December 27, 2008

A marvelous creation.

Posted in blogging, photography tagged , , , , , , at 8:05 pm by czygyny

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I make it no secret that I love mud puddles.  My first encounter with a mud puddle as a toddler was a vain attempt to bring the frozen icy tops deftly removed from the puddles outside, inside the house and keep them for later fun. I carefully wrapped them in a blanket and placed them under my little bed. But, alas to my grief they melted into a sad puddle that oozed out onto the hardwood floor. My three year old brain couldn’t understand that ice melts. 

I still can find lots of interest in a good puddle;  watching the moon reflect off its mirror surface  in the evenings, watching the swirls of milk chocolate mud swirl and mix with the clear water like a miniature weather front when a dog paw stirs the waters, watch the tiny daphnia spin and dance in the clear water of some special puddles–a whole microcosm in a pool, or tickle your eyes with the geometric shapes and curls of consolidated, dried mud.

Most of all, the greatest fun in a mud puddle comes after a night of icy transfomation. Whether it is a solid sheet with little bubbles frozen in the middle and a leaf stuck tight, or like this tiny puddle— crazy, beautiful, creative shapes and textures, all contained in no more than a few inches of crystalline H2O.  

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Above is a star burst of icy beauty. Our temperature dropped to a chilly 23° that night!

Look at the close up, below, of the thin ice formations I believe area called ‘dendrites’. They were no more than about 1/2 inch long!

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This puddle was no more than seven inches across, and the icy display melted as the morning sun topped the trees. Today, they are all dry.

What fleeting beauty, what a marvelous creation—water. 

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January 13, 2008

The Day After…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:02 am by czygyny

Saturday has become something of a conundrum for me. I have been trying to keep this day a day of rest for about a year. Its a toughy, I am a little busy bee, cleaning, planting, drawing, mowing, going into town with kids…I struggle against the bliss of doing nothing. Indeed, it seems more strenuous for me to NOT do something, than it is to take it easy. I feel it is important to obey that command to rest, though, and I think that it will help in this stage where the rest of the week is fraught with frustration and busy-work.

Today was an overcast, cold, still day. A refreshing rain came through during the dark hours of night, and left the morning rainwashed and cold. What a treat to be outside, listening to the myriads of robins singing and jostling in our huge white oaks! It seems that the number of these birds has dropped dramatically in the last 20 years or so, but you wouldn’t know it by what I witnessed today. Even a small flock of bluebirds came overhead, singing their soft ‘chew chew’ flight song to each other. A hawk tried its best to catch unwary birds in our pasture, but flew off in frustration when everyone foiled its attempts at lunch.

The mountains were especially beautiful. Bear Mountain was upstaged by the taller Horse Mountain behind it, its peak being still laced with cold snow that has fallen in wonderful drifts on our mountain ranges, recently. The clouds parted to show a shy sun now and again. And, we had a brief, but lovely sunset with a line of wispy purple cirrus to the west. I actually got to see stars tonight! My pal, the crescent moon, was low in the sky. I had lost track of its phases with all of our stormy weather. Mars is still bullying the sky with its baleful red glare. Comet Holmes is barely to be seen.

For you folks who rarely get out to see the night sky, we’ve had a cosmic visitor for many months, the enigmatic comet 17P/Homes that decided to do the astonishing, and to project a great sphere of glow around itself that became many times larger than the diameter of our sun! It was said to do this also back in the 1800s, but, to think that its appearance has grown to such unexplainable size, is amazing. Still, it lacked the flamboyancy of Comet McNaught in the Southern Hemisphere, looking so much like a cosmic ‘dust bunny’ amongst the stars of Perseus. Now it is only visible with binoculars.

My whole day was a nice, quiet, peaceful day. A bit of excitement when the power went out for a few hours, but it was a good time to look at my sleeping gardens, tidy the rock garden a bit, and start putting away the storm tossed stuff that still litters the grounds.

It is amazing how distant a troublesome time can become with just one day away and lived in 5 acres of paradise. A starkly beautiful day, bare branches, new green grass, the whine of chainsaws and dirt bikes in the distance, wood smoke curling around the yards, a bite to the air, the anticipation of new lambs coming any day now, squishy brown mud.

I had time to think about new directions, new adventures. I had time to put an order to things I need to achieve. I have many new things to learn, and I have to learn to trust the One in whom all trust is safely invested.

It was perfect.

Tomorrow will be a busy do-as-much-as-you-can-till-you-drop day.

Today? Today was a good day of rest.