Frannie lives in Georgia, where the winters are fairly warm.



There's so much beauty to see, even in January.

Twelve Robins in the backyard, taking turns at splashing in the birdbath, six at a time! It was about 70 this week, although it has gotten much cooler today. The Cardinals look fatter and brighter than ever. They sip the water but I can't figure out why I have never seen a Cardinal taking a bath in all the time I've been here.

Squirrels are everywhere, scampering around and chasing each other. They must think it's spring. My husband takes aim with the BB gun when he sees them at the bird feeder. He has never hit one. He just wants to scare them off. I say "Everybody has to eat, leave them alone." But with all the acorns around, why are they after sunflower seeds?

The daffodils on the south side of the house look beautiful. The camellia bush is in full bloom.

The birds have been using our back porch as a great big birdhouse made just for them. A contractor is in the process of re-screening the porch. Right now there are large open sections and the birds think it's great.

Two beautiful horses in a nearby field sharing a bale of hay.

People in town have stopped wearing RED (thank goodness). I tell you I had a headache seeing all the red sweaters, jackets and vests for the past two months. You can tell the season in Georgia just by looking at the colors the women are wearing. They are now in the "blue" season. When spring arrives they will be wearing greens, yellows and pinks.

There's so much to see if we just open our eyes and observe.


© By Frannie (Frannie516@aol.com)













Sharon lives in Arizona.



The falcon pair are snatching up the meat slices we put outside at a fast rate. They take off with it and come back in few minutes for more. Looks like they might have babies in a nest somewhere near. I suspect by Spring we will be seeing young falcons. This is the first year they have done this.

Yesterday it was calm outside and warm enough to sit outside on the patio.

Grandchildren left a slice of pizza in the frig. We are not eating pizza, so we put it outside for the birds. Yellow head black bird came down for it. He was so pretty. He is only here at this time of year. He doesn't come when it is warmer.


© By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)













Susi lives in Michigan.



January in Michigan is usually very cold with lots of snow. This year it has been different inasmuch as here it is the 14th and we just got our first snow of the winter. Oh we've had flurries but nothing to stay on the ground. This morning the snow was falling quietly and softly with large fluffy flakes. The road were pretty hazardous on the way to church, but if one drives according to the road conditions, there should be no problems. The snow had stopped by the time church was over and the salt trucks had been out. ******

I sit here with my window at my elbow and I can watch three big puffed out squirrels chasing each other in the east yard, leaving all kinds of designs in the snow. I see an occasional Cardinal sitting in the Redbud skeleton next to the driveway. And, here comes the two neighborhood cats sauntering across the yard in search of the scraps that I put out in the backyard under the table. I'm not the only person who is feeding them obviously, for they are fat old cats. They have been around a long time. No one knows where they sleep in the winter, but they mostly make themselves comfortable in the middle of my flower beds or under the spirea bushes in the spring and summer. I've seen them laying in the middle of our dirt road and cars stopped, the drivers getting out to chase them out from in front of their cars.

Cats certainly do think that they rule, and watching these two, they do. But, there is another month and a half till March, sixty-five more days till the first day of Spring, so one might just as accept that now it is the real January. Another storm is expected to come in tonight and bring lots of snow. Ah well, I am cozied up here in my comfortable old home with my own cat to sit in the chair with me while I watch some television and drink my hot cider or tea. Do your worst, Old Man Winter. You can't hurt me.


© By susi (Texaswishr@aol.com)















Norma lives in Texas.



Mother Nature


Of course she is beautiful.
That's why she's called "Mother Nature."
She rolls over marble rocks
And breathes through 100-ft. fir trees;
Singing in ripples through a little stream,
Thumping like wild Mustangs
Through an ochre grass valley.
Roaring crescendo seas on white-sand beaches,
Coloring her songs with colors uninvented.
Having hot flashes and her own cold sweats,
Somehow communicating her creator's wishes.
As tiny as honey bees and hummingbirds,
As grand as a peak no man will climb
As bright as a jeweled city lake's reflections.
Enveloping and cuddling and smashing,
And cutting,
Beloved.



© By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)















Tom lives in Wyoming



Nature's Beauty


In my own simplistic ways and rudimentary ways of thought I have always looked at and taken Nature as the simple God given things that are all around; things that a lot of people never see and if they did would take for granted. But this August group has all seeing eyes; eyes as we remember our parents had, seeing and knowing the things, usually small things we did wrong.

The lone flower petal on a stalky plant in the dining room window or the sense of security as a thick, dense and heavy snowfall keeps us home for a few days. The thrill when a small green head popped out of the dirt in the spring.

The feeling and utter excitement of the first small flowers of spring; flowers popping through the snowfall; that sense of nature and knowing papa would soon be plowing the garden and worrying about getting his garden "in." The thrill of your child's first words, so much hoping they will be to you and not to the other parent. The thrill and then quickly the somewhat remorse of those first steps.

A big cloud against a summer backdrop of green. Children playing and all of those little baby chicks that just hatched.

Not the grandeur of large and exquisite things, no not at all, just the everyday, the garden variety small innocuous things that strike or struck a chord in your soul and left an impression; most likely a deep and everlasting impression.

Who can forget the first chirp of the spring robin or the nagging chirp of the fall crickets telling us the summer is over?

So many things I took for granted and did not see as I went about my life and strived to attain and to advance. But late, much too late a shattered leg and having to sit did make me aware of many of the things I now cherish. Maybe the “slowdown phase” of one’s life was designed by a higher authority to make us “Stop and smell the roses.”


© By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)












 

 



Heart To Heart

Shadows Among The Mist

Simply Lie

When I Close My Eyes

Playing In The Snow ( 13 Authors)

Hometown Farewell

Old Mill Park

Frannie Sue: Chapter 3

Watching Snowflakes





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