Thursday, May 18, 2017

An Encounter With the Wise Sentinel

We've given up hope of ever finding the owls that have been reportedly sighted by some birders after our several unsuccessful attempts at locating them. We scoured the countrysides where they were spotted for some days but they seemed to hide from us.





One day, however, or rather evening, at 7:30 p.m., as we were driving home from another area to look for some newly arrived birds of prey, an unexpected sight appeared right before our eyes. Something big with wide wingspan whizzed toward a hole in an open field. What could that be? We pulled over the road to wait for it to emerge. It did! It flitted and perched on a pole marking the nature reserve area in this countryside.





It's an owl! Oh, yes! It just sat there calmly, not minding our presence at all, and seemingly posing for portrait photography. I was elated, and at the same time frantic to take good shots of it in varied angles, afraid that it would fly away just as quickly as it came. How fortuitous that it stayed there fearlessly and just kept turning its winsome face to different directions. My camera went clicking away....









It also sat there like a sentinel, guarding this nature reserve that hadn't turned green yet on this mid- spring.





Hubby and I hung around for a while until it finally flew toward the far end of the field. Unfortunately, I couldn't capture it in flight as it flew so swiftly.

At last, I've seen a real owl in its natural habitat, watched it and photographed it.

And we went home happily with this newly acquired birding experience. I let the thrilling moments of encounter with that "wise" sentinel float on my mind before the memory got stored in my "treasure chest".





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Saturday, April 29, 2017

April Snow and Sunshine Too

Amid the spring, the snow still keeps falling. Just as when the blanket of snow started to melt away and evaporate in the warmth of the spring sun, new layers are being piled over it, which nevertheless melt quickly.









On some days, the snowfall occurs in the morning and is replaced later with sunshine, and vice versa.







There are days too when large snow clusters fall while the sun is shining radiantly.







Of course, many days are sunny and the blue sky adorned with beautiful clouds, sun halos and sundogs.













These days, the birds are coming back from their long vacation in the south. It's thrilling to watch them fly overhead and laze in the open fields and on the water. Yes, it's high time for bird-watching!











The popping spring bulbs are often awash with fresh snow.





The snowfall looks enchanting against a backdrop of the blazing colors of sunset.










As this month draws to its end, snow still falls occasionally but doesn't stay long on the ground despite the thickness, and at times melts just as soon as they touch any surface.







The darkness of the night is being driven out by the glow of the sun. This means that our aurora watching and stargazing are coming to a pause for some months until late August again. Here's a photo of an aurora and the sunlight over the horizon at past midnight vying for domination over the sky. The aurora was supposed to be strong but it was diffused by the sunlight, and this is probably the last aurora visible in our place this season.







Amidst the sunshine and the snowfall comes the waiting for the botanical world to fully awaken and eventually flourish. 






And the wait won't take long from now.





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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Winter's Delightful Goodbye

Spring has arrived but  I haven't said goodbye to winter yet. This post is my official goodbye to the season, though the time of the event is close to winter's end when it started to say goodbye  and  be ready to give way to spring.





March 7 came to be a day when winter seemed to wear its best as a way of saying farewell. I was going to work that frigid morning. Getting out of the apartment, I couldn't resist the urge to stop and admire the scintillating crystal-kissed small world set before my eyes.





Here are some pictures I took from our balcony before I left the house.











Amid the ice-chilled air of the morning , the sun filled the cerulean sky with its brilliance, pouring out bits of sunshine on every bit of snow that blanketed our city and sparking  rainbows underfoot. It was such a dazzling carpet of crystallized white.







The towering trees were thickly jeweled with hoarfrost, which look like crystalline laces laid over a blue fabric. Each twig resembles a string of sparkling tiny diamonds dangling beautifully from the branches. The pictures cannot really show what the eyes can see, such as how each ice crystal glitters on and off  in the slightest shift of the eyes. I think the real marvel of it all remains etched on my mind.









And then I spotted them, the great tits who just loved to bask in the sunshine even as they perched amidst the frosty twigs! At last, I was treated with the chance to capture a memory of them in this setting. The images came to be in four colors, as a friend pointed out when he saw my pictures: white, blue, yellow and black.
















I couldn't leave a scene like this as long as it lasts, but I had to go to work, so I left with feelings of satisfaction and sorrow, a paradox that I'm always faced to live with.







I left with a new soul-swelling experience gained, my spirit elevated yet once more by the purity and sparkles of the ice crystals.







The iciness upon my face was refreshing! I'm forever glad I was there to witness this winter's initial expression of goodbye. It certainly bathed my soul anew.





And then came spring equinox on March 20. New things are waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.




"Out of the north comes golden splendor;
God's majesty is awe-inspiring."
(Job 37:22)


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