Monday, January 17, 2011

Cure for Cabin Fever


A whopper snowstorm was predicted for the southeast, often shrugged off and ignored by southerners who know how that goes.


On the warm and sunny day prior to the anticipated storm, the birds knew something was on the verge of happening. There was a change in their behavior.


Birds flew in that hadn’t been seen in weeks and brought with them a sense of urgency.


Early the next morning, roaming through a dark and chilly house while all others slept, I wrapped my robe tightly around me and saw through the windows a bright, cool blanket covering the landscape.

It was snowing heavily - the fluffy, lightweight kind that’s not good for building snowmen, and was just lovely.


The first day was a fun and frigid one. Chloe returned to the back door quickly, teeth chattering.


Just before dusk the birds scrambled for their last meal of the day while there was



It poured. The gentle sound of it tapping on my hood of my parka brought nostalgia of a cozy, warm home during storms like this and anticipation, mixed with a bit of anxiety…

Will there be school tomorrow?


Far overhead a raptor flapped its wings on a westward flight and without much thought or care, I snapped a quick photo, not knowing who it was but knowing the bird was not ordinary. Later that evening there was a Bald Eagle in a snapshot I almost ignored. A gift!

Overnight, the sleet and freezing rain encased the fluffy snow in ice.

Without a scent to snorgle or eyesight to see a familiar path, what about old Chloe?

Alone with Chloe, Bella and

shards of dangerous ice that are feared and crippling.

Cramping my style.

Wishing to flee

to work

to dance

to anywhere.

By the third day, sometimes on the brink of tears, mad as a hornet, and trapped like a deranged mouse in a maze. That was me.

Those who rearrange closets and deep clean their homes during times like this have good control.

No, not I. Instead, pacing, monitoring, fearing lack of control. Are we creatures of habit? Naturally nomads?

My saving graces were camera, boots, parka, and love of things that sparkle.

The beauty of ice. Its glistening charm seduced and relaxed a worrisome soul.



Metallic under the clouds.



Grin at a sunny reflection of a royal blue coat on the leaf of a butterfly bush.

The birds were slipping and sliding and perhaps were happy that the seed lady shoveled a path to their diner.




The third and last day of the fever was intense. This worrisome soul sought therapy outdoors many times, leaving the cabin fever inside. There were countless pleasant surprises that day.




The ice didn’t matter anymore


because there’s nothing sweeter than to find


an Eastern Bluebird and Carolina Wren meet,

Hello. How do you do? Grand peanuts, ey?”

Nose running, eyes watering, and fingers stinging.

No concern about that.

What a relief.

Nature saved a worrisome soul.



Angie said...

W.O.W. I have so many thoughts running through my head after speed-reading through this post---all I can say right now is W.O.W. your photos are STUNNING---and your commentary riveting .....

Minerva said...

Lovely photos, as always!. That Boston but climbing onto the porch is so cute. I've seen that before!

Congrats on the picture of the bald eagle. What a gift!

Julie Zickefoose said...

I love this I love this I love this
Clean a closet, pfft. You've given so many others such a beautiful gift. We don't care about no stinkin' closet!
The eagle was a sign!
I love Chloe climbing the porch, headed for the heat register.
It's all beautiful, and your words are perfect.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I love this I love this I love this
Clean a closet, pfft. You've given so many others such a beautiful gift. We don't care about no stinkin' closet!
The eagle was a sign!
I love Chloe climbing the porch, headed for the heat register.
It's all beautiful, and your words are perfect.

Jayne said...

There's simply nothing like that feeling of being stuck at home, is there? But, in Mary fashion, you turned it into a moment of blessedness. :c)

nina said...

Is that a brown thrasher???
What I would do to see that pretty bird here again--oh, spring!
Thank you, Mary.
For what you have with you is always just different enough from my ordinary day to make it a wonderfully happy visit!

KGMom said...

Once again, world class photography.
I love the way all the birds look grateful. Thank you, lady.
Only ingrate is poor puppy heading back indoors. Bet she wishes the ice would go. Claws don't hold so well on ice.

Ruth said...

Your pictures are amazing!!! Ice is so beautiful if you don't have to walk on it. If I had those birds at my feeder I wouldn't get to work.

The Quacks of Life said...

as ever lovely pics.

yup nature does make life so much more worthwhile

Caroline said...

Ma Nature can be a mean old gal sometimes, and then turn around and hand out presents. :o)

WAXWING said...

Your photo's that you've captured definitely give us hope that the beauty of Winter leads us to Spring. Just what we need in the challenges of weather that we humans find interfering with what we would most like to outdoors!

A New England Life said...

Your feeder must be right outside your window to have such great shots! The birds certainly do know when a storm is afoot, don't they?

Today we have that same weather, snow with ice on top. In fact it's still misting. School has a 2 hour delay. Luckily even during the worst storms we can get out and about. The roads are always plowed. No cabin fever here, though I sure would love to see a Daff or two poking it's head up ; )

Kerri Farley said...

Fabulous post Mary! Glad the cabin fever didn't last ....and that you found some friends at the feeder :)

Anonymous said...

I love this post Mary! The photos are marvelous. Thanks for sharing.
Lynda in Michigan.

Rose said...

So beautiful, Mary! Yes, this is the best way to beat cabin fever--get out and enjoy the miracles outside. I'm not fond of ice storms, but the images created by the ice are stunning. Glad to see that Chloe was dressed properly for the cold outside:)

Maria said...

Mary, I am ecstatic that I found you.

Reading your essays, poetic musings, and seeing the everywhere-beauty through your eyes saves me to in a small way. And in a not so small way...

The woman in a windowless office dazzles the world...tigger1962

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I understand how behind the lens of the camera one forgets to be miserable.
The Carolina Wren and the Bluebird sharing a nut or two made my day!
I am inside with a 101.5 fever...and 8 inches of snow on the ground.
Stay well my friend.

JeanMac said...

You captured that eagle so well. We have a lot of eagles in our area and they circle high overhead looking for that special meal!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Awesome photos. Really amazing. I have to come back to look again. AND, another Boston Terrier owner! Woohoo! First Julie Zickefoose and now you! I'm so happy!

Dan said...

What a treasure! I'm so happy to have landed on your blog and wonderful collection of photographs.


Explore. Dream. Discover.


Cathy said...

Sweet Mary.

I was trying to enjoy these pictures as I scrolled down and down.

Crystal and feathers, beauty, beauty . . but I realized I was looking for reassurance . . and finally my eyes rested on names and faces and I was happy.

Chloe and Bella and hoola hoops and life good.

Carry on . .

SouthernSass said...

Incredibly beautiful photos! You have such a great eye!! The bluebird is my favorite and my dog had the same problem as Chloe. :)

Dawn Fine said...

Lovely post! and here I am late catching up! I am sure you are all melted by now and your fever is gone~ must be lovely warm there.
I adore your icey photos..glad you got out and didnt slip!
Springs coming your way.

dguzman said...

Oh Mary--what a stunning and wonderful post! You rock, lady.

Loulou La Poule said...

Thank you for visiting Hen's Teeth!

I am in heaven here: birds, photography, more birds...most of them snuggled into their down jackets.

I look forward to returning again and again for Mary's View. And how cool is it that your camera found the bald eagle for you? I've seen a few of them here on the SC coast, but they used to fly past my kitchen window all the time when I lived in Eagle River, Alaska. I miss that.

Anonymous said...

Loving this post...I am so glad to have found your blog via Julie Z...Who knew there were people like you so ready to share the marvels of their world. During our hot summer days of August, and watching as Hurricane Irene marches up the coast, I loved reading and seeing your cold weather wonders.

Kathy Walters in Delray Beach

Mary said...

Hello Cathy in Delray Beach. Thank you for visiting! I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings and photos from January on this unattended blog :D