Today we awoke to snow falling, and it has continued all day. Nice for it to actually feel like winter, actually. I am happy to have some cold weather arrive to give the fruit trees pause for thought about whether they really should be budding quite so early in the year.
At any rate, it has given us a lot of fun both inside and out, what with bird watching and Mallory watching.
The birds are very much appreciating the feeders in this weather. We filled the feeders about four hours ago, and they are already empty. Not surprising, with the large population availing themselves of the resource.
Crowding at the feeder, hopping about on the ground or waiting their turn in the trees, all that bird activity makes the yard a very busy place today.
That is what is making Mallory watching fun. There are so many birds to watch she just doesn’t know which window to sit in. In between her marveling and chittering at all the bird activity, she sits quietly and pensively studies the snow. You can almost see the wheels turning in her little cat brain as she tries to figure out how the world became so vastly different overnight.
Yesterday I took Ruby out to Bennett Spring again, with the express purpose of capturing the ice out there in all its myriad forms. It has so many.
There are the icicles, of course, spangled and sparkling as they refract the sun. Some of them enthrall me with their bulbous and sculptural forms.
As the ice freezes on the ponds and puddles, it makes more than one sort of pattern. There is a very angular one that seems to form on still waters.
There are very curved forms, sculpted by the flowing water that freezes on the brooks.
Another sort of curvaceous frozen form occurs in the frost flowers, where the capillary action of the soil around the base of plants forces the water out into freezing air. Here the pressure behind the ice formation causes all sorts of delicate and intricate whorls.
I happened across another sort of ice entirely, the man made form, towards the end of the walk where I neared the picnicking areas in the park. Apparently, someone had a wedding or other romantic event, one of the guests finished their drink, and poured out the ice on the ground.
Very seasonal, don’t you think? A sort of wintry Valentine’s greeting.
Another very different meaning of the word “iced” (the assassin’s referent) occurred yesterday in the yard. We happened to look out the window just as the Cooper’s Hawk was sitting in the elm tree consuming her breakfast. I managed to steal out and catch her there, not really unaware of my doings, it seems.
She fixed me with her fierce glare, and then flew off, breakfast complete. The evidence of her rapacious devouring of the purple finch that made her repast lay scattered below her perch.
All of that is covered by snow now.