Winter Snow Advisory

Living in Michigan, I use to the weather changing. After a couple of days of extremely cold weather, we are now in the midst of a winter snow advisory. I guess Mother Nature is not quite ready to let spring take over completely.

Needless to say, I still find the falling snow beautiful.

Until next time….peace

January: Soup Month

The month of January is known as Soup Month. Normally, in mid-Michigan, the cold winter months welcomes a bowl of warm soup. Lately, our daily temps are above freezing. But I am certain the cold temps and snowy days are just around the corner.

My question for all of you is do you have a favorite type of soup? My soup tastes usually depend on my mood. (Yes, I am one of those emotional eaters). When I am feeling ill, I love a nice warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. On days, when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I like a high-quality tomato soup with a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. What can I say–my tastes are rather simple. But I am always willing to try something new.

As a child, the winter months always met homemade bean soup. For almost two days, my mother would allow the Navy beans to slowly simmer in a large cast iron pot on top of the old, pot belly stove. Adding ham, onions, and other seasonings, the smell of the soup would drift throughout the old farm house.

The final meal would always involve homemade bread, biscuits, and a dessert. Of course, the best part of the meal was the house full of guests. For most of us, the homemade bean soup was a tasty treat. Well except for my younger sister who to this day is not a fan of bean soup.

My attempts to make bean soup as an adult do not yield the same results as my mother’s tasty homemade recipe. I cannot tell you if my attempts fail because I do not own a cast iron pot and an old wood burning, pot belly stove. Or the difference in taste is due to missing family members and friends that are no longer with me.

Regardless of the reason, homemade bean soup will always remain one of my all-time favorites; a nestled memory on a cold winter’s day.

Until next time….peace

 

 

National Bird Day 2017

Today, January 5, 2017, is known as National Bird Day. How can you not love an entire day dedicated to our fine feathered friends? As a nature lover, I find birds fascinating. Every species seems to have a unique personalities and behavior patterns. During the colder winter months, I sit and watch the birds from the warmth of my home.

When the feeder is low or empty, the little Chickadees are very vocal.

Chickadee

Whereas the little Sparrows line up and stare at me from the edge of the roof or the nearby shrubbery bush, both methods get my attention. I am usually adding seeds to the feeder immediately.

The little Sparrows watching me.
The little Sparrows watching me.

After the feeders are full, the Mourning Doves cautiously gather seeds on the ground.

Another Dove waiting patiently for the seeds.
Another Dove waiting patiently for the seeds.

When the Blue Jay comes to the feeder, all the other birds fly away.The Blue Jay’s presence always seems larger in life. The site of the deep red Cardinals against the snow covered ground is always breathtaking.

The older I get, the more I love to watch the birds. Yes, I photograph them too. But there are days where I just like to observe. Of course, my observations usually end up in one of my stories. I mean, how can you not imagine little fairies or other small woodland spirits riding on the back of the birds to defend Mother Nature and the rest of the natural realm.

Until next time….peace

 

My Barred Owl Story

Over the holiday season, I was able to photograph a beautiful Barred Owl. The sighting in the natural habitat was absolutely remarkable. I was on my way to pick up some stuff at my nephew’s school. The roads were snowy from the recent accumulation. Of course, I was in rush. As I drove by the wooded area, I spotted the Barred Owl just sitting there on a lower branch. Obviously, the beautiful creature was searching for his next meal.

When I first drove by, I did not have a camera with me. Not even my pocket camera which I had just taken out of my purse. Since I was close to home, I immediately turned around to go get a camera. The whole time, I was thinking, “there was no way the owl would still be there”. As I was rushing out of my drive, I proceeded to get my car stuck. After some time, I managed to get my car back on the road. By this time, I was absolutely convinced the Barred Owl would be gone.

But, sitting on the lower branch right off the side of the road by the Maple River was the beautiful creature. If I would not have been in such a hurry, I could have watched the Barred Owl all day long. The owl was not skittish of me. I managed to snap a lot of pictures. We just seemed to stare at each other. His black eyes were mesmerizing.

After all the years of living in the countryside, I had only witnessed an owl once before in the wild. The last time, I was a child. And, no, I will not tell you how many years ago that occurred. At that time, the owl was flying down to retrieve a dead carcass out of the road. I cannot tell you the type of owl we saw the night. But I can tell you, the initial sighting all those years ago was one of the reasons why I enjoy nature and wildlife.

I find owls completely fascinating. Well, of course, the Harry Potter series confirmed my love for the stunning creatures.

Until next time….peace

 

 

Just Another Spring Day in Michigan

Most of the time, I find Mother Nature endearing. I love Michigan’s changing seasons. With that being said, I want warmer weather. I know I get what I get.   But today with the mixture of heavy snow, freezing rain, and sleet I must admit I am ready for warmer weather.

My poor early blooming flowers are looking pathetic under the weight of the snow and ice.

With that being said, I must admit I am grateful (despite the dreary day) I started a warm fire and spent the rest of the day doing what I love most….writing.

At least, the updated weather forecast shows signs of improvement, I just would like to spend some extra time outdoors without being cold and wet.

Until next time….peace

The Beauty of Snow

My social media page was filled with negative comments about the snow storm. Yes, I know the snow is an inconvenience. But the natural occurrence is absolutely beautiful. To be honest, everyone was warned about the snow in advance. The shutdown of offices, businesses, and schools due to inclement weather is for the safety of everyone. I cannot see why people were complaining.

I love how the old barn looks after the snow
I love how the old barn looks after the snow

Personally, I think you should enjoy the extra moments with your family. Go outside, build a snowman, do a project together, etc. Enjoy the official snow day from work and school. But, that’s just my opinion.

The Windwalker
The Windwalker standing tall.

 

Until next time…peace

 

Snow Storm

The biggest news for my area is the snow storm. Mid-Michigan could receive between 6 to 10 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. Since I work out of my home, I find the snow beautiful. I was out in the slightly snowy covered roads earlier this morning. But they had not begun to get slippery yet. Now the roads are completely covered, state offices are closed and schools were sent home early. Safe travels to anyone who is still out and about.

The snow has slowly progressed throughout the afternoon.
The snow has slowly progressed throughout the afternoon.

Snow storms remind of childhood when schools were closed. My mother always had extra children at the house on snow days. The day would be filled with sledding, snowmen, warm cocoa and homemade entertainment. Even though some of the snow storms brought no electricity, we still enjoyed ourselves. We haven’t lost power yet. Numerous people in the area are already without power. So we will see what the night brings.

The view from my front porch.
The view from my front porch.

I managed to meet my writing deadline early which gives me time to write for myself and “play” with pictures.

The Old Mill
The snow is heavier now……

 

 

I gave the outdoor birds extra food today.  But, I haven't witnessed much movement from their houses since the snow started.
I gave the outdoor birds extra food today. But, I haven’t witnessed much movement from their houses since the snow started.

So, I am currently watching the live stream of the Brit Awards. I am keeping notes on the artists I do not normally hear; I can see a large iTunes bill in my near future. I am always listening to music when I write. I like different genres to fit the mood of my characters. So, if anyone has any music suggestions please pass them my way.

Until next time….peace

 

Beautiful But Cold

“Beautiful But Cold” is the only way I could describe today. Even with the sun peaking through at various times throughout the day, the temps never made their way out of the teens. With the wind chill factored in, the air felt even colder.

The wild birds seem to spend extra time at the feeders which were wonderful to watch this morning.

The evening air was crisp but I could not resist the view. I with my little puppy, Gizmo in tow went out for a few minutes. I snapped about 50 pics when I decided the air was just too much for me. (I really need to invest in some new outdoor wear. Thank goodness for REI).  Gizmo did not hesitate when I asked if he was ready to go in.

We both have been enjoying the rest of the evening by the fireplace.

Hope everyone had a great day.

Until next time…..peace.

 

Foggy Evening

The fog has definitely rolled into mid-Michigan this evening. I can feel a dampness in the air as the weather slowly warms above freezing. Depending on the news outlet, we will receive between 5 to 10 inches of snow within the next two days. I am wondering if the dense fog is just the prelude to the coming snow storm. I know there is an old weather tale that states, ““For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall.” But I do not know if the fog actually is an indicator of an upcoming snow storm.

The fog makes the old barn look almost spooky.
The fog makes the old barn look almost spooky.

Michigan has seen a mild winter so far. A really good snow storm is just a matter of time. I guess, we will find out tonight. The snow is reported to begin after 1 a.m. I have nowhere to go for the next couple of days. I can just spend extra time working on my book. And, of course, go out and take pictures of the newly fallen snow.

Until next time…..peace.

P.S. A special shout out to my father who celebrates his 70th birthday today.