He had a stroke in December 2016 – I was devastated … there will be no more pets for me now. Too heartbreaking. Buddy was a mop-top canary and was brown and looked like a sparrow – sometimes the sparrows, who are about the same size/shape as Buddy make me feel sad for my little pet. This is my little guy and a post I wrote about him: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2016/12/04/forty-feathered-friends-at-the-footbridge/
Ahhh, I will certainly go and read your post about Buddy the canary.
Thinking of you.
Thank you so much – heartache for you, heartache for me – two different levels of heartache, but the heart can break for any loved one taken too soon from us.