Posted by: atowhee | January 12, 2017


“Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It’s all right, it’s all right”   –Paul McCartney

January 12, Thursday.

A Red-tailed Hawk passes through our neighborhood on an early morning cruise. A nearby golf course could be attractive place for that bird to hunt.  Two of our local crows take umbrage at the Red-tail’s presence in their realm. The Crows caw and curse in the strongest terms.  One makes a few sweeping sorties against the perched buteo.  That soon sends the Red-tail on his way.  Peace restored.

Starlings approach for landing:


Our recent weather has produced a sequence of conditions most beauteous.  On Tuesday there was wet snow—about five inches.  It covered the ground, the grass, sidewalks, the conifers, bare tree limbs.  Then Wednesday brought solar warmth leaking through thin winter clouds. Melt water resulted.  Then Wednesday night the temperature under a clear sky dropped well below freezing, in the mid-20s.  That froze every drop of water, every bit of soaked bark, every cluster of slush on a tree branch.   Thursday dawned with a bright blue sky but still well below freezing.  By 9 AM the sun was over the rooftops and torching every south facing wall, tree trunk and patch of sidewalk.  The light beamed through bushes and branches, the stalactites of ice on fences and roof edges.  There was a bright glow coming through the clear ice on twigs, dangling tassels on our dawn redwoods, every surface iced over. The gleam of sun through ice was pristine, even though we know it must contain color frequencies from across the spectrum.  It was as if each drooping bud of ice, each layer of icing on each twig had its own light source and its own energy.  Each bit of ice was a lens magnifying and concentrating the sunlight.  The light passing through the ice was sharp and brilliantly clear.  There was no hint of sunny yellow or even white.  The clarity is as if the purest water has been converted directly into light.  The effect is both bright and invisible at the same time.  As Monet showed us with his magpie painting* on such a day the only color to be found was in conifer needles and the secret colors to be discovered in the shadows and snow crevices.  Above it all is the unperturbed blue of a winter sky unbothered by crows, winds or worries of human affairs.jan12-ajan12-bjan12-djan12-ejan12-fjan12-gjan12-hjan12-j

Black-capped Chickadee action:

bc-flizzbc-in-magnbc-in-mag2hofi-cu1hofi-trioToday we had eight House Finches in our garden.  Usually there are four, or fewer.

At Wortman Park the ground is mostly snow covered  but Robins, Flickers and Starlings had found the few spots where grass and mud were bto be found.


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