Tag: winter

don’t mock me

The mockingbird

eats the last

of the berries

after a

long long

(excruciatingly long)






Then he sings

a little bit

but I know

he’s saying


is not far away.

the buffet bush is almost empty
the buffet bush is almost empty

make room

A tree,

still wearing


and scraps

of its autumn garb,

must make room

for a new layer of


adding a layer of snow
adding a layer of snow

Yes, we raked last week and we are shoveling this week. Fortunately, we don’t have to go anywhere, the troops are coming here tomorrow and we have everything we need (and more). Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, even if you live in a different country. I think a moment to give thanks is never wasted time. I am grateful for so many things, I know I am extraordinarily blessed. I am even grateful for the bumps and bruises I have had along the way (okay, wait, I can think of one bump that I’m having a hard time being grateful for…still working on that one).

However, for the most part I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life and all the lessons learned over the years. Even algebra. And I am very conscious that I have it within my power to help other people with their life lessons. I just hope I am up to the challenge.


gone and back

Sometimes vacations become more than a trip away from home. Sometimes they become a spiritual retreat, a moment of connection with the greater (and simpler) meaning of life. This was one of those trips for me.

It did not start out that way. A twelve hour day to get two thirds of the way across the country depleted my energy sufficiently for me to come down with a cold by the end of the first day. And not just any cold, but one that makes you stupid, grumpy and old. The travel was ridiculously idiotic, it all revolved around a broken bathroom on the plane in which we were supposed to fly into Jackson Hole.  It ended with us having to make an unscheduled stop in Denver before flying to Jackson Hole. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say that by the time I found my luggage didn’t make it to Jackson Hole, I burst into tears. Not an auspicious start to a vacation.

The next day went to the dogs…literally. We spent the day learning the art of dogsledding and I actually drove a dog sled for five miles. A two foot snow storm the night before made things a little more difficult but all in all it was a good day. That night we had our first of many group dinners, meeting our two guides and the rest of the members of the tour.

Throughout the week we spent much time driving around in special vans, stopping to look for wildlife. The list of birds and mammals increased each day, some we saw close up, some were quite a distance away and could only really be viewed through telescopes. Traveling through Yellowstone in Bombardiers (snowcats) was truly a wonderful experience, but I would not want to have to travel that way every day. I hope I don’t put any noses out of joint when I say that Old Faithful was somewhat disappointing. Maybe I was just really tired. By this time, my cold was in full swing, and the only thing that saved it was the cold medication I took religiously.

Then we drove to the northern parts of the park to find the wolves. And that’s when the magic happened for me. A snowshoe trek to an old wolf’s den became my moment of true connection with the earth. It is a bit hard to explain, and maybe I won’t really try. It was just one of those moments when the stressors of life fall away and you are left simply being where you are, taking in what is around you without any thoughts, without any judgements, without any anxiety.

I was blessed to have guides who understood this and didn’t try to rush me through the moment. There was no feeling like I had to hurry up to get back to the van because we had other places to be and things to do. Quite simply, it was RIGHT NOW that mattered the most.

The magic continued that night with an outstanding sunset. And the next morning we were able to spend over an hour observing (through the scopes) a wolf traveling and howling in the distance. The sound of a wolf howl is like no other, it brought a smile to our faces. It is lower than a coyote’s, and therefore is harder to hear, yet it pierces the soul. I talked to the wolf through the scope, he knew we were there and kept looking at us crazy humans standing on a ridge looking at him. Finally he went up into the hills to take a nap. I wanted to join him.

The return trip was just as ridiculous as the one out there, another comedy of errors that added hours on to the voyage. But I kept the wolf in my heart and managed to (mostly) slide through the day. I made it home eventually, at least physically. Spiritually…that’s another story.

I think I will take the next few posts and show snapshots of the trip. The pictures can’t and don’t do the trip justice, my camera is just not good enough to capture the expanse and beauty of the winter scenes. However, they might give you a glimpse of what Yellowstone is like in the winter. Here is the first one, taken in the Lamar Valley in the north of the park on the last day of the trip. It is one that will stay in my mind for some time to come. The tracks that you see were made by wolves and bison.


great expanse
great expanse







Heavens girls, how exciting! We awoke to an icicle wonderland which, sadly, had taken the power out around 3 a.m. The generator was brought from its place in the garage for the refrigerator, the radio and our one guilty pleasure of watching an episode of … Continue reading ice

fearless experimentation

Today’s post is all about experimenting.  For a long time I was so afraid of “modern” technology, my biggest fear being that if I pressed the wrong button EVERYTHING (including me) would instantaneously disappear into distant lands, never to be found again. Okay, this is a little bit dramatic but bear with me.  I am starting to realize that it is very difficult to make things disappear. (Although I did it this past summer by deleting things off my camera that I thought I had already downloaded only to find that they were not on my computer at all.  Sigh, a heartbreaking loss. Okay, I digress again.)  In a moment of pure curiosity (and throwing the fear of obselescence to the wind) I decided to start pushing buttons on my camera (not the delete button) and see what happened when I took a picture.  Lo and behold, interesting things happened.  So here are a couple of pictures that I took in my winter garden.  They are experiments.  They may have been cropped a little bit but other than that, there is no computer manipulation.



Color for a gray day

The day is winter gray.  There is a sheen of ice on my car and the trees are dripping with the cold rain that fell overnight.  It is the end of January and I am right on track to be getting tired of the grayscale outside.  I am craving some saturated color. So I started looking through my archives and found pictures from a day spent in my friend Mary’s basement studio last year.  I was intrigued by how organized and colorful everything is, it just invites you to sit down and create something.  It also invited me to take pictures to remind me of how fun it can be to be an artist.  What other job requires you to look at colored pens, funky scissors, cool handmade paper and an assortment of pliers before you start “working”?

Click here to check out Mary’s web site to see pictures of how she uses color in her flower paintings.