I see my hawk friend about every day,
but not usually this close up. It looks like a broad-winged hawk.
Luckily, I was wearing my camera when it decided to land in the tree nearest the house.
I watched it glide toward me and land on the branch covered in snow.
It stayed for a few moments. Notice the snow on its head.
I was thrilled to finally get a good look at my flying friend.
I fly in my dreams.
Sometimes the strangest things inspire prayer.
I had one of these moments while photographing this heron.
I saw it fishing, so I decided to wait in the cold, to catch a photo
of the heron catching a fish.
So I waited and waited, the wind began to blow, I waited.
My hands got cold, still I waited.
My feet began to numb, although I was not the one wading through the frigid water.
My nose got really cold…still no fish.
I began to be grateful that God had not made me a heron.
All that time standing in cold water to get its lunch…a cold fish.
Have you ever seen coffee beans growing on trees?
I had this experience recently.
My adventure started out as a trip to a new little Colombian restaurant, Orobi Cafe’,
just outside the town of Troutman, NC.
They had large photographs of coffee trees and some small coffee trees in the cafe’.
This lead to an exciting conversation about the family growing their own coffee beans.
I was invited to come to the greenhouse to see the indoor coffee plantation.
Lovely Maria is the grower of the non-genetically-modified Arabica bean trees.
All her plants come from one seventeen- year-old “mama tree.”
I have been invited back to witness the days of flowering in May.
Now, I have another reason to look forward to spring.
Just in case you were wondering, yes, I came home with my own little coffee tree.
If you want to see the magic as it appears, you must pause at dusk.
As the sunlight splits into its various colors and those fade and darken toward grey,
there are moments of both light and darkness combined
that show the shape of things as they shadow.
That is when lights give their first magical twinkle.
I saw it all last night at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont.
I was there for the holiday lights, but got a glimpse of magic
here and there among the gardens.
Happy New Year
I have a new neighbor.
I have not seen it yet, but I have been finding evidence.
For weeks now its excavations have progressed.
My new neighbor is both smart and industrious.
It has moved into my cold-frame where it is warm and dry.
It has three separate entrances and exits for safety.
It is like a little city in there. This critter is like a little engineer.
There are tunnels and piles of dirt and rocks.
There is bedding material and plant materials for snacks.
I have been watching and waiting.
I hope it is a weasel.
I love all trees.
At Christmas we cut a fresh tree and bring it in to decorate it.
I love tiny trees with tiny ornaments.
I admire big trees covered in lights.
Trees decorated with handmade ornaments bring back memories.
A tree full of teacups reminds me of my Gran, who collected them.
Of course I would like any tree decorated with rabbit ornaments.
But by far,
my favorite kind of tree
is one filled with
I have been blessed with many things, but I need less.
I have too many books and plants and clothes.
No. I am not rich, but this stuff is in my way.
Like anchors crowding the deck of my ship.
I decided all this while I was sick.
That’s when the visions come.
I am trying to get somewhere, but must carry everything,
or pile it up in a wheelbarrow that keeps falling over because it is full.
As I lay in my bed, I thought of all those nice empty Amazon boxes,
perfect for hauling away too much past and too many presents.
Do not give me anything for Christmas….PLEASE.
What I really need is less.
These belongings are burdens.
I am always glad to see the lovely blooms of
my annual Amaryllis.
This year it is the lovely Apple Blossom.
It has delicate pink venation and shimmering white in its petals.
Such simple markings. Uncluttered. Subtle.
My holiday begins when my Hippeastrum blooms.
I am trying something new this winter, besides my usual Amaryllis and Paperwhites
I purchased some bulbs that needed rescuing from a big box store at 50% off.
The poor babies were starting to sprout in their bags.
I planted them all in one pot and have put them into the cool dark corner of the workshop.
These three would not normally bloom together, but I thought that white Navona lilies surrounded by Orange Queen tulips and light blue Chiondoxa forbesii would make a lovely combination.
In early March, I will pop them into some warm sunshine inside and hopefully be rewarded with a pot of early spring color.
In the meantime, I will enjoy thinking about them waiting for spring,
just like me.