Storm Clouds Through The Window

6-5-2017

Evening, sun has set, fading light in the western sky overlooking the road framed by newly green trees. Standing at the kitchen sink gazing out the picture window, dark grey, heavy, ponderous clouds are accumulating far out over the horizon. The last of the sunlight shines defiantly blinding silver rays radiating from behind the storm front. The edge of the storm is roiling, undulating, angry promise of thunder and lightening to come. Here over the house all is calm in the darkening evening, save for a whisper of wind that soon will whip up into a fierce frenzy, and a faint hint of impending electricity in the air. Impressive summer thunderstorm is brewing!

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Driving Into The Storm

5-18-2017

I drove down the mountain this evening to see a friend. We hung out for a couple of hours knitting and talking while her youngest child tried very hard not to go to bed: “I need to use the bathroom, I need a glass of water, I need to tell you something, I need to say goodnight to the gold fish, I’m too hot and itchy to sleep” She got increasingly creative. The humidity had increased to uncomfortable as a storm was brewing. We had three wonderful warm sunny days to build energy that promised to make a wicked thunder storm. As I got ready to leave, thunder was rumbling in the distance and lightening flickering behind the trees, noise and light coming from the direction I would soon be traveling. The storm was over the mountains and quickly headed this way.

As my car finally attained the main road, the wind kicked up buffeting my vehicle, and spewing new green leaves, flower petals, and litter across my path. The first tiny preliminary rain drops fell, spattering on the pollen coated windshield. Lightening arched across the night sky, illuminating the landscape with strobing electric blue light, the mountain (my home) a dark silhouette on the horizon. The pursuing darkness was blinding. Another couple of miles down the road and the sky opened up dropping a deluge, slowing my progress, wind pushing the car around, so that I had to hold tightly to the wheel. Lightening everywhere so that the darkness was almost effervescent. The bolts streaked across the whole sky, too numerous to count, blanketing blue, purple, white, and pink through the roiling clouds. Searing thick pulsing electric bolts hit the earth, revealing black mountain tops solid against the shimmering boiling strobing purple night sky.

I actually got a little nervous at the ferocity of the chaos erupting around me because I knew that kitties at home don’t like thunderstorms and I wasn’t there to comfort them. I however, love the thrill of experiencing thunderstorms: seeing lightening dance in the sky and the pink sparks and flames shower upward where it hits the earth, hearing and feeling the tremendous thunder shock rattle through the house, smelling ozone in the air from all the electricity, the tingling sensation of electric air, the humming sound rocks make right before lightening strikes, the sudden chill of gusting wind before the hail starts, the immense power and surging energy unleashed, sudden, random, and violent. Then when the storm passes, the perfect peace and tranquil quiet that follows after mother nature has blown off all her steam.

This storm passes quickly, as most thunderstorms do in the mountains. Ten miles down the road, headed up, I drive out the other side. Rain fitfully sputtering, steam rising off the the wet pavement, giant frogs all over the road soaking up the heat. I try not to run over them. Back at home, the rain has washed the pollen away, refilled the rain bucket, cooled of the oppressive humidity, and given all the plants a drink. As I step out of the car, the stars are visible through the last high wispy trailing clouds. Inside, the cats greet me lovingly, and we all climb into bed.

Snowing Up

3-20-2017

Another whitish grey morning, overcast grey light illuminates an overcast grey landscape. Blustery, blistery wind throws biting stinging snow shards into my face and eyes as I carefully power walk for the car over the slippery, uneven frozen ground. Sitting in the driver’s seat, the heater blasting its first frigid air onto the windshield to defrost, the car is buffeted by ferocious gusts of wind. The sky itself seems mostly clear (it’s not actually snowing), but with an early glowing white color instead of blue; the sun is sleeping late today. Snow is swirling crazily, shifting one way, then another, then swooshing past in a furious gushing torrent. I start the drive to work. Passing an open field, I see the wind drunkenly running around tossing snow into the air ahead of itself. Snow devils, whirlwinds, mini tornadoes of snow spiraling up, long tangled tresses of streaming snow hair whip up from the field, diaphanous white sparkling veils of snow billow around up into the air, twirling gauzy snowy fabrics swishing in every direction at once. . Old man Winter’s gypsy daughter is dancing with abandon, throwing herself into the intense passion of the howling wind, embracing the chaos, deliriously loosing herself in the glorious glittering gale. “It’s snowing up!” I say out loud as the tremendous snow dance slams into my car, swerving me to the edge of the road and whiting out my vision. The mighty energy force of this tenacious dance is awe inspiring. I watch the wind and snow swing across the road and tumble up the hill disappearing between the dark trees. Wow!

This is what winter is supposed to look like!

Not surprisingly, I have managed to get woefully behind in writing the daily magic moment.  Such is life!  I will try to catch up again.

3-15-2017

Early morning, glowing yellow sun just above the horizon, obscured behind glowing silver grey clouds,. Driving slowly, the roads have been plowed, but are a frozen mess. The whole entire landscape has been turned into a winter wonderland, with sunshine trying to break through the snow flurries still swirling. There are piles of bright white snow along the road as tall as my car, undulating drifts in the fields, a frosty white coating on all the evergreen bows and all the bare branches of the leafless trees. Every building’s roof has a 3 foot thick layer of blue white snow settling in for a long slow melt. Cars are buried, large rounded lumps, some with windshield wipers sticking out like some sort of science fiction insect. People are shoveling out driveways, walkways, and front porch steps. A brisk gust of wind blows snow off the ground across the fields and road and quickly dissipates. I turn down the access road to the ski slope, and slow even more, I have my electronic gadget out taking quick pictures out the windshield of the winter magic happening around me. This is what winter is suppose to look like! We haven’t had this kind of big snow in several years!

Big Snow

3-14-2017

Biggest snowstorm of the year! Biggest snowstorm in several years! They are calling it a blizzard, but from here its just snow falling peacefully and piling up quickly, no crazy wind at all. I have a blazing fire in the wood stove and didn’t bother to get out of my pajamas until I decided to clear the driveway before the sun went down, not that the sun made an appearance today. I worked on relaxing, napping, reading, knitting, coloring, and snuggling with cats as the hours passed by. The snow worked on accumulating more than 3 feet high. I had to put snowshoes on to get to the basement when I wanted to feed the birds. When I did get around to snow blowing the driveway, it took my over 2 hours to clear enough of it for parking two cars. My husband is the snow blowing expert in this household, but he is in Brooklyn, so its up to me, and I have to go to work tomorrow, so the driveway must get cleared. It took 15 minutes and 2 phone calls to get the silly thing started…

For most of the day, it didn’t worry about it, just watched the natural snow globe phenomenon unfold out the window. The birds were crazy. I filled all the feeders in the front yard, and spread some birdseed on the porch for the birds who like eating off the ground. Any bird seed on the ground is covered in moments, so the porch offers a convenient alternative. The cats spend most of the day glued to the front picture window watching the show. Everybody who is anybody in the early spring bird world made an appearance, and having seed right under the picture window made the party a great one. I enjoyed standing with the cats watching our feathered friends feast on the cornucopia I have left for them. Tiny chick-a-dees and juncos, mid sized cardinal and doves, large blue jays and grackles. Many new comers too: chipping sparrows, house finches, and gold finches.

The little gold finches have not changed color yet so are still a drab olive green, with the hint of a glowing yellow just waiting to uncover itself. One female stayed on the porch long enough for me to closely examine her from 4 feet away. I had to stand perfectly still, they can see the movement beyond the window, it startles them into flight, but the seed drays them back. She was a dusty brown green color and so tiny she could have fit in the palm of my hand, even though she was fluffed up to stay warm. She hopped around in the slightly snow covered piles of seed, flinging them to and fro looking for the choice tastiest ones. Her feathers looked like velvet. I imagined her in my hand, her soft warm body quivering, heart beating furiously. I wondered how they stay warm at night when everything is so deeply buried with snow. This tiny gold finch flitting around on the porch in a snow storm is the epitome of life and death, spring trying to be reborn out of winter’s cold grip. Something so small and fragile yet has the tenacity to survive a nor’easter without even thinking about it. You Go Girl!

Togetherness

3-5-2017

My husband and I were doing regular normal things that people do at home after work. The sun was setting over the western ridge across the hollow just as it does every evening. I happened to glance out the window and saw reflected in the car window pink and orange puffy clouds. I called out to Jonathan that a pretty sunset was happening and stepped outside on to the porch to watch. I often do this, because I enjoy Mother Nature’s magic show.  I was settling into one of the rocking chairs when he came out too. We sat together, side by side, rocking gently on the chilly evening air, quietly watching the spectacular display of long sun beams stretching through cumulus and cirrus clouds throwing bright colors all over the sky.  The sun dipped below the horizon, the colors grew fiercely intense, as if you could feel them , breath them in, and become a million incandescent shades of red and orange. A minute later the specter was all but gone!  Blue grey sky, grey clouds, cold night creeping in. Smiling and peaceful we went back inside. Sharing this sunset together was the joyous highlight of our day!

Cold Feet

3-3-2017

Woke up gently his morning, looked out the window into the half light. It was snowing, just started, small flakes falling straight down, barely beginning to cover the dead brown leaves on the forest floor. I stayed in bed watching the snow fall and the ground turn more white as the snow accumulated. Peaceful and beautiful.

Later, I went outside to feed the birds. The stairs were blanketed in a pure, fresh coating of snow maybe half an inch think, individual crystalline flakes catching and refracting the filtered, grey morning sunlight. The two bottom steps and the flagstone below had bird prints on them. Tiny, perfect, delicate, imprints of Chick-a-Dee’s and Junco’s feet, 3 miniature toes and claws, two feet, all in straight lines as they hopped around looking for seeds. How do they keep from freezing? My toes turn blue just thinking about running barefoot through the snow (although I do exactly that at least once a year, just to put my own foot prints in the snow!) These hardy little birds keep our indoor house cats (and me) entertained all year. Minuscule tracks in the snow, tiny hearts beating swiftly, warm blood coursing through wild wings, winter rages, and life perseveres!