Thursday, 17 April 2014

Full Moon and a rainbow...

Last night I was able to photograph the full moon in all its glory and again this morning. Surrounded by a sheen of cloud it was a beautiful sight.


Last week a gorgeous rainbow grew above the skies to the South...


We have had huge swings of temperatures in the last ten days or so, ranging from a balmy 78 to a freezing 21 degrees.... snow covered the field behind us yesterday, but now it is melted. 
The first of the many bulbs Judy planted last year are showing!

Nicholas


Along with the bulbs and the warmer, longer, daylight hours, has come the return of the redwing blackbirds. With the great expanse of open field behind our home, a natural nesting site, dozens return each spring...their song fills the early morning and early evening air with excitement and chatter. 

Other birds, having found all of our feeders, are also joining us this spring...there are a robins, cardinals, a number of thrushes, juncoes, sparrows, goldfinches...

I am busily planning how to attract more hummingbirds, butterflies and songbirds with beds of wildflowers. While I will create a few structured beds...it is exciting to imagine great expanses of a clover lawn, interspersed with beds of brilliantly coloured native wildflowers stretching seamlessly to the stream, the field and the hills beyond.

This new landscape, this horizon we have gazed upon for nearly a year, is holding our hearts, our minds, our spirits with reverence and filling our lives with awe.

Judy

Monday, 7 April 2014

Meltwaters have gathered pace in the rivers and streams around here. Yesterday I walked with Misty around Beebe Lake in Ithaca, and the waterfall at the outlet was magnificent.



video

There are cautious signs of spring everywhere. Male red winged blackbirds sit on branches or other vantage points and sing with their wings outstretched to attract a mate; robins flirt and fly around each other; soft tips of spring bulbs push through the softening ground.

Nicholas

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The beginning of Spring....

At last, we've seen a few bulbs poking their way up through the soil!... Its been a long winter and we had feared for them.
A few weeks ago the full moon set in the West in a gorgeous sky...



The red-winged blackbirds are back! We have a flock of about 30 or so just behind the house and they are beginning to set out their territories for the spring, calling and flashing their red wings from the branches of the trees along the creek.
Misty, our new puppy, is growing fast. A few weeks ago she fell through the ice into the creek and, since then, we've decided to only let her out on a leash!

Yesterday, I watched the Northern Harrier being attacked by two large ravens as it flew above the field. It is an awesome bird and seemed oblivious to the ravens as they swooped and flew around it.

We think the bluebirds have started to nest in the box at the end of the fence, but are not quite sure at the moment... it will be fun to see.
Nicholas

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Coming Spring Equinox

Last night's sunset was spectacular, an array of soft folding clouds and reddening hues.



I watched the changing light for a while as the dusk came on. 
Outside, the rabbits came bounding up to the patio for food and the last of the mourning doves flew away.
Spring Equinox is only two weeks away!
Meanwhile, our gorgeous puppy is now living with us... 
11 weeks old and adorable.


Nicholas

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Deep Freeze

This winter has been very cold so far... but spectacular ice and frozen water abounds!
The colours and shapes are astonishing...with Taughannock falls trail in particular being a journey of gorgeous surprises...





Nicholas

In the midst of winter's cold there is a rarified beauty, a stillness, a hush, inviting me to journey inward towards less active thought and deeper reflection. 

I find a frozen waterfall is utterly symbolic, the immense force of movement, stayed by external forces of plunging temperatures. 


Life is like this at times...outside influences give pause to forward movement and, once powerfully flowing energy becomes seemingly stagnant, as though never to move again. But...it does, the sun warms that which is frozen, within and without and flow returns. 

Being back in the northeast of the United States has reminded me of the great gift of the seasons...fully experiencing the new growth of spring, the heat of summertime, the passionate display of leaves, and then the pristine white and icy blue of winter. All serve to remind me that change is the only constant and that I best serve my spirit in remembering that truth.

Judy

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Stillness after the storm...

After two days of snow we have a gorgeous morning pending today...
Outside the garden is blanketed... it makes difficult terrain for the rabbits to navigate, but they somehow manage to get through the snow dunes to feed on the bird food!
The blue bird boxes are capped with about 8 inches of snow...



And our solar lights have mostly kept shining in all this, adding a gleam of light under the snow at night for a while.
Nicholas
On the day before Christmas Eve, Nicholas was lamenting that all the snow had melted...then, the next day, as perfectly timed as the barn doors opening to the tune of "White Christmas", the earth was coated in a pristine layer of brightest, shimmering, frozen water crystals...

He exclaimed something akin to "I want much more of this" .... hmmm...again....his wish was fulfilled....

It was an extraordinary week of snowfall, Firstly 6 inches, then a further 10...the landscape has been transformed...


The wild winds, sweeping down from Canada, shaped the snow covering our box plants, into miniature blue-tinted dunes.

And, in the calm stillness of a January night, here was the evening sky's gift to our eyes and hearts...


The light shines so brightly, it even illuminates the shadow-side, the hidden side. Beneath the cold, frozen earth are dormant new growth, hibernating animals, the pending spring...this gift of a moon reminded me of this so eloquently....

Judy

Friday, 20 December 2013

In the deep mid winter...

Snow is well and truly here as I write... some drifts in front of the house are about four feet deep. 
The birds and wildlife flurry around, getting through pounds of nuts every few days.
The hawk came by the other day, fluffed up against the wind.


The colors this time of year are gorgeous... subtle hues of brown and grey and white against the soft lines of the hills.
Nicholas


The pink-golden of dawn rises over the mountains to the east and I am reminded of the approaching Winter Solstice, the shortest day, giving way to longer light. Every morning, the sky offers a gift for reflection, an opportunity for renewal, a reminder of the gift of awakening.



As the walls of the gorges, usually rushing with water, respond to the colder temperatures, creating their own living sculpture; I find I am deeply in awe of water...its ability to move from frozen, to liquid, to vapour. And in observing this quality, my mind goes to my studies of Chinese Medicine. The Water Element, in 5-Element Theory, is associated with the fear of the unknown, akin to pregnancy and the necessity of trusting that things are being formed, becoming whole, even when we are not able to fully see or comprehend them. 

This ice will gave way to water, the water will evaporate in the heat of summer's sun and with next winter the ice will return, and the cycle shall repeat itself anew....and so, to, my life. 

Judy