Monday, December 27, 2010

The Snow-Storm

The Snow-Storm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,

And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.

Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,

Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Visited my parents, spending a few days prior to and after Christmas. This is the snow they received in Clear Lake (extreme north central), Iowa. (A good 12 inches)

Happy Winter Y'all! :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas . . .

We Wish You a Merry Christmas . . .

We Wish You a Merry Christmas . . .

And a Happy New Year!

By the edge of SE Forest

By our little Avenue,

Stands the home of Mr and Shady,

dwellers of shade; he and she.

There behind us grows the forest,

Grows the varied types of oak trees;

Grows the oaks with leaves upon them;

In the forest lives the wildlife,

deer, and fox, and many birds,

Live the bright and singing wild birds.

Singing brightly without words . . .

(toying with Hiawatha - forgive me

H. W. Longfellow!)

Yet, may the words of my endeavor,

Find YOU well this time of year,

Find you prosperous and merry;

And may we all find ways to share

(our bounteous good fortune).

A Very Merry Christmas 2010!

Best wishes to you.

May you enjoy the company of family and friends.

May you enjoy safe travel.

May our blogging bring us back together in the new year!

Shady Gardener

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...

How I Wonder What You Are...


These photos illustrate the results and in-progress endeavors in creating this year's Christmas Ornaments. There were four workshops scheduled for whenever friends could attend and participate. Fun!

I neglected to get a photo of each of my friends that attended...

But I got a photo of their results! :-)

Star Light, Star Bright, First Star (?)
(First dozen stars) I see tonight...

Best wishes!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - Dec. 15, 2010

Perhaps you recall the earlier post (see below or click this link)
where I described some gifts made for friends and neighbors
(for their birds and other wildlife).

I sneaked over to a neighbor-friends' house
(they're both friends)
to see how their gift was faring.

In only a couple of days, it's already showing signs of

And speaking of happiness...
the photo below makes me Very Happy!

My dad made this plywood cutout quite a number of years ago,
and he placed it in their northern Iowa yard at Christmas-time!

He offered it to me and we worked out a way to bring it
to my SE Iowa home this summer!


And peace. And hope.
And thoughtfulness.
And love.

May we all be celebrating and readying for celebrating Christmas (already) again this year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Clean Windows and a Short Spell Outdoors

Add up to some pretty nice photos! However, I must explain this first photograph. I've recently spotted (three times today) a Carolina Wren. The first time was in November.

However, this was the only time I could catch the little fellow in action... not a great shot, but it was the best I could do... and it's Proof! ;-)

Tufted Titmouse out the back window.

Tufted Titmouse out the kitchen window on the new heated birdbath.

Blue Jay on the same birdbath.

Blue Jay out that same back window.

It was sooooo cold this morning!! Way below Zero degrees F.
But I got this while in the yard...
a few Eastern Goldfinches on a thistle feeder.

Photogenic, aren't they?

Getting ready for Christmas? I may not be posting and/or visiting much in these next few weeks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Making Gifts for the Birds

These gifts are being presented to people . . .
but you might say,
"They're for the birds!"

And you'd be right.


Gingerbread (house recipe) bases

One layer finished on one feeder...

Melted lard and peanut butter (making a suet base)

Four feeders each have one layer . . .

Gotta have some house shapes . . .

Second layer and trimmings

A drizzle of additional suet,

and they're ready to be lightly wrapped in parchment paper
and placed in gift bags.

It's a little messy, but it was fun.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Before We Go Any Further... You've Got to See This!

You need to see the activity in
Mr. Shady's birdbath

(actually, it's mine, but it was a gift from Mr. S -
and he recently installed it!)

December 2, 2010
Click on the photos to enlarge! It's more fun!

Come on in fellows, the water's FINE!

All - Right!

Is it just me, or is it getting a little crowded?

It's just you.

Hey! Is someone watching??

Don't you think they'd at least have the decency to pull the blinds?

Maybe you'd like to get in on the action? Play the video below! :-)

Yes, we still had a little snow Wednesday, Dec. 1.
This is the first time one of our Fat Squirrels has made the effort
to climb this double shepherd's hook to
try out the sorghum from Mr. Shady's field.

Yes! We're watching you!!

I may be getting 'shady' thoughts about this fellow!