Thursday, February 23, 2012

where there's sunshine there will be shadows

Here's a glimpse of the frozen north land this week: blue skies, frozen lakes and a small cover of snow. The shadows on the lake were long and especially blue the day I took this photo. Nearly March and we haven't had our usual amount of snow but ice fishing is still going on.
This Minnesota sky brought to you by the folks over at Skywatch Friday.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, February 16, 2012

'softly the evening came'

I'll make this short and sweet (I'm recovering from a bout of stomach flu and/or food poisoning) but I couldn't let Friday pass me by without sharing a view of the sky in my neck of the woods. A few days ago I caught this sunset in a very urban setting. . . even the surroundings couldn't compete with this amazing spectacle. I'm adding this to the hundreds of great sky views @ Skywatch Friday.

title quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy weekend!

Friday, February 10, 2012

of memories, Mom and marshmallows

I have finally resigned myself to the fact that my mother wasn’t a cook. She could till a plot of ground and work the garden until dark all summer. She scrubbed every wall in the house, washed and ironed into the wee hours after working a shift on her feet at the grocery store. But she only learned from her own mother that the kitchen was hot, that canning season seemed endless and there were only so many pigs feet she could gnaw on. Its no wonder she was glad to go to work.

No cookies were baked in our oven but occasionally a Jiffy cake mix appeared and the three of us would scrap over the crumbs like a pack of hungry mongrels. Once a year at Christmas time this German workhorse of a woman would make one unfailing delight for us.

After much hinting and playful cajoling from the man whose left hook could bring her to her knees, she gave in. I was alerted by the sound of the small electric mixer cord swinging against the cabinet door as she retrieved it from its dusty box. Bowls, pans, sugar spilling, syrup measured and soon the familiar rise of the acrid exhaust from the mixer’s motor that had just been rudely awakened from its year-long slumber. No wooden spoons in our kitchen, just the scraping of stainless steel on stainless steel. Droning became more labored and then stopped.

Into a pan lay the white molten ooze which she quickly smoothed out, then cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar. It was a miracle to behold—science and strong biceps had produced a pan of homemade marshmallows. Only once did my father intrude on the process by insisting that anise flavoring be added in remembrance of his dear departed Italian mama who had never made this delicacy in her life. Powdered sugar everywhere, dusting my father’s mustache, on my pajamas and a thin layer along the stove top my mother must have remembered herself as a little girl standing on the kindling box in her mother’s steamy kitchen waiting patiently for her piece of marshmallow to appear. Then it would be Christmas for her too.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue...

Blue skies have lately made everyone step livelier or like these starlings, head for the tree tops. What we take for granted in the summer is a sight for sore eyes in the wintertime.

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday in honor of our sky's constant beauty.
Happy Valentine's day from me to you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

gone too soon

ABC Wednesday's letter du jour is D at the beginning of our fifth year! I'm always a little giddy when D comes around because it reminds me of Dexter Gordon, the alto sax player in the Dave Brubeck Quartet for 17 years in the middle of the last century. He is probably best remembered for his solo in Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk. You can watch on these you-tube videos.

Caution: you won't be able to sit still for long.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

frozen beauty

We woke to a frosty world this morning. Yesterday's fog had become spikey bits of frost covering everything. This is the little dish that holds drinking water for the birds who visit our feeders.

Even the rusty rabbit had strange little spines. These little 'creatures' stand watch until the birds return and baby rabbits are born in the spring. That's why I'm linking these to Camera Critters this week.
Frost is the greatest artist in our clime -
he paints in nature and describes in rime. 
Thomas Hood

Friday, February 3, 2012

Skywatch Friday in the fog

The skies up north have been foggy and grey most of this week. I caught this photo on just such a day on the lake near our house. Note the circles made on the ice by vehicles driving out to their various ice houses. Risky business because the lake is 'soft' in areas due to the higher temps we've been enjoying. A couple of intrepid fishermen were drilling with their auger far out on the lake--you can just make them out. Nearby are families of crows feasting on the remains of some lucky fisherman's catch. All that's missing from this scene is the sun! I'm sharing the walk I took with Skywatch Friday.