Squirrel!

Jan. 15th, 2017 01:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
:D  One of our fox squirrels has finally discovered the birdfeeders again.  I saw him doing acrobatics on the hopper feeder this morning. 
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "public places" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.  It has also inspired the story "For Every Action..." by [personal profile] siliconshaman.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Recently we bought a bag of premium songbird mix, which is mostly sunflower seeds with a bit of safflower and peanuts.  I'm using this to mix with the cheap seed.  This morning I saw a small flock of mourning doves on the fly-through feeder, and there was a male cardinal at the hopper feeder for much of the day.

I also saw a black cat wandering the yard, with the chunky look of a tom.

The weather has been cool, wet, and drizzly.  Puddles everywhere.  In December.  When I was little, it would start snowing in November -- not counting the occasional cold snap in October which sometimes flurried -- and we'd see the ground again in March.  Sometimes a January thaw would melt some of the snow but never all of it.  This area used to be Zone 5b and is now Zone 6a.  The differences are dramatic.  Zone 5 is the south end of north, and Zone 6 is the north end of south.  It's not as big a barrier as the frost line, but close. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Rats smile with their ears.  (Also I did not know most humans can't hear rats giggling.)  

I think that because humans have static ears, instead of parabolic ears, they tend to overlook ear language (also tail language, feather language, and any other body part they don't have) unless it is extremely obvious.  But I always watch for it. This is why I can't abide anthropomorphic art with static body parts; it looks to me like human faces all drawn O_O.  There is nothing more disconcerting than a despairing character -- whose ears should have completely wilted to the skull -- still fully erect as if everything is fine.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I went outside to feed the birds.  I've been seeing mostly sparrows.  I went for a walk, and when I came back, there was a male cardinal at the fly-through feeder.  :D  Yay!

I like going outside on a snowy day and just looking around.  The yard has a shallow layer of white icing.  The snow is light and fluffy, like soap flakes, not sticky at all.  When the birds flutter around in the brush, they knock loose falls of snowflakes. The Midwinter grove of evergreens is thickly frosted, like a scene from a Christmas card.  There are tufts of snow all over the prairie garden, caught in clots on the thistle heads and feathering the cups of Queen Anne's lace like little nests.  The yard is traced with the tracks of rabbits and squirrels, even pheasants, although hard to see with snow this thin and loose.  Underfoot the ground crunches with frosted leaves, grass, and bits of ice.  Pale yellow sunlight slants across the frozen fields in bands of white-gold and long blue shadows.  The breeze is brisk and cutting, not quite wind, but with a sharp northerly bite even at low levels.  My breath smokes in the cold air.

This is the dreaming season, when the Earth sleeps, restiing up for the busyness of spring.  I walk through a world that is quiet except for the crunch of my footsteps, still except for the stirring of birds.  There is a brightness to it, even amidst the cool, colorful shadows.  Every flake of snow catches and reflects the least light, like a winking of dreams in the darkness of sleep.  The sun, sinking westward, tints from white-gold toward copper, gilding the tips of the trees where tufts of snow glitter. It is the imagery of winter, one of my favorite seasons, that fills me slowly like snowflakes filling a quiet corner.  And that's a good thing to bring back inside when I come in.

First Snow

Dec. 13th, 2016 02:02 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Last night it snowed here for the first time.  Not a lot, but enough to leave the world frosted in fluffy white.  :D 
ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
This is from the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the Torn World project.


"This Infinite Light"


In summer, a candle is lit
inside a time crystal,

held in a glass
without hours.

In winter, it still burns,
a bright spark in the darkness

and we all gather around
this infinite light.

* * *

Notes:

Time crystals form the basis of Southern technology.  Temporal technology is extremely risky, but they're using it everywhere, and liable to wreck the world a second  time if they don't quit.  Which is about as popular as trying to get America off its oil addiction.

Primarily the Torn World stories focus on the North, with its extreme seasons; or the South, which is temperate to tropical.

Birdfeeding

Dec. 8th, 2016 04:04 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today when I went out to feed the birds, I startled a great-horned owl from his perch, and got to watch him glide around the edge of the yard.  :D  

There were sparrows swarming the suet feeder this morning.  Yesterday, I saw the first downy woodpecker on there.

The weather has turned frigid.  Remaining green leaves on plants are crunchy underfoot.  Apparently there's a polar vortex.  O_O 

Cashews

Nov. 22nd, 2016 05:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Why cashews are not sold in their shells, and indeed, the "raw" ones aren't actually raw.  This is a good thing. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I refilled the birdfeeders.  Visible just prior to that were a small flock of sparrows and a mourning dove.

Then I took an envelope and gleaned seeds from the violet morning glories in the barrel garden.  The plants are dead but the seeds are still fine. 

We've had several hard frosts, so almost everything is dead now.  Some of the tougher plants still have green leaves, like the artemisia, but all the flowers are gone except for a few stubborn million bells.

I moved the plastic pots from their stands to the outside porch, and stacked up the stands.  That leaves more space on the patio.

We have a fire going.  The furnace is out.  We've been nagging the repairman all week to fix it and they haven't bothered.  So now most of the house is freezing.

I've been working on poetry stuff.  I'm hoping to do some setup for Shiv's material today so the sale can go up faster on Monday.  Also the [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is still running.  I've written two poems for that and posted one of those as the freebie.
ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This is the freebie for the November [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
After the first frost of the season, I'm turning toward winterizing tasks.  I fed the birds.  Then I brought in the ceramic statue from the goddess garden. 

Morning glories are dead.  So are most other summer flowers, although a few still have green leaves, like the snapdragons. The million bells are still blooming, and a little of the firecracker plant.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I finished planting the daffodil bulbs.  I got almost done yesterday, putting them under a row of small saplings alongside the driveway.  \o/

It's colder out today.  The birds are visiting the feeders more regularly.  Mostly I've seen sparrows, occasionally a cardinal or bluejay. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we raked and hauled four wheelbarrows of fallen leaves to the flowerbeds beside the parking lot, where I trampled them into place.  *gasp pant wheeze*

It's a nice day for yardwork, though, cool but not cold.  The mulberry and maple trees are turning bright yellow. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I finished planting the mixed daffodils for shade that I got from my father.  I put them along the back half of the wellcap, as close as they could go, which ought to be inside the mowing range.  I still have the other bag of mixed daffodils, so I'll finish the front with that later.

I refilled the hopper feeder and the fly-through feeder.  There were small flocks of sparrows enjoying the hopper feeder earlier today.

The yard is full of dying leaves, mostly sycamore at this stage.  The walnut trees are almost bare.  The serviceberry is bright orange.  It's a nice day to be outside, brisk but not cold or windy. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I saw a cardinal and a small flock of sparrows at the hopper feeder.  :D

The air is cool and crisp.  It rained the day before yesterday.  I suspect they're just being a bit lazy and going for the easy food. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My father gave me two big bags of bulbs.  Today I started planting some of the "mixed daffodils for shade" under the mulberry tree by the garage.

Also, we have houseguests this week, so I'm likely to have less time online than usual.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we cleared enough space under Home Base to lay down firewood.  Still needs to be mowed, but yay progress!

The weather is cooler and mild, really a nice day for yardening. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I finished planting the bag of 50 mixed crocus, under some saplings alongside the driveway.  

Weather is still pleasant. Farmers are harvesting the soybeans across from us, which is noisy and dusty.  :/

Earlier this afternoon I saw a small flock of sparrows at the fly-through feeder.  Not much birdfeeder activity yet, as there is still abundant food elsewhere.


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