Holding On

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We continue to celebrate the holiday season here in {mostly}snowless Iowa. Coralee & I spent some time out at the local nature center volunteering this past Sunday. It was a very bright sunny day made all the more so by it being one of the first in a long line of foggy grey. Not a single soul visited the Center on that glorious day, sadly. Perhaps folks were still traveling or enjoying the sunshine in their own backyards? In any case, Coralee & I locked up early & explored the trails surrounding the Center. The red oaks are still clothed in their decaying summer delights, which I recently learned is called marcescence. The sun illuminated the russet leaves & caught my attention. Wind pushed the leaves against one another & played a rattling tune of sorts across the desolate corn fields & pockets of sleeping prairie grass. We stepped quickly as it was brisk & our bodies are not quite used to cold temperatures yet. We saw not a single bird nor animal. As a matter of fact, we’ve gone birding quite a few times since Christmas Day & haven’t seen many birds at all. Found some snow-filled wolf tracks in a field adjacent to my father’s prairie in NW Wisconsin, as well as some pheasant tracks upon a berm of drifted snow against his fence line. Coralee, Merritt, & Brian saw a small flock of Common Redpolls on Christmas Day (also in NW WI)–so wish I had been along on that hike.  Enjoyed a visit with the Decorah eagles yesterday as part of Brian & my 13th wedding anniversary.  Coralee & I stood directly under one of the adult eagles perched high above in the tip of a tree; s/he peered down at us a few times.  That was something.

Beyond those few signs of life, it feels like the lands & its inhabitants are holding on, hiding, waiting on Old Man Winter…I’m sure he’ll arrive eventually to Iowa. We’ve got our snowshoes & skis ready.

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4 thoughts on “Holding On

  1. Happy anniversary to you! we are mostly snowless now here as well. But a visit from the eagles!!! how exciting! Happy New Year, Ruby, may 2015 be a year full of unexpected blessings like these wonderful oak leaves you’ve captured here today. xo

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