Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spare Beauty



Grey. Austere. Bleak. January can be all of these. It's certainly grey around here. So grey that distinguishing colour in the landscape can be difficult. 

Yesterday I took a quick walk around the Bog. Robins sang in the trees; they don't mind the lack of leaves. 
 

January forces me to look a bit harder, to notice the small things. Moss and lichen cluster on branches, a muted harmony of texture and neutral colour.
 

A Dark-eyed Junco perches in a tangle of twigs, cocking his head and eyeing me warily. I long to hold his soft feathered body in my hands, just for a moment.
 

This Bewick's Wren flitted from low branch to low branch, finally landing in a muddle of grass. How well he blends with the landscape. But, there, do you see them - green blades among the brown?
 

I stopped to watch the ducks, as I often do, and felt a bit like a voyeuse. It's courting season on the pond - delicate head bobbing, a bit of neck entwining, and finally mating. Not long now before ducklings!
 

Another pair of mallards taking a nap, heads buried deep in feathers. It doesn't look very comfortable to me, but to each her/his own.
 

Queen Anne's Lace, delicate and fragile, yet it stands in wind and rain, on tall graceful stalks that hold the promise of life deep beneath the earth. Elegant, austere. Beautiful.

"Wait," says January. "Life abounds beneath the surface. Have faith. Hold fast."

What is there that is beautiful in your January world? 

35 comments:

Sara D.B. said...

You have found so many beautiful and interesting things around you,
even though January without snow is indeed very grey...
Thank you for sharing!

Debby Ray said...

Call me crazy but I love the images that can be obtained on these cold, gray days of January. No worries about too much sun glare and washed out shots. And those little birdies...well, they just stand out like a sore thumb, don't they? Stunning photos that you have captured, Lorrie!

Crafty Gardener said...

We've had some nice sunny days, but cold. The sun castling shadows when its behind the trees. Nice to see the wren up close.

Elizabethd said...

Uncomfortable, but I've often thought how secure a duck must feel with his head buried in the feathers. Rather like pulling the blankets over your head in bed!

Dewena said...

Your Bog is a treasure of January beauty! wouldn't a winter frock in the colors of that mossy lichen be to die for? In fact all the colors of the ducks against the gray background of the water and land provide much elegant inspiration.

Linda Jo said...

What beautiful January images!!!! I'm not sure what is beautiful in my January world right now. I will be looking tho!!!

Helsie said...

Lovely photos Lorrie.

Seawashed Living said...

You have captured the essence of January in this beautiful post. I see so much beauty in the barrenness. Though as I get older I long for the hiding sun. We have had so many robins in our garden and mourning doves...so so many doves...more than usual for this time of year. I took some photos of the doves yesterday pitched in the fence in the dense fog. I will post them soon.

I look forward to the ducklings too.

bj said...

Such beautiful photos...
Those little windmill cookies are almond flavored, crisp and the BEST with tea or coffee. :)

podso said...

You did find beauty. And here we have sun and warm weather, our January "thaw" not that we were frozen. The daffodils will be up soon, but I'm sure we'll go back to winter before spring really comes.

Gina said...

Lorie, your pictures are lovely. I especially like the moss - great color! I love January because it begins a season of rest from all the busyness of the holidays.

Karen S. said...

The snow geese from Siberia that migrate here for the winter are an entrancing sight, especially as they glide in pairs and masses from farm field to water. And the pink blooms on the pink dawn viburnum and the camellia bushes are a treat.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Queen Anne's lace would be pretty in a dried arrangement, wouldn't it? We saw Manatees that had come up in the warmer waters of the Springs yesterday. That was amazing and not a 'usual' sight! Enjoy your week my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

Cranberry Morning said...

The birds are such a delight in the cold, dark winter, aren't they! And the Queen Anne's lace is pretty live or dried.

Cheryl said...

You found many beautiful things on your stroll around the bog. You have sought beauty and you have found it. (I think there might be a lesson there somewhere...) :)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Lovely photos - love the little birds - and the blades of green grass. I'm always excited when those start to appear - slowly - but surely - spring will come. My world has been spent looking out the window at the weather - haven't we had the rain? I am getting over a really bad cold so I've not been out in the world - but look out this weekend - we have plans.

cucki said...

Such lovely photos xx

aimee said...

Lovely pictures Lorrie! I really enjoyed the ducks (didn't realize they mate this early) and the little wren in the grass! The moss and lichen were absolutely beautiful against the grey. What a wonderful place you live in!
Blessings,
AImee

Pondside said...

The bog has so much to offer in every season. I was going to walk there this morning, but then the rain became heavier and I was afraid that the paths would be a bit soggy. I love to watch the ducks run out to see if walkers have brought seed for them.

Alex said...

Fab photos, Lorrie. To get pics like these, you have to have beauty in your heart first, my friend. You do.

kyllimarjaana said...

It is pleasant to read your beautiful and colorful writing and watching the beautiful pictures.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Lovely photos, all. I love the little wrens especially when they sing their heart out. So much noise from such a little bird! :)

Rettabug said...

Beautifully descriptive prose to accompany your lovely photos, Lorrie!
I wish I could see the beauty in Jan. that you do. All I see is dirty snow.

Vee said...

Lorrie, you have a photographer's eye when you can capture beauty on the grayest of days...as you certainly have. Any one of those would make a delightful color study.

Let's see, I brought a clump of hoar frost from the bottom of the luge and left it on the deck railing for picture taking. When my sister came she wondered why I was now decorating with clumps of dirt.

Mama Zen said...

Your shots are so beautiful!

materfamilias said...

Wonderful! You're getting so good with your camera -- those bird shot!

Madelief said...

You captured the treasures of January beautifully! I spotted the first flowers in my garden, two anemones and purple primula's - the beauty of January :-)

Pamela Gordon said...

These are wonderful photos of your grey day there. How awesome to see and hear robins! And sprigs of green grass! So nice. At the moment the sun has set but it was another beauty of a day here in NB. We don't have a lot of snow around our area (until tomorrow night!) so the brown grass is showing in a lot of places. The birds were busy at the feeders this afternoon stocking up for the imminent storm. No signs of spring but a beautiful winter day. Enjoy.

EG CameraGirl said...

Wonderful look through your lens! Yes, winter makes us look in a different way through our camera's lenses! Loved your photos!

Jen Vandervoort said...

It's pretty in your world...and I so love the ducks. They are very wary here, wild, and untamed. Your photos are lovely. Spring is a song that's at the end of the program here...and it's a long concert.

Jen

Mary said...

I so love any bird whether flying, swimming or resting in the bare winter branches. Your pics are so lovely Lorrie - and even without leaves and flowers the birds bring color, movement and sound to brighten up these grey days.

Hugs - Mary

gretchenjoanna.com said...

The bare branches make the birds more easily seen, and then the birds and the dark outlines of branches complement each other so well - it's all beautiful! You were lucky to see the ducks doing what comes naturally, and we are lucky to have you sharing with us!

Anneliese said...

I love your Queen Anne's Lace photo . . . and the words accompanying it . . . how "it stands in wind and rain, on tall graceful stalks that hold the promise of life deep beneath the earth."
January is such a p[picture of how life can look and waiting for what is to come. To be honest, it is my least favorite month, but maybe it makes us appreciate the promise of Spring and that God makes everything beautiful in His time ... a picture of life. If we trust Him for what is to come, we can be at peace in this dormant stage.

Deborah Montgomery said...

Beautiful pictures! I love the austere beauty you've captured.

Barbara said...

Great to have the bare branches so that we can see the birds, especially on these grey days.