Winter Wonderland


The beauty was not lost on me when I woke to Winter Wonderland yesterday. Trees were thick with frosted white, streets were blanketed with new comforters, while snowflakes fell ever so gently to tuck them in.

Before diving into scattered papers upon my desk, blinds were raised, allowing additional light to shine within my office space. What a sight there was for me to see! Boughs of a tall evergreen in Blue Spruce nearly touched tiny wires of my turret window screen. Colors of emerald blue contrasted beautifully against virgin white. The tree reminded me of a perfectly painted miniature, part of a proud display entered in a gingerbread competition I had seen around Thanksgiving. http://wp.me/p41md8-2Au

The morning was a surprise of sorts. Winds howled the night before, temperatures dropped and rain began to fall. Still, no one expected another six inches of snow! After all, didn’t the groundhog see his shadow? I opened a French door to let Doodle dog out. Tentatively, he held out a single shaggy paw to the cold elements. “Wait,” he seemed to say. “I can hold it a bit longer.” He backed his bottom end into the kitchen, holding his duties off for another hour or two. Later, after providing him with a little shove, I snuggled him in a fuzzy blanket, cuddling him with warmth near the fire. He’s nearly twelve, after all.

I worked nearly the whole day through and much of the night. Still, during every break I sat on the hearth or took walks past windows while opening doors to breathe fresh crisp air, and gaze at sights of new fallen grace.

I’m aware it won’t last. Today the trees are once again naked. Driveways and streets are clear with the blankets of snow slowly shrinking to weathered sheets. Still, I have memories together with my photographs. Blessings of brief beauty. The unexpected gift of Winter Wonderland soon nearing the hope of spring.

 

What Nature Teaches You


Sunlight shimmered, streaking through white window panes of my kitchen patio doors this morning.  Brightness woke my limbs from further slumber.  Six o’clock.  A smiling face of walnut wood from the clock on the wall told me so.  Scents of lemon oil drifted beneath my nose.  Time to wake-up!

“Doodle” dog nudged my feet of bare, signaling his readiness to go out into the world, to sniff wheat-colored plumes of grasses nearby, and to check invisible boundaries for any possible intruders.  My hand was on the door’s bronze lever, seconds from pushing it down to open it up.  Outside, a ruffle of feathers caught the corner of my eye.

Only a few feet from garden bricks was a new ‘family’ for me to see!  Beneath our bird feeder, the one where bright red Cardinals, Blue Jays and Sparrows of speckled brown rest on perches near, five Turkeys pecked leftover seeds on the ground below.

I have often seen one or two before.  The Hen, of course, who feeds for the invisible brood she hides safely away.  And once or twice in the last six years, I’ve witnessed a large Tom waddling up and over our backyard hill, his long turkey neck of reddish-blue wobbling back and forth within the breeze.  This morning, it was a true gift from God for me.  To see this sight of such rarity!

As the large Tom bobbed his head, pecking for seeds within the earth of clay, the Hen spread her wide wings, revealing three tiny babies, “Poults.”  Not much larger than the eggs of a goose, they were covered in brown and white downy feathers that glistened in the sun.  Their small eyes were dark black the color of wet ink.   Darting this way and that, they were already keenly aware of any possible danger.

Just as I was about to grab my camera, a doe and her fawn scampered by, spooking my new backyard ‘family.’  WOOSH went the Tom who flew straight up into the nearest, tallest tree!  I never saw a turkey fly, but most definitely they do.  The noise is shockingly loud, like thunder clouds of flapping feathers.  The Tom flew straight up into the bright blue sky, rather than soaring side-to-side, like most birds do.

As for ‘Tom’s’ family who were left quite skittish in my back yard, they took off very quickly.  The Hen tried to gather her poults, spreading her wings while running toward the forest.  Being ‘babies,’ the feathered toddlers waddled in different directions while ‘Mama’ yelped her loudest, trying to keep them close to her.

Like little wind-up toys zipping towards the woods, three baby ‘poult’s carried a lesson for me today.  Life moves forward in a flash, often unexpectedly.  Don’t wait to pocket a picture of your dream.  Catch it before something surprises you.

Mystical Magesty


 

 

 

 

Early morning fog descends

Surrounding mystical trees

Creating beautiful sights to behold

Hush now, silent words begin to whisper

Listen closely to stories breeze

Through winds of imagination

Sometimes stopping to rest upon a branch

Wondering what their needles and limbs

Have hidden beneath a peak of pine?

Tiptoeing near wafting scents so dear to me

One-two-three, don’t ever let me go

Plopping down to soak like sponge tales newly sapped

Dampness tickles barefoot skin sinking into grasses green

Atop the ground where seedlings fell

Watered from Heaven’s rain hovering in fluffy clouds above

To think how nature once so miniscule

Became God’s miracles of majesty

Painted Dreams


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Bluebird so pretty to me

Flapping wings to and fro

Near spruce of blue

Bursting through grasses of green

 

Viewed at feeders 

Where small seeds of yellow

And bigger ones in shells of dark

Spill from rounds falling to ground

 

Squirrels so bushy in shades of fuzzy brown

Scurry and scamper to nibble

Leftovers from beaks of black

Before grey Morning Doves stop by

 

Bluebird so pretty to me

Flapping wings to and fro

What a sight to see

Strokes of orange breast below royal feathered backs

 

Soaring high against a sky of powdered baby-blue

Past branches and trunks of mottled bark

Where wildflowers grow scattered here and there

In rainbow colors everywhere

 

Suddenly flying wings disappear

Behold a grove of crayon pines

Hidden between needles never seen

Lies a secret shelter

 

Flapping wings of color have stopped

 A  nest made of twigs and printed paper

Woven in scented tree abandoned

Bluebird so pretty to me gone for now

 

Wishing to see soaring feathers of royal blue again

Splashes of orange breast floating on fluffy white

Clasping hands closing eyes so tight

Praying my painted dreams come true tonight

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Morning Tree


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Early shadows dancing on buff colored siding,

God’s gift of nature balances on branches….hiding.

A chirp, a tweet, a song to sing,

Do not stop or feathered wings will soar into skies of azure.

Look closely now to see a tiny rooftop home swing from side to side

On a flowered arm, tempting me…..

Suddenly all is clear, I can’t resist

Hopping up to peek inside the ‘O.’

Ahhh…..baited breath beholds

A tiny toasted nest in a bosom of infinite blackness.

Speckled sparrow eggs…1-2-3-4,

Warming in my Morning Tree.

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Renewal


Early last evening, God put a temporary halt to the warmth of spring.  Looking up, a sky in the color of dove grey seemed to sway while an ‘Overture’ played from heaven.  Magnificent clouds in various sizes drifted along.  They looked like artists sketches drawn in charcoal pencil.  Some of them were smudged on their sides…just a little, by the tips of fingers to ‘appear’ imperfect…like God would do.

One by one, I typed words on my keyboard. Then, the sound of the sky opened up.  Sheets of rain pounded on the chipped, cement road behind me. Turning in my swivel chair, I saw a cloudburst of rain fall fast and hard.  Splatters of wet jumped high in the air while drenches of more fell low to the ground.  A narrow stream of mini-rapids, the color of weak coffee with too much cream rushed outside my window ledge.  I could see it flowing there.   A slight current of tiny twigs toward a sewer drain.

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Better Than New


Today, it felt like spring was officially here!  It was time to clean the garage of cotton cobwebs, sweep spiders from hidden corners and hunt for colored clay pots to fill while the weather is warmer still.

After tidying up, I drove to visit my favorite hardware store.   Where everything imagined is sold!   From skinny rubber bands all wrapped in bouncing balls, to single silver nails dropped to the bottom of a brown paper bag…plunk.  The store is nothing like you’d think. It’s not a chain store like, ‘Lowes’ or ‘Home Depot.’  No, a trip to this hardware store is akin to stepping back far, far in time to a very distant land.  A different time and place.

The building is made of all wood and tin, a “Freight and Grain Elevator” that was built way back in 1877, by a small family.  It was their business then and hasn’t much changed since then.  Pulling into the gravelled parking lot, my car wheels made a crunching sound as they slid by the side of a red pick-up truck.  Near-by, a sign spelled, “C.H.I.C.K.S- for- S.A.L.E” in big, black letters.  Hand-printed by someone very young.  I could tell.

Wide, wooden planks of grey greeted me the moment I stepped outside my door.  Perhaps long ago, they were painted emerald-green to match the grasses all around?  If so, years of hot St. Louis summers had completely bleached the color from every board.  So old and worn, they were.  If I kneeled down, could I blow wooden dust through uneven cracks to the bottom?   A ramp led to a long covered ‘front porch’ of sorts.  Under its ceiling, I found bags of musty mulch in all sizes.  Mmmm…..the earthy scent seeped from within allowing me to breathe it in deeply.  A favorite scent of mine.

Much like I thought it would, the old screen door squeaked and creaked when it cracked open.  Behind the short counter (people were smaller, years ago), I asked the smiling young man if he would help me load my car.  “Of course,” he said, before tossing chocolate-brown mulch into my trunk.  To the side, he added burlap bags sewn in red.  Chock full of seeds they were.  For flying feathered friends waiting in trees of pine near bricks of my home.

Before leaving, I couldn’t help but notice a brand new furniture store being remodeled right next door.  Modern and ‘state-of-the-art!’  What a contrast to the nostalgic hardware store of 137 years old.   Nearly the same as the day the original doors opened.  Sighing, it gave me pleasure to know of something old that was better than anything new!  One day in the future, perhaps my grandchildren will tag along with me for a visit.

There, we can buy fresh earth to scatter round trees that grow towards heaven.  Or fill pockets with seeds to fill feeders for wings of wonder.

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