“This earth is my sister; I love her daily grace, her silent daring and how loved I am, how we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty and I do not forget; what she is to me, what I am to her.”
Just as I had decided to say goodbye to winter, there came one last sting in the tail. Turns out winter wasn’t finished with me yet.
Ireland is not geared up for arctic conditions. So when the Arctic warmed up couple of degrees, the freezing weather came down across Europe, the UK and finally across Ireland. Living in the middle of nowhere down a long winding lane is a perfect recipe for getting snowed in.
It happened last in 2010 when Ballyscanlan Lake froze solid. Maybe some people find that hard to believe? Luckily I have photos which prove it. It also happened unexpectedly in 1982 when we eventually had to walk 5 miles in the snow to get supplies.
Anyway this time there were serious warnings given and it turned out that the sunny south east was very much in the eye of the storm. Added to my five weeks of convalescence was another week of being confined to quarters because of snow. The entire country was shut down by a Red Alert and I now had the company of the nation.
it was difficult for me to get out much in the snow. I’m still haunted by a cast. I had to be content with snapping this beautiful blanket of perfect white from my window. I’m also struggling to hold up my heavy Canon EOS 7D so I mainly used my iPhone. Eventually I dropped it, the very thing I’ve been trying to avoid. The two claws fumbled. and it bounced off the floor cracking the screen for the 3rd time. (at least…)
Aside from these First World Problems I enjoyed feeding and observing the birds who have been keeping me company for all of this strange incarceration. I made soup through gritted teeth (now hopeless at chopping) and I kept my spirits up by watching the entire first two series of Grace and Frankie on Netflix.
The eerie silence and the deepening snow was then complicated by a storm coming up from the Bay of Biscay. it was hard to sleep with the thoughts of 120km gales and blizzards. And still the snow deepened some more.
I began work on a project called, She holds me, about my relationship with the land. While trying to find words to express the strength of Mother Earth I rediscovered the writing of Susan Griffin author of Woman and Nature the Roaring Inside Her.
Turns out it being snowed in was the perfect time to read her book. And now I’m holding out for Spring once more…..and the cast comes off this week. I’m pure giddy with the excitement of of having two liberated arms back to do with what I will!!
These bird photos are truly breathtaking, Catherine – what a gift you have! I’m glad you’ve managed to find and share so many blessings among the frustrations of being restricted by your injury and this extreme weather we’ve been having, but I’m really looking forward to you getting your cast off so you can get outdoors and frolic with The Big Camera when spring beckons!
Catherine Drea says
Thanks Janice! I’m certainly looking forward to that too. I am experiencing what is usually called cabin fever at this stage, but everyday there is a small improvement. Watch this space for big skies and liberation!!
Hi again, Catherine. Are you OK? I know you sometimes take breaks from blogging, but I don’t want to assume. Here’s hoping you’re away somewhere having a wonderful holiday to celebrate having the casts off.
pat hayes says
Beautiful photos Catherine, beautiful birds, so resilient in the snow and wind. The eastern storms have hit us again today here too, St. Patrick’s Day – thinking of you as Celtic music and Ireland winning the rugby is on the TV today. Do hope all is well for you as your cast comes off Catherine.Keep warm and well Xx
Catherine Drea says
Hi Pat, well the rugby certainly had us cheering and made for a fabulous celebratory Paddy’s Day. I have seen your email and for some reason found your comments in the spam folder???!!!! Not sure what happened there. Something I better keep an eye on. Thanks for the heads up!
pat hayes says
That poor little huddled blackbird. That’s a bit what it’s like over here as the storm has returned. You’ve captured those resilient little birds magnificently Catherine. Do hope you are still hanging in there in spite of equipment mishaps. Thought of you in Ireland St. Patrick’s yesterday, the Irish celebrating the rugby double win and loads of celtic music on the TV here. Hoping all goes well for you as the cast comes off. Keep warm and safe Xx
Catherine Drea says
Well done Pat you are pretty resilient yourself!! Hope you enjoyed your namesake’s feast day too. Yes hanging in there my dear……counting blessings too xx
Oh my! I can hear the silence of your snow so well! And the scritching of the tiny feet of birds in the feeder! Even though you are struggling with your tools, the work still comes out in spades Katherine.
We are crippled too when it comes to severe weather. The city can shut down in an instant with 6″ of snow! We, like Ireland, are not made to deal with such a deluge of the white stuff here in South western Canada. They chuckle at us back in the East and on the Prairies where this is what they live with from November to April!
Good old Netflix hey? Loved ‘Frank and Gracie’ for a laugh and I just binge watched the third season of ‘Broadchurch’…incredible acting! I also just watched ‘Jane’, an autobiographical doc about Jane Goodall in her words with old footage from her time in Gombe.
Hope your wings are healing well…spring will come!!
Diana Studer says
Are you released? Are your hands returned to action??
Oh, I’m always in love with your winter bird photos! Blessed you are by the ability to enjoy what’s there, a window on the snow, a movie and a book, while projects mature . I wish you a full recovery and hope to enjoy soon your spring images.