Saturday, January 05, 2008

Gifts of winter

Not that winter is my favorite season, mind you. Oh, no -- I'm still in the process of shaking down a new heating system that's challenged when the early early morning temps drop down to the mid and lower 20s, as is predicted for Sunday and beyond.

Nonetheless, winter brings its surprises. such as this full grown critter which dropped onto the window sill from one of the hanging basket plants in my office the other day. I don't know his family, genus, whatever, but he stood still for a rather neat portrait and then disappeared, never to be seen again.

Today, the remains of those big Pacific Coast storms started rolling in, wetting everything from ivy leaves to stones with a high gloss.

Even a pine needle on cement created its own particular glow.

And, as every rockhound knows, the secret to beautiful stones is a surface coating of water. These rocks are all part of my big retaining wall. They're never quite as beautiful as when the rain heightens their color.

BTW, I'm dedicating the pictures of these stones to k, who has to travel miles and miles to gather stones for her remarkable southern Florida garden.


Catalyst said...

Lovely photos, GJ. Stay warm.

Granny J said...

Cat-A -- I'll do my best. So far, I'm good.

Jan said...

granny j..I love the beauty of rocks, too.

On the third pic down, the needle on cement one, it looks like there is the face of some animal looking up with a woe-be-gone expression..look and see if you detect it, too!

Granny J said...

Indeed I do, Jan -- it's a Big Cat of some sort, I'd say.

meggie said...

Wonderful pics! I love your thouhts about it all too.

Granny J said...

meggie -- I'm happy with it all (esp. the wet stones) until the temps drop down into the mid-20s. Right now,we're verging on a snowy day.

k said...

Well my gracious! Thank you, granny j! Those are beautiful!

I have so many special rocks that look completely blase without water. Then when it rains and stops, and people go out and about with their dogs, they go by and see the wet rocks, which have burst into color -

and they look so SURPRISED. heh! I love to catch that look on their faces.

Sometimes they check to see if I noticed - (should I be embarrassed now?) and since I always prefer that people be comfortable, I try to ease into it - "Don't those rocks look different when they're wet?" and they stop sort of holding themselves in, and grin, and say, "Yes, I never noticed that before..."

I love your retaining wall. I'd probably sit and look at it for hours.

k said...

The face in the needle on cement pic. Is it in the lower right hand corner? With the nostrils in the very corner, and the two eyes above that?

Granny J said...

k -- one great thing about being back in the West is all the rocks -- I really missed them all those years I lived in Jax and then in Chicago, where the only rocks were the giants from Elsewhere that were dumped along the lakefront as a breakwater. Of course, if a stone is polished to within an inch of its life, it may resemble the gloss from water, but then only expensive granite counter tops and little river stones get that kind of treatment.

And yes, that's the same animal that I saw.

TomboCheck said...

great pics!!

Granny J said...

Thanks, tombo... you've had some good ones lately, too!

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