Tuesday, February 28, 2023


The world only exists in your eyes.
You can make it as big or as small as you want.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Hardy Plant

I found this piece of milfoil frozen into the ice in mid January when we had partially frozen sections of the lake.

This next specimen of variable milfoil, in some meltwater on Feb 16, was rooted and looking quite happy and healthy, with green shoots visible.

I pulled the entire plant out, and cleaned all the mud off the roots. It has quite a substantial root system for such a small amount of vegetation.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Evade or Invade?

Evade or Invade?
Emigrate or Immigrate?

At a recent symposium on invasive species and climate change, I became intrigued by the idea of re-branding invasives as evasives - organisms that have left their area of origin to evade creeping climate change. In this regard, invasives are the survivors ...

It's similar to the concept of emigrating or immigrating, in that it depends on the perspective of whether something is leaving or arriving.

It may be a bit of a provocative perspective ... but it's great for making me think and question our previous knee-jerk responses to range expansions. I realize that preserving diversity is still a key consideration, but I do question how much 'managing' of inevitable change we think we should do ... 

And yet, organisms that move in, take over, dominate and become monocultures do not support diversity - it seems that each species movement needs to be evaluated individually. So many ideas and possibilities to play with!

I certainly have more questions than answers since hearing all the presentations, but that's not a bad thing. I feel engaged and stimulated from the 2 days of exposure to recent research perspectives, and I'm back to believing I'm a young university student.

And now I wonder what will happen to those species that have nowhere further north to go?

Friday, February 24, 2023

Winter's Back!


Unfrozen water:

Sepia coloration

Bleeds into the snow.

(Our water level has risen with new repairs to the dam!).

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Winter's Provisions

If it weren't for the snow cover, we wouldn't notice just how many twigs and needles get added to the leaf litter on the forest floor during winter storms.

It probably provides fresh, juicy nutrition to ground creatures in lean times, and is easily found on top of the snow, so no burrowing or excavating required! 

I imagine these green boughs provide new warm material to re-stock and reline nests in long winters. 

Plus, the green boughs provide localized 'warmth' foci around which snow can melt.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Not What You Think!

I know that some of you think (know?) I have some fixations ... so I'm teasing you with this explicit picture. 

It looks pretty disgusting, but in fact is not - it is the rhizome of the yellow pond lily, or spatterdock (Nuphar variegata). A rhizome is just an underground stem in a horizontal orientation, and it can survive some exposure to air; the plant regenerates both from this structure and from seeds. There are no leaves that overwinter.

The plant produces gorgeous yellow blooms with large floating leaves - a real beauty and the beast!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Squirrels leap and chase, 

Wind tickles the lake's surface.

Relentless, crows caw.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Warm Winter

We haven't seen any, I repeat any, snowmobiles on our lake at all this winter. There was a short period where it seemed as if the lake might have iced over, at the very end of January, but it didn't remain cold long enough and the ice wasn't very thick. We have water running through our cove again, and can see open water out on the main part of the lake already. Mergansers have been spotted.

The stump in the foreground usually floats in our cove, but with the failure of the dam flashboards in December, much of our water drained away, leaving this beautiful piece of art high and dry! The repairs to the dam flashboards began the week of Feb 13, so maybe we'll be able to regain (and retain) some water during spring rains.

I took this photo on Jan 11, when the dam failure caused the surface ice to collapse

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Herbivore Herd

Three four-leg'ged deer
Traverse the melting shoreline. 
Then gone, like phantoms.

(Three four-leg'ged deer
And not four, three-leg'ged deer -
Still twelve legs, total!)

A few days later
Not three, but eight more bodies -
Limb count forty four.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Navajo Proverb

When I came across this Navajo proverb I was moved, so thought I'd share:

"You can't see the future with tears in your eyes"

Friday, February 17, 2023

Shoe Drama

I keep a handy little shoehorn in the drawer under my mudroom bench for quick and easy access while I'm sitting to put my shoes on. Today was no exception, and I was delighted, as always, with how well this very basic, simple device works. After putting on my right shoe, I reached down to the floor (same color as the shoehorn) to pick up the little plastic spoon for the next shoe, but it wasn't there. I bent over and reached around under the bench, wondering how it might have got that far away from me without being able to locomote on its own, but it wasn't there.

Dallas using the mudroom bench to see who's at the door

Ah, I thought, I must have automatically put it back into the drawer without thinking, so searched through it, also without success. I stood up and walked away from the bench, checking the floor all around. It was nowhere to be seen. That was a little disturbing - I felt as if I were losing my mind, searching the same old places again and again, but ... I eventually found it ... in the last place I looked (obviously!)

It was sitting snugly and comfortably in the back of my right shoe, making itself completely un-feel-able! What a silly ding-bat I am! I probably left it there on purpose so I didn't stand on it and crack it.

This also happened, but not to me - what are the chances?

P.S. No  one was injured in the documenting of these incidents.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Ice Abstraction

 Abstract art found in a frozen shard of ice - how intriguing it looks close up!

I think it's magnificent.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Rock Bottom

The extended period of low water in our lake has given us a chance to see what lies beneath, without even needing a snorkel.

This is what the bottom of the lake looks like in places - it's hard to imagine that this is what we're usually walking on when we wade out to swim.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Cold Beeches


Marcescent beech leaves

Shiver and tremble with each

Icy blast of wind

Monday, February 13, 2023


I decided it was time to get my hair cut, and had watched hours of YouTube videos about how to do this at home, so decided to give it a try myself (again). And with the weather as "warm" as 43°F, I opted to do this outside (less mess to clear up).

I was following directions when I took this snap of me with my hair parted and tied with double elastics, and my bangs clipped back. As you can see, I'm lop-sided from having gone ahead and cut one of the ponytails off (unevenly!) 

After releasing the elastics, it was just a matter of clipping and evening it out before trimming my bangs. This is what I ended up with - glad I did it. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Baubles and Fountains

Some pretty ice pics again; the running hosepipe formed these beautiful sculptures 


Friday, February 10, 2023

Small Pleasures

Why, oh why did it take me so long to break down and buy these most elegantly simple and yet luxurious contraptions for my kitchen rolls of 'stuff'?

They work so perfectly - I'm cursing myself for putting up with collapsing cardboard and ineffective cutting edges for so many years. I even had some boxes sticky-taped back together. I'm so excited with my new gadget - one for foil, one for parchment, one for wax paper and one for cling wrap. Luxury, indeed!

My appreciation of this little improvement to my kitchen reminds me of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, where the Once-ler declares that "Everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE" needs a Thneed, a creation of his. I think EVERYONE needs these organizers!

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Crystal Footprints

I love how the structure of snow is visible to us when it's disturbed or trampled on. When not pressed down like this, it looks amorphous and uniform.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Patterns with Yarn

I'm having so much fun using YouTube to find new crochet patterns I can follow. I'm amazed at how 2 basic stitches, combined in different ways, can produce such different textures and outcomes.

This one is so simple really, with a 2 row repeat. I like that the pattern reforms itself each row, without having to count stitches even! It feels thrilling to me to find out that I can do this! 

I pick up discarded balls and cones of yarn from our "Take-it" shop, experiment with different needle sizes and color combinations, and make straight up and down shawls: no shaping needed.

This shawl grew so quickly! Completed in 6 days.

Each time I start a new pattern and color, I feel excited. It's the possibilities, the potential outcome that thrills me, and keeps me going. 

Monday, February 6, 2023

What Lies Beneath

I was lucky to be out this moody afternoon to see the clouds coating the sky like this. I'd stopped the car to take pictures of a 'phenomenon' I love observing on open landscapes after a snowfall, and was greeted by this splendor.

What I intended capturing was the unique way in which the snow surface becomes texturized by what lies BENEATH. There are no trees in this open area to drop dollops of snow and cause dimples everywhere, but yet there are dips and hollows without any footprints or snowmobiles having passed over it - t is pristine in that regard. But the warmth of vegetation stubs like grasses or crop residue beneath the snow cause warming, some melting and sinking. 

"I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape--the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. " -- Andrew Wyeth


Sunday, February 5, 2023

Frosted Windows

Look at the amazingly beautiful frosting we found on some of our windows (those closest to our indoor plants) during the recent Arctic blast. We had temps down to -38°F  at one point (at this temperature Celsius and Fahrenheit scales merge).

The beauty of this occurrence had the added bonus of me not having to go outside to capture these filigreed growths on our window. Lucky me!