Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Not My Favorite

by Deanna


As a reader of our blog, and thank you for that, you may well have surmised that the month of January’s theme is Winter’s  Bare Branches.  Living in the Midwest I am surrounded by branches from the many varieties of Maples, the Sycamores, the River Birch, Pin Oaks and Red Oaks, Magnolias, and Weeping Willows, the Black Walnut and the Sweet Gum, varieties of trees too numerous to list. Drive down any neighborhood street and you will probably see a Honey Locust, a Maple, even a large Bur Oak gracing the parkways.  During the summer months these varieties are clothed in their various colors, shapes and sizes of leaves, seeds or flowers, but in the winter, unless you are an arborist (tree expert) they all appear to look almost the same, except perhaps in size. Their branches stripped clean, standing bare before us.   I can see the shape, the size, the broken, the scars, the length of the branches, all appearing lifeless.  And I wonder, will the Spring bring life back into those broken and scarred limbs.



I know that winter pretty much strips me of the joy that I find during those warmer months of the year.  Sunshine and warmth are my go-to words, but sunshine has been very sparse this year. Since January 1st we have had only 1 full day of sunshine, the rest have been partly cloudy or totally dreary. With rain, not snow.  We had 2 beautiful snows in December followed by January rains. Am I complaining, yes.  Do I feel stripped and bare, yes. But like the trees I will flourish again in the spring.  Having this cold dreary weather does give me an excuse to hunker down and read until my eyes grow weary, then I nap.



Eventho Winter is not my favorite time of year, I do find life among those bare trunks and limbs. Wildlife remains steadfast throughout the cold months here in the Midwest. Those bare branches provide a safe place for birds and our furry friends to perch in their search for food, thus giving me the opportunity to capture their winter coats and plumage.  



And I must admit there is an occasional drop-dead gorgeous sunset. And with the trees bare I can enjoy those blazing colors.  


So there you have it....my so-called love/hate relationship with our Midwest winters. Love them for draping our world in purest white, for the gorgeous unimpeded views of sunsets, and the birds and critters that give life to the barest of branches.  The not so loved side are the short days,the pile of coats, gloves and boots to weather the cold, the dreariness, and the longing for those bare limbs to spring forth with life again.  

11 comments:

Carol said...

Your birds are beautiful, but that first picture goes straight to my heart!Your "wintery mix" as the weatherpeople say, is right on - but I'll take the good with the bad - I love a good snow day!

terriporter said...

Oh, Deanna, your photos as always are magnificent! It lets us all see, through your eyes, the season as you see it. We have had the dreariest winter I can remember and there is no snow to add beauty to it. I love the sun and blue skies too and when it's gray, it affects my mood and not in a good way. But your photos in this post, the first and the last especially, have shown me how beautiful winter can be when you are open to it. I'm going to stop complaining about the gray and get out there and find the beauty in it!

Dotti said...

Your lovely winter photos are a sight for these sore eyes. Terri has no idea what grey is unless she experienced this month in Kentucky. Honestly, it is the greyest.January.ever in my neck of the woods, maybe three days of sun. The sun will come out tomorrow? Don't hold your breath. But it does no good to complain so let me just say this about winter and bare trees: you are singing my song here. Winter is my least favorite season. But I do have to say that this month's theme and posts have helped me appreciate the beauty to be found in winter trees and the wisdom we can gain from these trees and nature - if we just open our eyes and hearts to it.

kelly said...

Deanna I love how you capture all the magic of your long winters. Here in the southern plains, we don't get much snow, but we are very familiar with the long stretches of sunless days. Thanks for bring a little sunshine to mine today. xoxo

Sarah Huizenga said...

But I wonder...if we had beauty all year round would we appreciate Spring near as much? I will never leave the midwest because of the seasons, each comes with its joys and its challenges.

moira said...

All your images are a joy and the second one is simply exquisite. Where I live in the UK- a coastal village in Cumbria- the weather this winter has mostly been dull, grey, mild and damp, with just a few magical days of frost and blue sky.
I love seeing images of and reading about the seasons in other parts of the world -and seeing the birds and wildlife- another of the many pleasures of F.O.L.

JUDITH said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. Winter is not my favorite either but your photos are just magnificent. I am Cathy's sister and I love the Bog.

Carol said...

I just love what Sarah said in the comments above. It's being mindful that each minute has its pluses!

Sandra said...

Beautiful shots, Deanna! I think that the four different seasons are the best things in the whole world! Spring would never be as wonderful if it did not follow winter! You have certainly captured all the beauty of this lovely season!

Nicki said...

An amazing collection of photos from the wonderful outdoors - celebrating perhaps not your favorite season but making it look good.

seabluelens said...

Winter is not my favorite season either, but I do agree with Sarah's comment. Winters are long here in Maine, and I get to feeling positively claustrophobic as I wrap up in layers of hats, scarves, coats, gloves, etc. just to walk to the mailbox. But there is beauty to be found in winter, as you've shown here, and spring will be all the sweeter when it comes.

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