Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Soaking Up the Poetry of Winter

There's not a winter that I haven't extolled during the six winters that I have lived since I came here. Some years, the season was not in its entirely ideal mode - the alternating snowy and rainy days. But every winter has a day or two or a little more when winter wonderland in its superlative sense takes place sporadically. Such days are enough elements for me to qualify a winter truly lovable. They drive the thought of the unpleasant days to oblivion.

What I have in mind are the frosty days when all the bare trees are richly coated all over with hoarfrosts,  (you may click on the pictures for enlarged viewing)

...when the sun sails across the clear blue sky, its radiant face grinning delightfully,

...when the trees cast long blue shadows over the pristine snow,

...when the frost-coated slender twigs of the birch trees sparkle like million little diamonds strung together.

These are perfect days to ski, to bike around, to stroll and just soak up this typical winter wonderland's poetry.

How about waking up one frosty morning to find these sights greeting you as you draw the window blinds? 

Then there are those days when the trees are laden with new snow after a heavy snowfall. Heaps of fresh snow just sit on the bare branches or twigs or on the evergreens, such as pines and spruces.This is quite different from the frost-coated twigs. 

Back when winter was not a part of my life, which was in the tropics, each time I saw a winter image, I'd thought that the trees were just covered with snow. Just like that. I had no idea that soft ice crystals known as hoar frost also form on vegetation or surfaces that have been chilled below freezing point during clear frosty winter nights. The result is often an amazing design of ice crystals interlocked together. I didn't understand that before, but since I've experienced winter, I came to personally observe and distinguish these two  winter phenomena. And I've never stopped loving them.

Why am I elevating a season that others consider "nasty" or a nuisance? Does it really matter in life? It maybe just a common thing for others, or a catalyst for winter blues. I understand, especially where winter is snowless and wet. But for me, instead of the winter blues, it's winter euphoria, no matter how dark the days or how long the darkness. But more so when the days transform to an all-bright, all-glittery wonderland under the clear blue sky. Truly a wonder of creation!

And that's when winter becomes a poetry flowing rhythmically into my whole being. 

I hope that my pictures and winter tribute can infect my dear readers with the same euphoria that fills me.

(More pictures can be viewed here: My Nature Photos)

Linking up with

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Birder In Me

I've always liked birds ever since I was younger. I used to say that if I were a non-human object, I would be a bird soaring freely across the sky, seeing the world with a bird's eye-view.

I would love to go birding in their natural habitat but weightier responsibilities occupy most of my time. So I learned to be content with watching the birds that fly around here or those that I spot when we travel. For the time being. Someday, I know, I  will have all the time in the world to look for all the birds in the world and study their nature. For now, if I want to see birds from far-away places, I'd just visit some birding sites, some of which are in my blog list, and I'm satisfied to view and read about them.

In winter, I keep my eyes open for birds that thrive in this season. I don't go in quest of them but I'm on the alert for those that move around here.

One of my favorites is the waxwing. This winter, I watched huge flocks of them swirling together around the towering birch trees, then perching in groups on the highest twigs. I had the chance to observe them one day after my work. One group would swoop down on a berry-laden rowan tree, swiftly foraging the berries, then soared back to the treetops and let another group do the same. They took turns by groups to partake of this little festivity.

When the rowan trees have been stripped of berries and the birds apparently had their fill, they would all perch still as if ruminating on the delish berries just ingested. Ahh...a still, quiet moment to capture them with my camera!


And then they would start out, swirling around the trees like a cloud and flying away to their next destination. What a depiction of harmony and togetherness!

Other winter birds I captured while at work or walking are the bullfinches, great tits and sparrows.

"Observe intently the birds of heaven;  
they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, 
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not worth more than they are?"
- Matthew 6:26

"Do not two sparrows sell for a coin of small value? 
Yet not one of them fall to the ground without your Father's knowledge. 
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 
Therefore have no fear:  you are worth than many sparrows."
- Matthew 10:29-31

Linking up with
Viewing Nature with Eileen's Saturday's Critters
Lavender Cottage's  Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday