Winter Shimmer

For the third time today, I donned my heavy coat, muck boots and ear-flap cap. This trip would be to fetch the mail, but earlier I had been out to photograph the glaze of ice that coated the landscape. How can one stay indoors when the outdoors presents such a magical, shimmering wonderland? The first trip out only lasted fifteen minutes before the rain began to pour down again, adding another layer to the already ice-laden trees. My second venture out lasted about thirty minutes, as this time I braved only misty conditions, with occasional sputters of rain drops. I protected my camera and zoom with an old rain jacket while I was out and, finally, with my fingers and feet frozen, I headed back inside.

Frozen Sage
Frozen Sage
Long Frozen Fingers of Ice
Long Frozen Fingers of Ice
Frozen Droplets On A Weed
Frozen Droplets On A Weed
Crepe Myrtle In Ice
Crepe Myrtle In Ice

Reaching my destination for this third trip, I had to duck under heavily ice-laden cedar tree branches at the driveway entry in order to open the mailbox. After bending down to retrieve the mail, I raised up only to bump a branch, which sent a cascade of tiny ice pieces to shatter on the driveway… and me.  Thankfully, it was just a little shower of ice – nothing that could harm a soul. I turned to walk the long distance back to the house, flipping through the mail as I walked. There was nothing interesting to note there, just three envelopes of junk advertisements and my Vogue magazine. I ripped open the plastic protective wrap on the January issue while I wondered what crazy fashion lay in store for spring. I could tell by the cover that I would not likely be enthralled by anything inside.

Pecans Drenched In Ice
Pecans Drenched In Ice
Maple Leaves Encrusted In Ice
Maple Leaves Encrusted In Ice
Sycamore Seed Ball
Sycamore Seed Ball
Frozen Woodland Shrub
Frozen Woodland Shrub

Sure enough, as I flipped through the pages, I came across the spring “freak show”. Models slumping in odd postures, strange makeup that made the 70’s look fabulous, and bizarre clothes that made a statement for sure. I noted haircuts on a couple of specimens that would certainly be the talk of this town should anyone be daring enough to wear such a style. The part of me that loved fashion magazines was drawn to the advertisements, the glamour, the poses and the color. But this was mostly about photography for me, although I did see some clothing in the December issue that I would definitely wear. Oh, not here… not in this little burg in the Bible belt. No siree!! I was thinking more along the lines of Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, or some other metropolitan area that FD and I sometimes visited on his business trips. In those large cities, I did not have to worry about wagging tongues, judgemental looks, or shrewd critiquing.

The canopy of limbs and branches lay low on the path into the woods.
The canopy of limbs and branches lay low on the path into the woods.
The Path To Daisy Deer's Woods
The Path To Daisy Deer’s Woods

As I heard another limb shed itself of the weight of frozen crystal, my attention turned to the shower of shimmering ice. I marveled at the crisp sound of the crackling, shattering and tinkling. How could any fashion magazine ever compete with the beauty of Mother Nature? Who could top her classic beauty, her simplicity and elegance? Each day she presented a new look, and each day set a new tone. And try as they might, the fashion police never could quite predict what the next day or season would bring. Mother Nature could be soft as spring petals, wild as a storm, bright as the sun, or wrathful with rage. We love her and we hate her. But each day we wonder and we anticipate… what will she be wearing?

Red Maple Frozen In Time
Red Maple Frozen In Time
This frozen leaf appeared as a pewter dipper to me.
This frozen leaf appeared as a pewter dipper to me.
At the burn pile I found this lovely lace pattern in the ash.
At the burn pile I found this lovely lace pattern in the ash.

Today’s issue spotlighted Mother Nature draped in crystal jewelry, diamonds, and glitter. The fabrics she chose were muted and monochrome.  With great confidence, she strolled along the pathway in her long sweeping robes of lace and shimmering sequins. Her appearance was elegant and timeless. I photographed her extensively, and she did not seem to tire. Patiently she posed for me, time after time, and all through the woodlands. Her beauty was unparalleled and, without question, this was her runway… this was her show.

Frozen Summer Flowers
Frozen Summer Flowers

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


82 thoughts on “Winter Shimmer

      1. “Winter” does not exist in Bahrain where I stay even though it is severe in Northern India where I come from. I have done several pieces on what we call the winter – and the SUMMER, here. The last one, posted last night, will give you and idea whai the weather in Bahrain is all about!

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    1. Thank you, Monica! You live in such a beautiful part of the country. I would LOVE to photograph your area, but I’m not sure I’m tough enough for the bitter cold and harsh conditions you experience! Happy holidays to you!

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne! I think this has been the coldest Oklahoma winter in a long time. I do love photographing the ice and listening to the sounds that come with the heavy layering and eventual demise of the ice. I’m also very glad when it melts away in a short time! I just stepped outside a bit ago to let the dogs out, and I can hear the cracking, snapping, tinkling and crashing all around. Poor trees!

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  1. Littlesundog, i was out there in the Oklahoma countryside myself this morning admiring this display of the Norths power even as it was served its pink slip, with the solstice day upon us. we had real heavy duty “Mr.” Ice storm a few years ago that made this one look fun. i still watch some of my favorite trees working to recover from that devastating storm. Oklahoma is such an amazing place! I live in Claremore but I have seen some of the other areas of our state and its pretty diverse in so many ways, even from county to county. I live and gallivant around Rogers and Tulsa County for the most part, but really enjoy when i’m down in the other areas I go to fairly frequently to stomp dances. I’m enjoying the winter so far and glad it hasn’t been to harsh with us. Thanks for your great blog and for showcasing our Mothers beautiful face!

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    1. Wow Scott! What a nice comment! I love the Claremore area – been there more than a few times to antique shop. I agree with you in that Oklahoma is a very diverse state – so much to see and understand about what it offers. It has a rich history. I love living here in SW Oklahoma. I’m a transplant from Nebraska, more than 23 years ago. This is my home now. How fascinating – do you stomp dance? I am still learning much about Native American culture and I feel at home here, surrounded primarily by the Caddo, Delaware, Wichita, Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache tribes. Thank you again for your kind words. It means so much! – Lori

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      1. Yesmam, your welcome. i do stomp dance im creek/catawba and i am a mamber of the wakokiye tallassee stompgrounds near okemah. i live in the cherokee/delaware part of cherokee nation though. love it here though will return to my tribes reservation in alabama in another couple of most likely, i been here for 15 years. its a great place to live…

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        1. That is really cool, Scott. I viewed a few stomp dance videos this morning after I read your comment. As rich as this area is in Native American culture, I have only attended a few local dances, usually during Native American Fair Days. Oklahoma City has the Red Earth Festival but I found that much too commercial. Only this year did I spend a week in Alabama visiting a blogger friend, and I loved the landscape. What area will you reside in, if I may ask?

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    1. Thank you! I’m already chomping at the bit to get outside to photograph a light dusting of snow that fell in the night, that is clinging to the ice. I’ll be careful. So far the breeze nor wind has arrived so everything is in a beautiful frozen state – with sun shining!

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    1. Thanks! That silly Vogue magazine gave me the idea! That is something I love about your blog… you write about whatever presents itself for the day. You see deeply and write about feelings that touch us all. That Vogue magazine presented a completely different view of natures runway and it made for an interesting perspective.

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    1. Oh, I hope you’ll have a wonderful time with your company!Dom is on winter break right now, and I do miss her youthful flair around the house! I believe the two of us would be out with cameras again today! Mother Nature is brilliant this morning!

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  2. Oh dear I hadn’t finished! As I was saying it’s such a joy to spend time with other creative paople especially artistsd and phtographers who see the way we do. So many people, my engineer husband included, miss the wonderful details of life especially outside. I’d just love to be coming along on your walks, but your posts are the next best thing. And the ice! amazing we don’t get that here as it’s not so cold. I’ve seen photos of blocks of ice, trays, with flowers seed heads captured in them and think I might try that this winter.
    Thanks for your comment on my post. It’s a pity Maeir didn’t live to see her work aknowledged, but apparently she wouldn’t have liked the attention any way.
    How is work on your book going?
    Biz (kisses)

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    1. Ha ha! What a true perspective of Maeir! I don’t think she would have cared about attention over her work. I believe there are millions of talented people who go about the day creating and gifting us artistically – yet they are never noticed or recognized. I often feel this way about nature, which is why I write and share. I think there is healing in natures abundant gift. If only people took the time to notice.

      Oh, you can definitely have fun making your own ice images! I have been fascinated with water in all forms most of my life! I look forward to see what you do with your ice tray subjects! Your photography is always exemplary!

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  3. Love your blog and as usual love your photos. Summer person that I am, I’m glad we don’t have that ice. We get ice here instead of snow on the rare occasion that we get anything frozen and being a 911 dispatcher, I do not want ice. Our people here can’t drive in rain, much less frozen stuff 🙂 We are at a balmy 69 degrees at 7 am this morning in Central NC….69 degrees, can you believe that on December 22? Scary warm. I worry about tornadoes in this type weather. So, maybe ice would be better! Merry Christmas to you, FD, Daisy, Spirit and the other lovely creatures. May God Bless and take care of you all!

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    1. Oh, Barbara, what a lovely comment! I too am a warm weather lover. I even prefer the heat. I think I’m part reptile! Your current weather sounds a lot like what we had last week. It was wonderful and very unusual. I am hoping you have uneventful weather this winter, especially since your work gets crazy busy with catastrophic events. It’s always a mixed bag in the US. Blessings to you too, my friend. Happy holidays!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! Glorious is definitely the word for Mother Nature’s show! This morning is even prettier than yesterday since the sun is out some. And I found my two favorite deer in the woods, so I must get a post out again today!

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  4. Your description and photographs of Winter’s debut were breathtaking, Lori. Now here is something you didn’t know about me…

    I get tears in my eyes when the beauty of something touches my soul. In my past Monet, a good choral, and a friend’s baptism have produced such tears. Today your post has touched me.

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    1. Aha! I suspected that of you! Lynda, I too become emotional that way when I experience something of the soul. One cannot explain the deep felt emotion from an experience felt at the core. Hugs and love to you, my beautiful friend! I hope all is well in your little neck of the woods.

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    1. Marla, we did not lose power, though I think some areas of the state did, but I understand it was a very low number of outages. I believe we can thank Mother Nature for keeping our friend “Northerly Wind” at bay. The stillness that accompanied the ice probably saved our trees, shrubs and little animals from much harm!

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  5. I knew you would do this ice storm justice. Great shots. It looks like we will get some sunshine today. That should accentuate the beauty of this winter wonderland even more!

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    1. Thank you Brad, and you had me pegged! I have been out for the last 3 hours in the “sometimes” sun, snapping away. The best part is, Daisy and Spirit found me, and I was able to photograph them in the sparkling wonderland! What a great day it is!!

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  6. Lori,
    You have a very fertile mind. I like the way you compare/contrast fashion with what Mother Nature has to offer.
    Enjoyed your photos, especially the one of the encrusted maple leaves.

    Peace,

    Marty

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    1. Oh, thanks Marty! That just made my day. I believe we all have gifts and talents, and we each perceive life differently. It is a remarkable thing to think and feel deeply on the gifts our planet has to offer. I feel sometimes like I may not have enough time to fully explore this wonderful world we live in. I felt that way about the sun coming out today, and the ice and dusting of snow, yielding to the slight warmth. The sparkling wonderland will soon disappear… but there will be another show tomorrow!

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  7. Seeing all of the beautiful ice pictures is a treat indeed. Here in South-Central Virginia we are not having that problem as we have already missed 2 winter events that did not make it quite as far east as my place. Twenty miles west was an icy mess; however, as happens quite often here, we are having a taste of warmth. Yesterday it got to 75 degrees and today it is supposed to break a record and reach a high of 82. We really have not had much winter weather yet but I have learned to be patient as our biggest snows are often in March (BIG SMILE).

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  8. You capture those precious ice jewelled flowers so beautifully Lori. You make them seem like they are priceless in their splendour. Worth those cold fingers methinks ;). We never see anything like that here. We might get the odd frost but never anything like this. It’s no wonder you love winter with beauty like this surrounding you. What a gorgeous time of year! Forget Vogue, you need to start your own magazine ma’am! Your images are sumptuous, unctuous and eminently desirable.

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    1. Well Fran, do gush on! Ha ha! Thank you for so many compliments. Do you know I was out the last THREE hours snapping away, since the sun came out in spurts and the whole landscape was a bedazzling jewel. It was strange how at times I was so cold I was about to call it quits, but then I’d get sidetracked and forget the numb fingers and feet. Daisy and Spirit showed up, which always warms my heart. It looks like I’ll be posting fabulous photos of those beauties soon!

      You clever girl… what would you name the magazine? You are fabulous with words!

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      1. How about “Earth Couture”? or “Green Garb” or “How Bazaar” ;). I would be out there frozen to a stump if I had beautiful winter scenery like that and I wouldn’t even care ;).

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        1. You crack me up… I think I like Earth Couture – it’s sounds so classy!! No worries, you won’t freeze. You just keep moving around and get sidetracked with the view. We’re a lot tougher than we think we are! Oh, and if that fails, there is always my native Nebraska elixir that you can carry in a flask in your pocket!

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          1. Sounds like a plan! Your property looks gorgeous in winter. It’s like it has been waiting all year to lay about prostrate bedecked with jewelled icicles isn’t it? You really do take amazing photos Lori and you certainly capture the stark, primal beauty of your landscape 🙂

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          2. It’s all in what we see. I still laugh at a conversation I had with a realtor friend here in town one day. I told her I loved living so close to nature, to the woods. I grew up in the country and I came back to the country. She LAUGHED at me and said, “Honey, you do not live in the country – you’re still in town. I’m sure it’s nice there with all of the trees though”. Everyone has their perspective, and as a realtor, her’s is superficial, based on aesthetics. She is of course correct. But my perspective is correct too. This place lives and breathes life, activity, and adventure. Sure, it is a small parcel of land, but it’s full of life and beauty. I’m so happy people enjoy the photos… but Mother Nature deserves the real glory. I have a great camera and zoom, and I photograph what appeals. That’s something I love about your blog, Fran. You photograph everything, and it’s all interesting. I feel like I’m right there… and it’s a place I know I would love!

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          3. I know my limitations though Lori and when I take photo’s I am just trying to show you guys something that I can see here at any given time. My little camera isn’t wonderful but it does give me a narfs eye view of the world that I do my best to try to find something that I can share with you all that doesn’t look like “narf in the mist” or “narf sideways” or “I think narf is drunk AGAIN as she appears to be taking this shot from ground level…”. Yesterday I kept getting this interesting instagrammed look to the images that I was taking of food prep for our upcoming communal family meal together on Christmas eve…I couldn’t work out how I was getting this “misty” look to my images. I even twiddled the knob on the top of the camera (the one that does strange things like take videos and make the camera take good images when I am running away from grizzly bears…) that I don’t usually touch to see if I hadn’t accidentally chosen “fog up your food” as an option…but nope…nothing out of the ordinary there (it was on “auto” my favourite option 😉 ) but Steve came along and said “I reckon there is something on your lens…and sure enough there was. A nice smear of lard that came from when I made his lard hot water pastry for his traditional English pork pies for Christmas that we do every year…nostalgia in the mist? Thy name is lard! 😉

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          4. Oh my gosh!! That is too funny! The only time my lens gets messed up is when Daisy deer takes a lick at the camera or she gets snoopy and pokes her nose at it! This morning she was busy pulling my zipper pulls and snapping on the toggle elastics on my jacket. I had two camera’s strapped around my neck, one supporting the zoom lens, which is heavy. For three hours I ran around like that, switching cameras as I pleased. Now that I’m back in the house, I realize my neck is aching, and my lower back is sore. The perils of photography!

            The “auto” setting is my favorite too, mostly because with wildlife one doesn’t have time to get the shot just right. It’s now or not at all!

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  9. Great shots. I love winter weather where snow or freezing rain makes everything look beautiful! For us photographers, we can a field day taking great pictures! Too bad Alabama does not get much winter weather.

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    1. Thank you Nathan. My goodness, you had some crazy and volatile weather headed your way last night. I hope your area didn’t suffer any damage? I know you enjoy the adventure of it all… I do too, but I like to stay out of harm’s way! I just came in from 3 hours of walking around in the woods, and came in when the ice began falling, and gentle breezes were bringing some small branches down. I always pray that Daisy and Spirit will be safe during these times. I’m thinking like a human though… they don’t seem bothered at all by nature’s conditions.

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    1. I know!! I just love this ice. I imagine there are a lot of people taking advantage of the beauty this weekend. I was outside 3 hours this morning, the sun appears every so often, and we still have a lot of cloud cover, but the sparkle was just breathtaking. I think I need heated boots and gloves. If it wasn’t for my hands and feet, I could probably be out there all day!

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    1. Thanks Hook! I have more to tempt you with, after today’s photo session featuring shimmering sparkle from the sun. I’m afraid I spent hours out gallivanting around with the camera and I had all sorts of things inside that I should have been working on!

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  10. Big Sister, I cannot count the times I have revisited those pictures over the past few days, they are absolutely stunning! I can’t even pick a favorite, because there are so many I adore. You have such an eye for photography, especially in nature!

    And I completely get what Lynda was saying about the beauty of something touching one’s soul, and the tears that follow. That’s me too! My eyes well up with tears when I see something, or hear something too beautiful for words. That is your post, too beautiful for words!

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    1. Aw, gosh… do gush on!! Jules, I felt like those four days the ice visited, pretty much undisturbed by wind or rising temperatures, that the landscape was a crystal ballroom. Such elegance and twinkling magic! And even when it did begin to melt, the sounds of nature were astounding… tinkling, tiny crashing noises, dribbling and cascading water from the tree tops! It looked to be a showering paradise. I cannot ever remember winter ice so beautiful in my life. We had an ice storms back in 2009 and 2010 that was beautiful for a day, but nothing as spectacular as this. I’m so happy I hat time to photograph it. It’s been wonderful to hear so many people enjoyed the beauty of Mother Nature!

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  11. The way the water drops around the plant (myrtle e.g.), it’s just magical. You’ve captured the magic of it, definitely.

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        1. Oh my! That is colder than it is here. We wouldn’t have had this beautiful ice if it had been that cold! I hope you have warm clothing, and a cozy home, my friend! Hopefully, you do not get high wind with those bitter temperatures!

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          1. I am really sorry, I made a big mistake, it´s 13 deg C and not 13 deg F. That is something very very cold for guys like me from the tropical coastal place like kerala, where it never goes below 20 deg C.

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  12. Very lovely photographic work, Littlesundog. I found it by accident, googling something on Woodlands rabbits, where I found the blog on Ms. Rabbit. I’m a native Oklahoman and naturalized Texan of seventy-six years, most likely condemned to live the remainder of my life in south central Indiana. I’m not suffering too much, living it on a half-section of woods, except for 75 acres taken up by a lake. I’ll be checking in with you from time to time. Best wishes for 2014 and beyond.

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    1. What a lovely comment, Dr. Don! That made my day. Egad! South central Indiana? I’m afraid it would be difficult for me to adjust going back up north if I had to! I’ve often wondered if I should have ventured further south into Texas! Still, to live on a half-section of woodlands would be wonderful no matter what region of the US you’d be in. There are many gifts in life – wherever we happen to reside nature shows us her bounty and beauty. I’m so happy you stopped by, my new friend. Best wishes to you this year and beyond as well.

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