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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I have always had a fondness for survivors, those beings that manage somehow to keep going under less-than-favorable conditions or for really long periods of time. Given the fascination so many people have with ancient plants like dawn redwood and gingko, I suspect that I am not alone. Followers of this blog may remember my fondness for Stumpy the semi-tailless squirrel (alas, missing for more than a year now and presumed dead)--and of course, for all the weedy plants about which I have waxed rhapsodic at various times.

Yesterday's snowfall brought another new survivor to the yard. Watching all the action at the backyard feeders (here's a sample),

 I noticed an unusual bird, a female cardinal missing the crest characteristic of the species.

a female with her crest, visiting at the same time

Our crestless lady seemed perfectly healthy and frisky and was indeed one of our larger birds, so whatever predator or parasite caused the loss of her plumage evidently caused no serious damage. (I would like to know her story, though: did she barely escape one of the neighborhood hawks? Did Scooter the Maine Coon get too close? The bird wasn't telling.)

The snow also transformed the yard, giving new interest to the grass garden I loved so much in the late summer. Not all grasses, even of the same species, respond to snow in the same way. The little bluestem at center right refused to lean over, while a clump closer to the street separated into a vase shape that bowed to the ground, as did most of the shorter grasses. The white also gave some variation to what had become a (to my eyes) monotonous brown landscape (this winter thus far being short on sun).

 As wonderful as the lushness of summer is (and the older I get, the more issues I have with winter, which does not agree with my bones or my breathing), it is good to be reminded that every season brings something to learn and has its own beauty, if we can take the time to look.

1 comment:

David said...


Your picture made me think "the lushness of winter!"...seriously, talk about winter interest and providing a bounty (even in the winter). Thanks for reminding me of the beauty of winter--although, I'm definitely thinking spring now!