Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Day!

Even a dusting of the white stuff is magical when you're not used to seeing it...

Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old,
Their beards of icicles and snow...
~Charles duc d’OrlĂ©ans, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The last one is from the next day. 
Since temperatures didn't get above freezing for a couple of days, the "snow" lingered in some spots.

By the third day it was gone...just a memory as we shed jackets and enjoyed 70 degree temps.

Texas, have I told you lately that I love you?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Motley Mallards

We've had a motley crew of Mallards hanging around the Hollow for the past few weeks. 

There's a definite couple 
- Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, we'll call them - 
and then a large group that's sometimes with the couple and sometimes off on a separate pond. 
Could it be a family reunion?

These are the Mallards who attracted Mr. Coyote earlier this week. That day (when they were almost eaten) they just put up a little fuss. 

But the instant I lift my lens in their direction for a photo, off they go. 
Good grief! 
It's exasperating!

I've managed to sneak a few shots before they fly, though, and here they are...

They spotted me!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cedar Fever! (But I still love you, Austin!)

My eyes itched. 
My nose ran. 
If I'd had a sheet of sandpaper, I would have reached it down my throat and 
scratched, scratched, scratched. 

Yet there I stood yesterday morning, 
frozen with fascination, 
as one tree after another in the Hollow before me exploded, 
sending smoke billowing from the treetops, 
adding to the haze already veiling the ones in the distance.

Like one of those weathermen I chide for reporting from the middle of a hurricane, 
I stood surrounded by junipers loaded down with tiny yellow bombs which could detonate with the slightest gust of wind, 
but I couldn't resist snapping just one more photo, 
hoping to catch that first second of explosion.

a close-up of the arsenol

On the plus side, my mom is here visiting (I'm keeping her in the house!),
I saw George Strait in person Friday night for the very first time, 
and I reunited with some of my former co-workers /current friends from those DuPont days of my youth in Houston on Tuesday.

I  hope you have a great, allergy-free Sunday!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Feeling Reflective

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"
  ~Winnie the Pooh

I guess it's only natural to become reflective at this time of year. 
Before the old year can pack its bags and hit the road, 
I usually start wondering about the next one 
and what surprises it will bring.

"All sorts of reflections of this nature passed through my mind—for as I grow older I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me..." 
~H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines

"A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.  There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor."  
~Victor Hugo

"I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the 'monkey mind' -- the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl." 
— Elizabeth Gilbert

I've been reflecting upon the fact that, 
while 2013 brought us some heartbreaking surprises, 
it also brought rains that filled our pond and the others in the Hollow 
higher than they've been in awhile, 
so I've decided to not hold any grudges.

I'm wishing all of you a happy 2014...or at least an end to any droughts you might be experiencing!