Just Another Day In The Woodlands

I spent the last three days outside with the camera, braving the bitter cold, in order to photograph the exquisite ice display from a recent storm. The landscape, in its frozen state, was gorgeous. But try as I might, I felt I failed miserably with many of my photographs. After filling a card, or freezing too much to snap any more shots, I would come inside to download images and discover I had not done justice to the gorgeous ice spectacle outside. So, back out I would go, trying various settings and angles, but still not capturing the kind of breathtaking razzle-dazzle in the photos that I was seeing in real life. I wondered if there was really any way to truly capture the sparkle as I saw it through my eyes.

Ice covered trees were frosted in snow overnight!

Ice covered trees were frosted in snow overnight!

Frozen Woodlands

Frozen Woodlands

I was also disappointed that the sunlight only shone through the clouds for very short intervals. I grew weary tromping around on the crunchy ice to get to a photographic location, only to have to wait for the sun to appear again. Disheartened about my lack of luck, and growing numb from the cold, I decided to call it quits. Sometimes, what we want or hope for, is just not meant to be.

And then, as I crossed the pasture to the edge of the woods, I saw Daisy and Spirit! We had seen them recently in the night at the feeders, but did not bother them in the darkness as it sometimes spooks them. I walked quick as I could in my muck boots to meet Daisy. I laughed in delight as I petted her woolly face and neck. I had both cameras around my neck and, just like old times, Daisy got busy snooping. Nibbling and yanking on my jacket’s zipper pulls and toggles, she suddenly turned her attention to the camera lens. Giving it a quick lick, she then proceeded to chew on the camera strap. I frantically tried to keep everything out of her reach, but it was impossible.

Daisy and Spirit having a little deer chow on an icy morning!

Daisy and Spirit having a little deer chow on an icy morning!

A rare moment when I catch them both looking at the photographer!

A rare moment when I catch them both looking at the photographer!

After a good massage and pet, I left Daisy and Spirit to continue their feeding on plant life and browse in the woods. Later in the afternoon, while attempting to photograph the ice extravaganza again, I found them both bedded down in the ice and snow, chewing their cud and looking quite contented. I did not bother them this time, except to take a few photos of them with their cheeks puffed out, enjoying the ruminating process and simply relaxing.

This morning as I read through my favorite blogs, one post in particular stood out: “It is the time of year for Christmas Revelry. If you want to.” My friend Celi, author of thekitchensgarden, wrote this post, which spoke to me from a perspective I had not thought about before. And oddly, it offered a fairly accurate reflection of my own deeply-felt thoughts about the holiday season.  As I read Celi’s post, a sudden welling of tears sprouted from my eyes, and my nose commenced to running. It took me forever to compose myself enough to post a response in the comment section. And later, when I saw her response to my comment, the tears flowed again.

I had expectations about how my ice photography should be. I wanted to produce a dazzling Christmas post showing the full splendor of Mother Nature, while making sure I was promptly in-line with all of the other great holiday blog posts.  I was doing as I always had done, viewing the holiday season in a way that I “thought” it should be and how I was supposed to celebrate it. But reading Celi’s words brought to me a realization of my own, true spirit of the season. What my friend had the courage to say and to own about herself, was exactly what I was afraid to admit to myself all of these years.

For me, the joy of Christmas is that it can be “Just Another Day In The Woodlands” – where my Daisy roams, and Spirit follows, nibbling and browsing about – and that is exactly where I want to be!

Daisy and Spirit come up top with me. They take time to nibble dandelion, henbit and winter grasses.

Daisy and Spirit come up top with me. They take time to nibble dandelion, henbit and winter grasses.

I love the look on Daisy's face as she and Spirit mutual groom each other.

I love the look on Daisy’s face as she and Spirit mutual groom each other.

Spirit continues to groom a very alert Daisy!

Spirit continues to groom a very alert Daisy!

Spirit in front of the now frozen grasses she often hid herself in during spring and summer, as a speckled fawn.

Spirit in front of the now frozen grasses she often hid herself in during spring and summer, as a speckled fawn.

Spirit often takes initiative into the woods, and Daisy will follow.

Spirit often takes initiative into the woods, and Daisy will follow.

Spirit tentatively following me down the woodland path.

Spirit tentatively following me down the woodland path.

Daisy as I spotted her later in the afternoon. If it wasn't for her reflective, orange collar, I might never spot her so well-camouflaged in the woods!

Daisy as I spotted her later in the afternoon. If it wasn’t for her reflective, orange collar, I might never spot her so well-camouflaged in the woods!

Daisy looking quite contented chewing her cud.

Daisy looking quite contented chewing her cud.

Spirit just a short distance from Daisy, chewing her cud.

Spirit just a short distance from Daisy, chewing her cud.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

About Littlesundog

I am a writer, wildlife photographer, animal rehabilitator, and nature lover. I blog here to write about my life on our little piece of land. Photographs on this blog are © Copyright Day by Day the Farm Girl Way... (unless otherwise indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from me.
This entry was posted in Life, Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Just Another Day In The Woodlands

  1. Kim13 says:

    I love this and Celi’s post also…I am content to just be. Beautiful shots you took!

  2. The photos are marvelous. Really! And those of your deer girls are wonderful to see. Here’s wishing a lovely Christmas season for you and FD. Oh, and the dogs too. :-)

  3. singhcircle says:

    Some remarkable pictures. It sure is a great place where you are.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Thanks so much! It is amazing sometimes, what beauty we find in a small area. I look at your landscape and city shots both and find life and beauty… photography says so much! We each see something a little bit different, and isn’t it wonderful to share our perspective with others?

  4. The Belmont Rooster says:

    Great post. The photos are AWESOME. Daisy and Spirt look very happy!

  5. Lynda says:

    Love the photographs, in spite of your complaints, and hope your day goes exactly as you’d wish it.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Oh, it has already, Lynda! I’m up early, enjoying quiet time with my blogger friends and writing email! Have a lovely day yourself… Bob too, and give Tucker and Buddy extra pats from me!

  6. Sandy Sue says:

    Your shots are lovely. So much expression on Daisy’s face. I’m looking forward to reading your friend’s post.

  7. I don’t Knowles how those trees really looked, but I think the photos are amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. May I borrow one for my desktop screen?

    • Littlesundog says:

      Oh, thank you, and yes you certainly may! I am hearing this from several people that there are some places that never see layers of ice on trees and the landscape. It is very beautiful in person – as if everything is made of crystal. The tinkling, cracking and popping noises are also phenomenal! I wish I could send you audio of it too!

  8. Those days where the camera doesn’t capture the beauty as we see it is a good reminder for us to just be and enjoy the moment :-) — wonderful post. Merry Christmas!!

  9. cecilia says:

    Thank you for mentioning me in the same page as your most beautiful nymphs, your images are startling, don’t you sometimes wish you could also add just a tiny bit of audio because frozen trees issue tiny cracks of complaint and when you walk on the frozen grass it has a tired rustle to it.

    Your work is glorious but i do know what you mean about waiting for just that lick of sun to set it all alight, though the lack of it adds a broodiness to the images. When I was pregnant with the third of my children (age 22) I attracted birds for some reason, Sparrows would come and sit on me if I was still too long. I was asked to pose in a pool, pregnant, with the birds hovering about .. it was to be on the front cover of a book, anyway, the photographer was all set up, I was in my red dress, big belly, the birds were landing on my head and arms and wooshing in little flocks past me but the sun went behind a cloud and so we stood there all of us photographer, birds and freezing pregnant model, (I was very young and had long curly hair) for what seemed a leg numbing age, waiting for the light! It came in the end, like a shaft and the images were startling, He had made me stand so still because the birds and I were reflected in the forest pool. Crazy. Birds still woosh past me like that, as though they do not see me until the last minute. You made me think of that with your endless search for the sun.. have a lovely day, sorry this is so long!! Take care.. c

    • Littlesundog says:

      Celi, I was just thinking about the audio aspect. For the past two days, the thawing ice has had its own special sound. It sounded a bit like a spring shower, and other times like a trickling faucet, occasionally met with splash and shatter of glass!

      What a delight to have the birds alight on you or hover near. These connections with nature – they’re amazing! I always feel there is a message in such meetings. The photograph you describe sounds stunning! Did anything ever come of the photo? Was it published or did you even get a copy of it? I would love to see it!

      • cecilia says:

        i think My Dad still has a copy, but I don’t know, the book was deeply boring.. the image itself was beautifully put together, what everyone was surprised about were the birds, initially of course it was the red dress reflected in the pond, with bush behind, I had not told them that i was being followed by sparrows, everywhere.. bless them.. c

  10. Hi Lori, Your photographs are delightful. Your wintry world is so different from any thing I have experienced even though I have been on day trips to the snow in the mountains here. I have never seen anything like the icy snowy trees in your photographs.

    Yes, I have joined the Christmas Grinch Club also.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Ha ha! I think there are quite a few of us who feel more at home in quiet and tranquility. This was perhaps, the best Christmas ever, for FD and me. We enjoyed completing a few tasks at home on Christmas Eve’s Day, and then retreated to the cabin on Christmas Day. The only hullabaloo going on out there were the honking geese, woodland bird calls, and occasional coyote howling towards evening. Just before driving back to town after dark, we stood briefly, looking up at the Milky Way and clusters of stars, celebrating the mysteries and wonders of the Universe.

  11. Mare says:

    Your photos are very beautiful and quite refreshing for someone having a hot and sunny Christmas in Australia. Mare

    • Littlesundog says:

      Well, thank you Mare! Feel free to take in all of the refreshment that you like! The last of the ice will be melting off today, even in the shaded places as the temperatures will reach 50°. By this time of year, I am already looking forward to the warm and even hot temperatures of summer! I’m a little envious of YOUR weather!!

  12. Hi Lori,
    I’m coming back here after reading Celi’s post that you linked above. You can see my comment on her blog, but I’ll just say that she also had me crying. What a dear person she seems to be!
    I love your photos of the ice and of Daisy and Spirit. We woke up on Sunday to the most beautiful icy landscape too, and I was heartsick that we had to get in the car and drive to Ohio for our annual holiday visit. What I really wanted to do was exactly what you did — walk around our woods and take pictures of the magical beauty of the ice decorating everything. I’m still sad that I wasn’t able to do that before we left. Of course there was no ice down in Ohio…they had temperatures above 60 that day.
    You’re familiar with some of my family troubles, so you won’t be surprised to hear that we had a miserable visit. I’ve cried every day since Monday because of things said by my family members that hurt my feelings. My parents and siblings are a source of great pain for me these days, and I think I need to distance myself from them instead of continually banging my head against the wall trying to “fix” everything. Some things just can’t be fixed.
    And by the way, I think you got some beautiful photos of the icy trees. Thanks for sharing.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Oh, Kim. I’m sorry it was another disappointing trip. I read what you commented to Celi, and I read her reply back to you… full of her wisdom – deep reflections of life! I began following her early this autumn, and find her posts are down-to-earth and uplifting… even when something difficult occurs on the farmie. It is such a beautiful and amazing thing to meet kindred souls who can draw off of each other’s creativeness, wisdom, and entertaining qualities. It is good therapy for me. You have done that same thing for me Kim. And then, there is that unexplained phenomena with nature… the way she speaks to us and comforts us. The way she heals our wounds. Christmas Day FD and I took off for a day at the cabin – just the two of us. It was the best Christmas ever. It was quiet… except for the call of birds, honking of geese on the lake, and eventual howling of coyotes as the sun dipped low. As we packed to leave in the dark, we gazed up at the sea of stars, the Milky Way directly above… and soaked up that last bit of tranquility that the Universe offered us. I believe Celi’s advice was on the mark!

      • Your Christmas in the cabin sounds exactly like what I’d like to be doing at this time next year. I can almost feel the fresh cold air and see the dark winter sky speckled with stars….thanks for that peaceful image!

  13. mj monaghan says:

    Lori, I guess I’ve been away far too long. So glad Daisy has come back. I was worried you might not see her again. Your pictures are most excellent, my friend. Don’t know how you get them.

    And you were worried about NE being cold, my fellow Bugeater?? Looks like OK is not OK with the cold right now. Are you warm today, like us? It’s in the 40′s today. :)

    • Littlesundog says:

      Thanks MJ. Daisy is still a very big part of my life. I am learning to relax a little about her coming and going, but it’s always a worry during hunting season. She’s different now that she is a mother… very mature and not so silly – though with her little one we’ve watched her play a good bit! It’s nice outside today at 54°. Oklahoma has had some mighty weird weather this year. I am tapping into my Bugeater toughness though! I am a survivor!

      • mj monaghan says:

        It’s been the strangest winter in as long as I can remember. We’re finally getting back into the 40′s tomorrow and Sunday. Of course, it was in the 20 to 30 below zero territory last week!

        • Littlesundog says:

          Ugh… Mike, I am so glad to be further south now. Every time I go back to Nebraska to visit in the winter, I wonder if I’ve gone mad! But then it’s good to be reminded WHY I love the south so much.

          • mj monaghan says:

            I’m not gonna lie, Lori, I’ve thought about the rolling waves of Southern California, and the warm sun in the midst of winter more than a time or two. BUT, I have acclimated to the winter, believe it or not. Now, give me my choice … and I just might head West.

          • Littlesundog says:

            Ha ha!! And I would stay right here with my Daisy deer. There are some things that keep us rooted, eh? But I’d sure as heck come visit you for some water and sunshine!

        • Louis Ogden says:

          @mj & Littlesundog,
          In the days of my youth, I thought it would be nice to live where it’s comfortable year round; however, after living in Bangkok for 2 years (which is about 5 degrees off the equator), I found that I really missed the seasonal changes. In Thailand, it is hot then hotter, then hot and rainy – no leaves changing colors in the fall, etc. I can remember seeing a gardener working on a morning when it was unusually COLD (in the mid-70s) and he was wearing a heavy coat and shivering. That was the ONLY comfortable day I spent there, lol!!!!!

          • Littlesundog says:

            What a wonderful perspective, Louis! I never really thought about missing all of the seasonal changes, but you’re right! I do enjoy that aspect of nature, and I’m sure little variance in temperature and weather conditions would get boring on a continual basis!

          • mj monaghan says:

            Louis, I have heard that longing for the seasons when we lived in California. We were there for 15 years, and I really was good with basically three seasons there: Spring, Summer (a very long season), and Fall. Natives there did feel that they had a Winter, but I would not call it Winter. It was more like a bit colder Fall.

  14. tbnranch says:

    Great pics as always! :)

  15. meghan80 says:

    Your photographs are absolutely stunning!

  16. Rachel says:

    Every single year, I have a little image in my head about what Christmas should be like, and every single year I get incredibly depressed and upset at how expensive everything is, and how busy everywhere is, and how you can never find that thing you are looking for. This Christmas was our first Christmas in our own place, and I so wanted it to be wonderful, which depressed me even more. My boyfriend Steve helped cheer me up. We went out and we spent £20 on decorations for our second-hand tree, and placed our wrapped presents underneath it, and on Christmas morning we sat eating our breakfast and drinking coffee whilst opening our small pile of presents.

    It wasn’t a bit like I ‘imagined’ our first Christmas to be. But it was a wonderful start to the day and made me realise that I didn’t need Christmas to be how I imagined it to be. I have Steve, and that is all I need.

    • Littlesundog says:

      Ah, Rachel, that is exactly how FD and I feel. It seems many folks get depressed and overwhelmed during the holidays. This year was one of the best years for FD and me. We went out to the little cabin and just enjoyed the day with no connections to anything but nature. Steve sounds like a wonderful guy… what a gift, indeed!

      • Rachel says:

        What a great way to spend the day :) I think next year we will enjoy Christmas Day on our own and have a day of movies, snuggles and a brisk afternoon walk! I am very lucky to have Steve to share my life with.

        So, let’s raise a glass to another great year, filled with adventures, nature and wonderful menfolk :)

        Happy New Year Lori!

        • Littlesundog says:

          Happy New Year to you, Rachel! I’m all for new adventures and lots of time in nature in 2014. And, I’m excited about new granddeer in late May/early June!! LOL Tonight FD and I celebrate our 13th anniversary. We’ll have a lovely dinner at our favorite French restaurant, and come home where it’s warm, for a leisurely evening. I can’t imagine getting out there for hours, in the bitter cold! Egad!!

  17. LB says:

    Your photos of the deer are great! I have to say thought that I absolutely love Frozen Woodlands. It is a dazzling Christmas post!

    • Littlesundog says:

      Well, thanks so much! I can’t believe it lasted for four days before melting. It just looked like a crystal landscape – so beautiful! And yes, I love Daisy and Spirit. You’ll find all sorts of deer photos here. I have some more to post from this morning of two young bucks doing a little sparring over who ruled at the corn feeder!

  18. Sam says:

    Randomly stumbled across this blog. Your photos are stellar. I’m looking forward to seeing and reading more!

  19. Christmas in a cabin – perfect ( the sounds are so amazing. easy to forget many have never heard them)
    Ci has such a wonderful blog – I will have to go read her reply..a bit behind on the reading. Outdoors when it’s not raining – chilly but nice and quiet and soothing as contrasted to indoor. We are making our own Christmas now as the older generation has gone on. Guess I’ve always been self contained. Now no reason to insist on being part of toxic gatherings which remain. So quiet is fine.
    Love the picture of spirit about to leave and looking back – the texture of warm fur and all the wintery ice. Lovely.
    So glad the girls came by to visit.
    Made the magic complete.
    May the new year be full of joy and wonder

  20. Jules says:

    Amazing pictures, my dear sister, I especially love the ones of Daisy and Spirit grooming each other. Your little corner of the world would be an amazing place to spend Christmas, especially amongst the deer.
    You and Celi seem to have a beautiful friendship across the many miles, I do believe you might be soul sisters. Great post, Big Sister, I love you!

  21. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    These photos are STUNNING, STUNNING. These are magazine quality, do you realise? Just beautiful. Wow. Love.

  22. cjonesyrun says:

    Beautiful shots! Its amazing how an element like ice can alter the way we see things. Everything seems so majestic and new!

    • Littlesundog says:

      Thank you for such a lovely comment! Nature shows us so many facets of beauty. Winter can seem such a bleak time, but ice and snow – even blustery blue skies all have their magic!

  23. Arindam says:

    What a beautiful collection of pictures!! Great shots. You capture nature and its offerings really well. Wishing you and your family a happy new year!!

  24. The Hook says:

    Personally, I can’t imagine you anywhere else.

  25. Louis Ogden says:

    @ Littlesundog and mj
    You said: “What a wonderful perspective, Louis! I never really thought about missing all of the seasonal changes, but you’re right!”

    I never gave it much thought either until I experienced Bangkok. Even when I lived in Alaska, winter was long and cold but there were seasons. Spring – one month of stink as the snow melts and sours the ground that has been frozen for 9 months. Summer – a month of comfortable weather (mid 70s in Anchorage) and mosquitos as big as your kneecap. Fall – a month of cooling down and a brief look at colorful leaves. Winter – nine months of snow and darkness, lol!

    mj said: “Louis, I have heard that longing for the seasons when we lived in California. We were there for 15 years, and I really was good with basically three seasons there: Spring, Summer (a very long season), and Fall.”

    California is one of those places I like to visit but would not want to live there. I was in SoCal last week for a doctor appt when Virginia had the cold weather – even had single digits at night, one night was 8 degrees and a record breaker. VERY NICE TIME (and I was lucky) to be in CA!

  26. Marie Anne says:

    Your pictures are breathtaking! Glad to see Daisy and Spirit are doing well :)

    I nominated you for The Liebster Award! If you’re interested, you can check out the rules on my blog. Happy blogging!

    • Littlesundog says:

      Thanks so much Marie Anne! I’ll be checking it out! Oh, and yes, Daisy and Spirit are doing just fine this winter. Daisy seems very content to have companionship… she’s a wonderful mother!

      • Marie Anne says:

        You’re welcome! Daisy certainly looks like a great mother. And it does look like they’re weathering the cold just fine; it always amazes me how resilient animals are. We have horses, and I just love the thick fluffy coats they get in the winter :)

  27. Vine Vampire says:

    Thanks for posting this! The landscape is just beautiful, makes me want to be there (despite the cold!) and the little deer kiss <3!

  28. Love these pictures !! I’m so melted by these kind of nature pictures!
    I’ll keep following for new posts !
    I’m very into travel photographs as well, check my blog whenever you’ve got time.
    Cheers from Brazil (:

    • Littlesundog says:

      Thank you Raquel! I’ll be sure and visit your blog. Oh, I used to travel a lot. I plan to get back to it again someday when I have less responsibility here on the little ranch!There is quite a lot to photograph when on vacation… so much adventure!

  29. zachary says:

    Great photos, happy I stumbled across your blog! Have a great day!! :)

Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s