Oooo, I’m liking this…

Endure the present, and watch for better things.
Virgil

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(tiny emerging leaves on the quince)

Do My eyes deceive me?
Is that what I think it is?
Can it be?
How can it be?
Was this not the same landscape that was ice encrusted and snow covered but a mere three days ago!!?

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Just when I was about to give up all hope of sunny skies, warming days and the emergence of color—pure natural color accompanied by the newness of life, fresh and full—there hiding amongst the grey and brown of the empty limbs and decaying leaves, a tiny ray of hope–an advent of life perched on a periphery of an explosion of growth.

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(tiny leaves unfurling along a limb of the blueberry bush)

Buds plumping up, just waiting to burst forth onto the scene of a waning winter which refuses to loosen its icy hold. With the most recent snow and ice having melted, freeing those tender shoots and buds which were held as helpless captives, tender hopefuls now stretch skyward as if on tiptoes willing themselves to reach a warming sun.

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(buds of the Tulip tree)

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(buds on the oak tree, the one I fear is sickly–yet still hopeful)

We’re not out of the woods yet (figuratively that is)–it’s merely the middle of February. We’ve had blizzards in March and deep spring snows in April, but joyfully and thankfully I can now anticipate, as well as outwardly hope, because finally here, for all of the curious to behold, is a tangible glimpse of things to come—and believe you me, I can’t wait!

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(not a turkey foot)

To be a part of the silence

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”
―Robert Lynd

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(a nuthatch sitting in typical fashion, facing downward in an oak tree in Julie’s yard / 2014)

The leaves are long gone. The yard barren of color and seemingly void of any life or activity. As I canvas what was, only thinking and hoping of what will be, I am startled by a slight movement along the limbs of a lone stately oak tree.

Upon further inspection I spy a lone little nuthatch. A most spry and hardy little bird.
As I pull my coat a bit tighter, to ward off the blowing January wind, I am mesmerized watching this small bundle of blue grey and white energy hopping up and down the limbs of the stately oak.

Out of all the vast array of birds which call my yard home or hotel, I have always been partial to the tiny nuthatch. Not a showy bird nor loud, the nuthatch merely goes about its business, albeit, a bit upside down, with a relentless tenacity. Maybe that’s why I enjoy watching this bird so much as it scoots up and down trees usually pointed downward, peeping and grunting to itself—something akin to a tiny woodpecker, poking and prodding along the tree bark.

How comforting it is knowing that just when it appears as if life has all but stopped in this vast yard, there is a tiny glimpse of activity reminding all who are observant that life, despite the bitter cold and wet, the dormant buds and roots, the monochromatic tones of a seemingly barren landscape, continues with a steadfast determination.

This gloomy winter full of grey skies, cold wind and sleeping vegetation is made a little brighter and a bit more bearable because there remains a few hearty creatures that carry on, continuing life as if there is no change, no difference. The nuthatch doesn’t notice that the leaves are gone, the skies are dull or the air cold.

As I stand alone amidst the empty cold landscape, drawn into myself by this lingering melancholy of winter, I am gratefully rewarded, after my silent observation, that life is not on hold, the world has not stopped. Winter may be laying hold of all that surrounds me yet I am pleasantly reminded that all is not lost nor gone—For there is joy hopping among the empty limbs of the massive winter sentinels of the yard–a busyness of energy remains, all is not dormant nor still–as witnessed by a small bundle of blue grey and white feathers.