Walking, um, running Hodge -- I have to say running the dog because Hodge runs, having only two speeds, zero and run -- has more potential for photos during the slow thaw of snow and ice. While he dashes (joyfully) on the snow, stopping occasionally to acknowledge a squirrel, I stoop down with my nifty little Coolpix P7700 to record some of the amazing formations that thawing ice can make.
Dripping ice from the tip of a leaf.
Broken ice on a leaf.
Hard snow on a clump of leaves fallen on the ground.
Reflection of a green door on ice formations and leaves.
Ice on concrete.
Moss thrives on the north side of my house even during these times of drought.
The stealth cam functioned last night. It took several pictures of wild hogs munching on the corn that MyMrMallory and I spread around. A couple of raccoons pop up in the collection of images, as well as cattle and our vehicles.
I liked what I saw as I looked up at the ridge, so I attempted to make a photograph of it. The sun shined brightly through the cloud cover that will bring, we hope, some moisture this evening. The path below the ridge leads to the creek where we placed the stealth cam that took pictures of the animals. I improved the image in Photoshop by darkening the sky and bringing up the foreground in order to see the broomweed and other plants.
I made my way into the country to check on the wildlife cameras MyMrMallory and I installed near the creek. What a lovely countryside even in winter time!
Two deer watched me with too much curiosity, I thought, as I drove past them only seventy yards away.
And a sweet calf exchanged glances between her mom and me.
And what did the wildcam capture? Not much our first time.
Never mind the year and date. I had difficulty managing the menu; the next images should show the correct data, but I'm not holding my breath, doofus at computers as I am. The flash lit up the broomweed but no creature of God. New batteries and a fresh SD card, more corn and acorns spread around, and another day watching for wildlife may reveal our visitors.
MyMrMallory grills at least once per week. The joys of grilling may reflect our inherent love of watching the flames in our fire while our foodstuffs cook. Could this joy have developed millennia ago when our ancestors survived by the warmth of their fires?
MyMrMallory builds beautiful fires in our Weber grill.
In reference to cats, I enjoy and feel grateful to make them a part of my life. Twelve years ago -- and, My! How quickly time goes by! -- an acquaintance then living in the countryside encouraged me to adopt a kitten from a litter born in a barn. MyMrMallory and I drove out there to meet our new feline friend for a lifetime. Behind the lady's home, we walked toward a structure that for all its dilapidated looks we recognized was once a barn, long ago. Inside, there stood a tractor that I thought belonged in a museum. Underneath it we saw blurs of fur as kittens ran and jumped in and out of, and over, the tractor. I sat cross-legged watching the kittens, about ten of them. From a distance, I noted that mama cat eyed us, with either wariness or with just as much interest as we felt in her kittens.
The two kittens I scooped into my arms long ago grew to become an important and delightful part of my life. They are beautiful and intelligent; mischievous and naughty; distracting and humorous; loving and tolerant. They provide a certain unpredictability in my life that I cherish. They are my feline friends for a lifetime.
And in between things, we study how to write poetry. I made an image of the page and pen in front of me as we sat at The Silver Lining restaurant. Here I show Roberta's poem and some of the notes I made as we attempted to improve on it.
The countryside in North Texas looks a bit harried still from the drought of 2011. Fortunately, in early 2012 we received more rain, and it shows in the levels of water in the ponds. My bird list remains delightful: Canvasback, blue-winged teals, buffleheads, hooded mergansers, mallards, geese, great-blue herons, northern shovelers, widgeons, pie-billed grebes, a cormorant, ringed-neck ducks . . . and still looking to add more.
Cattle come to sip at a pond where I spotted buffleheads.
Two ponds, ten species. A trek through the freshly fallen snow yielded a delightful morning of birdwatching. Ringed-neck ducks (thirty or so), hooded mergansers (fewer than six), buffleheads (a pair), canvasback (four to six), pie-billed grebes (a pair), blue-winged teals (four to six), mallards (forty or so), Canada geese (three), a great-blue heron, and the resident goose at Martin Park.
For Gary Goldberg's photography class, both MyMrMallory and I engaged enthusiastically in the assignment he gave the students. Professor Goldberg sent us out into an autumn North Texas to make images of a town, any town. We visited several places, including Bugscuffle, and then opted in the end to make images of Wichita Falls.
The Elevator Rock, pictured above, began as a grain silo, then transformed into a climbing wall. Nice article by Matt Ledesma here.
An abandoned building, or so it appears, on California street, leans backwards.
A water tower stands by the railroad.
On a wall that harkens to a happy age in the history of Wichita Falls, wild plants and foliage grow, framing the graffiti of the street artists.
The abandoned road that leads to the graffiti wall.
Moon over the skyline of Wichita Falls as seen from Riverside cemetery.
Listen, will you? I think that . . . literature, poetry, music and love make the world go round . . . while mathematics explains things; I fill my life with them, then go walking in snowy woods. Let us go then, you and I like two etherized patients floating through life, together feeling prufrockian. DDB Jr. makes my world go 'round; during his absence, Pachelbel fills it up. One summer I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Gulf of Finland to reach Saint Petersburg; I pursued Joseph Brodsky in its alley ways. I dream of making that two summers. I read “Biking to Electra;” found my way in a Jaguar car, and glanced at the flashing steel grasshoppers at sunset. I’ll follow K.O.P.’s footsteps after he followed N.Scott Momaday’s; find warmth and inspiration on a rainy mountain. Throw chinese coins for the I Ching. Save the whales, the spotted owl, the woman in toil. Cast a fly for trout; my memories of fly fishing under the sunny blue Colorado sky remain; I yearn to build more . . . with more trophy Browns. Listen for the swan’s calls on the Baltic Sea. Feel KKII's joy, his arms spread wide in Yazilikaya. Good night, Jimmy Durante, where ever you are.