Intricate brush strokes

It was one of the coldest days we’ve had in a while but the laundry in the sauna was scheduled for the wash so I bundled up to head out and retrieve it. Am I ever glad I did! As I stepped up on the sauna porch, I noticed the front door window was a laced with significant amount of frost. Immediately, I grabbed my iPhone (of course I had it with me even though the sauna is only a dozen steps from our back door).

And of course, I grabbed the laundry and exchanged it for my DSLR , tripod and another layer of warm clothes.

A dime pressed against the glass gives scale to the delicate lines.

By setting a folding screen with black cloth behind the door and holding another up directly behind the camera, I was able to minimize any distractions in the glass for a crystal clear shot.

The tiny details fill me wonder, gratitude and reverence.

Angel, bell or bauble

On a recent walk along the creek, a particularly bright sunshine sparkle caught my eye from under some overhanging evergreen branches. From above on the river bank, the icy shape looked like a crystal angel suspended over the flowing water; on closer inspection, perhaps more like a bell.

Snow-laden boughs tossed about by wintry winds dip and sway sometimes breaking the surface of the water. Each bounce brings a thin layer of the dark liquid which freezes almost immediately wrapping a transparent skin on what it touched. Gradually, crystal clear baubles are built up on twigs and branches.

The clarity in the ice is remarkable. What do you see?

Did you notice in the two baubles on the left the background appears upside down and in the two on the right it is right side up!

Whether it’s the sound of angels or bells this Christmas, may you hear the Good News of the promised Messiah and receive His gifts of love, joy and peace.

The swimming hole

A walk along the river through our property is a pretty regular event. Mac, our silver lab, is usually ahead of us and often spooks up any fowl are in the river. This particular morning something startled him! There were three river otters swimming in one of the open sections of ice where the water is deeper. He wasn’t sure what to make of these buy little swimmers and wasn’t sure who was more curious of the other.

Be sure to zoom in or go full screen to watch the movement of the otters through the water. With volume max you’ll hear the sounds they made.

What are you doing in my swimming hole?!
River otter in icy water
Where are you going?

These guys just crack me up!

Trio of river otters

They are actually standing on a very thin piece of ice.

Trio of river otters in icy river

The longer they are out of the water, the fluffier they get. They dry very quickly! Who do you think has been out of the water the longest? Who was out last?

I sure hope I’ll get to watch them play again.

On silken pond

While chasing this sweet family of mallards for a crisp shot, I snapped as they glided through a silky surface of reflected foliage. Their wake created a mesmerizing abstract of greens and yellows.

 

Double take

On a recent walk down our driveway, a bit of white on the dark ground of grass and dead leaves caught my eye.  At first I thought it might be a feather but under closer examination I found it was a 4 inch/10 cm seed pod that had split open revealing the seeds still neatly packed. The slightest breeze would lift them up, up and away! I was mesmerized by the beauty of the intricate layers unfolding.

Note the gentle curves on the left end (dark drown exterior/white interior of seed pod) and the light brown spiral on the right that would have been a long edge of the pod.

Beauty in the details.

Flashy Feathers

Having observed a male ruffed grouse drum off and on for the past week or so (see previous post), I was surprised when, this particular day, he changed his resting posture from the usual. He stood taller and extended his tail feathers straight back then began to fan them out.

Apparently he had spotted a hen who answered his invite to rendezvous.
I could hardly believe this was literally unfolding right in front of me and into my camera! Admittedly, seeing this face looking straight at me freaked me out a little! My heart was already pounding at an increased rate.


Look at this gentlemanly bow!

While I focused my attention for a moment on setting the camera to video, he disappeared off the far side of the roof. When I found him again, he was on his merry way to meet his mate.

I was able to watch, but not capture the pair as they waddled away into the safety and privacy of the underbrush.

What a treat to witness the courtship!