Previously Posted March 2012
Last night, as the rain beat a steady rhythm against the windows, the local news station forecasted snow, possibly on the Willamette Valley floor, by morning. This seemed a little far-fetched, especially in March here in the Portland, Oregon area. It wasn’t until they showed a live webcam of snow on top of Haystack Rock, at Pacific City, that I thought maybe this was a possibility. A peculiar sight to see, this mammoth haystack shape rock surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, its peak covered with snow. I had spent from dawn till dusk on the coast the first part of February and it was at Pacific City where I ended a wonderful day by capturing this beautiful sunset.
Seeing the snow on top of this rock a month later just didn’t seem possible, but there it was. As the rain continued to fall well into the night I began to doubt we would receive any of this unusual snow fall in our area.
Sir Clarence James ,my cat, woke me at 1:00am the following morning wanting to get under the covers. I couldn’t blame him for it was pretty chilly. My husband and I like to sleep with the heat off at night as we have discovered we sleep better when it is colder in the house. As Clarence made himself comfortable, under the covers,I began to wonder if the cooler night air meant it might be snowing outside and decided to get up and take a look.
My neighborhood had transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland, so clean, pure and peaceful. It seemed that about three to four inches of the white heavy stuff had fallen. For a time I sat and watched the big fluffy white flakes fall from the sky till a light veil began to drape my mind and my eyelids became heavy. I headed back to bed knowing it would still be warm thanks to Clarence and my husband John. Snuggling under the down comforter I slowly drifted off to sleep with visions of snow flakes falling softly from the sky still in my head.
It seemed I had only been asleep for a few minutes when Clarence crawled out from under the covers and started pawing my hair. This is his way of telling me it is time to get up and fix his breakfast. He has trained me well for I quickly rose knowing he would not leave me alone till I had gotten out of the bed. Wrapping my warm robe around me I stopped briefly at the window to take a quick peek outside before heading to the kitchen. To my delight it looked the same as it did several hours earlier. Clarence’s urging chatter got me moving again towards the kitchen with him hot on my heels.
His Highness taken care of and the furnace activated, I started the water for my tea. While I waited for the water to heat up, I opened the shutters covering the windows that looked out over the backyard and the hill beyond. Sipping my tea, I stood and watched the dawn breaking as the house warmed and his Highness noisily ate his breakfast. As the sky lightened with the moon still visible, the sun’s rays turned those clouds it reached into a pinkish haze behind the bare limbs of the trees, all enhanced by the undisturbed snow. It was such a beautiful sight to begin a new day and I decided to capture it. Still in my robe I grabbed my camera and headed outside to photograph this wonderful and rare scene to see, in March, here in the Pacific Northwest.
I love nature and encourage birds to spend time in my yard. I love to listen to their songs and observe their antics, all year round. Every morning we put out a handful of peanuts on the stone wall of our patio next to the arbor for the blue jays and squirrels. They are so entertaining to watch. This morning after putting out the peanuts I waited, with camera in hand, for the blue jay’s arrival.
These wonderful birds are something to watch as they come for the peanuts. A bird will pick up one peanut and seemingly weigh it, then put it back down so it can pick up another. This will continue till it has decided which one is the heaviest. The chosen nut will then disappear down it’s throat. Wait! He is not finished as he then grabs another, presumably the next heaviest and with it firmly held, within its beak, it will fly away to bury both nuts before returning for more.
As the day draws to an end we still have snow on the ground, though only in those cooler shady areas. Clarence and I have taken breaks from work to watch the variety of birds that visit our feeders today from the comfort and warmth of our home. Life is good.
Prints available at www.deebrowningphotography.com