Saturday, November 21, 2009

A "Blusterous" Day

Standing at the dining room window after lunch, I watched dry leaves scamper before the wind, heard its' fretful voice wuthering through the bare branches of the cottonwoods. A raven labored into view, wheeled and hung, wings flapping, as it attempted to bear south west into the gale. I watched it turn eastward making a wide circle before it tried again to face the wind. Giving up, it wobbled to a high branch over the farther-most loop of irrigation ditch.  As I stood there, a second raven lurched into the airspace, taking the exact route its mate had just abandoned. 
Intrigued, I decided I needed to experience this wind first hand.  I detest being cold and was already wearing flannel-lined jeans and two pullovers. I layered on a disreputable paint-stained vest [first owned by my son when he was sixteen] a fleece jacket and finished off the ensemble with another over-sized vest of waddy flannel. Lace up winter boots, camera in hand and I was out. 
Daughter's beloved and incorrigable cat, T-Baby, was loitering around the old Dodge truck parked across the track near the cat tails. He greeted me casually, rolled about my feet, swatted at the camera strap and at my wind-frazzled hair when I bent to take his picture.  When I finally succeeded in capturing his hairy face, the camera blinked and flashed a "replace low batteries" signal. 
None of the batteries in the kitchen drawer responded with any vestige of life, so I plugged them into the charger and started out again with the older camera.

I crashed about in the cat tails--snakeless, I can assume, after weeks of cold weather. Many of the stalks are broken, fluff blowing on the wind, fronds that were green a short time ago, trail, limp and browned.

Here, early in the summer, cat tails and grass stood so high that the doe hid her fawn there. Walking then through the thick green growth, I literally tripped over the tiny dappled creature. I wonder where they are now.

Cattail, up close and fluffy.

Pale dry grass flattens in the wind--which was biting meanly through all my layers of clothing.

These delicate nests still swing in the thin drooping branches of the cottonwood. As I watched them sway in the wind I was reminded of J.'s oft repeated comment that it isn't exactly "bright" to stand under these trees in a gale!

Standing on the far ditch bank looking toward South Pass.

Facing eastward up an incline from the ditch.

Leaves caught in a tangle of greasewood.

Pebbles the Horse trumpeted at me as I walked around the garage.  I walked down to the pasture fence, told her she was a greedy old thing, and put a pad of hay in her feed bin. Turning back, I saw this bird's feather caught in the dead grass.

One of the weathered planks which crosses the now dry irrigation ditch.

I wonder how long this hoop of wire has hung here.

The pond from below the berm.

Chester waits on the entry windowsill---the cats are very conscientious "greeters."  They let me know it was time for their "tea" when I came in.  It was a bit early, but its the weekend--and I was ready for tea as well.

I fed the cats and put the kettle on for my own tea. While it boiled, I stepped onto the front porch. Oddly, it wasn't as dark as it looks in this photo.


  1. I must walk around the immediate area of our house and take some photos for you. We are greener here (due to the rain!) but very grey and wintry now. Love Tar-Baby!

  2. I love photos from other folk's every day habitat, will look forward to yours. Tar-Baby is a naughty cat, but G. adores him. He is determined to saunter across the main highway, walk on the barely frozen pond---he lives very dangerously.

  3. These pictures left me gasping, at the feeling of cold you so well-described through all that clothing you had to wear - how could you move let alone take such magical pictures? I guess it must be the wind as I couldn't detect frost or snow. Wind is howling here right now, we are in for a blow with 70 mile gusts of wind. Time I too took pics around our house, but it hasn't stopped raining for days.

  4. I love the soft, neutral colours of nature at this time of the year, there is something very peaceful about the countryside in spite of the wind and rain and cold. All the trees and plants are resting and it gives an air of tranquility to the world. Hopefully the doe and her fawn are tucked up somewhere sheltered in the woods close to a good food supply.

  5. Love the pictures in words and pixels of your environs...i'm not sure i'm tough enough to be able to deal with such cold so early or the harsh wind. T-Baby is one handsome manimal!...and his risk-taking would cause me endless anxiety as well as rueful admiration (sort of like some of the men i dated in my 20s...).