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by cheri sabraw

Spring has begun to show her petticoats but Winter, well, he refuses to go away, hibernate, and return next November. Fall, my favorite friend, never does this. Oh sure, sometimes she flares up in late October like a bad hot flash but when her time is over, she leaves.

Winter is hanging on too long. His timing is off.  He’s not the most enlightened one but I love him anyway. We all hang on too long sometimes, don’t we?

I’m fine with fog and cold as long as hot soup, warm bread, and red wine are in front of me. A romantic fire crackling, authentic conversation, and laughter warm up any winter day. But the natural light is missing. We light-catchers await Spring, season of light and hope.

Spring is doing her best to hatch.


Every scene is a potential oil painting.

Since the art show, I have been focusing on the light. Where is it? And how does it contribute to the mood of a painting.  Instead of painting on a canvas, I have been painting in my mind.

Spring turns greens to yellows.


And browns to grey-greens.


When I drove into the garage today, the dog was on the front porch, waiting for her afternoon hike. So off we went, chasing the light.


This part of the hillside looks like the saddle of the hill. If you look carefully you will see a rock wall, constructed by who knows? many years ago. Rock walls such as these are all over the East Bay Hills. Anthropologists have all sorts of theories about their origins.

Notice the mustard on the right as it polishes the saddle with that cool blue light.


At the top of the road, the weather turned colder. I wished for more insulation around my limbs and face.

The wind picked up and blew through my clothes.

Winter! My, my.




About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in My photography, Nature photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Light

  1. Richard says:

    Although 6-7000 miles away, we have the same clinging damp of winter, Everywhere is muddy and a shallow depression hangs stubbornly over the whole country.

    Lengthening days and increasing light, I notice this morning, have nevertheless seduced many trees into their first tinge of green. So there is a hope that surpasses the misery that Man inflicts.

    The same hope is evident in your really wonderful photographs.

    • Cheri says:

      “Clinging damp of winter…” Your wording could not be more perfect.Should my friend Carol McCann, who follows this blog now, read that phrase, she will be sent immediately to every English teacher’s heaven where scholarly people express even the simplest concepts in eloquent language.

      Thank you for your kindness regarding my photographs which, surprisingly, were taken with my iPhone. Ron insists I carry my phone when I walk up the road. Occasionally a blue blue blue bird comes into my range.

      • Richard says:

        Thank you too for your kind remarks, although I do detect a little poetic licence there. Carol, if I may so address her, doubtless goes to English teacher’s heaven to escape solicitors, for whom most deny there is a corresponding place either here or in the hereafter.

        All the more remarkable are your pictures for having been captured with an iPhone.

  2. Lue Perrine says:

    Your writing reminds me of a romantic screen script of a movie! 💬
    I love your photos of our beautiful California hills! Yes! In the summertime their color turns to a shimmering light of gold and you paint it beautifully
    Cheri! 🥇

    • Cheri says:

      You are so sweet, Lue. In fact, I’ve been thinking this: there are few sweeter people than you. Really. Sincerely. Let’s hope I can succeed in my next painting which includes the Nebraska prairie.

  3. shoreacres says:

    I presume that’s the bluebird of happiness following you around. It’s a lovely creature — a nice bit of color to complement the light. That light works wonders — it took me many years to understand that some plants respond to lengthening daylight rather than warmer temperatures. My Christmas cactus is one — as a matter of fact, all of my cactus begin growing even if it’s cold, as the days lengthen.

    The rock wall is interesting. It looks so very much like the natural deposits of limestone in the Flint Hills: peeking out here and there among the grasses.

    I did finally get a confirmation about that grapevine. What I photographed are the buds, both leaf and flower. And the term for what was happening is bud break. I put up a post featuring the little beauties. I very nearly titled it “Breaking Bud,” but I restrained myself.

    • Cheri says:

      The man that installed our two owl boxes, Irv Tiessen, also installs bluebird boxes all over the Sunol Regional Park. Those colorful birds are some of my favorites. This time of year when the hills are Ireland-green, the bluebirds’ color palette seems to stand out, delighting me to no end!

      So glad you received the necessary information about the grapevine photo that you sent me. Must be why they have named a Texas city “Grapevine.”

  4. Cheri says:

    Good one, my dear!

  5. wkkortas says:

    Spring does not, alas, travel in a straight line. I was driving through Catskill foothills this weekend, and the tree tops above a certain level had an ice-covered white hue which would not have been out of place in mid-February.

  6. Carol McCann says:

    Ol’ Man Winter is tottering along this year using a walker to steady himself as he tries to lift his foot two inches and get over a four inch curb. He is ever so slowly inching his way along and on occasion falling into the puddles. We are so wet and cold that I am wondering if we will be able to put in put in a garden this year. The mountain (Mount Hood) is still getting snow and of course this lowers our temperatures. On a brighter note. I did not know that the Fremont area has Bluebirds.
    I really liked the pictures. These are great for paintings and the study of light.

    • Richard says:

      Springtime, in all her too brief first engagements and fresh attire is reviving Ol’ Man Winter, adding colour to his aspect. She is a little cool for now but will, I am assured, bring healing warmth and the lush fruits of the coming season.

      Transported thus to Paradise for a while, in the company of the bluest of bluebirds, the Ancient One will bide his time for later harvests and mists, then, in rage and envy, strip all things to their skeletal frames and batter humble shelters with storm and tempest. When he reaches his annual state of exhaustion, ever-forgiving light and deep heat are likely to restore him to a semblance of youth.

      By the beauty of distant peaks, chilled at all times and topped with appetising white allure reflected for him in a magic mirror, he is entirely unmoved.

      • Cheri says:

        Between you and Carol, you ought to teach a class on personification and description. I really enjoyed this, Richard, especially the last paragraph. Marvelous.

  7. Cheri says:

    Ahhhhh…..there’s that melodic and descriptive writing that I so well remember from my mentor Carol. I have a perfect image of your Ol’ Man Winter. I hear the drippy weather reports from my Portlandian granddaughters who tell me, “Gramma Cheri, it’s raining AGAIN!!!”

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