Thursday, January 27, 2011

Iced Mornings & Fiery Skies at Dusk

Stepping outside - cold breath stings.
For days now, the land down low is hushed, 
while above ice-bound branches 
play a forest chorus 
with winter wind.  

 While I wait for the new studio heater, 
the frozen land astonishes me.  

My snowshoes are sometimes short in distance, 
but long in duration as I lean in close 
to the magic of winter ice.

A birdbath wears a funny snow-hat.
I think I've already brushed it clean 
once or twice!

Two snowstorms this week, and maybe 
another on the way, I wonder when the snow 
mountain in the driveway will melt in spring? 
My sister and I were remembering our snow caves 
carved into the side of a hill. This pile would 
be a perfect pile for a cave.

I'm now throwing snow up and over the side of the path, 
else it tumble back down to my toes. A generous 
season of snow for Western Mass, though 
its nothing compared to some northern climes. 
Luckily, I'm still loving it, but 
I'm hearing grumblings from 
folks here and there. 

One such person is Pasha cat. He was excited 
about the relative warmth today, so came outside 
with me while I shoveled. Dashing up the tree he
went, oh so excited to be out and free! 

On the way back down, still having fun. 

Oooops, that snow pile was much deeper than expected. 

Having practically disappeared in the snow,
I just couldn't contain my laughing. 
I wasn't met with an agreeable look.  

The remainder of my snow shoveling was observed 
from the window. 

 I can't say whether the avalanche of snow
the wind released from the tree above me
had anything to do with the spectator in
the window. 

Ah well, I survived. I was wearing my 
thick wool dreadlock hat. 

I wish the dreads would grow....

Out and about earlier in the week,
my camera sits in for a paintbrush, 
capturing moments of golden light
and winter inspiration.

The last of the light brings in high drama. 
I am spellbound, walking and freezing in the subzero 
windchill, camera clicking away.

How much these last three are like my painting, 
"Gold Afternoon", above in the sidebar.

Wandering the land at the edge of the day, 
 my cauldron fills with inspiration.

Iced mornings and fiery skies at dusk -
how can I keep from singing?  


chicory cottage said...

love your icy and snowy photos...makes me shiver! and pasha is so cute in the snow; does he get the snow stuck to his fur? i have a part persian who gets snow balled into his thick black fur and has to be "de-snowed" before he comes inside. be careful on those roads!

m. heart said...

Awww, poor Pasha, lol.

My birdbath is wearing a similar hat. I took photos this morning which I haven't looked at yet.

That last photo is amazingly similar to your painting!

susan christensen said...

Great story about Pasha up the tree and in the snow bank! Your post makes me long for the return of snow here in balmy SE Alaska, where we have had enough rain to melt it all away. Such beauty in the ice-coated branches! Blessings, sus

stregata said...

That is really a lot of snow - and I am very glad we don't have that much. Poor Pasha - cats really hate being laughed at, don't they?
Your photos are really fantastic.

Lynn said...

Pasha is a gem.
And I love your hat!

La Dolce Vita said...

complete gorgeosity!!

Rowan said...

Beautiful photos especially of the ice and the sunset. I'm afraid the photos of Pasha in the snow made me laugh especially the one where he is giving you a very speaking look:) You've certainly had an incredible amount of snow, I must admit I'm glad that ours didn't last as long as yours has.

Valerianna said...

chicory cottage - Pasha has been out so little in this snow that I don't remember if he gets snowballs, but I don't think he does too much. My other cat, Sophia, having left us a couple of years ago, used to get them, though she wouldn't let us de-ball her upon coming in. She preferred to work on them herself, by the wood stove, leaving little balls to melt into puddles on the stone floor!

m. - isn't it? Makes me REALLY want to get into the studio....

susan - my assumptions about Alaska are that you ALWAYS have more snow than we... and, for that matter, are always getting around with dog sleds! No, not really, but I do often think Alaska - very snowy in winter....

stregata - yes! Oh my, I didn't really read his expression until I uploaded the photos of him.. then I did see that he clearly wasn't liking my amusement at his expense. Though, I must admit, I continue to laugh every time I see that photo!

Lynn - Isn't that hat great? Its very warm, and I love that the maker calls it a dreadlock hat. Very cute.

La Dolce Vita - Grazie!

Rowan - its not that unusual for us to have this much snow up here in the foothills, but that its been so cold that none has really melted or that it has all been light and fluffy is a bit different this year. If it keeps up, I might have to get a loan to pay the plow man!

Swan Artworks said...

A hilarious sequence of pictures from Pascha! Cats are great at that disgruntled look!
The sunsets over snow and silhoetted trees really are lovely, its so nice watching the changing light - I'm sure it was well worth braving the cold for!

Medieval Muse said...

Your words, your images, your life...all so very beautiful. Easy to see how the world around you finds it way onto brush and canvas.

Pasha plopping into the snow (and the disapproving look) was the perfect comedy element:)

steven said...

the iced branches are so very beautiful and really to say that is so unkind to the beauty of every other picture you have shared here valerianna! you're so entirely inside winter. steven

Suz said...

Your Pasha is adorable with quite an attitude
Falling into the snow was too funny to see
in your photos...your gorgeous photos
The one looks like an ice unicorn to me
bless you for embracing your world with such joy

Valerianna said...

Swan Artworks - I would stand in the cold again, and will do from that very spot as it has a wonderful sunset view, however, it was soooo incredibly cold my fingers were stinging!

Medieval Muse - That look from Pasha, and the falling into the snow, I was lucky to get it all on film.... shoveling with my camera around my neck...!

Steven - I like that, "... you're so totally inside winter."

Suz - Yes, Pasha DOES have quite a strong personality. Though, I guess all my cats have had. He is just so very expressive and communicative in a very clear way. Other cats have been more 'catty", can't explain it, but he's very present with me.

Valerianna said...

PS - Suz, I see the iced unicorn!

Tammie Lee said...

so much beauty and fun. you almost make me want to get a kitty!

Donna~Q~ said...

What an enchanting blog! Your artwork, photography, and connection with Nature are truly beautiful things. And Pasha is definitely a WOWZA! cat. He seems quite like my first feline, a XXL Maine Coon, Sammy Angel, who lived by my side for 18 years. There really is something very special about that breed!

Donna Iona Drozda said...

It feels great to come and visit your snow!! without the shoveling part.
Though I did love that decades long chapter of life when the cross country skis took me for miles just by stepping out my backdoor....shhhing through the forest.

The Pasha commentary is excellent...I have such fond 'snow memories' from my years in the north country with cats constantly 'looking for the door to summer' and risking the dreaded wet paws simply to have a bit of air.

Your hat is terrific too.

Valerianna said...

Tammie Lee - oh my yes, kitties are just so great... especially the very lively Maine Coon kind!

Donna~Q~ Glad you found me here at RavenWood. I;m happy you appreciate it so! And, yes there is something quite special about Maine Coons. I've had two now, great kitties, both.

Donna - Yes, Pasha just came in from yet another heavy snowfall, wet paws and a rather frustrated look.... he's definitely looking forward to some bare ground sometime soon! Though, I don't think we'll see it for quite some time!

layers said...

so many snow and ice images-- so beautiful but looking very cold there.

acornmoon said...

That is one great hat! Thank you so much for your kind words, I will look out the book you mentioned. x

joanne May said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joanne May said...

I can see that spring has not arrived yet in Ravenwood. A blog friend who lives in Boston said that the snow is very deep there too!
I think you have the best snow storms in the US.
All of your photos are wintry and wonderful. Pasha is looking gorgeous and wild as usual.
I really like your hat with the dreads. It's good to see you in one of your posts.
Wow, beautiful golden sunset, I can really understand why you feel creatively inspired in your part of the world.
Have a magical weekend painting!