Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Encouragement of a Sunny January Day

It hasn't been especially cold this week--certainly not as compared to a proper winter in New England or in Wyoming.  It has been cloudy, with drizzles of rain, a night of soggy snowfall, patches of squelchy mud on the track that leads to the barns.
When I finished clearing away after lunch [chicken salad on home made wheat bread, home-canned stewed tomatoes] I made a mug of green tea and headed outdoors.
With Willis the Kitten supervising I dragged a rocking chair around to the west-facing end of the car port.
J. wandered out, fetched a shovel from the shop and sauntered up to the garden.
Willis decided that J.'s errand might be more interesting than lolling under the rocker, so he hastened to help.

Here is what J. disinterred from the good Kentucky soil.
Several large carrots. A hill of potatoes. He scrubbed them under the outside faucet
 and presented them, photo ready.
Sally the Kitten sniffs to see if she might fancy carrots or potatoes.
[She didn't.]
Pebbles, so J. informed me, understood immediately what he was about in the garden.
She came to the fence, begged for, and was given a large carrot.

Tea finished, I investigated the small planted area beneath the sweet gum tree.
Several clumps of daffodils have thrust through dry leaves.

A fan of emerging iris leaves with a sweet gum ball alongside.

It was too pleasant to go indoors, so I tucked the camera in the pocket of my down vest and embarked on a walk-about.
J.'s hay rake sits in the field to the north of the house.
The photo was taken on the "landscape" setting with neighbor D. H.'s place
and the road up Payne Janes hill in the background.

A walk past the side gardens and onto a rise by the south boundary fence gave me a different perspective on the Big Creek Valley.  My camera has a large view finder which throws an irritating amount of reflection when I attempt to focus.
This shot, using both the landscape and zoom features was a lucky one.
The dark triangle in the center of the photo is an abandoned house covered in Virginia creeper.

Cloudy days have been ideal for local tobacco growers to work with the leaves which were harvested in the autumn. The piled stalks are trundled past our house on a small trailer.  Later the stripped canes are brought back and heaped in the pasture near the neighbor's tobacco barn.

This small old barn at the corner of D.H.'s property was nearly invisible during the summer months.
It is snugged up against a ledge.
After years of living where most power lines have been installed underground it is odd to have them strung across every view.

When I returned my rocking chair to the front porch I met a "wooly bear."
One rode into the house this week on a chunk of the elm firewood.
It soon began to stretch and move in the warmth and was discovered by Chester the not-too-bright cat.
He prodded at it, drawing the attention of several other felines.
J. escorted the wooly back outside.
Sunset framed by a dark sketch of branches.

Looking east down the drive to the road and into the warm reflection of the setting sun.
We will undoubtedly have cold nights and some blustery days before the daffodils bloom, but a day such as this one at the end of January lifts the spirits.


  1. Oh, this post makes me miss Kentucky. I enjoyed our time there and it sounds like you do too. With the homegrown potatoes and carrots there, you've got a large part of a homemade stew or soup ready!

  2. Sunshine does indeed lift the spirits even when the temperatures are low. It's a long time since I've seen a brown woolly caterpillar, used to see them quite often whenI was a youngster. Different area though so maybe their food plants don't grow around here.

  3. What a beautiful area you live in. So peaceful, and just plain old wonderful.

    Have a great Sunday ~ FlowerLady

  4. That was a lovely walk through your part of the world - thoroughly enjoyed it....

  5. Love your photos of your wonderful home. So very magical and peaceful.
    Kitties look happy to escort you around. They find simple things to keep them occupied, at my house it doesn't take much. The wooly bear would disappear somewhere and then emerge probably in the bedroom on my bed.
    Have a great rest of the weekend, and a new week.

  6. Looks like you had a lovely day, it feels so good to get outside. We take our cat out but only on a leash, our last cat was mauled by dogs coming into the yard, so this one is very much babied.

  7. We had a very similar day, weather-wise.
    I do love the roof shape of the old tobacco barns. I can imagine how pungent the barns must smell if you walk inside.

  8. I think it will be a while before we see the daffodils pushing through was so cold today ...and I forgot my gloves so I had to pop into a cafe to warm up ...oh that coffee and cookie was so yummy lol.