Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DAILY MAGIC


"Earlier in the morning, puffy white clouds crowded the sky."

My riverbank world is lively today—sound and motion and everywhere.

The river is sparkling under a welcome dose of sunshine. Light dances in the riffles. The moving water looks like a smoky green mirror, though it's really so clear that in the shallows I can see stones on the bottom. I've been thinking how much fun it would be to put a canoe in somewhere upstream and spend a few hours floating back down to the cottage.

Earlier in the morning, puffy white clouds crowded the sky. Now those clouds have evaporated and the sky is a single sprawling canopy of baby blue.


"…so clear that in the shallows I can see stones on the bottom."

Squirrels are chasing one another at high speed around the yard, up the trees, across their aerial paths high in the upper branches. Play or mating…or a mix of both? Either way, they're great fun to watch.


"…great fun to watch."

Icicles along the eaves are dripping, falling. The snow is wet, catching and reflecting the bright light. Sometimes I hear a patch on the roof slip loose to come swooshing down and off, like a miniature avalanche.


"I took that ol' redbird's portrait."

Icicles along the eaves are dripping, falling. The snow is wet, catching and reflecting the bright light. Sometimes I hear a patch on the roof slip loose to come swooshing down and off, like a miniature avalanche.


"Icicles along the eaves are dripping…"

Birds are steadily working the feeders and scattered corn. A few minutes ago, just limiting myself to the birds I could see from my deskside window, I made a quick count and came up with 23 species. I likely missed one or two. Probably a hundred birds in view all told.


"Light dances in the riffles."

One particular cardinal keeps coming to the feeder that hangs under the eave a few feet from my desk. He plucks a sunflower seed through the mesh, pops it open and extracts the meat, then stares haughtily at me through the glass, as if he's a patron in a fine restaurant and I'm a window-peeping vagrant watching him eat. I took that ol' redbird's portrait.

Just downstream, a heron is waiting patiently in the shallows. A kingfisher has been repeatedly diving into the pool below the house. Every time the bird emerges from the water, I hear its rattly chitter. Crows are cawing at something on the hill. Every so often, the Carolina wren cuts loose with a burst of song.

I'm still thrilled about yesterday's bald eagle…but life goes on.

Today brings its own magic.
———————

20 comments:

Wanda said...

Living in an AFrame..I often hear that long sliding sound of a miniature avalanche. The Sun is as lively as the birds and squirrels out there today. The field and yard are strung with miscellaneous foot prints and the icicles are melting. No beautiful river to watch, but there were 12 Cardinals on the ground below the large feeder this morning.

Bernie said...

It sounds so beautiful on the river today....your photos and descriptive words bring it alive in my mind....I know you have enjoyed your day Grizz and I envy you having all those birds visiting you.......:-) Hugs

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Glad your dream came true yesterday!

I love the daily magic photos, Grizzled. They look so lively and happy!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I didn't realize you lived in an A-frame— but that being the case, I'm sure you know the sound of sliding snow.

The whole world seemed lively today with the sun and rising temperatures. And the birds and squirrels certainly felt that impulse—and showed it! My yard was busy all day.

I was just counting cardinals this morning. There are always a dozen or more—sometimes upwards of twice that. They come in for the cracked corn and bring their relatives. :-)

One time, a few years before he passed away, my father called and said I needed to get over to his house right away. "You must come and see the redbirds in the haw tree, Sonny," he said."You've never seen anything like it and never will again."

I lived only a couple of streets away at the time, so I rushed over…and there were something like 55-60 cardinals in that single tree! (Never could get an exact count because they kept moving.) This was in the winter, and Dad fed birds and squirrels via various feeders on and around that big old haw, which was just beyond the porch at the back of the house. He didn't put out cracked corn, but he tossed out shelled corn plus he had cobs of gleaned field corn stuck onto spikes in the tree.

I'd give anything to have had a picture of that tree—leafless, of course, and looking for all the world like some sort of living Christmas tree decorated with cardinals. That's the most redbirds I've ever witnessed, or ever heard about, gathered in any one spot at the same time. One of the most cherished memories I have of Dad and Mom, too—how tickled they were about all those beautiful birds in one spot.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

I did have a good day. I'm glad you liked the photos and post. The river was really pretty…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

Yesterday's dream eagle…then today's sunlight circus. This has been a good couple of days for us riverbankers.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Thanks for sharing so many of your days, discoveries and delights with us here Scribe. Beautiful photos that accompany your post today.

Must be a lot of heat escaping from your house to produce big icicles like that!!

Rochelle said...

Mating time for sure for those squirrels. Babies by February! Loved your descriptions, they are so vivid I feel like I am there. I LOVE WINTER!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Sharing is the purpose—and the riverbank and its daily happenings are mostly what I have to share. Unless this old bear stirs himself from his lair, which is not unheard of, just uncommon when the fishing is slow. and the hearthfire is warm…

Re. those icicles—don't think it's so much heat loss as sunlight. The snow pretty much stays on the roof once it falls, so melt is minimal. Icicles form on the south side, off the eaves, because of sun melt; no icicles on the north side, yet the attic (well insulated, BTW) is open, one big room under the same roof. I'd think if it were heat loss, icicles would form on all the eaves.

Either way, they're pretty. (Of course I'd rather they'd be "free" pretty rather than "expensive" pretty. I am Irish.) :-D

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rochelle…

You are absolutely right—"babies by February." And those chases are not all play, more like foreplay.

I love winter, too.

KGMom said...

You do live in a charmed setting.
The only sounds I hear on my roof are squirrels plopping. We have a couple of tall trees around the house, and the squirrels use our roof as part of their aerial highway.

As for all your birds--you are lucky, is all I can say. We have had large clusters of birds until a couple of months ago. They suddenly disappeared. Then we saw the cause--we have a family of feral cats. Darn it! I try to shoo them away when I can. The birds slowly return, but they are wary.

Scattering Lupines said...

I love the new installation of CAPTIONS! So lovely, as usual! I feel the calm...

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Your pictures are SO beautiful - and your words to describe the experience of each one leaves me feeling as if I am seeing it with you. That not only can I see and hear and feel the river and all it's magic but I can see and hear and feel you too. Just two ole friends savoring the moment :-)

This was a glorious and magical experience on the river today, glorious and magical, indeed.


Love Gail
peace.......

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

I have plenty of critters walking across my roof, too—everything from birds, including crows and the occasional vulture, to the Cooper's hawk, squirrels and cats…and that's just during the day; at night it's raccoons and cats, occasionally a possum, and God knows what else. Some days it sounds like I need to install a traffic light.

The feral cats don't seem to do much to the birds—and the birds pay them little attention. Every once in a while I'll see a cat stalking a bird, but I've never seen any one of them manage to actually kill even a sparrow. They tend to do better on mice around the shed and woodpile, to which they're welcome.

This is a lovely place, for sure—but so much of what I see, photograph, and write about is more a matter of paying close attention to what's going on, with creatures, weather, light, etc. I'm fortunate that I can just look up from my work and keep an eye on things.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scattering Lupines…

I suppose I ought to employ captions more often…but they're such a pain with Blogger to do.

My post text is the next size up from "normal" which is "large." I do captions in the next size down, "small," and also in italics. When I go to preview to proofread and then switch back, all the text has reverted to the "normal" setting. And then when I change it back, it occasionally fails to go into the actual post in the pale, contrasting color. Instead, it remains black, which is almost impossible to read. So I have to temporarily remove the post (which causes text to again reset in the "normal" size; and I redo the different sizes, change the color to what it needs to be for the actual post to be readable against the background……and if I'm lucky, I then have a post with photo captions.

Of course if I see a mistake in the post and pull it to edit, I have to go through the entire rigamarole again.

But, I'll try and use captions more often. Sometimes. Maybe.

So………bottom line

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I hope you did get at least a hint of the day on the riverbank via photos and post. That's certainly what was intended. A poor substitute for the real thing…but the best I can do for the moment.

Stay warm!

Grace said...

I love "miniature avalanche", they're somehow quite thrilling.

I think I need to get into winter bird feeding.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Grace…

Yup. Winter birds are fun, even if you're not a "bird" person. From time-to-time, someone will visit here who wouldn't know a redbird from a robin, and they'll just become instantly fascinated by the all the different winter birds at the feeder. They can't believe there are so many kinds, RIGHT THERE!, and you have to laugh because they're so excited by a downy woodpecker or a purple finch.

BTW, sorry to be slow in replying but I just got back to the house.

Jayne said...

Looking forward to seeing the views of your river from that canoe. ;c)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Unfortunately, while I was in the process of moving in here, my old canoe was stolen from its storage place. I've yet to replace it. So…you may have to wait a while on those views.