Wednesday, February 16, 2011

From earlier today, a quiet moment in between.

I have been seeing hummingbirds more lately. Today one visited our clematis. I'm not sure what it was looking for. The plant is a mass of brown stems and withered leaves. Fluffy seed pods cling to the branches like discolored cotton balls. The hummer poked its beak into several puffy seed balls, but left disappointed. There are green shoots growing, but they are only a few inches long. It always surprises me how early this plant buds out and begins growing, but it seems impervious to frost.

Not much in the clematis to attract a hummingbird

The light and shadows have been changing all day. We'll get a sun break, then dark clouds will pass over and a cold, soaking shower will fall onto the saturated ground. At one point there were even snow flakes mixed into the rain. It didn't last long, of course, and soon was sunny again.

Detail of sunshine on tree bark

Groups of juncos flit through the trees in the back corner of the yard. The sun glints off their white rear feathers as they move form one branch to another. The sun makes the yellow and grey lichen shine on the tree branches. Combined with the freshening red of the dogwood stems, the effect is brilliant.
Red-twig dogwood, showing its color

The kitchen smells of the cookies we just baked - Gluten Free cutout cookies, a few days late for Valentine's Day. The black-eyed peas are just beginning to simmer, and their smell swirls with the steam from the pot. I know I should wipe down my flour-covered countertop, but I step outside for a moment first.

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