Changing Spectrums

The Urban Dictionary says the definition of the expression, “like white on rice” means to be close to something or have it covered. 
That applies to us in more ways than one. With teams spread out over three counties and the birds monitored from sunrise to lights out, we definitely have this covered. 
Sunday it snowed for twelve hours straight. It was one of those gentle fallings like you see on Christmas cards. You couldn’t see very far because it was heavy at times, but it wasn’t one of those driving blizzards with drifts and snow banks. Instead, it was the soft kind that builds on tree branches and muffles sound in a winter hush. 
When it started the night before, Colleen asked Jo and I for some driving tips. Having spent a good part of her adult life in the south, she was worried about her one hour drive in the morning, usually made before sun up. 
Northerners are often arrogant about their winter driving prowess. It’s like a badge of honor worn as consolation for having to buy shovels, boots and snow tires. We brag about how nothing stops us and deride Floridian’s when they close their schools at the first sign of white. 
In truth, it’s a lot of false bravado. Just ask any tow truck driver. And Floridians get their revenge when we spend day-two of our southern vacation in the hospital because we spent day-one, lying on the beach with no sunscreen. 
In the end, Colleen made it safely to Adams County and back and I spent the day marveling at the drastic color change.
It’s been many years since I have witnessed the progression of autumn through it’s full color spectrum. We generally leave just as the flames of fall begin to fade. We have now seen the myriad shades of brown that followed and the slow transition a hundred tones of gray.
A day or two ago, our young Whooping cranes stood out in the distance like beacons. It was only when you used binoculars that you could see them surrounded by Sandhill’s. Now the Sandhill’s stand out like black specks and the Whooping cranes are hopelessly lost like white on rice. 
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  1. Rolando December 6, 2016 10:08 pm

    thank you so much for sharing those beautiful pictures, even without our loving Whooping cranes.

  2. Peter & Veronica Anderton December 6, 2016 11:34 am

    Love the fall / winter comparison images.

  3. Dorothy N December 6, 2016 11:31 am

    You’ve nailed it!! The reason we northerners love it up here is the beauty of the changing seasons!! Cold?? Snowy?? No problem, since winter’s beauty is flanked by the flaming horizons of fall and the gentle greens of spring.

  4. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd December 6, 2016 9:57 am

    Love the contrasting photos Joe included. Thank you for the updates.

  5. Barb December 6, 2016 7:13 am

    Hello Joe, You’ve given us another beautiful picture. Are Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes able to survive Winters in Wisconsin and neighboring areas? I ask because here in Western PA , about an hour North of Pittsburgh, we have a flock of Cardinals, Blue Jays, and assorted other small birds that do well in the very cold and snowy Pennsylvania winters. Our Cardinal number usually is around 25.

    • Heather Ray December 6, 2016 7:36 am

      They would be fine provided there is open water for roosting and a food source that isn’t covered in snow.