Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SNOWY, LOVELY DAY


We enjoyed a snowy, lovely day along the river. The snowfall—somewhere between four and five inches at the moment—began in midmorning and continued intermittently throughout, and will probably finish sometime after midnight. 

It wasn't unexpected. In fact, it's predicted coming was yesterday's big local story, along with dire warnings stopping just this side of imminent doom, and through today have furnished local media with reams of copy, outdoor standup interviews, and all the excuse they needed to interrupt any national radio or TV program every whipstitch with a "weather newsbreak"…which mostly amounted to informing us presumably cowering citizenry that they "were on the job and expertly watching the snow come down."

Heroes one and all! I can tell you I felt reassured immediately. 

Of course about two-thirds of the intrepid folks the news hounds interviewed on-air expressed alarm at the amount of white flakes falling from the sky, along with dismay and disgust that such a natural catastrophe might somehow occur in Ohio. You do have to wonder if these obviously befuddled souls skipped geography and natural science throughout grade school, or simply took a wrong turn on their way to Florida? Do they not understand the implications of winter as a season above the Mason-Dixon Line?

As it happened, today was Myladylove's usual day off. So after a leisurely breakfast, we refilled all the outside feeders, collected ample firewood for the day, started a fire on the hearth, and opened all the blinds in the great room for maximum view. Myladylove fiddled with her turquoise beadwork. I read and took Moon the Dog on various photo sorties. We munched and sipped, lazed about, watched the snow and birds and the interplay of the changing light on the nearby river—and I daresay a good time was had by all.
———————      

28 comments:

annie said...

Glad that all of you enjoyed the day. I am still smiling over your comments about the weather folks out in full force helping you watch the snow come down. They are sometimes desperate for a story as they were, several years ago, when one weatherman,carefully monitored Central Park to catch the first flakes of a Big One threatening New York City. The storm must have been delayed because he kept coming on to count
flakes and-- Bless His Heart-- he finally got a small handful to show the camera crew...

annie

Arija said...

If I cold have a wish granted, it would be for just such a day as you have had.
The smell, the look and the sound of falling snow, stopping and starting, with changing light and a warm fire within. To be out in it or to watch it would be bliss for this old choock banished to a hot climate.
I have always delighted in each and every one of the seasons, each one holds wonders of its own, one longs for it to come and longs for it to go until the next time it comes around. i do think the Lord organised it rather well in that respect.

Australia is decidedly a lovely, peaceful place to live, just lacking in the sharp change of seasons.

i really miss the smell in the air before it snows and the change in the light as you wake up after the first snow fall at night.

I am waxing all nostalgic . . . age is funny that way. You miss the wonders of your childhood.

Hugs and Blessings . . . Arija

Grizz………… said...

Annie…

Yup, I'm thoroughly amused the way the newsfolk pump these weather stories for all they're worth. The truth is, this is Ohio. Ohio is a Great Lakes state. The Great Lakes are not in the tropics. Canada is on the other side of Lake Erie. Ohio is a northern state. It snows in Ohio, generally during the winter, and typically more than once.

How can Ohio being Ohio be news? Or a surprise?

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

I wish I could give you a snowstorm to enjoy—as I know you'd be delighted. The best I can do is make a few pictures and write about things.

Please don't think you must apologize for age or waxing nostalgic. Not in these comments, for sure. You're welcome—and expected—to be yourself. We all get old if we live long enough. Wiser, too, in that we finally realize some of the wonderful moments we squandered to our youth. Share all of these you wish.

P.S. I haven't forgotten the eggnog recipe; this week, promise. :-)

ellen abbott said...

sounds like a wonderful day. and I'm glad you are liking the weather because that cardinal does not seem all that pleased. great shot.

Linda said...

Your photo of the cardinal reminded me of your saying that you believe cardinals were put here to make photographers look good. I've stolen that sentiment and have used it more than once. I, too, smiled as I read the description of the news media's excitement and alarm over the impending snowstorm. It's so true. And you described it so well.

Grizz………… said...

Ellen…

I love days like today. Ab-so-lute-ly LOVE 'em! And you're right about the cardinal's expression…but wrong about his motivation—he's not hacked off about the snow, but about the mean ol' red-bellied woodpecker hogging the feeder.

Cicero Sings said...

Sounds like the perfect kind of day to me. You spent it well.

Grizz………… said...

Linda…

You know, I appreciate you reminding me of that line. If I don't forget, I'll probably steal it from myself one of these days.

Not only is the statement true—redbirds were put here specifically to make photographers look good—but the first corollary of that law is that cardinals look better against a snowy background than anywhere else.

The news media (of which I'm a sort of maverick quasi-member) are masters at hyping the non-story: "Sand Discovered in the Sahara!" ""Wind Predicted for Chicago!" "Snow in Ohio!" Sometimes, they're the best entertainment in town.

Grizz………… said...

Cicero…

It was and we did! Practically nothing was accomplished other than relaxation.

Bernie said...

Sounds like a warm and cozy day inside by the fire. I do the same, I open the blinds so that I can see watch the snow fall....I love your picture of the cardinal, now don't laugh but I have a coat and scarf that looks much like this little fellow's coat and feathers.
......:-)Hugs

Rowan said...

Sounds like the perfect day:) The media and a good many people are exactly the same in the UK, they don't appear to be aware that our winters involve ice,snow and cold weather!

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

My darling husband always wonders about the mentality behind the weather reporters...there are times we wonder whether they actually look out their windows at all. Reporting clear skies when it's socked in and raining is our favorite 'weather oops'. Your photo of the Cardinal makes me homesick (grew up in Iowa). The lovely description of your day makes me envious. What an entertaining post.

Jayne said...

What a gorgeous boy in the snow. :c)

After eight inches here, which has turned into sheets of ice, we are getting a bit stir crazy, but I am trying to remind myself it is an unexpected (yes, since I DO live south of the Mason-Dixon line) gift and I should just enjoy the down time.

AfromTO said...

Hope you share the eggnog recipe with us all-boy a man who cooks,tells a good tale,snaps great shots,owns waterfront and makes eggnog -somebody lucked out snatching you up-I will send along some art later.

Grizz………… said...

Bernie…

Yesterday was a really nice day, cozy, quiet, enjoyable.

The cottage faces just a degree or two north of due west, which is the direction of most coming storms in this part of the country. And the great room's ceiling, at the peak, is about 14 feet high, with four narrow but tall windows spaced across the river-facing (west) wall, along with a glass sliding door/window to the deck, and a pair of triangular clerestory windows just below the ceiling peak. The tall window all have blinds—and when they're opened, it's almost like the west wall is mostly glass. You can sit by the fireside, which is on the north wall, and watch the storm pouring from the sky at you, and at the same time see the river and island beyond.

Hey, I'll bet you're cute in that cardinal-red scarf and coat! ;-)

Grizz………… said...

Rowan…

When I was growing up, snow in winter was no big deal, unless it was unusually deep—measured in feet rather than inches. Otherwise, a weather reporter might say "expect four to eight inches of snow tonight" and unconcernedly move on to the next item. That it would regularly snow was a given—expected, anticipated, even welcomed.

Nowadays, the precursory hype is unbelievable, as if the threat of imminent snow could be the beginning of the end for all mankind. The news is delivered breathlessly, like the unthinkable is just over the horizon and closing in fast. People react as if snow in Ohio in winter is an unimaginable natural disaster—all four inches of the stuff. The general consensus is that if fleeing isn't an option, one should at least shutter the doors and windows and cower in a closet…though survival will be questionable.

I have no problem with those who detest snow; different strokes for different folks. There's a whole continental U.S. coastline where you can wear flip-flops year around and speed up your rate of developing melanoma dramatically. Move south. But it is disingenuous and asinine to live in the northern half of the country and whine about snow in Ohio. That's like living in Venice and complaining about a damp basement.

Grizz………… said...

C Hummel Kornell…

I expect more than a few media weatherfolk seldom venture beyond the studio, and a great many of them rely too much on technology and not enough on their own eyes and common sense.

But I'm doubtless having my own fun at their expense.

Still, in this day and age, anyone who believes the news business is about simply delivering the facts is dangerously naïve. It is about ratings and market share and numbers, which all eventually translate to dollars and job security. The more dramatic you can make a story (or non-story) the better. Truth isn't as important as spin.

And to be fair, we're only given information in such a manner because that's what we've come to demand—we want to be excited, angered, frightened, titillated, saddened, etc. by what we hear.

The simple, unvarnished facts of impending weather aren't very exciting. Go to the home page of the National Weather Service and enter your zip code. There it is, a week's worth of weather predictions for your location, in text and images, which takes maybe ten second to read. Not much drama; just information.

I long ago learned to wear a jacket in spring and fall and a heavy coat during the winter. Otherwise, I tend to take the old "weather rock" approach…that is, I began my day with a glance outside at a basketball-sized boulder in the yard. If the rock's top is wet, I know it's raining. If it's white on top, it's snowing. Shiny means ice. And if the rock is rolling slowly, it's really, really windy. I don't need a whole lot more information.

Grizz………… said...

Jayne…

I know in your part of the country, eight inches of snow is a big deal. It should be. It's a rare event and your local highway department is simply not equipped to deal with such a snowfall. Moreover, only the northern transplants have any driving experience on such snow.

For a while, I attended a college located between Knoxville and Chattanooga. I remember a couple of snows—considerably less than eight inches!—which simply paralyzed the region, all but closing the city of Atlanta. Of course those of us from Ohio and Michigan and other states to the north, who grew up with snowy winters, were unperturbed, and spent the days driving the backroads admiring the homey-looking scenery.

Anyway, enjoy your gift. You can grow peaches any time…but it's not often you can make snow cream and have a backyard snowball fight.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

Hey, you left out my most important attribute—I do dishes! And I don't mean in a dishwasher, either, but in the kitchen sink with lots of hot sudsy water, then dried on a rack.

Seriously, while all the things you point out are true, there's the downside. An artistic temperament, occasionally moodiness, and a tendency to daydream at length at a moment's notice. The Irish gene that thinks nothing should get in the way of a good time, good laugh, or good story. The notion that money isn't good for much except buying time, and that if you learn to do with less, you'll need less money and thus have more time for the important things such as adventuring, playing music, reading, and loafing. A total lack of desire to be like everyone else, follow the crowd, have anything whatsoever to do with pop culture; in fact, I'm always the one working upstream, appalled at myself if I'm even momentarily mistakenly identified as "one of them" instead of an obviously incorrigible individual. Nope, the truth is, I take some real work. And I occasionally track mud into the house…

The Weaver of Grass said...

Another cardinal - my favourite - now I want to see some pictures of your lovely river in the snow, please.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Oh yes, a perfect day indeed. I love the leisurely laid back pace - filled with simple treasures and blessings and so much love for one another and nature. We got over 20" here - seemy latest post, pictures and all!! We, like you and your ladylove have a delightful day ahead - snow bound and content.
Love to you always
Gail
peace......

AfromTO said...

You are right about"few media weatherfolk seldom venture beyond the studio" a big secret in this large Canadian city is a major network weatherman does all his daily reports from his home in Florida.As for tracking mud you are probably the one who cleans it up too.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

Hummm, photos to order? Well I'll see what can manage tomorrow. If not, I have redbirds galore in the files.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Wow! Twenty inches of snow…now that would be really neat! You sure have my piddly five inches beat. (Of course Jayne down in Georgia, with eight inches, also has me beat.) But hey, maybe it'll be our turn next.

Stay warm. Loved the photos. Be good…more or less.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTo…

So far as I knw, none of our weatherfolk and folketts live elsewhere, though their reports sometime seem as if they might.

Re.mud…I do clean it up if I'm aware of doing it and think I can manage a good enough job in the time I have to not get caught. Otherwise—and this is the more common scenario—I have the evidence pointed out to me, whereupon I deny vociferously and do my best to shift blame to the dog.

Kelly said...

...sounds like the perfect day to me (hmm, sounds a lot like ours! We were home too). I love the snow...if it's going to be winter, we might as well have snow on the ground. It's beautiful.

Your photo of the GBH made me laugh!! He does think he's a kingfisher!! The photo of the squirrel with the snow falling softly is beautiful. I love his little head covered in snowflakes. Also...what is it about seeing goldfinches in the wild. They seems so different when they are away from the feeders. I love them at the feeders, but when I see them in the trees deep in the woods, and hear their happy song, it melts my heart! (Gorgeous Red, btw...in this post and the previous. They have to know they make snow look even better...)

Grizz………… said...

Kelly…

You got that right! What good's winter without snow? It IS beautiful!

FYI, that GBH is on his limb as I write; he spends much of every day there.

I agree that a goldfinch in the field and a goldfinch at the feeder are two different birds—at least they evoke two different responses in me, just like they do in you. Why? I don't know. But I even feel something of this same way when I see a flocks of winter robins in the woodsy under-thickets, or hear/see a white-throated sparrow along the river in one of the stretches "wilder" than my front yard.

There's probably a good post in there…

Finally, I'll have you know I missed what could have been my best-ever kingfisher photo this morning when the bird that usually fishes the pool in front of the cottage landed, minnow in beak, on a limb 10 feet from where I was standing, camera in hand, zoom lens preset and ready, a perfect shot with the river in the background…and then, a half second later a feisty starling flew up and practically smacked the kingfisher in the face, trying to grab the fish. Naturally, the kingfisher flew off to eat in peace before I could get the shot. I believe I could have tied a rock around that starling's neck and tossed him into the pool for the minnows to feed on and, later down the foodchain, the kingfisher via the minnows. (Yes, I was having a frustratedly savage moment.)