Shadows in the Backyard

Yesterday was a glorious winter day—sunny, bright, and warm with a hint that spring might be on the way. Before making soup for our supper and doing a bit of decluttering down cellar, I headed outside to see what was going on in the backyard. The weather was so warm—at least to this Mainer—that no gloves were needed. Or wanted.

Immediately, I was struck by the shadows on the snow.

The broad sweep of blue grey, in the shade, at the far end of the yard,

the wisp of a tiny evergreen tip that had fallen into the snow,

the solid square of the bird feeder favored by the cardinals,

the hook for our hummingbird feeders, tucked down cellar until late spring,

the bulky outline of trees punctuated by the slim slats of the fence at the edge of the woods,

and finally me, with a wave of my hand, to blogging friends near and far.


72 thoughts on “Shadows in the Backyard”

  1. I have always loved shadows on snow. One year, many years ago, we had a young tree with scraggly branches and that winter I took a gazillion photos of the shadow of that tree on the snow. There is such a subtle beauty about the blue grey and white. I loved your post.

  2. Interesting that you say “down cellar.” Never heard it quite that way. Considering we have no cellars or basements here in Texas, I wouldn’t anyway, but growing up in Ohio I did have basements (which is mostly what we called them). Regional terms are interesting.

    1. Glad you noticed “down cellar.” It is a regional term, and I used it deliberately to give the post a real Maine feel. Not sure if the term is used in other New England states, and am hoping New England blogging friends will weigh in. Here’s a fun fact: Until I was an adult, I didn’t realize that “down cellar” was regional. I had never heard anything different. πŸ™‚ An out-of-state friend pointed it out to me.

      1. Growing up in central Massachusetts, we always said “down cellar”, so I guess maybe it’s New England lingo.

  3. I’m giggling over your shadow waving at blogging friends, Laurie. Looks to me as if you were quite bundled up against the cold … even if you decided mittens weren’t necessary! Love the peace of these images.

    1. Growing up in central Massachusetts, we always said “down cellar”, so I guess maybe it’s New England lingo.

  4. Waving to you, Laurie! Beautiful shadow-covered snow scenes from your yard.
    I was struck by your ‘down cellar’, too. In the UK we generally use the word basement for utility buildings or blocks of flats/apartment blocks. In a private house it is almost always a cellar but we add a preposition when saying we visited it. How exciting and strange language is! Cellars in the Eastern counties are extremely rare because we are close to sea level and the sub-soil has no rock; only clay, chalk or gravel. We would acquire an indoor pool if we tried to build a house with a cellar.

  5. I find these pictures serenely beautiful and I enjoy regional differences in the language common to so many of us – that is how English has expanded and made itself comfortable in so many corners of the world!

    1. Thanks, Anne! I’m with you all the way. I love regional differences in language. It brings spice and variation. And fun. Another one of the many bonuses of the blogging world is to read the different way words are used. Catnip to this word nerd.

  6. Big Wave to you! Lovely photos – shadows are interesting with their distortions and lack of detail. Snow makes them more obvious.

    My mother grew up in a house with a cellar but as far as I remember the phrase was ‘down to the cellar’. You sparked memories of going there for coal which was tipped through a hole in the pavement usually covered with a metal grating. Laundry was done there in dolly tubs with a posser – a small three legged stool on the end of a stick to agitate the clothes, and a mangle. And best of all jellies were put in a clean space there to set because it was cold!

      1. Sometimes I feel very old! I remember things youngsters now learn in history or see in museums!

  7. I love the shadows, and the sunlight that makes them possible. Snow is the perfect canvas for shadows, that’s for sure. I was interested in the term ‘down cellar.’ I’ve never heard that before. It reminds me of the first time I heard a Michigander use the term ‘from away’ for non-local people, as in, “They’d never had that dish –they’re from away.”

    1. Yes, snow is a great canvas for shadows. I think “down cellar” is used pretty much only in New England. Mainers also use the term “From away.” All the time. And “south of the border” is New Hampshire. πŸ˜‰

  8. Love the backyard shadows and wave!😁 We actually had snow melting today with sunshine and 40 degrees and what a change from last week. What wonderful soup was on the menu?

  9. I’m waving back! Love your snow-shadow pictures, especially the hook one. It makes me think of a pink flamingo with super bendy legs.

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