Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dreaming of Spring...

Winkle contemplates Spring of 2010...

It's the end of January and I am restless. Years ago when I dwelt in the land of lake effect snow there were five seasons: summer, fall, winter, mud season - and finally - spring. The end of January usually meant that the worst of winter was yet to come, followed by weeks of inevitable mud. Now, after nearly twenty years in the Deep South, I have come to expect the stirring of Spring in February - and tomorrow is day one.
These little daffs appear to be huddling together, having shed their leafy blanket a bit early...

Though we here in Northeast GA have just suffered our second major winter storm with snow and ice and power outages, - my senses are drawn to the first rather bold tidings of things to come. Believe it or not, these photos were taken just a few days ago as the temperatures reached the 50's - and the sun paid a rare (these days) visit.
I can't help but wonder if a bloom will appear from within the pot ...

Yesterday and today I was scheduled to run the galleries at Sautee (Sat.) and Tallulah Falls (today). I received calls from each to let me know they would not be opening due to weather conditions. As a transplant from the North, I was prepared to brave the cold and ice, but quite content to be told to stay home with the kitties and a good book. Luckily my power did not go out!

Not only are there daffodils blooming, the Spring Peepers have begun to sing in the woods. One would think they'd retreat with this return to cold nights, but thus far the little peeps are peeping still.

No - not my photo - I hear them, but likely won't see any until they begin to lay eggs in the pond.

A wonderful cocoon found amongst the blackberry canes.

Elvis came along for a walk before the sleet and snow began, but he just wouldn't hold still for a photo. Perhaps he was eager to get back home or spooked as we revisited the Fallen Dolly of the Dell.

Or perhaps he was pointing to this small "leafy treehouse"? Could it be the abode of a mousie ? It was only about 6 inches in diameter, so I can't imagine anything larger than a field mouse living here. Maybe it's used as a camp in summer ?We also found this unusual set of burls attached to a small sapling stem. I've no idea whether this is the product of a fungus, insect - or the plant itself, but it is certainly unusual .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And finally, Happy New Year!

I know, I know, my New Year's wishes are not exactly timely, but you must understand, that until a couple of days ago, I had no welcoming words for the new year. The best I could do was kick old 2009 to be sure it was dead - not exactly a pleasant image or state of mind! But on Tuesday, as I wrote to a friend:
You'll never believe it, but my van is finally running. It turned out there was a short under the motor mount, nearly impossible to find, and my mechanic finally sussed it out while driving it up and down hills. When the motor reved, or rocked in its mount due to gravity, braking or even quick acceleration, the short caused either low voltage, or a surge, which then ruined the switches and electronic bits and such... Ricky (my mechanic) called me at 10 pm Tuesday night and said " I found it, it's fixed, and I'm dropping it off tonight. I just can't wait to see it in my rear view mirror."

I know this is small stuff to most people, but it's really big news to me.!! So even though it is pouring rain and my bank balance is $4.71, I am happy! Thus: "Happy New Year." Here are a few shots from the last flooding rain. The first one shows that amazing richness one sees when everything is washed and aglow, still glistening wet, with all the colors imaginable shining in the fresh air. How can anyone be happy in a beige house when there are hues like this?

Below and above are scenes from the forest floor - nothing unusual - just the beautiful cacophony of nature.
This one shows an area between my workshop and a storage trailer where the waters run rapid off the roof and down toward the woods. This little torrent creates a cascade of leaves and twigs and acorns which then are trapped in a "leaf jam" to lie in amazingly complex patterns just like a logjam in a large river.

And finally, here's my pond at flood stage. The winter had been so mild up until a couple of weeks ago, that there were still green lily pads. But now the pond has been quite frozen, and these reminders of warmer times have turned black and disappeared beneath the surface. Another "leaf jam" is visible in the lower right where the overflow pipe protrudes. I suppose I should get a rake and clear it, but I think the deeper water can only be good for the pond life in general, so I'll likely let it stay till it clears on its own.
I planned to post some photos from my opening reception, but when I looked for my camera this morning, it's nowhere to be found. That means I left it sitting on a pedestal at the gallery ( I hope) and I have to wait until one o'clock to call. Keeping fingers crossed, I'm off to make some brunch.