Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cloud Bottoms And New Snow

One of the natural features that makes our home site special is the bedrock ridge to our East.  Similar in profile to Hawaii's familiar Diamond Head, it forms a perfect frame for celestial events.  A full moon rising is frequently located so that a huge white pine tree appears to be supporting the moon between its trunk and a massive side branch as the moon clears the ridge.  This morning Venus and the crescent moon were scheduled to appear here very close to each other at 5am.

The alarm was needlessly set as I was awake one half hour early.  A quick check of conditions found new snow in the air and solid cloud cover.  Later the clouds thinned enough to show just how close together the planet and the moon actually were.  The distance between them is unusually small and their appearance would have been breathtaking had the sky been clear.

Yesterday morning the sky was clear and their combined light shining in the bedroom window smacked me in the face for a predawn wake up.  Venus was close, perfectly circular and bright.  What little that was illuminated on the moon cast distinct shadows.  The two bodies were rather close to each other in the sky but nothing like this morning.  Someone will likely post their photo of this special morning under clear skies.  At least I will be able to say that I was up in time to see it.

Two days ago the weather was seasonably warm and I was drawn outside for a walk about.  Deep wet snow made walking a physical strain but slow determined steps took me up the lane as far as our back meadow.  These remains of a fallen tree caught my eye.  The combination of green moss covering blackened rotting wood and the two horns creates an unusual image.  When the snow is finally gone and the frost leaves the ground, I shall return to this spot looking to see if this natural sculpture can be moved to a garden.  Placement in the shade garden would allow the moss to continue to grow.  If memory serves, the trunk of this fallen giant is massive.  Hacking out a suitably sized piece for the garden may be more of a job than I am willing to tackle.  That would explain why this tree lies undisturbed exactly where it fell.

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