A pale orb brooding,
Omen of menace,
Behind winter’s veil,
Glares in retreat.

Bare boughs stirring,
All lacy and dark,
In spring never fail,
Await gentle heat.

Small birds singing,
Bidden with hope,
Suffered every gale,
Lift wings to beat.

Dogs on ice loping,
Their masters arear,
Boats without sail,
Tack with their feet.

Gulls stoic resting,
Waiting for thaw.
Their journey a tale,
They gather a fleet.

Hockey pucks flying,
Kids turning blue,
The fathers regale,
While mothers greet.

Ron Cohen © 2011

 

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The water had been high in the pond for days. In fact, it was up on the bank, a source of concern after last March’s flooding. It was mid-December, late in the day, cold, with an easterly wind blowing. I went down to the water’s edge to check on the level.

To my great surprise, I saw these little ice domes glowing and blinking at the water’s edge. They looked for all the world like electric lights going on and off with the rhythm of the waves. On close inspection, I decided they had been built up by the little wind-driven wavelets adding layer upon layer of ice.

The source of that light? I couldn’t tell. They obviously were picking up a beam of sunlight — perhaps reflected off the water — but from where I couldn’t see. I remember it as mostly overcast, and getting dark quickly, so that source remains a mystery. As dusk settled in, the lights became bright against the dark water. The event took on a magical quality.

 

“How was it done?” That’s another question I’ve been hearing about the icicle photos, particularly about this one. I can’t take too much credit for this one, however; the lion’s share goes to Mister Sol.

First thing one morning, at the end of January, when icicles still festooned the house, I raised the shade to see these new beauties hanging from the gutter at the corner of the house. They had caught the first golden rays of the sun just as it broke above the treeline across the pond, and glowed like neon tubes. I opened the window and shot fast, trying to capture the startling effect before the sun rose further, and the fleeting light conditions changed.

Click on the photo to enlarge it, and see the intricate details of its strange, varicolored beauty.

To view all the icicle photos, weird and wonderful, visit Icicle Art.

 

After I sent out this photo, several people emailed back asking me what it was. They all used the same word, “amazing,” when told.

The story begins with the leafy canopy over our house.  The tall, arching trees are beautiful, of course, and help to keep the house cool in the summer. But in the fall all those leaves clogged the gutters. So we installed leaf-shedding gutters. They were expensive, but they do work as advertised. Their secret? A smooth metal top lets the leaves slide over the gutter onto the ground.

In the winter, however, something else happens. As melt water runs down the roof and hits that cold metal top, icicles are born. This winter has been a good one for icicles; the house is rimmed with them, some quite beautiful.

The one in the photo is everyone’s favorite. It somehow caught the light in a way that made it look silvery, like “molten metal,” one person wrote.

I used a telephoto lens to shoot the icicles.  It brought each one in close, while giving a shallow depth of field that left the backgrounds softly out of focus.

Click on the photo to see an enlargement, revealing all its intricate, silvery detail.

To view all the icicle photos, weird and wonderful, please visit Icicle Art.

 

A big coyote was seen on the pond this week. Neighbors living at the north end emailed the news. It must have stayed north, I thought, disappointedly, because I didn’t see it.

But Thursday morning I lifted the shades and saw coyote tracks in the snow.  They led from Smith Point in a gentle arc out into the pond, and then up into our yard, ending at the edge of a three-foot snow bank thrown up when the driveway was plowed. In advance of the plow, our visitor had no doubt proceeded up the driveway to the street in front.

Were those truly coyote tracks?  I can’t say for sure, but they looked very much like the tracks of a female coyote that visited the pond in January 2009.

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