At the beginning of the New Year, I was warm and cozy and in no hurry to do anything. And then, the telephone rang. Through my hand set I could hear the sound of the river and the wind blowing through the tree limbs. After dressing, I grabbed one of my collecting bags and my camera and I jumped into my car. By now, my family knows I’m crazy, I know I’m crazy, and so little is said of the matter of my leaving anymore. I’m pretty well bundled up since it’s somewhere in the high teens on this first day of 2010.
It may be cold, but at least the sun is out and this has an enormous cheering effect on me. I decided to check out a place that I don’t investigate as often, the riverbank just east of the dam and bridge. The prevailing winds and currents do push materials along this shoreline, some of which beach here until the next flooding. Among the many items I found this morning include an especially large and nicely shaped hunk of Styrofoam. I set it on end and took a photograph of this polystyrene stelae with the river and bridge. Even I have a hard time guessing how big this hunk looks in the photograph and so I dragged it back to my car and created this other image!
Well, here’s the crazy part I alluded to earlier. I decided to take this big piece home and amazingly, it just fit across the back seat of my Honda Civic. I have other materials cached at home in our incredibly shrinking basement. As of now, I don’t have a particular idea for it, but it will come. After wrestling with the Styrofoam block, I drove to my usual spot to check out the scene from there and to see how older works were faring.
There was a lot more ice just downriver from the dam and coated the willows closest to the water. There is also more wind and turbulence which I can feel on the exposed areas on my face. It’s not quite “Elmer Fudd” hat weather, but very close. I reserve that unflattering head-gear for temps below zero. The television weather prophets are saying my area will be chilling in the twenties for highs the rest of the week. With hope, this will be the coldest it gets this year. Last year’s winter, with the great exception of the infamous ice storm, was a comparatively easy and warm one.
I looked up two old friends and they were still hanging in there. Lorraine had slumped over, but it was easy to prop her back up to join her beau, Pot Belly in standing guard over my spot under the willows. I wandered around and very few birds were to be seen or expected. I did run into a small grouping of drabbly-plumed American Goldfinches and stray Song Sparrows and Mallard ducks. Oh, I did photograph a rare hummingbird and came across another interesting nest, however, in the interest of future posts…I will withhold those for now, but check back later this week. I did come across one other image I recorded that is a bit more ironic than unusual and is not intended to be an endorsement of this product. I like my beer with a lot more body, and flavor, etc… Happy New Year everybody!