Posts Tagged ‘McDowell Forest Preserve’

Even when the park is empty in the morning, there’s evidence of a lively night life as evidenced by these tracks.  I might not glimpse anything but birds, but in the words made famous by the little girl in “Poltergeist”, “They’re heeeere.”

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

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“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
~Leonora Carrington

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Besides frost, there were lots of geese in the park.  You know that goose down works well as an insulator or these guys would all be very, very cold!  For whatever reason, all the geese congregate here early in the morning, then take off at intervals, for all the world as if they’re taking off from an airport.  They make no noise while on the water, but as soon as they take off, the honking begins.  By the time I get back from my walk, they’re all gone.  But the next time I arrive, they’re back.
© janet m. webb

“Oh, listen. Listen!’ A sound like a big crowd a good way off, excited and shouting, getting closer. We stand up and scan the empty sky. Suddenly there they are (the geese), a wavering V headed directly over the hilltop, quite low, beating southward down the central flyway and talking as they pass. We stay quiet suspending our human conversation until their garrulity fades and their wavering lines are invisible in the sky.
They have passed over us like an eraser over a blackboard, wiping away whatever was there before they came.”
~Wallace Stegner

The early morning light illuminated the undersides of the geese as they flew overhead, distracting my from my search for frost photos.  Because people feed them and because there are places they can get food, not all geese go south for the winter.  I don’t mind them at the park, but when they’re at the nearby lake, their propensity for decorating the sidewalk with poop is distinctly off-putting.

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

 

© janet m. webb

I love milkweed, seeds and pods, and their role in providing food for monarch and other butterflies.  But there’s much more to this plant.  The silky floss has good insulation properties and its fibers are used to clean up oil spills.  On the darker side, many natives in Africa and South America use the poison on the tips of their arrows, while milkweed is toxic to animals when taken in large amounts.

Often the floss of the milkweed flies in the wind, like a head of blonde hair. But in the case of the seeds I found in the park not long ago, each strand was adorned with a plethora of tiny, frosty diamonds.

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Not everything in the park was bedecked with ice crystals. While this milkweed seed was frozen (at least temporarily) in place, its silky strands were blowing free and although it’s not a leaf, I found this quote more than apt.  Evidently, this little seed wasn’t quite ready to play.

“Come, little leaves,” said the Wind one day, “Come to the meadows with me and play. Put on your dresses of red and gold; For Summer is past, and the days grow cold.”
~George Cooper

Life has gotten rather busy lately, with extra shifts at work, Christmas preparations, and just general life things.  If I haven’t made it to your site recently, it’s not from lack of interest, just lack of time, so please forgive me.  Because I’ve been working Wednesdays, I also haven’t participated in the photo challenge for a few weeks and if you do multiple posts a day, I’m likely not to make to all of them.

I do hope each of you is having a wonderful and wonder-filled December and will come back tomorrow for another frost photo.

© janet m. webb