Friday, February 14, 2014

Snowy days in Cobb County, Georgia

During the bad winter storm two weeks ago in Metro Atlanta on January 28 and 29, 2014 (see my last post here,) we did not drive, but we walked.  I brought my cameras and took some pictures along the way.  About 3 houses up on the other side of our street are a couple of old barns.  Then on our side of the street, about 2 houses up, is a large red house with white columns - we do not know who lives there.  Actually we hardly know any neighbors (even though we have lived here since 1976) as the houses are not very close to each other.  (Click on photos and collages twice to enlarge.)

Adjacent to our house is a large piece of land with a lake.  There are four houses around the lake, I think.  When we moved to our house years ago there was one house only - a teenager there used to babysit our daughters from time to time.  We had to drive her back to her house on the far side of the lake.  We can see the lake from our house in winter when there are no shrubs or leaves on the trees.  On that stormy morning I came behind my cat Mitsuko to take some pictures from our kitchen window.  There is a screen outside the window so the photos are not clear.  Mitsuko did not want to move as she was looking intently at birds.  You can see part of the lake behind our barn in the center picture below.

We walked to the lake.  It is especially pretty in winter when there is snow.  Some ice was floating on the surface of the lake.

We walked along the side of the lake toward several ducks.  We observed them for quite a while - they did not pay any attention to us.

Across the lake we could see someone shoveling snow off a driveway with a dog nearby.  The dog started to run along the lake and came to greet us.  He was very friendly and walked with us until he started to dig, near the lake, and found a bone that he must have hid there long ago.  Then he trotted back to his home with his bone, tightly held between his teeth (bottom left picture below.)

We turned around and slowly came back.  It was sunny but still below freezing.

It was beautiful and peaceful there.  We saw a Bluebird fly away - I tried to take its picture - I did, and you can see him below.  We walked home from the back of our barn.

While we were at the lake we saw a car parked - I think it was a Jeep.  Later, as we walked away, the driver stopped to introduce himself and told us that he and his family had been neighbors for the last seven years.  We exchanged email addresses.  Later when he returned with his wife, who had been stranded in her car, he stopped and introduced her.  So now we know one set of neighbors, and that is nice.

Once back at home I thought I saw a Bluebird by the driveway, but it was a Blue Jay.  He was pretty anyway.

This past winter storm, named Leon, has been terrible for many people, but I was pleased to see snow again.  On Saturday February 1st, we drove to the little lake by the Senior Center to see if there was some snow left, but there was not.  By then it had melted.  The lake still had some ice on its surface though.

I thought that now we would have to wait another three years or more to see snow again.  Wrong!  Last Tuesday, February 11th, 2014, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed advised residents of the Metro Atlanta area to stay home.  I watched TV and news on my computer - another storm was coming named Pax.  People were rushing to stores to buy supplies - snow shovels were in high demand (we do not possess one.)  This time the Mayor was being pro-active and trucks were ready.

Metro Atlanta area people stayed home through yesterday, Thursday February 13th, although the roads re-iced during the night.  Roads were deserted apart from road workers, gravel and sand trucks, police and power workers since thousands lost electric power because of down lines and trees.  Georgia Power Company reported that yesterday 236,000 customers in Georgia were without power, mostly in the Atlanta and Augusta areas.  A reporter standing on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta was showing that people had heard the warning - there was no one in sight (blue jacket below.)

On Wednesday, February 12th, 2014, it alternated between rain, snow and ice.  I was very surprised yesterday morning, Thursday, when I looked outside our kitchen window - the scenery was like a fantasy-land - white all over.  I could just make out the bright red color of a Cardinal across the window.  I took its picture several times but, as I said earlier, with the screen on the window photos do not come out too well.  I tried to take a picture of the yard, so pretty under the snow, but my camera focused on the screen as you can see below - but you can guess at the view ...

I thought I would make coffee and have breakfast then go out for a walk and take more pictures.  That was a mistake, because within two hours the sun was shining and the snow had already fallen from the branches.  I started by taking a picture of our barn - it looked like a Christmas card.  I took it with my little Canon Power Shot which I have not used in months.

I took more pictures of the front and back yard.

The snow covered branches on our fig tree made attractive designs.

We then repeated our stroll of two weeks ago by walking along the road to the farm nearby.  The snow looked different, softer.

There was a thick layer of ice under the snow.

The lake looked as pretty as always

and the colors seemed more glowing.

Back at home, since we could not drive to the store, I made a vegetable stew with what I had on hand and it turned out very tasty (I'll give the recipe next week.)  It stayed very quiet outdoors, apart from the chirping of the birds.


32 comments:

DJan said...

I worried about you when I heard that Atlanta was getting hit again. And these pictures assure me that you are well and safe, and taking fabulous pictures. I especially love the cardinal series, but they are all wonderful. I think it is supposed to warm up today and make everything much less scary for everyone. I hope so, anyway. Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours, VB. :-)

Down by the sea said...

I too thought of you when I heard yesterday the news that your area had been suffering with so much snow. Your pictures make it all look so beautiful. The contrast of the snow against the red bird is amazing. Hope you don't suffer too much in the cold and are able to get out for supplies. Take care. Sarah x

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I know this winter the storms have been particularly rough on the Atlanta area and I am so relieved that you are safe and have been staying at home. Your snow pictures are so pretty and the landscape looks so peaceful. Love the shots of the birds. Hope spring is on it's way.
Sam

claude said...

Ben dis moi, c'est la Sibérie chez toi.
On a vu des images à la télé de NY et WDC, incroyable toute cette neige !
Vous c'est dans l'est, nous c'est dans l'ouest, tempête et inondations à répétitions. C'est nettement moins beau que la neige et les cultures maraîchères sont perdues. Les pêcheurs ne pas aller en mer. Quel temps de chien !
Tes photos sont très belles Vagabonde.
Bon week-end !

Nadege said...

2 horrible snow storms but at least, they didn't last very long. I am glad you and your husband are doing well and had enough food to feed yourself and the wildlife. You must be so ready for spring.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

Your pictures are really beautiful, I really love the one with the red bird, is it called a cardinal?

Perpetua said...

I've been thinking about you and my other American blog friends while watching the news coverage of your latest winter storm, Vagabonde. I'm glad people were sensible and heeded the warnings to stay at home.

You live in a most beautiful neighbourhood and it's lovely to see photos of your surroundings and the local wildlife. I'm glad your snowy wazlk resulted in your meeting some of your neighbours.

Jocelyn said...

I so agree that snow makes all the world softer and more beautiful. In a way, despite being unaccustomed to dealing with it, Georgia is lucky to have these storms--if only to awaken to how very different the usual world can look and feel.

biebkriebels said...

I always like to walk in the snow, it makes the world so quiet, all sounds are so muted. We didn't have any snow this year, only rain...

Ruth Mowry said...

It is almost inconceivable to see these photos and know this is Atlanta. I'm glad you have been OK in the recent storms. It's nice that you met neighbors through the experience.

I love winter. But even I, here in Michigan, am longing for relief. The temps ran up toward 30° a few days ago, and this week it is supposed to get warmer yet. I look forward to it a lot. I love snow, but this cold has been difficult to get through.

Jojo said...

Your photos are beautiful and in all your walks it was nice you were able to meet some neighbors too. Love your bird friends and seeing that feeder makes me think the birds must love you too.

La Table De Nana said...

Lovely going for a walk with you..
Interesting to see..
Here au QC..we are of course used to a lot of snow..
I am grateful to live near water too..

Elephant's Child said...

Oh my. We have been sweltering in a long, hot summer. Bushfires have claimed lives and homes (animal and human). Rain has been absent.
Seeing these images has shrunk the world for me - and given my balm for my soul. Thank you.

David said...

Vagabonde... Beautiful snow photos! We had plenty of snow at our home in East Tennessee too...about 6" on our deck! We actually have a snow shovel that we brought with us when we moved down from Chicago. We used it for the second time in 4 winters. While the snow was pretty, we were glad to see it melt! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I LOVED the pictures of the Cardinal....We don't have them here and they have always been my very favorite Bird--from Childhood! The snow pictures were really really wonderful! (Though, for the first time, I couldn't make them bigger....Good Old Blogger--Grrrrr)
I'm happy you met some neighbors, my dear....Hopefully they will turn out to be really nice people!

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely pictures -- so glad Atlanta dealt better with the second snow.

We had a second big one and then another few inches last night -- most of which melted today. I am reasy for Spring!

Retired English Teacher said...

Your photography skills are a blessing to those of us whom read your blog. You are truly gifted. I thought as I looked at some of the photos that it was nice to see snow photographed from the perspective of one whom does not see it often. The shots seemed so fresh and creative. Thank you. This photographic journal was most intriguing.

Oh how I'd love to see a cardinal. They don't live in my region.

I don't know that I could live as isolated as you do. It is so beautiful where you live. It seems so peaceful and romantic, but I would have a hard time living there. I once thought I would like living in such a place, but I've lived in suburbia too long now. We live somewhat away from the city, but we are also living very close to our neighbors. This is good and bad. It is also what I have come to enjoy.

Jono said...

Good to see y'all getting the hang of a winter storm. Beautiful pics!

Carola Bartz said...

All this beauty is so close to your home? I probably would be out there every day - so pretty!!! I envy you for all the beautiful birds you see. The bluebird is cute - I sometimes see them here as well, but very rarely. The blue jay is gorgeous - we have scrub jays and stellar's jays here and I love their personality, very sassy. The corgi who walked with you to his bone hide-out is very cute as well! They are friendly dogs.

Your photos are very beautiful, the light is warming even though it probably was rather cold.

Willow said...

My this is a beautiful bit of photo journaling.
Loved all the beautiful scenes !

Friko said...

These are very pretty pictures. You live in a lovely environment.

When you saw the person cleaning their driveway, did you not think of walking up with the dog and introducing yourselves? You’d have met two neighbours that way. People talk about the weather if nothing else.

rosaria williams said...

Atlanta's traffic jam was on national news. Amazing how difficult life can get in just a few days of new weather. We live with severe weather warning during winters, so we do stock up on fuel and food for possible emergencies. Hope everything gets back to some kind of normal for you.

Magic Love Crow said...

I love your posts! The pictures are amazing! So beautiful! I love the country scenes! I love the birds and that puppy is so cute! The pictures of your cat staring out the window are adorable! Great post ;o)

Jeanne said...

Love all of your collages, and especially love the birds. Looks so cold there, and know you are anxious for spring to come as I am. Be safe and keep warm.

Thérèse said...

I think that by now everyone is ready for spring... but better take one day at a time and enjoy the view with the snow. Your blog is witnessing all this beautifully. Birds must have secrets to hang out in the cold like this...

Pat said...

I can imagine what a trauma it would be for you if you had my present problem with posting photos. Yours are so wonderful.
You live in a magical place and the bird life is spectacular.
Its good you have contact with nice neighbours.
The little dog looks like a Cardiganshire corgi. We - long ago- had a Pembrokeshire corgi - named Havoc - aptly named. the Cardiganshire ones are larger an of course both breeds are very Welsh.
Do you remember the film Heidi?
Your husband has the same wonderful face as the grand father.

Jeanie said...

It's gorgeous, VB. So many wonderful photos but my favorites are those with the red barn and the cardinals -- that color just pops! Splendid!

Kay said...

I can't get over how much you guys are all getting hit this year. Still, you have found the beauty in all this snow. Gorgeous photos!

Ginnie said...

To be honest, Vagabonde, I'm very sorry I missed Atlanta's snow storms this year! At least you could have shared one of them with us here in Dutchland!!! But with your birds, cats and dogs, how could you not love all that incredible scenery. You took it all in stride and did what I would have done. You went out and took pictures! I'm thankful you both are safe and came through it all unscathed.

Arti said...

Can't imagine Georgia being colder than Alaska, as I read on the Internet, and as your photos show. However, what you've shown is the fact that, even in the cold and snow, your neck of the woods is beautiful. Very picturesque and your photos are like post cards. Reminds me of Robert Frost's poems. And, despite the whiteness, one can still see all the colours, esp. in the birds.

bayou said...

Wonderful scenery, Vagabonde. I particularly love the before last picture of the lake. And how red those cardinals are! For the very first time since we live here, 14 years, no snow at all and a very mild winter indeed. I hope it stays like that now because spring is definitely on its way, still very wet though.

rhymeswithplague said...

Beautiful photographs, Vagabonde, and inspired writing.

I didn't know our storm was named Leon. That made me laugh.

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