• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • Welcome, visitor! Litopia is the oldest & friendliest community for writers on the net. If you are serious about your writing, we cordially invite you to join us.

January sights and sounds

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#1
Geese are passing overhead. Canada or the Grey-lags? Canada geese visit the pond outside. I'm see them from my north- facing study window, honking their heads off on their way south to the nightly roosting grounds at Marton Mere (I think)

And the

Starlings

Coding twilight
Ink-Mark
Stamping
Calligraphic
Wing-beat
Sacred Prose
In sonic flight

KEH

Murmuration




 

Rich.

Guardian
Staff member
#2
Silent falling snow, crunching boots and the odd slurping tyre churning slush on the road. White-capped mountains beckon on three sides, while the city to the south chokes on its own chilly fumes.
The lake is pristine, flat metal under flat sky. Deep. Cold.
My baby boy is feverish, clingy and wheezing. He'll be fine. But I wonder how much sleep he'll allow me tonight.
 

MaryA

Respected Member
#3
Cicadas from dawn and through the night, screeching hadedas (the African ibis), turtledoves' monotonous cooing in the white oleanders next door. Dogs stretched out panting on the bathroom tiles.

High summer heatwave. Temperatures predicted to reach 44 degrees C today, 111 degrees F. Shutters closed until early evening, lizards basking on gravel under olive trees. Water shortages (the worst drought in a century) so no showers longer than two minutes (grey water for the garden) and empty swimming pools. Beaches over-crowded, thousands of blissed-out tourists arriving from the frozen north to public warnings about the risk of heatstroke.

Making extra trays of ice cubes for fruit juice slushies.
 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#4
Silent falling snow, crunching boots and the odd slurping tyre churning slush on the road. White-capped mountains beckon on three sides, while the city to the south chokes on its own chilly fumes.
The lake is pristine, flat metal under flat sky. Deep. Cold.
My baby boy is feverish, clingy and wheezing. He'll be fine. But I wonder how much sleep he'll allow me tonight.
Ah, poor baby. Hope he is improved today. Thank goodness for Calpol was the occasional refrain when mine where small.
 

Rich.

Guardian
Staff member
#5
He's on the mend, yes. Thanks for asking :). I've just got him down for a nap. It wouldn't be so bad on baby boy if toddler boy wasn't constantly nicking his toys -- "For goodness' sake leave him, he's poorly, play with your own!"
I'm sure that must be another common refrain.
Do you know, this is the first post I've written for days without one of them climbing all over me o_O.
 

Carol Rose

Guardian
Founding Member
#6
Snow covers the ground, but not the peanuts we put on the patio, under the protective shadow of the table, for the birds and other woodland creatures who live in our yard. Tracks in the snow trace their journeys from the protectiveness of the woods and trees to that treasure trove of peanuts. Birds, possums, squirrels, and deer. It's so cold they are grateful for anything to eat that they don't have to dig through the snow to find.
 

Howard

Well-Known Member
#8
You people all live in interesting places. I am jelly. The only weather we've had here is wind. At least the cold keeps down the smells from the sewage plant, I guess?:(
 
Last edited:

Amber

Active Member
#9
My neighbors still set off fireworks every night, something they started late Christmas Eve. Every year I picture their children excited about Santa coming, trying to sleep in their beds, but instead wondering how Santa is going to make it past the fire in the sky.

Other than that, it's mostly cold and colder than usual.

It's October and November when we get flocks of birds. I see them on what I assume must still be telephone or electric wires or hangout on the grass outside my movie theater. There are usually hundreds of them, little black birds.

But yesterday I had my son trim the bush outside my office window. I have a feeder hanging over the bush. In a month or so the birds will sit on the branches inside the bush and hop on out to get some food. I'll have to kill squirrels and mice and such if I really want to be able to feed them. I'm considering it. I like squirrels and mice. Well. From here.
 

Robinne Weiss

Venerated Member
#10
Just back from two days in the Canterbury high country. Endless evenings with long shadows throwing the glacial scoring of the mountains in high relief. Summer is brown and dry up there--grasses crunching underfoot, tussocks making the lower slopes look like a photo out of focus. We avoided the crowds of tourists, and hiked up the Ewe Range (yes, among ewes and their nearly grown lambs) to a windswept ridge dotted with jagged tors. Glaciers on the bare tops in the distance.
 

Rich.

Guardian
Staff member
#11
You people all live in interesting places. I am jelly. The only weather we've had here is wind. At least the cold keeps down the smells from the sewage plant, I guess?:(
Hugs for Howard! Big January-blues-busting-jelly-killing hugs! Chin up, fella. Why don't you write the January sights and sounds you'd like to have? Then you can make a New Year's resolution to get yourself there. :)
 

Howard

Well-Known Member
#12
Hugs for Howard! Big January-blues-busting-jelly-killing hugs! Chin up, fella. Why don't you write the January sights and sounds you'd like to have? Then you can make a New Year's resolution to get yourself there. :)
Yeah! I'm gonna make my own January, with blackjack and hookers! Wait...

Seriously, though, the weather here is just...mundane. Its never particularly anything. Even the elements are depressed by how crap and despair inducing the north-west of England is! :D
 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#15
Every day at sunset just at this time of year. We have the gulls too, and they are evilllllll. Every April, total duckling massacre, and I know the gulls have got to eat, but it's still hideous. But the geese are too high, not sure, I think they're Greylags, all you see is the gigantic vee shape and hear the cry as they go over, but those that land here are the Canada geese. They're too big. The gulls let them be, at any rate.
 

Howard

Well-Known Member
#16
Every day at sunset just at this time of year. We have the gulls too, and they are evilllllll. Every April, total duckling massacre, and I know the gulls have got to eat, but it's still hideous. But the geese are too high, not sure, I think they're Greylags, all you see is the gigantic vee shape and hear the cry as they go over, but those that land here are the Canada geese. They're too big. The gulls let them be, at any rate.
Evil is the word. Anyone who doubts that dinosaurs ever existed clearly never came face to face with one of those raptors.
Round here they don't bother attacking living things. No point. Public bins and take away wrappers are their feast of choice. Damn things can pull fully loaded wheelie bins over! We have to tie them down! (the bins, not the geese, though come to think...)

We did have geese here once, to be honest, but that was for different reasons. One of a flock (is it flock for geese?) either wore itself out or got lost or something and plonked itself in the park outside for three days. Eventually its mates turned up, with a sound not unlike a brass band being pushed through a thresher, and off they all went.
 

MaryA

Respected Member
#18
@Howard, what we need here is an emoticon or emoji thingy for a Big Hug. Hang in there and remember spring is on the way. For a year or longer, I was woken each morning at 3am by a neighbour's rooster and that was enough to make me feel homicidal towards all roosters.
 

Howard

Well-Known Member
#19
@Howard, what we need here is an emoticon or emoji thingy for a Big Hug. Hang in there and remember spring is on the way. For a year or longer, I was woken each morning at 3am by a neighbour's rooster and that was enough to make me feel homicidal towards all roosters.
:) Worry not! As much as I yearn for intoxicating and inspiring sights and sounds, I am very content just to have winter at all. It can, as far as I am concerned, never be too cold:D
 

Sea-shore

aka Anne Chen
Staff member
#20
Dawn?
Where is she?
Where are her warm rays of sunlight arousing us from slumber?
She has forsaken us.
She leaves us to the turgid murk of the grey morning, and sniggers as we crash out of bed to knock around the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, haphazard, a ball-bearing in a pinball machine.
Drowning sleepily in the half darkness, squinting wearily in the half light,
we yawn,
'tis a dreary winter's morn.
 

Sea-shore

aka Anne Chen
Staff member
#21
Geese are passing overhead. Canada or the Grey-lags? Canada geese visit the pond outside. I'm see them from my north- facing study window, honking their heads off on their way south to the nightly roosting grounds at Marton Mere (I think)

And the

Starlings

Coding twilight
Ink-Mark
Stamping
Calligraphic
Wing-beat
Sacred Prose
In sonic flight

KEH

Murmuration
@Katie-Ellen Hazeldine, my son (6) loved the starlings clip. His jaw dropped and he looked at me with huge dilated pupils. 'Is it real? Really? That's too awesome!'
 

Matnov

Well-Known Member
#23
I need to steal a word from my friends far up in the north, beyond the wall.

Dreich

Not a fan of January. Blue skies seem far and few between although to cheer myself up, I have already booked a three week stay from the arse-end of July to gone the middle of August down in sunny Dalmatia. Lets hope that Lucifer does his/her thing again with a lovely heat wave. Good for my bones.
 

Robinne Weiss

Venerated Member
#24
Perhaps I should open up a little Litopia writing retreat in summery New Zealand for the month of January? Your choice of inspiring mountains, lush rainforest, sandy beaches, windswept coastlines...and we could switch venues whenever you're bored of one, because they're all within a couple of hours drive from one another. Chase those winter blues right away, no doubt. :)
 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#25
NZ looks just wonderful. My sister has gone to Perth after 30 years on S Island. Christchurch, Blenheim and Nelson. I have a feeling she will be returning before too much longer, she and her son.
Saw a prog on the box, starting in the north, working its way south via the Cook Strait's ferry.
 
Last edited:

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#26
Orion strides the sky brightest in January. Jewel in the crown of January. As a girl of 10 or so I'd go outside to the coal bunker and fill the scuttle for the fire, and look up at Orion and Sirius bounding behind him.

I couldn't get used to him looking other than he does in the northern hemisphere. It's grooved in my psyche. And so is Betelgeuse. So strange to think it will be gone one day, the red star that is his shoulder . Could already be cold and gone, even though we see it.

We're time travellers every time we look up, not just out into space but at the ancient past of the universe.

And the 3 great stars of Orion's belt. Alnilam (string of pearls), Alnitak (the girdle), Mintaka (the belt)

orion.jpg
 
Last edited:

Robinne Weiss

Venerated Member
#27
NZ looks just wonderful. My sister has gone to Perth after 30 years on S Island. Christchurch, Blenheim and Nelson. I have a feeling she will be returning before too much longer, she and her son.
Saw a prog on the box, starting in the north, working its way south via the Cook Strait's ferry.
NZ is wonderful. No question about it. You do have to be willing to accept a lively earth in order to live comfortably here, and be okay facing regular natural disasters, but we don't have nearly the density of loonies as you do.

And, of course, we have Hobbits. And dragons. Naturally. ;)
 
#29
Loonies? I'm definitely one of them. Definitely. Yes, we do have a rather bigger pop per square mile = more loonies. Plus the odd sprite, but St George killed the dragon. The swine.
Hey, Katie-Ellen, we must be nearish neighbours, as I'm based just south of the Lake District! For me, therefore, January means the dense, acid cold of the high mountains, and the sound of snow fracturing under my boots. In fact, most distinctly of all, the very specific sound that crampons make as they bite into verglas, which is the exact same "shhhh-rrr-nk" sound that every swords'n'sandals epic uses when someone pulls a sword back out of their latest victim (and which I therefore find weirdly, Proustianly satisfying: every man has his own small boy still locked inside him! :) And beyond all that, January means startlingly perfect light conditions for my landscape photography, the art form which makes me some actual real money, in the exact same way as my writing is never likely to do... Happy New Year!
p.s. No dragons, indeed, and no wolves either, since Edward I's edict and the mass cull of the late 1200s. It's said that the very last one was hunted down on Humphrey Head, and at this time of year it still more or less possible to stand there and hear, feintly, that older howl beyond the keening of the West wind as it scours Morecambe Bay.
 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Venerated Member
Founding Member
#30
: ( Oh no! The spectral howl, still bedded in the rocks. :(

Lytham. I come from Durham City originally, and the Lakes as well as N Yorks were the weekend day trip go-tos.

Morecambe. Took a friend up to The Midland hotel recently. Fantastic skies. Second biggest bay in Britain after The Wash. She was over from NY, an artist, originally a London girl and desperate for a change of scene, and she got it...with cake.

The last hill I got up before the rheumatoid shite did for that kind of thing was Blencathra.

Not my top favourite, though I'm not sure which is. Skiddaw felt more like a friend. Cat Bells! Always loved that name.

Here was a little mystery. High Stile to Red Pike one day, sitting on Red Pike, I heard pan pipes coming from somewhere below. The eeriest tune. It bounced off every slope. Couldn't locate the source.