Friday, January 1, 2010

Ready or Not, Here is 2010!

As I sit here in the last hours of the first decade of the new millennium writing this post, I count myself incredibly fortunate. Here I am in my nice house with my wonderful husband and 2 cats enjoying a fire in the fireplace while the temps outside dip below O degrees F (that would be about -15 degrees C) outside. We just had a lovely (if I do say so myself) New Year’s Eve dinner of duck breast Diane (I created that based on steak Diane), roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts, accompanied by a sauvignon blanc (for me) and a Riesling (for Dennis). Dennis made our dessert of poached pear with a raspberry zabaglione accompanied by raspberry port. My heart aches for those without enough food to eat, those who are unprotected from the elements and from persons of ill-intent, and those without family and friends to be a part of their lives. (I don’t intend to use this blog as soap box, but I highly recommend donating to Heifer International as a means to help others. Here is their web address: http://www.heifer.org/.)


2009 was good to us for the most part, although we did lose our beloved cat, JD, right after Thanksgiving. Seeing the end of 2009 is bittersweet for me because 2009 is the last year of JD’s life; the finality of that is hard for me. I comfort my self with the knowledge that he lived a long, fine life and that I was able to be with him in his last days and minutes.

We were able to spend Christmas with part of my family at a State Park in Georgia, 4 generations were represented! We rented 3 cabins for the group and had a wonderful time. It was great to escape the snowy cold of Minnesota for a few days. We cooked a lot of good food, drank a lot of good beer (my brother brought enough beer from microbreweries near where he lives for us to have 2 separate beer tastings) and a lot of good wine. We played some silly games and just enjoyed each other’s company. I managed to take some bird photos, although, as you can see, the light was against me for many for them. 

Even though the lighting was bad, the eastern bluebird in the 2 shots below were just too cute to leave out.  Apologies to Chris P for using the word "cute"!   


During one of my walks, I heard a mighty rustling in the shrubby trees along the verge.  I snapped this shot showing a cedar waxwing diving down into the bottom left corner.  You can sort of see it if you squint your eyes ...

The large flock of cedar waxwings right next to the lake provided a better photo op.

Below is the edge of the sunset over the lake.

Below is a  series of winter photos taken around our garden over the past month or so.

This little white-breasted Nuthatch is one many that visit our feeder.


As is this male cardinal.

And Bluejay.


We have about 15 inches of snow on the ground now, and it will likely be here until spring.  Below are some bird and squirrel tracks that I got the morning after our biggest snowfall.



The snow sets the birds off nicely as they come to the feeders.  This crow is looking particularly handsome with his feathers all fluffed out.

This little slate-colored (also called dark-eyed) Junco seemed to be really feeling the cold wind and falling snow.


I thought this photo of the junco in the snow-covered coneflower seedheads that I wove into the lattice seemed to call out for an artistic sepia-toned treatment.

The bright colors of the male and more muted colors of the female cardinals standout against the white snow.



And, finally, 2 very seasonal looking photos to convey to the readers of this blog my best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year and to express my thanks for visiting and leaving your comments. It always makes my day to see that someone has not only read my blog, but has left a comment too!




Cheers, Wilma


13 comments:

  1. Hi Wilma.
    Sounds as if you had yourselves a terrific evening.
    Love the birds. Love the snow photo's. Look forward to reading your 2010 blog.

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  2. That was a great way to start the new year Wilma.
    I managed to fall asleep before the big moment lol
    I really enjoy seeing your pictures of the birds you have there. So colourful.
    15 inches of snow till spring? Woa! No thanks lol

    All the best for 2010

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  3. Well, in fact your bluebird looks angry, but that can sometimes be cute. Couple of my grandkids are cute when they're angry, but I better not say that to them or they just get angrier. Question - you ID'd the nuthatch as Clark's which I would have called a White-breasted. Is there something there I don't know? Delicious way to start the new year - happy wishes extended

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  4. Great post, Wilma and here`s wishing you a Happy New Year.

    PS : could you please change my link from mostlymacro, to deansdailydiary.blogspot.com

    Much appreciated.

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  5. A Very Happy and Healthy New Year to You Wilma!

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas and a very nice New Year's Eve dinner too.

    Fifteen inches of snow, oh my! Just an inch or two always causes havoc here on the roads etc. I love all the photos, the Waxwing is beautiful and the Nuthatch.

    I have just looked back through your posts and was very moved by your tribute to JD, it is a terrible experience to lose a beloved pet, however old, and we have been through it too many times, mainly with dogs, it never gets any easier, time does help though.

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  6. HI Wilma,
    What a start for 2010! I cannot even choose one favorite, I love all your pictures. It looks like all the world around Iceland is getting more snow than us... We have 10cm since 24th of December, but now it is only freezing and not cloudy, so they do not forecast snow for the next coming month!

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  7. I'm sure my kids would love the 15 inches of snow! Sounds like you had a great time welcoming in the new year. Look forward to more of your blogs in the future.
    Best regards
    madi

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  8. Ken -- thanks for your comments today and throughout last year.

    Keith -- we managed to stay up, although I did have to wake Dennis from a nap on the couch at the appropriate moment to clink our champagne glasses for a few hurried sips before we toddled off to bed.

    Chris P -- yes, it does look angry, but in a cute way. ;-) You are correct, I meant to write white-breasted not Clark's. Thanks for catching that. I have corrected it.

    Dean -- thanks for giving me your new blog address. I have changed it on my links.

    Shy -- I appreciate your comments, especially your comforting words about JD.

    Chris -- our snow amounts can vary considerably from year to another. I love the snow, but the frigid temps really get to me. I just run from house to car to work and back during the week.

    Madi - the snow is beautiful, but it is too cold outside to enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Lovely set of photos for the start of the new decade. WE're having our snowiest winter up here in the north of England for several years but nothing like the low temperatures that you are experiencing in your more continental climate.

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  10. Great bird shots under the circumstances Wilma and some lovely scenery as well. The last snow scene is brilliant.

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  11. David - I have been admiring the beautifully snowy landscape photos you have on your post. The snow certainly changes the look of things and makes you think of them differently. As I like to say "Snow sure covers a lot of ugly!"

    Roy - thanks! Some scenes just call out to be captured.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  12. Happy New Year wilma. I look forward top more tales from Belize!! Glad you had a nice time with your family. It's what Christmas should be!!

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  13. Hi TonyC -- Thanks! I'll get more Belize photos out soon. cheers, Wilma

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