Monday, April 16, 2012

Blackbirds in the Snow



After several weeks of spring yard work and cleaning out the gardens to reveal the tiny shoots of greenery just peeking through the damp earth, I woke up to several inches of snow this morning. I knew it was coming, had read the news the evening before, and when I finally went to bed shortly before midnight the snow was already starting to come down. I have to say, I not only don't mind, but I'm feeling quite peaceful about it. There's something very calming about a late snow, as though the momentum we had been riding requires a hiatus, a breather, a reminder to Be Here Now,* to be a part of the great I Am.

"Manna"

Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,
a world becoming white, no more sounds,
no longer possible to find the heart of the day,
the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all
I wanted in life -- so be it -- whatever it is
that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever
blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am
grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,
palms up, I know it is impossible to hold
for long what we love of the world, but look
at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,
see how the snow drifts down, look how happy
I am.

~ Joseph Stroud






*Be Here Now, by Ram Dass.

Joseph Stroud is an American poet born in 1943.

55 comments:

  1. Beautiful...love the last photo. I actually love winter and the winter snows for just the reasons you describe so eloquently. We rather missed out on our winter here in Illinois this year. I feel cheated...and concerned that something is just not right.

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    1. Thanks, Karena. These photos are through the window this morning, but I love this snow. It's actually the prettiest snow of the season.

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  2. Ah, yes, a fourteenth way of looking at a blackbird.

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  3. Snow will provide water for your garden and all the new seedlings will feel snug and safe under a light blanket at this time of year. We had our little day's worth too and, like you say, it stopped me in my gardening tracks and gave me a breather.

    That is a wonderful poem; when everything stops and we are thrown back into our own world it is possible to take stock and be grateful for just being here and now.

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    1. I do like your image of the seedlings feeling safe and snug under the snow, soaking up the moisture. I'm so glad you like the poem. Sometimes snow gives us permission to relax into life again. Thank you so much for your comments, Friko.

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  4. I love snow. Hope, someday, to trade places with a household for the winter.

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    1. I have grown to appreciate more the time of snow, a quiet time with an opportunity to Be. Thanks, Linda.

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  5. Apparently it missed us up here. :( I actually would have liked to see the brief visit, since we had so little snow al winter. I love that poem!! And your blackbird in the snow-covered branches could only have been better if it had been a crow. ;) I am partial to crows--LOL! Enjoy that white blanket while it lasts! :):)

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    1. I'm partial to crows, as well, but the red-winged blackbirds are here in abundance and the crows tend to stay a bit further away, having only visited the feeder once, to my knowledge. This little guy wouldn't show his red and yellow feathers while sitting there, perhaps a bit cold for showing off.

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  6. I think that might be a Starling. They don't have any instinct to fly south over the winter (just like the English Sparrows) because they were imported from England.

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    1. Starlings are here, also, but have quite a bit longer beaks and are very shiny, verging on purple coloration this time of year, with lighter flecks of color other times of year. When I enlarge this photo, I can see the tips of the white/yellow feathers underneath, just hiding the red. There were many out there this morning, I watched them come and go for quite awhile, took many photos, but I chose this one to share.

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  7. Beautiful pictures, and what seems to be from a long time ago. We have been having sun and rain, all the makings of springtime, with no snow for awhile now. I love your fine pictures.

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    1. It was nice to wake up surrounded by such peacefulness, but the sun came out this afternoon, so it is melting quickly and the greenery is showing through again.

      Thank you, DJan.

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  8. Hello Teresa:
    What a surprise. But, as you say, the snow does bring with it a great sense of peace and calm and it is, of course, as your images show, so very beautiful.

    However, coming this late in the season, and unexpectedly, must have caught many people unaware.

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    1. In Minnesota, it's not unusual to have a late snow. Almost every year we think we're done with it before we are. It really is very beautiful.

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  9. An interesting poem. I like snow but prefer it at the beginning of the winter, when I can mentally adjust myself to a long period of quietness and nothing happening. Right now, I am mentally skipping about with the spring lambs! :)

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    1. We had very little snow throughout the winter so this was actually welcome moisture and the prettiest snow all season. It's going rapidly, though, and we'll be back to spring as usual, as usual as it ever gets.

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  10. GAAAAK! I feel your pain Teresa! When will this weather smarten up? Snow, tornados, too hot, too cold. Nobody seems to be happy with their weather. sigh... well it's all so depressing. ;)

    Keep warm Teresa!
    xo Catherine

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    1. I found it very peaceful and rather a nice respite. The sun is shining and it's going fast - back to yard work.

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  11. Just reading this made be breathe deeply! Thanks! Spring is on its way, indeed.

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    1. I'm learning to stay with the flow , no resistance to what is and it serves me very well.

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  13. Ordinarily, I am not a fan of the snow, unless everyone I love is tucked in tightly. While you had snow, we had 90 degrees in Jersey, in April! There were kiddles playing in sprinklers, air conditioners blasting.

    I loved the poem, the photos, the sense of quiet this post offered. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Your scenario offers quite a difference! I'm grateful for this late snow, as we had little this winter and I do love the days of quiet, with no sense of having to do anything but quiet activities. Enjoy those temps and sun. It sounds very nice. :)

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  14. A lot of nice weather here, some years I miss that snow after it is gone.Very nice read

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    1. Thanks, Steve. Nice to hear from you. I see tornadoes were visiting where you are. I trust this weather will straighten itself out and keep everyone safe.

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  15. Your calmness always calms me as well - sort of like I get to highjack your sense of peace for a spell.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you don't mind my blatant thievery.

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    1. I think I can handle it, because I know how you mean it. I'm glad I can be of assistance. :)

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  16. Lots of snow! We had late snow here, too, but it's gone now.

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    1. It's almost entirely gone this afternoon. Lovely while it lasted, but onward into the green!

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  17. Teresa. I walked in my winter coat last Friday, and went to the beach on Sunday. Weirder and weirder!

    Your photos are so pretty that I am already missing snow. I will bet you are back to green again, right?

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    1. Hi Sandy, It is back to green already. It was beautiful while it lasted. I am ready for summer to show up, though. From winter coats to a walk on the beach is quite a change. I spent a few weeks at OOB two springs ago. I wonder if you are near there?

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  18. It was brief, wasn't it? Which makes it "welcome".

    SO much greener today, possibly BECAUSE of the snow...

    Pearl

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    1. Hi Pearl, Perhaps knowing it would be brief made it so much sweeter. Yep, back to green and greener.

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  19. I like snow storms and rain storms with a cozy house as frosting. Nice post. -- barbara

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. That cozy feeling is nice.

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  20. I love those late spring snows too, the warm and wet ones that are really so good for the land.

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    1. They're the perfect reminder to just Breathe! And it's so green now.

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  21. We woke up to snow, too, of course. I'd have been happy to hunker down and bake something or sit with a book, but we were leaving for Kansas that morning. By the time we got to the Cities, there wasn't a flake in sight. That poem is so good! You do know your poetry, Teresa!

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    1. The best part is knowing you don't have to drive anywhere, but I'm glad it worked out well for you and your travels.

      Thanks, Cheryl.

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  22. A wonderful post and poem, Teresa (and picture). I enjoy those late snows that come in spring, remind us not to hurry into the season but enjoy what is in the now.

    It is so green here now with perennials blooming out of sync and a good part of the apple crops doomed with early blooms bitten by frost. I am enjoying the blooms on the tree peonles, though.

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    1. Thank you, Penny. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Going with the flow is so nice, peaceful and gratifying on so many levels.

      I'm hoping the apple trees will not be harmed. Last spring was so beautiful and I'm looking forward to all those blossoms. My peonies are just pushing through the dirt.

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  23. I love that feeling you described Teresa, that peaceful, quiet, calmness that sometimes descends with late snow. Somehow it does feel 'manna-like', soft and fluffy. Although possibly some of that accepting and welcoming that we feel of it, might also be because we just know that beneath it are those peony shoots waiting in the wings and summer is just over the horizon do you think?
    I loved the poem, you always choose great poetry, I love it!

    Much hugs to you, Jane x

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    1. Hi Jane, That promise of peonies might well have something to do with it. I do love a soft quiet snow, though. It felt like manna from heaven to feed my spirit.

      Thank you, and Hugs to you, as well.

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  24. Beautiful photos. Your camera loves you. When I was a kid we used to walk a few miles to a small lake to fish. We would see hundreds of red-wing blackbirds there, but I never saw them around my house. I think they like water and marshlands.

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    1. Thanks, Steven. Yes, they do like the marshlands. I have such an area next to the river about half a mile down the road and across from it an old gravel pit where a marsh has developed. I often see many there. My feeder continues to be a go-to place for them and I'm glad. I love looking out the window and seeing them, with many waiting in the crab apple trees for their turn.

      It's always nice to hear from you.

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  25. Yes, those are wonderfully peaceful images. I too like late snow but sometimes think it is spoilt by the lack of surprise we now have because of the increasing sophistication of weather forecasting.

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    1. Good point, Alan (I typed 'pint' and almost kept it). It seems so many of our previous surprises are now thoroughly forecast. Surprises can be very nice.

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  26. Stunning photos, Teresa. I would like to borrow these. I have several micropoem type things they would match. I am awaiting a book of a few I'm having published at Blurb. (cool software even I can use)Also, love your embrace of the unexpected. Difficult lesson to learn for sure...

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  27. Of course, snowfall in April should be normal, but in years such as this last one it is easy to get caught up in the illusion of "early spring". I'm overjoyed when mother nature sends us a curve ball. It is nice to know that she is still in charge!

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    1. Yes, you would think we would come to expect it and even look forward to it, and I do. But it was a real change from the previous weeks. Curve balls also keep us on our toes! :) Thanks, Bill.

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