Nature…


Jeff Price-52

This tree is made up of 5 different pictures in order show the whole thing. I wonder how old it is?

Mother Nature, what wondrous pictures you paint
with your palette of colors so bright
each different in their own way
depending on the light
which too has its own shade
at different times of the day
from the soft tinge of dawn
to the bright skies with the sun so high
to the evening quietly closing into night
and the moon and stars to show the way.

Green the most beautiful color of all
lasting until the Fall
when the colors change to a very soft brown
as the leaves come tumbling down
and another season comes to a close
not everything giving up its glow
as evergreens show their true worth
adding color to Winters birth
which is nature’s harshest season
and only she knows the reason.

The snow and frost are soon to appear
covering everything with a blanket of white
lasting for six months of the year
hiding everything from sight
with the brave evergreens doing their best
to provide color with as much zest
waiting for the something big to appear
and the snow to melt and the cycle complete
and another Season is nigh
as Winter goes out with a sigh.

Spring arrives and with it new growth
tiny flowers are quick to appear
and soon they are followed by buds all around
with the start of painting a scene
with everything new and fresh and green
and flowers burst forth to add to the charm
and the birds and animals building new nests
and the cycle completes with every new round
as the Seasons progress until the day
as Nature has finally found the way.

Written 8/13/2018

Changes


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Life has changed so dramatically
plain for everyone to see
the way it was a few weeks ago
is different now and we all know
that things can never be the same
in this ever changing game
time is passing by so fast
will the next day be the last
or maybe just a week or two
or even a month I have no clue
all I know that when the time comes
I will be ready as its race is run
and time spent by Winter is finally gone
and we welcome the Spring as it sings its song
with everything new and green and fresh
and the warm sun upon my flesh
I feel like a person having just made it through
another winter in Texas now its time to renew.

Written 2/12/2018

The Weather Today


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Today has turned cloudy and the skies are grey
maybe there is rain coming our way
so far this has been a wonderful Fall
not wet and cold no not at all
the days have been warm and the sun bright
and even the temperatures at night
are cooler by far than a month ago
but not cold enough for us to have snow
the leaves have all turned a wondrous hue
browns and yellows and even a few
that have turned red as Nature runs her course
as she has been doing since time evermore
we know that this weather cannot last
and soon we will be feeling the blast
of cold arctic air sweeping down from the North
as the cold fronts blow through for all they are worth
luckily for us they are but a few
and in between Nature will start to renew
getting ready for Spring not far behind
as it mixes with Winter the two intertwined
in little more than a month or at most maybe two
the sun will warm up and give us a clue
that once more Mother Nature is doing her thing
as the plants start to grow and the birds start to sing
and crocus and daffodils will push through the ground
new leaves on the trees which has found
and Winter has gone and Spring brings new cheer
not to return for a whole nother year
the summers are hot but the winters are short
much better than living somewhere up North
where Winter lasts six months of the year
and Spring, Summer and Fall hardly appear.

Written 12/5/2017

A Poem About Mother Nature.


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The days are growing shorter little by little
as the long arm of winter reaches out
and there is a chill in the air first thing in the morning and at night
and the leaves are falling to the ground in an absolute blizzard
not with the tingling of wet snow
but the gentle touch of Mother Nature’s dieing materials
the sun still shines but is not as warm as it was
and the shadows are longer with the sun lower on the horizon
now when I hike, I will need a jacket to ward of the chill in the air
soon, there will be frosts on the plants and the flowers that remain
as Mother Nature’s icy winter fingers
put them to sleep to lay dormant for the winter
rebuilding and renewing getting ready for a new life
and when the time is right
to burst out into the light of day
in her wisdom this renewable cycle cannot be rushed and takes time
time which Nature has in abundance
and which we mere mortals have in limited supply
as she smiles secretly to herself
knowing that she will always have the last word.

 

Written 11/20/2017

 

 

 

Winter Weather.


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Texas Winter in Austin

Well, Old Man Winter has finally arrived in my part of Central Texas. The weather forecasters told us to expect freezing temperatures as low as 24 degrees and by golly, that is exactly what we got. It is all due to an arctic cold front blowing down from the Northern States which is how we get most of our freezing weather. What we needed when this continent was “born” was a tall mountain range that traversed from East to West and centered somewhere on the borders of Oklahoma to stop this stuff blowing in on us. Unfortunately there is nothing but flat land and nothing to prevent the fronts from blowing through. This is generally how we get most of the cold weather that makes up our so called Winter. We are due for two days of this and then it will warm up again and by Wednesday, it should be in the mid sixties which is pretty good for December.

I took a walk out in the gardens to check on things and as expected, the freeze has really done a number on the garden and pond plants, knocking nearly all of them down. It is going to take quite a bit of cleanup work to chop it all down and stack it on the compost heap. I got away with it last year as we didn’t get a single freeze and the stuff just kept on growing. By the time spring rolled in, the garden and pond plants were already several feet tall and they didn’t stop growing for the rest of the summer.

When the front blew in, it was accompanied by a strong wind which blew for several hours and managed to knock off many of the leaves which had already turned brown and were slow in falling. This was a good thing as with the leaves down and having to get in the ponds to cut down the plants, will give me the opportunity to clean out the leaves already gathered in the bottom. The Koi as cold blooded creatures, generally stop eating when the water gets down below 50 degrees and settle together in one big group at the lowest point of the pond, moving very occasionally but generally not swimming about. The ponds themselves have a lot of moving water as the pumps keep the water circulated and tend not to ice over.

Even though my garden was a green paradise prior to the frost, I see it as a natural order of things kind of an “Out with the old and in with the new” syndrome. One thing Mother Nature will always guarantee is that the majority if not all of the plants will re-grow come the warmer weather in the Spring which for us here in Texas will start at the end of February. I can’t wait for that to happen. Two days of winter is enough for me. I lived in New York State for 10 years and that was more winters than I ever wanted.

Apologies for my absence


Trail

Trail at the Austin Greenbelt

To all of my readers out there, I must apologize for nor blogging for a month or so. I have quite literally been up to my ears building a new website for my favorite Association, the Austin Pond Society. The last Webmaster had slowly been pulling back from his involvement and I had taken over most of his duties in keeping up the old site. He had mentioned that it was time for a new site with a more modern look to it but that he just didn’t have the time.

I am not a computer geek inasmuch that I am not professionally trained but I have been around computers for the past 20 odd years and have had a couple of websites in the past but nothing to the degree that the Pond Society expected. Being the adventuress sort, I said to myself, “What the hell, all I can do is screw up or I might just succeed” and in my mind, failure was not an option.

Central Texas where I live, has been experiencing some very cold (for us) weather with freezes at night and temperatures in the day not going much above 40 degrees Farenheit with some days even colder than that. Consequently, the attraction for going outside and working in the yard or even going hiking was not very appealing and it wasn’t hard to stay glued to the computer for the last couple of months. Sad to say, I got so involved that I even let slip my work out schedule and barely made one trip a week to the gym instead of every two days.

I chose to build the site using WordPress which is also the site that hosts my blog so the decision was not very difficult. I set up a new account and downloaded a package to get me started. I found a hosting site and also downloaded a Theme which I liked and got to work.

It was a struggle at first and more than a little frustrating as many things I tried would not work and I spent a lot of time debugging my own work. I settled on a format that was also flexible enough that I could make changes as the site grows and spent the next two months almost totally glued to my computers. I even had one computer freeze up on me and had to rush it to the shop for repair work but luckily for me, all of the content was backed up.

Finally, last week, the site went live at http://www.austinpondsociety.org That doesn’t mean to say it is finished. Like all good things, the work is never done as there will be pages to add as the Pond Society goes through its usual annual routine of Speakers at the monthly meetings, Sponsor Night when all of our sponsors have a show and tell, the Plant Swap when our members bring in all of their surplus plants, fish and equipment and swap it out for someone else’s plants, fish and equipment. Everyone goes home happy. The big item will be the Pond Tour that this year that will be held on June 6,7. Following that, the next meeting will be a review of the Pond Tour when many of those that showed their ponds talk about their experiences. The final meeting in November will be our Thanksgiving/Christmas Party when a fun time is had by all. Finally, as the weather warms, there will be hikes and trips to the great outdoors.

So, I have lots of material up ahead to report on both in the new website and also in the Ripples, the quarterly Pond Society newsletter for which I am the Editor, and of course my own blog which I have neglected these past couple of months.

Luckily for me, the weather is going to warm up. After all, this is Texas, the State with the 100 degree summers. This we can rely on with real certainty. Usually, we go from Winter and the small amount of cold that we have to endure directly to Summer. Somehow, we miss out on Spring as it slips by us so fast that we barely notice it probably because it lasts all of two days. Just kidding of course but the temperatures do warm up very quickly.

I can’t wait. I hate the cold which is why I ended up in Texas after ten years of New York State winters. Oh yes, please check the new site out and let me know what you think of it. Criticism or Praise, we all need both.

Maybe, I’ll see you on the hiking trails.

It’s raining at my house…


I have been sitting indoors for these past three days watching it rain. It’s not that I mind the rain as goodness only knows, we need as much as we can get. No, what I mind is that it is bloody cold out there with the temperature in the mid thirties. A few more degrees and I will really hate it as then it will turn into ice rain with freezing roads and stupid drivers. Of course, I have no reason to venture outside other than to check on the ponds to make sure that everything is OK and maybe go to the gym.The ponds  will do fine if it does freeze as all of the water is moving making it difficult for it to ice up. Not impossible but difficult.

This sort of weather reminds me of England in the winter time. This is exactly how it was in my part of the country in the south. Cold, wet and miserable and one of the reasons that I ended up in America. My Mother who was already here after World War 2 wrote to say that it was 80 degrees and was going to be another fine,sunny day.  We were just coming off three weeks of non stop rain. That was enough to persuade my family that we should move.

Playing on a wet field

Playing on a wet field

Normally, I like the rain. I used to enjoy playing soccer out in it especially if the fields were a little wet and muddy. Nothing like sliding after the ball and missing it and continuing on for another ten feet before stopping. I played in one game that would have been more fitting for water polo than soccer as there was so much standing water and mud so thick that it literally sucked your boots off. Any resemblance to soccer was purely incidental. The ball floated in the water and the only way to kick it was to toe punt it and to any soccer aficionado, not the way to play the game. Even so, it was still fun.

In retrospect, the game should never have been played but in England in the winter time, it always rains and the fields are always wet. Besides, what normally happens after tearing up the field on the Saturday is that it rains through the week and the rain  levels the field back out and by the time the next game gets played usually two weeks later (one home, one away rotation) the fields are in great shape and ready to do it all again.

One thing you can always depend on in England is rain…

Look. It’s stopped. Time to head to the gym.

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