Jack’s Walk

Early December Morning, ©voyager, all rights reserved

 

We had a gentle, light dusting of snow this morning, and it was just enough to make the world look fresh and pretty for a while. That’s one of the things I like about winter, the way that snow covers a landscape with a coat of crisp, clean stillness. Ogden Nash says it much better than me, though, so I’ll let him.

 

Winter Morning Poem

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue!
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing.
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

– Ogden Nash

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, Jack and I did venture out yesterday. Twice. About 1 in the afternoon, the sun came out for an hour or so, and the sidewalks got all melty and full of slush. It seemed like a good time to go for a walk, and so we did. It was a delightful walk, too. Sloppy and cold, but not really icy. The sun started to melt the ice off the trees and the wires, but it didn’t shine long enough to raise the temp above zero, and so today, the trees are still frosted. Jack and I went out again after supper, and the sidewalk slush had turned into rough frozen ice. It wasn’t as slippery as I’d thought. The snow that covered the ice helped rough it up, and the soles of my boots were mostly able to find traction. Even Jack managed better with only 1 slip and no falls. Today the world remains frosted with ice and snow, and I love the way things look. There’s so much more light, and it reflects like millions of tiny, shiny diamonds in the glow of streetlights at night and the short glimpses of the sun today. The walking is difficult, but not dangerous. Most people have shovelled, and what ice remains is rough and well trampled. We need to go slow and shuffle a bit, but it’s so pretty outside I don’t mind.

 

Here’s another song for today. I sing this song when I’m on the beach ins the summer looking for sea glass because they shine like diamonds when you find them. Today the whole world is made of diamonds. And of course, we’re all as bright, and beautiful as diamonds ourselves, so let’s all shine a bit today, too.

 

A Fire Maple for Caine

Caine’s birthday was a week ago today and this just arrived in my inbox. It’s from Raucous Indignation and I think it’s special – So special, in fact, that I decided not to hold it back until Tree Tuesday next week.

I have had a lengthy absence from the blog, but the tree was planted this Spring. It is a fire maple/silver maple hybrid. Very hardy with dramatic colors. The tree is doing well and dropped it leaves a few weeks ago. It’s at the end of the line of cherry, maple and oaks bordering the driveway. It’s to my left every night I come home.

Next, the puppy!

Fire Maple for Caine ©Raucous Indignation, all rights reserved

Fire Maple for Caine ©Raucous Indignation, all rights reserved

Tree Tuesday

Our trees this week are brought to you by one of our readers, VBFF, who’s sent in a lovely photo of a winter sunset glimpsed through a stand of trees as well as a close-up shot of some icicles in tree branches. The far and the near of winter, well captured. I love reader submissions – thanks VBFF.

©VBFF, all rights reserved

©VBFF, all rights reserved

 

Tree Tuesday

Tree Tuesday went missing while my mother was sick, but it’s time to get things back to normal, so we’re back. This week’s tree was sent in by Avalus, and it’s a beauty. I absolutely love the light and the perspective in the first photo. It seems to capture a bit of the tree’s personality. The second photo of the bark of the tree was surprising to me. Thanks for sharing, Avalus.

This is a 135 year old redwood tree planted in a park near the town of Dörrenbach in the palatinate. What an amazing tree! I found the bark especially peculiar with all these tiny ripples.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Mortimer P. Griswold “Smirk” ©voyager, all rights reserved

I was feeling a bit blue today, but Jack and I made the acquaintance of a new friend in the forest who helped buoy my spirits. His given name is Mortimer P. Griswold (the fourth), but he told us to call him Smirk. We met quite by accident when Jack almost peed on him, but luckily, Smirk called out in time for Jack to lower his leg and grin a small apology. Smirk laughed it off, saying that soaking up dog pee was just part of being a tree, and then he complimented Jack on his excellent manners. We stayed and chatted for a few minutes and Smirk giggled the whole time. He told us a few tree jokes that were a bit lame (How do trees get online? They log in.), but he was so darned happy that it was easy for Jack and I to laugh. We agreed to visit him again before leaving and then Jack and I continued on our way, both of us wearing a smile.

Jack’s Walk

Complementary Colours ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood. The air is clear and crisp with a northwest wind that has just enough bite to make the tips of your ears tingle. The sun is shining in a blue blue sky, and the trees are on fire and dancing in the wind. The sidewalks are littered with withering copper leaves that tickle your ankles and rustle as you walk. Some fallen leaves still want to dance, and they go skittering down the street riding on the wind. It’s the sort of day that fills my senses and makes me feel quiet. I’m pretty sure Jack feels the same way – today, we put aside the talk of this and that and walked in companionable silence, each of us soaking up the season.

 

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

A Calendar of Sonnets: October

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Oar empress wore, in Egypt’s ancient line,
October, feasting ‘neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!
Helen Hunt Jackson

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Yesterday I mentioned that Jack has difficulty seeing in the dark. I forgot to mention that Jack also has trouble being seen in the dark. His coat is such a deep chocolate brown that when he steps out of the puddles of streetlight, he all but vanishes. That’s a worry because Jack has a nasty habit of eating things he happens upon, things that are probably not good for him to eat like garbage, poop and the occasional small dead creature. Last night he managed to swallow something before I could stop him. I have no idea what it was as there were no bits of it left to identify, but I’m sure it wasn’t a healthy snack. I jammed my hand into his mouth, hoping to fish it out, but I was too late. Jack smiled, licked my fingers and walked on, leaving me standing there dripping drool and hoping for the best. So far, so good.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The days of autumn agree with me and I enjoy so many things at this time of year. I love the crisp air that energizes Jack and getting to watch day by day as rich reds and flame oranges appear in the trees. It’s time to start making hearty soups and stews and casseroles with the bounty of local produce filling the market stalls and it’s time to turn on the oven and bake things full of apples. Fall is such a wonderful season. It would be absolutely perfect… if only the days were a little longer.

It’s dark now when Jack and I take our evening walk and Jack’s eyesight isn’t good in the dark anymore. He’s easily frightened by shadows and he tends to bark at things that aren’t normally around, like all the new political signs popping up on lawns around the neighbourhood. The political signs scare me a bit, too, especially since my neighbourhood is sporting quite a few Conservative signs this election season. Nobody wants to look at that nonsense so the photo today was taken late yesterday afternoon from our favourite forest path.