Sunday, February 19, 2006

Short Straw - It's the Ferry!

In these early morning, frosty moonlit hours, I sit sleepy-eyed inside my warm house looking out onto the frozen landscape now decorated with white tents. These tents are a feeble effort to blanket tender vegetation with warmth against the recent blast of winter weather surrounding Puget Sound. My husband, gardener of gentle spirit, designed them by hanging sheets on bamboo frames, working quickly in the freezing evening air. When he rejoined me after his garden soiree, his ears felt more like icicles than the globes of soft, warm flesh I love to kiss. He warmed them in the nape of my neck while we laughed and I screamed in mock horror!

Now our landscape sits frozen, eerie with its white pointed statues scattered about the front gardens, testimony to the trauma looming in the icy air. It looks more like a cemetery than the birthplace of a soon-to-be mecca of massive color.

Fickle are the sunlit days which lived here only a week ago when I had my lunch lakeside, watching ducks dive for their fishy noon-time meal. They, like I, had tasty snacks in the warm afternoon sunshine. Sailboats moved quietly in the distance while pups joined their human friends in a lazy afternoon stroll. Feet and paws moving in rhythm along the water's edge reminded me of how this place bustles with energy when sunlight shines its healing beams.

Yesterday my husband shared his pocket hand-warmers with his friends, the stellar's jays and squirrels and songbirds, who dine on seeds and nuts outside our windows. He added these packets of temporary warmth to fresh water bowls, hoping to keep the shallow water flowing so everyone could have a drink. Birdbaths nearby are now solid sheets of ice. We remembered that the tiny chickadees and other songbirds must have many extra seeds to survive the coldest nights so we added suet cakes for more energy-making feasting and gave the squirrels and jays their daily dose of peanuts. With tails arched high in the breezy air, the squirrels devoured most of their nuts as soon as we emptied the bag. Soon we saw a couple race across the rocky garden wall to hide some nuts for a future hungry day, then play chase in the afternoon's last light.

We will get lost in the Sunday Times and warm our bellies with hot chocolate before we amble into the morning's chill to hang orange slices from the evergreen limbs which protect our feathered friends. Then we'll draw straws to see if today is filled with a myriad of household chores or a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island!

Photography Credit:
Wolfgang Wander gave his kind permission for the use of his photograph of the Chickadee.
Please visit his website: http://www.pbase.com/wwcsig
and see his work and profile at http://www.nwpli.com/photographers/wolfgang/

Photograph of the Ferry: Courtesy of our private collection.


20 comments:

beansprout said...

It's bitterly cold here today. Beautiful images you've described. I love to feed all the little critters...making toast trees for the birds are my favourite. Cutting shapes with cookie cutters and spreading a thick layer of peanut butter. Yum! Thanks for adjusting your comment section. Be well.

MB said...

I think we've caught your cold! It spread to the east and now here, too, the temperatures have plunged. But we never did have little green things to worry about. Just the songbirds.

goldenlucyd said...

What a beautiful site! I'm getting so inspired by all of fabulous bloggers. I really appreciate your writing.
All the best,
lucy

Laini Taylor said...

Lovely writing, and so sweet that your husband is concerned with the birds getting a drink. I can imagine his little tented garden very well -- was at my mother's last night and it's the same, the porch looks like a gathering of ghosts! Raccoons came again and again to the balcony door for dog cookies, and their breath made little clouds. Had a few tiny flurries of snow a few hours ago (I'm nearby, in Porltand) but now it's gone. I was so hoping for some snow. Sigh.

liz elayne said...

oh this beautiful glimpse into your world. i just read this out loud to my husband (we are tucked into bed, and i am enjoying my new laptop for the first time! very exciting) and we marveled at the way you turn your words into such a gorgeous picture of life here. and you have reminded me to purchase some suet for my little chickadees. our little feathered friends who brighten our days...i have to keep thawing the hummingbird food in the midst of this crazy weather...
thank you for sharing your day with us...

Claude said...

Cold, wet and gloomy morning in Paris! Thanks for visiting my blog. Good thing you didn't draw the household chores ;)
I loved the photo of the ferry. A long time since I've been to the States.

Sky said...

donna - thanks for the idea about the peanut butter trees. think we will do that and add some raisin and seed to the peanut butter. :)

mb- it is warming here now. rain is coming back. hubby will be busy tomorrow removing the toombstones!

lucy - thanks. great seeing you here! please come again.

laini - i agree. snow would have been fun if we had to have these cold temps.

liz - thanks for your kind words. :) a new laptop! we both love ours and work side by side each night.

claude - glad you came by and hope you visit again. my hubby took the ferry photo! i will tell him you like it. we will be in paris en route to india...just don't know when yet.

salvagepoint said...

Hi sky...i saw your comment on my blog and dropped by here.
I love the way you write...reminds me so much of me! :)
I found your comment on my blog candid and touching.
Let's keep the dialogue open...!Did you have a chance to read the book on Rumi?

JourneyThroughLIfe said...

What a beautiful day!

JourneyThroughLIfe said...

What a beautiful day!

Tammy said...

My, you have such a gift of telling a simple story and making it sound like music. Beautiful!

reva said...

hi there, I just came to know of yr bog from deephaks,since iam an Indian ,yr life seem to be very interesting indeed with a mix of 2 different cultures , food, habitats ,languages etc etc.Like to know more about your life, how u met him and got married,and more.Pl do post some pictures of yr family and children if u please,, will be comming here often to know more of you.

reva said...

hi there,

u have an interesting bog there

reva

Tabor said...

Enjoyed your perspective and realized that I also would rather get advice from a person that I know. Free advice may be what it is worth since they don't know your whole situation.

Sky said...

salvagepoint - welcome, thanks! still reading rumi. thanks for your comment on a prior post, too! eager to read more of you.

jtl - :) yes, it was. too short though!

tammy - thanks for your kind words!

reva - thanks and welcome. do come back. :)

rdl said...

well you just gave me an idea - bout feeding the squirrels peanuts, so maybe they will stay off the bird feeders. I remember that ferry to Bainbridge, the one time I was in Seattle-more than 20yrs ago now. love the pics and yr. blog, will be back. thanks for stopping by.

K T Cat said...

Loved the bird photo! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Sky said...

tabor - good to see you again.

rdl - welcome and thank you! yes, please do return.

kcat - love it, too, and was so pleased that Wolfgang Wander, whom I had never met, agreed to let me use it. remarkable talent.

Frankie said...

What amazing imagery. You have such a beautiful way with words. I love this story about your day. It filled me with so much warmth and joy. Thank you so much!

Paul said...

Nice photos! The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to live.