Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow-Sparkled Sunday Morning

The coldest night of our winter thus far ended in a morning of sparkling frost and bright sunshine.We were  snug under a pile of quilts and cats, but I could tell that the house had gotten chilly.
I heaved the cats aside, found my slippers and tip-toed out of the bedroom to tend the fires.
Drawing back the curtains I marveled at the glitter of sun on snow.
The thermometer in the carport read about 10 degrees F.
[It is old and positioned high on the wall, so I guess at which tiny mark the needle is indicating.]
As I dished out kibble and poured warmed milk for the barn kittens, the first of several Amish buggies clopped by, the hoofbeats ringing loudly in the cold air.
The weather wasn't hindering our neighbors from Sunday Meeting.

Back in the house I pulled on my heavy insulated bibs, boots, wound my head in a thick scarf and went back outside with my camera.
The gum balls from the sweet gum tree lay on the driveway looking as though they had been rolled in glitter.

This late bud on the yellow Simplicity rose never opened.
Cased in ice it has a cold jewel-like beauty.

Purple sage nestled in a pocket of snow.

Another rose bush with stems of Russian Sage behind.
The sun's warmth hasn't touched here and every stalk and twig is cased in shimmering frost.

This stand of yarrow has retained its rosey color, here fringed with frost feathers.

Willis the Kitten is most helpful.  He plunged into the southernwood wanting his picture taken.

Nandina.  The frost is like a delicate etching.

Snow caught above the nandina berries.

Dogwood, the trunk casting a blue shadow.

Closed for the season.
I tramped in and out of the house; changed the batteries in the camera, warmed my chilled hands on a mug of coffee.  I trekked to the barn to visit Pebbles, kittens bustling around my feet.
J. emerged after an uneasy night of coughing, added more wood to the fires.  The temperature crept upwards, indoors and out, ever so slowly.

Willis is not always nice to "the girls" who, after all, were here first.
He delights in chasing and tormenting them.
Here he has bowled Sadie over, but you can see that he is paying for his arrogance with a good buffeting.

Sally trudged delicately through the snow, while I explored the dooryard.
Our shadows were monstrous.

A stitchery of bird's tracks under the feeder.

Ornamental grass strung with crystals.

Finally realizing that Sadie and Sally don't wish to play with him, Willis turns to another favorite recreation---trying to clamber up to the bird feeder. He scrambles, turns upside down, falls out of the bush.  The birds seem to taunt him.  Thus far, no casualties.

After a few tumbles from the bush, Willis decides to peer at the indoor cats.

I caught sight of Teasel stomping about on the bed as I clumped past the bedroom door in my boots
and layers of bulky clothing.
Teasel is pretending she has no idea who I am and that I might be dangerous.

Mima is standing guard at the sliding door, ready to sing out if Willis dares to look at her.

Willis, who has been hissed at from within, saunters back to eye the birds, very much the young [neutered] gentleman cat about town.

To drive the cold winter away, we have been enjoying comfort food.
J. and I vied for the kitchen space on Friday.
I had a hearty soup going--hamburger/macaroni/tomato.
[Hamburger raised and processed in Wyoming, tomatoes raised and processed in Kentucky.]
J.'s production was more sensational: home made vanilla ice cream, hand-cranked in a vintage ice cream maker given to us years ago by our son.
I was requested to turn frozen raspberries into a sauce.

And finally, late this afternoon I remembered we were out of bread.
Now the house is filled with the scent of these loaves just out of the oven.
With wood stacked handy to the fires, good food ready for us and our pets, we are well provided for the current "cold spell."


  1. Well that sounds like a good and worthwhile day for all concerned. I'm getting really antsy for a cat. Don't know how much longer I can last. It's worse when Barry is away. The house is so empty1

  2. You certainly have all the ingredients to withstand this long cold winter - quilts, cats, cozy home and lots of good eating!

    In spite of the cold, we should concentrate on enjoying our little hibernations, because soon enough we will be all caught up in the fever of spring garden time, when there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done! Now is our brief season of rest and dreaming over the seed catalogs...

  3. Right, that's it. Bags are packed and I'm coming round for dinner!!!

    Great bread (I haven't made any all over Christmas) - and the ice cream and raspberries - oh my!

    LOVELY photos and great to catch up on your day.

  4. I want that pudding, it goes with my new bedroom LOL
    Love the photos, especially the cats fighting in the snow!

  5. You're much hardier than I am, when it's that cold I stay in. Most of the snow is north of us, but they say we're in for freezing rain. Loved your cats rolling in the snow.

  6. A post of almost blissful rural images. Some great photos MM. You have a good eye. willis is a fabby cat, full of character and mishief and so overconfident of his place in the world. He could only be a boy really....

    Stay warm. Enjoy the treats.


  7. Wow ...wish I could sample that ice cream and smell the bread.

    Do you think Willis's fights could be flirting???? this happened with two of ours ...thought they hated each other and 3 kittens resulted.

  8. Oh, I so enjoyed that day...from the ten degrees in the morning until the warm loaves fresh out of the oven! The homemade ice cream and raspberry sauce sounds fabulous! I'd say you two are faring just fine....