Traceries of snow

have designed a landscape

upon my window:

The drifts below

make ideal ground

to hold the roots

of icy trees

that trickle down

from the tops of the panes.

Brightly coloured butterflies

pasted to the glass inside

to ward off birds

that might collide,

look out of place

behind the lacy intricacy

of H2O’s frozen veins.

It blows and wails outside;

the gusts of snow

do not subside,

the birds drop down

to no avail;

while I bide here

beside the fire’s glow.


Kathleen Mortensen © 2017


Not Enough …

Not enough sun
to thaw the ice
sticking to deck-timber.

Not enough sun
to melt the icing-sugar
dusting the clover.

Not enough sun
to warm the birds’ backs
enticing them to linger.

Not enough sun
to keep the iced stone bath
bearing only water.

Not enough sun
to heat my icy heart
this cold November.

Kathleen Mortensen©2016


The death of summer has me desolate.

Verdure goes gold, then turns  to tinder on the ground;
warm-weather birds have blown away
with the winds of autumn.

I have put my dear friends to bed—
sheared off their heads and abandoned them
to their sleep.

The first snow falls, leaving me cold;
a crow’s call cracks the sound
of silence.

Winter creeps in.

I have no illusions;  I am housebound,
until spring comes back.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2016


At 8:00 a.m. today, I was in the kitchen getting stuff out of the fridge to feed my cats (again), when I turned and happened to glance out through the drapes to the sliding doors that lead outside. I was rather surprised to see snow on my deck, and nearby rooftops.  We were out last night for choir practice and it was pretty cold, but even then we weren’t assuming that snow would fall.

Silly us! This is southern Ontario, in Canada.  Of course it can snow—any time after Labour Day!

I grabbed my camera, which I haven’t done in some time, and snapped a couple of shots.

Here’s one, of our fall mums, getting a bit of a shock:

This photo seemed a nice juxtaposition of seasons.  The plastic butterfly is one of a few designed to keep the birds from banging into my windows in the summertime.

And lastly, here’s a different kind of snow.  It’s a costume-jewelry pin that belonged to my grandmother.  I always called it the “snowflake” pin.  Here you see it entangled with a silver chain attached to a Miraculous Medal.  My mother asked me to disentangle this and it only took me a few hours with some coconut oil lubricant and a straight pin.

I am very persistent.

Have a lovely day – snowy or not.

On the road again …

Despite the chill in the air, this morning, I got up out of bed, and with only a few sips of coffee in me, forced myself out the front door for a walk. I’m so glad I did!

Along the way, I overheard a cat being turfed out the front door and went over to commiserate. It turns out the cat was in quite a nice situation on the front porch, so I took a photo to capture its indignant “resignation”.

So hard-done by.
A visit to the pond up the road proved to be quite fascinating.  The ducks who frequent the spot were on location, but when one landed on the water from above, it was startled by a creature from the depths! I had a very tough time getting this “unknown” on camera from the distance where I am able to stand (there are loads of rushes and weeds all along the embankment).  I gave up trying to get a photo of it because my hands were being to freeze.
Much to my surprise, when I loaded my images, I discovered that I actually had caught the mystery-animal on film. Too bad the image is so blurry. I will get a better one eventually.
Any guesses on what it is?
 I was overjoyed when this fellow appeared on the horizon and began to circle the pond looking for a place to land. Eventually, he turned back and came to rest on this railing near the adjacent reservoir.
My first Belted Kingfisher.
And finally, a bit of a long-shot, but also somewhat of an inside joke. Kevin and I fancy these gulls, who regularly visit the soccer pitch across the road, are actually playing in a game of five-a-side. What do you think?
By the way, we live nowhere near the sea and this is just a small portion of the number of gulls that arrive every day.

The Birds and the Bees (No, really!)

I went out for my morning walk a little earlier today and found some friends along the way.  I want to share them with you.

I saw this guy standing sentinel on a street-light, that overlooks a construction site not far away.
I thought the pond was empty, and then I spotted  this duck taking a dive.
She was kind enough to show her face.  (I can’t get too close to the pond as it’s surrounded by a bank of reedy marsh and loaded with all the weeds that make me sneeze!)
As I made my way along, I was surprised to find these three tucked away in a fore-corner of the pond—nearly out of sight, but not quite.
I’m usually afraid of anything that stings, but my inner naturalist has emerged relatively fearless, and I was determined to get a few shots of this beautiful bee.
I like the contrast in this image between life and death, don’t you?
Make sure you come back soon, because I learned from a neighbour that a very special pair frequent the swampy patch right across from my house! I hope to capture them on my camera tomorrow, if I’m lucky. They are very intrepid.