As Winter Begins

Squirrel Winter Icicles Tree Branch Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Icicles” today, I decided to toss in a squirrel as well. Today, in my part of the world, it actually warmed up and was raining most of the day, but ice is normally more likely this time of year. I’m actually one of those crazy folks who adores the really cold weather. There’s just something magical about seeing icicles on everything along with a bit of snow. It’s the sort of weather that makes everything sparkle, where as rain just sort of makes everything wet. As most of the birds head to warmer temperatures, there’s a wonderful silence in the air. I remember as a kid playing in the snow and how I would stop and listen, hearing the sound of nothing but my own thoughts. It’s such a peaceful feeling. And though I don’t play in the snow like I used to, I will still stop and listen to enjoy that moment of infinite wonder. Though Philippe, along with our dog Phineas, isn’t a fan of winter, he was noticeably bummed out today for the warmer temperatures. There’s still a glow in our house from the holiday season and it just feels better with that familiar chill in the air. Phineas is bummed because he got the warmer weather he wanted, but it came with rain, which he hates. I was simply happy to grab a moment to sketch the weather in whatever form I wanted it to appear.

Philippe and I have been staying indoors all day, safe and dry. Our friend Aesha is coming over this evening to share the last of our foie gras and other treats. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen her last, so I’ve very excited for the night ahead. Also, because we’re basically celebrating Christmas together, so it’s a nice extension of the holiday. The menu for the evening turned into my favorite one of all. Just a lot of tiny plates and lovely things to taste as the evening moves along. Our puzzle is still sitting on the table, finally complete after hours of delightful frustration. It’s a major trophy at this point so I have a sneaky feeling that it will remain there for several days until we decided to either glue it or rip it apart and put it box in its box. I wanted to start another one, since I’m off work for a few more days, but Philippe goes back to work on Monday and it’s really not the same putting together a puzzle alone. Soon, this holiday break will be over and another year will begin anew. So, I’m taking every moment to enjoy these first days of the season, even if the weather isn’t playing its part.

This time of year my mind begins to shift to all of the things I’d like to try next. Just little random thoughts and ideas pop into my mind, mulled like wine and tasted without any firm commitment. There are so many directions I could go next, so many things I could DO, that it almost feels overwhelming. But, that’s all part of the fun. We were listening to songs from the movie Frozen 2 while putting together our puzzle last night. In it, there’s a song that’s a bit sad called “The Next Right Thing.” Though it has nothing to do with actual context of the song in the movie the notion of “DO the next right thing” resonated with me. That’s really always the perfect answer to the question of what to try next. It’s strangely simple and somewhat obvious, but that’s usually the case with things that provide the best solution. So, I’m excited to let my heart lead me forward to whatever it is I’m supposed to try next. And as the chill in the air returns in the coming days and my world gets covered in ice, I’m once again just feeling warm and cozy as winter begins.

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Squirrel Winter Icicles Tree Branch Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail
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19 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 7 months ago

    Your squirrel is so cute but his paws have to be cold. Stay safe and dry and enjoy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yeah, I’m sure those poor squirrels get cold!

  2. Lisa 7 months ago

    So long as the electricity doesn’t go out, an ice storm is a lovely thing to behold. We had a bit of one this past fall. Maybe October? I love all the shiny trees. Plus I never have any where to go, so I don’t worry about the roads, or walking on it.

    It’s getting to be dinner time here, so I have to see what’s in the fridge. I was looking at a cooking blog and they were talking about red beans and rice which I used to make, and suddenly I had to have some, so next time Joe goes to the store, that’s on the list.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yeah, I agree… ice storms are lovely when the electricity stays on! 😉 And red beans and rice sounds delicious!! 😃💕

  3. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    Nice, Charlie!! It’s raining right now but not a chance for an icicle. Hoping for at least “seasonable” temps on New Year’s Day.

  4. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 7 months ago

    So cuteeeeeeeeee!!! Is this Phinea’s friend? 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 This is actually a different kind of squirrel than we have around here, but Phineas thinks all squirrels are named Michael. hehe

  5. Zertab Quaderi 7 months ago

    Although we’re thousands of miles apart, we kind of have similar weather in common. We’re not used to winter rains in Bangladesh. Things get very difficult for the people on the streets. Rickshaw pullers are hit hard with cold and rains. But thanks to our ready-made garment industry, people don’t die of cold like they used to several years back. It’s nice to see that almost everyone has warm clothes on.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yeah, the cold isn’t always a wonderful thing. That’s wonderful they have warm clothes now for sure. 😃💕

  6. smzang 7 months ago

    is that Michael up there on that icy limb?
    Phineas will be frantic!

    I could just immerse myself in the peace of this piece. This is the time when I feel a bit down. December can be so gray without the bows and bells, but the good news is, December is almost done. My birthday is in exactly one hour, and the New Year just
    a couple of days after that. So I choose to make this a glad time. Articles such as this
    make that easy! Thank you! and for goodness sake, tell Michael to be careful on that
    icy limb!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      hehe! Yeah, every squirrel is Michael to Phineas so that’s him! 😉 And happy birthday my friend!! 😃💕 Yay for a glad time… that’s exactly how a birthday should be celebrated!

  7. Sandra Strait 7 months ago

    My niece is vacationing in Key West at the moment and I tried to get her to send us some sun in return for some of our rain, but she wouldn’t do it. So like you, we’re enjoying wet weather. Kind of normal for us, year ’round – it just gets colder this time of year.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      What? I think that sounds like a fair deal indeed! hehe 😉 Yeah, I like snow, but cold rain is just … yuck… lol. I keep thinking… freeze already!

  8. Priscilla DeConti 7 months ago

    Lovely image!…we are used to ice as well.a bit warm today but expecting rain and cold tomorrow:( I just want to know..is it spring yet LOL

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 hehe… I last for about a month and then I’m wishing hard for spring!!

  9. Linda Calverley 7 months ago

    Wonderful squirrel. It’s been quite mild here {UK} for the last few days.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 And glad you’re having mild weather where you are!

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