Saturday, February 20, 2010

I was sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffe and dunking the last ginger cookie in the cookie jar and a new Oatmeal-raisin that my wife made just last night. My soft time. Looking past the dinning room widow out the front of the house where a White breasted Nuthatch climbs and descends the cottonwood searhing for grubs or insects of any sort. Both Mountain and Black Capped Chickadees are on the same tree with their song that is always so positive in attitude. It is 8 degrees and for the third morning in a row it is snowing. 3" last night. Very dry as the sun tries to show its muted presence through the overcast with light snow continuing to fall and the light breeze picks up piled snow on branches and blows them off in soft plumes that being so dry turn to snowflakes themselves befor they reach the ground. On beyond the yard the river slows down just enough to form almost a small lake with little current. Ducks, Mallards, Golden Eyes and now and then a Common Merganser congregate. It is fun to watch them but makes one shiver to watch the Mallards tip up with heads underwater while the Goldeneyes plunge under only to resurface moments later. Over the years I have been priveleged to having seen unusual species on the river that were even recorded as unusual in national Birding journals. Old Squaw Ducks more thught of as being in the arctic, harlequins last year. I have several times in the last few weeks even watched a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Very unusual. Now and then a Muskrat will entertain us as he swims from one side of the river to the other side. We used to have beaver there also but neighbors didn't think they were very neighborly and had them trapped out. I even went and wired up all their trees for them so as to save them from the little loggers. There is a lot of willow which only makes them grow back thicker the next year and the beaver seemed to thrive on that arrangement. But to no avail as far as neighbors go. We used to have a lot of Moose that would winter along the river and were always passing through the yard but again they ate the nice deserts they thought folks were planting for them. Harrasement and cutting of willows ended that. I have not seen a Moose around here in 15 years.
The coffee cools off and it is time to end my soft time and climb the stairs to the studio. At the top of my stairs is a door out onto my Deck off the studio and I step out on it and take this picture across my back yard and the neighbors yard with one of his assortment of refurbished wagons that he does such a good job doing. Two Canadian Geese are on the river and are taking issue with one another. In the quiet of this snowy morning even this dissention sounds good. I turn to my desk to write this and start my morning accompanied even as I get to work by the various birds on my bird feeder just out the window from where I am sitting. The two kinds of Chickadees, the Nuthatch, pine Siskins, Cassin Finches, an occassional Goldfinch and Junco. Then there is the visit by our resident Pine Squirell. Life is good in spite of having a bum foot and recovering from this chest cold. It is enough to even want to go to work.

11 comments:

Teresa said...

What a gorgeous view! You certainly live in a beautiful place.

Enjoyed your early morning ruminations.

Have a good weekend.... we're off to the dance! (hubby's band playing this weekend)

CountryDreaming said...

The best part about your home-based natural wilderness getaway and winter bird paradise is that you don't have to drive to it. Despite the neighbors cutting back on beaver and deer sightings, you still have quite a bit to be thankful for right outside your window!

CountryDreaming said...

* "Deer" should be "moose" ... As far as that goes, we have deer for the seeing right here in the suburbs of Cleveland. And the best was when a whole family of deer stopped at the Deer Crossing sign and crossed with the light when they had the legal right of way! (That was in a suburb near Buffalo, NY.)

debwardart said...

What a description of your place!! How do you ever get any painting done??? We have deer (no moose); had beavers on the lake for a couple of years (no more willows or other scrub trees now!) but then they disappeared (and I have some suspicions about the neighbors!); plenty of coyotes (down 2 cats and one dog for that reason); sightings of fox and bobcat and - hold onto your hat - cougar (back in the early '80's before the houses began outnumbering farms). Have seen many different birds on the lake - most exceptional were a loon (following some severe storms) that stayed 2 days and some snowy egrets for one day several years ago. I have read where birds can be blown off course by storms so that would account for that. We also think we saw an eagle once, but from some distance. It could have been since there is a bird conservation wetland close by.
And, now I'm hungry again just thinking about your cookies!

Gary Keimig said...

Thanks for the comments girls. Was just exercising my writing finger a bit and it was so pretty out with that snow this morning I thought I could write it up faster than paint it. I've got a few loyal bloggers who are wanting me to do some snow scenes. Have been wanting to do so myself so will attend to that for a while. That last painting was a little intense and gets tedious. My oils for some reason don't feel that way.
We too have quite a number of other critters about. Coyotes, Bobcats and Cougars are around at all times and surprisingly only one Black bear in 30 years though the neighbors down the road had a grizzly coming by the dog food offering till they trapped him and sent him off womewhere else to live. I have a Bald Eagle that comes by twice a day amost like clockwork. The 2 Great Horned Owls that feast off my welfare cottontails and it is fun watching the Osprey fishing for trout on the mentioned pool of water. Have not seen by sign or vision any wolves though a persons dog was killed by them last winter just up the road about a mile away.

Dors said...

What a beautiful view Gary. so pretty. The lovely carriage and the river running behind. I would love to wake up to a scene like that.
Well maybe not the cold. Brrrrr.
Glad you shared this with us during your soft time... Dunkin Ginger cookies... YUMMY.

I love the wildlife, listening to birds singing. sounds like lots drawing material.
I hope your feeling better now from your flu. Stay cosy and warm.
Hope your foot is still improving.

Looking forward to your next painting.

LES LEFEVRE said...

You paint a beautiful picture with your words. Your place is every bit as beautiful as you describe. Wish we were there.

Gary Keimig said...

you may notice the chicken wire around some trees. My friendly Deer love the Pine buds in the winter and I put that up to keep them off two Pine Trees that are there. Lovw to have critters stop by but I do have to protedt a few things. Most things they can have. I used to have tulips but for only one year. They loved them. Only town in America where tulips don't bloom until about July 1.

Peter Brown said...

Sounds like an idyllic setting Gary as your paintings and Outdoor Adventures blog amply demonstrate. I'm stuck in the city with nothing more inspiring than the fences around our house to look at. Needless to say, I'm deeply envious!

rahina q.h. said...

delightful to read Gary, ... and soft times are wonderful to absorb and reflect on life.

AutumnLeaves said...

Such glorious and serene musings; a beautiful backdrop to begin your day, Gary. I'd love to live where you live. Then again, I also love where I live. I love being so close to nature (art at its finest)!