Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Long Shadows


On my drive to the office I can see sunrises now instead of darkness and headlights approaching. I laughed at myself this morning while I drove around like a mouse in a maze, chasing the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever seen. Minutes and seconds make a notable difference in the changing sky when clouds are involved. After one U-turn and venturing onto some side roads I’ve never visited, this is all I could get. Too late. Dang.


Five minutes was wasted on that lost sunrise. I leaned on the trunk of my car feeling defeated, looked another way, and saw an abandoned house covered in foliage and vines. I stared at that house for a minute, wondering what lives inside now and who had once made it their home.


Baby, it’s getting cold outside.

I found Bella burrowed in our bedspread when I went to bed last night. It was the first night we dipped below freezing but turning the furnace on sounds so ridiculous to me. A little over a week ago, we were thankful for air conditioning. Now I wear a coat! Fifty degrees makes me shiver in the Carolinas compared to fifty degrees up North which was considered a tropical heat wave in November.

Before dinner hour this week, the shadows are long in the back of the house, dimming the feeders and pond. What I hoped for during the blistering summer was this. Now that it’s here, I’m moping because I’ll have very few backyard photos for a few months. Daylight is so good. It keeps me feeling alive.

If I can get outside quickly after work, I can catch a few sunny photos.



A few tall trees are still sunlit at 5pm.



My heart says Purple Finch but my mind isn't sure... I used to wear the same shade of lipstick. Looks quite nice on him, too!


Unmistakable backside!

Yes, the shadows, deep and long, will limit my fun for a while, but the weekends will be divine!



Let’s not forget about the Pigeons!

What is the point of this post?
I already miss the long days of summer.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mary I just love your photos. You don't need a "point" for your photos. They speak for themselves.

Q said...

mgjntfeDear Mary,
Oh my, your birds are delightful! So many different types too. All of your photos are wonderful! I am also missing the summer evenings with lots of daylight. I do not miss the heat.
The shadows are long come 4pm..
I love the picture of the abandoned house. It has an "art shot" feel to it. Very wonderful photo.
My Juncos are back too. Today I had Pine Siskins!!! I had seen yours and was hoping some would find my backyard.
Weekends this winter will be nice and maybe you can take walks around campus during the day. I like winter for birding since I can actually see the birds!
Indian Summer is coming soon!

Cathy said...

Oh! Sweet Bella! (Gorgeous bedspread:0)

I was not disappointed by your sunrise picture and the old house reminded me of a poem I wrote many years ago and now you're stuck with it :0D

Vacant House

All about a vacant house
dwells a sense of grief,
as though its heart were stolen way
by some night-shrouded thief.

Pressed around its sagging walls
the flowers bow their heads.
Peony blush and lily white
give way to bramble reds.

This alone the empty rooms
know with silent need:
homes submit to spider webs
as flowers yield to weeds.

Anonymous said...

Mary, your house picture looks like one from zick's post this week! Also,love seeing your many feeder birds and so hard to believe you are talking about turning your heat on! LOL I also miss the long days!

thailandchani said...

I wanted to go homestead the vacant house! :) Beautiful!

KGMom said...

Mary--bite your tongue. You miss summer? That 100 degree record setting hot hot hot dry dry dry summer? No, you can't.
I did notice on the news that the forecast for NC was for lower temps than central PA. North or south? Gets confusing.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Eee! Eee! House finch.Keep snappin' though. We had siskins today!

I think your little viney house is divine.

Here's to driving around looking for sunsets. That's how to live.

LauraHinNJ said...

Oooh Oooh Cathy's poem - wow!

I miss the long days too, Mary. Don't think I'll often be up and out in time for the sunrise, though.

JeanMac said...

We're pitch black at 5pm!I love Bella and "her" comforter.

Jess Riley said...

Love the pictures, as always!

This morning I was actually up early enough to catch a sunrise. Put THAT date on the calendar!

(It's in the twenties here in the Dairy State. I miss summer, too.)

Carol Michel said...

"Too late, dang." Are you kidding? That is a gorgeous picture of the morning sky. I wonder now what it looked like before this picture if you think you missed it? Really! Outstanding. I might just make that my background on my laptop for awhile, if you don't mind...

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Susan said...

Beautiful photos Mary! I'm missing summer already, too.

LostRoses said...

Missing summer? Me, too! I hate getting out of work at 5PM and it's already dark. It feels like part of the day has been stolen!

kate said...

It doesn't take very long for us to start wishing it was still summer. More than the cold temperatures, I think it is the shorter daylight hours in the winter that get to me. Your bird photographs are incredible ... and I love the picture of the abandoned house. It has some stories to tell ... I love the foliage covering it!

Mary said...

Cathy, you are BRILLIANT! Thanks for sharing your wonderful poem here.

Science Chimp, you got me again! LOL! Hey, it's a very pretty House Fince, nonetheless :o)

Jayne said...

I have to say that I do like not driving to school and work in the dark, but I do hate that it's pitch black by 6PM. Love your photos you caught Mary!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I think that's a great sunrise picture....I wish I could capture those rays like you did on your picture, plus you got that great show of the foliage covered old house. Good job!

Love your puppy in a blanket--that's what my Sophie likes to do. :)

Dawn said...

Hi Mary!

The sunset looks pretty to me. Sorry you missed the most spectacular bit. I've done a bit of sunset chasing myself. You're right about a minute or two making all the difference.

Your birds look very content with your feeders. You have so many different species! I'll bet they've depended on your food and water during the drought.

Naturegirl said...

Absolutley wonderful images!! Thanks for the sunrise as I'm snoozzing when
it rises here.....heh I'm on strong meds remember and besides baby it's cold outside!!!
Oh my look at that sweet lala land!! too sweet for words!!
Come by and see some ~~OLD BAGS~ at my blog!! hugs aNNa xo

Chrissie said...

I miss the daylight hours, it is dark here at 5 pm. Your photos are wonderful though. Winter will bring more birds to our gardens! And we can plan for summer next year :-)

dguzman said...

was that a brown-headed nuthatch in the first bird pic? (or am I just wishing?)

I liked your sunrise photo--those rays into the sky are spectacular, one of my favorite things about sunrises and sunset.

And I'm sure the Chimp's been here to tell you it's just a house finch. Sometimes they can be really handsome, though! The ONE purple finch I've seen in the field was in fact very different from the house; plumper, and a different shade of red. You'll get one, Mary--maybe in Ohio?

Anonymous said...

You're stuff is always eye candy! The red cardinal against that blue blue sky is spectacular. So is the water lily bud. So is that sunrise... But I know what you mean about long summer evenings. I miss my garden pottering time after work.

Kathi said...

Zick beat me to the House Finch ID. Most people focus on the shade of red when trying to tell House from Purple Finch, but I find that the streaking on the sides and belly are the key. Any brown streaking at all, and it's a House Finch. Purple Finch (males) have creamy white flanks and belly with no brown streaking. (The female Purple Finch, on the other hand, has loads of thick, dark brown streaks, but no raspberry coloration.)

I always tell people, if you have to work to make it a Purple Finch, it is probably a House Finch. When you truly see a Purple Finch, there is no question about the ID.

However, I was intrigued by your nuthatch. Is it a Brown-headed? Now, that would be a Lifer for me!


Mary said...

Oh how I agree. today has been so cold and almost dark at 4pmLong time still Spring

Mary said...

Delia, yes, I have oodles of brown-beaded nuthatches and they're sweet but I'm waiting for red and white breasted ones. They're in the area but not here yet :o/ Ohio sounds divine...I don't know yet.

Katdoc, last winter when I didn't know squat about finches, I thought I had a Purple Finch and everyone guffawed. Then, I DID IT AGAIN. LOL! Wishful thinking, I guess. The deep red on the back was striking which made me dream... Yes, brown-headed - lots of them. Thanks for stopping by!

Susan said...

Mary, I'm surprised you don't see the white-breasted nuthatches. We're not that far away from you and we have oodles of them year-round. We've had a few brown-heads around for the past few weeks. We rarely see red-breasted nuthatches, but we did see 2 of them a couple of weeks ago.

Mary said...

Susan, I'm clueless as to why, except that I live in a booming town, full of construction, only 17 miles from uuptown Charlotte? I'll keep looking...

Susan Gets Native said...

*stretching across the vast space that separates us, dear Mary, and with a caring hand, I am reaching out and ....

SMACKING YOU IN YOUR GOOFY, HEAT-ADDLED HEAD! Summer almost did you in, and you miss it?
You know, Mary...they have pills for disorders like this.

Anyway, love your pics as always.
: )

Susie said...

These are gorgeous photos! Your posts are always such a bright spot to visit!! I especially love the cardinal :)

David said...

That photo of the old house is very evocative. Makes you wish the house could talk and tell its stories.

Larry said...

Great photos! You know-I don't really miss summer.-I'm not a summer person, but I can appreciate what your saying.-I wouldn't mind living in that house either(I'd fix it up).-I would rather live in a Charlie Brown house on a beautiful peace of land rather than an Oprah house in the middle of a crowded neighborhood.