marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

snow and flowers

Heaps of snow everywhere, turning out of the parking lot is a peril to life and limb -- but as I stop to shop at noon, I see a whole paddling of mallards, with their blue patches on their wings, the males all green headed, and the females with their speckled backs, pecking away at some bread crumbs on the snow. Ah, a sign of spring, migrating birds -- not likely to be another, I thought -- but when I drove home, while the turns were still a menace, and my east-facing front garden is a heap of snow still nearly as tall as I am, the south-facing one has much melted away -- so much I can see sprouts! Little and green and poking up through the dirt, and leaving me to ponder whether they are crocuses or the early irises.

On the still leafless tree, the rainfall has left globes of water hanging here and there from the boughs. When the sunlight shines on them, they gleam like clear diamonds, among the mists turning golden with the sun.

How garish and ugly a shade of yellow new sprouts can be before the sunlight gets to them.

The waterfall was a mass of solid white ice for long after the temperature rose -- visibly at least, there may have been water flowing below -- until one day, it punched a hole through, and water poured through a rounded gap in the whiteness. The next day, the ice only stood to one side, and now the waterfall runs free and foaming.

The sunset is all but cloudless, and the colors rise in their orderly bands, from red to yellow to blue. . . three small, rotund clouds hold all the colors against the blue where it is still pale.

Sunrise is pure sky, without clouds, the bands again rising to the dark blue, the shades of red and yellow intense. The horizon to the west is dark, dark blue. The colors lighten as it rises farther, but the red turned a paler shade of red, not pink. Not until the colors spread round does it turn pastel, so that yellow and pink circle the horizon on every side.

The birds cheep and twitter in their migratory cloud, now perched in a slew of trees. Not as raucous as crows, not musical enough to call song. . .

The vernal equinox greets us with snow. A fine snow at first, as small as glitter and far drabber.

Outside the window, snow still sifts to the ground on the milk white new layer. The tree stands leafless and dark, and crows and other dark birds flit about in an arrangement in black and white.

As the snow starts to melt, the snowdrifts turn patchy. Beneath the thin layer of new snow, they are grimy from where their melting had concentrated the grit on the surface, and the ripples and dents look like a seashore, with white foam over brownish water for long stretches of waves curling in toward shore.

The bright blue of a bluejay perched on a oak among the drooping but still vividly copper leaves.

Snow melt swells the stream and charges down a little waterfall -- halfway. You can't see the obstacle, but halfway down it leaps into the air, a fountain of white foam, springing almost as high as the waterfall itself.

A chunky racoon trundles up the lane toward the parking lot -- sees me many strides off -- still squares off against me, and then goes to trundle down. I go to my car, and see the racoon heading up the slope, through greenery, to the fence, but it trundled back down again -- and was gone while I was backing out.

The flock cheeps and chatters all together, fluttering about the tree before they migrate onward.

Nothing is whiter than masses of mist over a snowfield. Impossible to see anything but whiteness.

Rain falls down on the snow, and mists billow up, streaming in the breezes, so directionally it looks like smoke arising from a fire.

Snow still lying on the forest floor, and through it run the streams, glinting dark, sharp and stark against the whiteness, through streambeds invisible by summer when the waters and the forest floor alike are brown.

What an effect the rainy day has. No warmer than previous days, but snow gone over vast stretches, turning to masses of dingy brown. And the waterfall goes in full spate, a flood of off-white foam.

The daffodils are sprouting, turning green, though many shoots are still yellowish. One set has hefted a heap of amber dead pine needles into the air in its forcing its way up.

Other sprouts are long and flat. I shall have to return to guess what they are with more clues.

From scattered trees, a dozen different bird calls sound, one after the other, as they settle down to nest. Water puddles in the grass in low-lying spots -- apparently clean enough, because a robin lands in one and with frantic wing waving and splashing manages to bathe.

A hawk arches up, flying over the parking lot. From where it flew, a squirrel chitters as it comes to the edge of the car it was under, and eyes the outside very carefully indeed.

A great skein of geese flies over the sky, arrayed in strings that swerve like threads on a table, and forming several interlocked and jagged v's, with legs of varying length.

Only yesterday I noticed that one of the dwarf iris sprouts showed a distinct shade of purple among the pale, almost grayish greens. And today it is in full blown, with the royal purple marked with white and yellow.
Tags: nature

  • Greece Against Rome

    Greece Against Rome: The Fall of the Hellenistic Kingdoms 250-31 BC by Philip Matyszak The subtitle is more accurate than the title. Greece was a…

  • Paganism in the Roman Empire

    Paganism in the Roman Empire by Ramsay MacMullen A large and not entirely coherent subject, with very patchy evidence. So this contains much…

  • The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes

    The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China by Raoul McLaughlin An…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded