Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moments to Cherish!

I was reflecting on those moments in life that are rare and special. Moments that unlikely will be duplicated again. Moments that bring joy and wonderment. Moments or sightings that I might take for granted and presume will happen again next year or next season, but often don't. 

Such as . . .

 the bluebird at the window in the middle of a snowstorm taking shelter, 

the bunny teasing Sigi at the porch door,

the deer twins edging closer and closer, curious to know more,

a beautiful painted turtle crossing our path as Sigi and I took a fall walk,

the group of goldfinch in the spring eating the seed pods from the catmint at my window,

discovering a young fawn in the meadow, lost and confused and later united with her mother the following day,

finding a baby bunny hiding INSIDE my garden fence,

the fox in the upper meadow just hanging out,

walking out the front door and discovering the tiniest baby turtle right on the sidewalk,

finding baby bunnies huddled innocently in a mulch pile,

capturing the most beautiful afternoon rays of light shining through the petals of 
these Richard Ahren's anemones,

and watching one of our bee girls in the spring collecting nectar. 
(Our last hive died last week in the extreme cold).

Here are some quotes that I find fitting for these reflections: 

"The only constant in life is change." 


"Learn to flow with life like a stream. 
Change is the constant in our world, 
everything and everyone is always 
in a constant state of change. 
Learn to flow with life, 
relax and 
enjoy the ride.

(Kemmy Nola)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rollercoaster weather and the Subnivian Zone

Just two days ago, this meadow was covered in 8 inches of snow and sealed in ice after there was freezing rain all day and the temperatures never rose above 32 until after dark. The next morning, we awoke to pouring rain and 56 degrees and this view - 

As you can see, the meadows are mowed again after 3 years.  Below you can see how the mice, shrews and voles had a field day in the upper meadow, 

creating numerous trails in the air space or subnivian zone in just a couple of days. These trails were only present in the upper meadow and not the lower meadow, which has less plant diversity and consists mostly of golden rod, sweet gum trees and some reeds. 

I'm re-reading Winter World by one of my favorite authors, Bernd Heinrich, who describes this zone very clearly. He writes that, 

 the temperature in this zone is "regulated" a degree or two of the freezing point" as snow acts as an insulator from above and heat rises from the earth below. In this space, the animals have freedom to move and search for food without the fear of being spotted by a predator.

By the end of the day, the temperatures have dipped back into the 30's and today, we awoke to 0 degrees and 25-35 mph winds, thus -21 with wind chill and blue skies. 

What a wild winter!