old man winter heading out

Spring is definitely underway now, even as Old Man Winter is still shuffling slowly toward the exit. I heard tundra swans almost as soon as I went out on the porch this morning, and when the swans stopped flying over around mid-morning, it was time for the “V”s of migrant Canada geese. I even saw a lone seagull.

I walked around the field, checking out the networks of vole burrows emerging from the melting snowpack. Down by the barn, the bluebirds were inspecting a battered old nesting box, and a few hours later, the first song sparrow returned. This was actually the first year in a couple of decades that song sparrows didn’t over-winter, and the mornings have seemed unnaturally silent as a result.

cut hair

When the temperature hit 60 degrees this afternoon, I felt a sudden compulsion to cut my hair. It had been a year and a half since my last self-administered haircut. It’s nice to be able to do it outside, without a shirt on, leaning over the porch rail.


I documented the results mainly with Facebook in mind, but since I don’t feel up to a real blog post tonight, I thought I might as well inflict it on y’all, too. (Yes, I wear deeply unfashionable glasses and clothes from Wal-Mart.) I was somewhat repulsed by the emergence of my bare scalp from underneath all that graying hair. There were some blood spots and other unsightly blotches of the sort that I tend to identify with — you know — old people. It looked raw, like a patch of ground just liberated from the snow.

16 Replies to “Emergence”

  1. I like it. Hadn’t caught the FB thingy so was surprised by the hair on snow picture. Thought a critter got got.

    Well, he did.

    Suits you. The close cut. Trim beard. Welcome to spring and song sparrows. Don’t know how I would “winter” w/o them.

    1. LOL! I’m with you on that one Deb. I too mistook the photo for a killing ground, imagining that some small creature had gone the way of providing an essential meal for a Winter-starved carnivore.

      A tad early Dave to have stripped away that grizzled layer of insulation. Be sure to wear a hat! I too had a hair-cut this week, in preparation for my trip yesterday to stand before the Chapter of LLandaff Cathedral and answer questions about the Annunciation the Dean has acquired in the hope that it may hang in the building. Unlike you I chanced a visit to the barber. I’ll never get used to the grey that drops in my lap when the barber gets snipping, always wondering for a moment “Who the hell is dropping THEIR hair in MY lap!!!”

      That’s an austere pose and expression Dave. I could paint you in such a manner and it would look as though I’d taken inspiration from those peripatetic and self-taught limners of the nineteenth century who travelled the USA to leave a rich record of unsmiling sitters, captured and framed for the place of honour over many a family mantelpiece.

      1. Yes, that’s one side benefit of cutting it over a high rail, and letting it fall onto snow against which it looks dark by contrast: it lessens the shock. I give my 68-year-old father haircuts, too, and he has reported the same reaction to the sight of his snow-white hair. We’re all still 25 in our heads, I guess.

        Smiling for a camera is deeply unnatural — especially when there’s no one on the other side of it! But I was attempting to look at least friendly; it might be hard to tell under the beard. And in processing I moved the color balance toward warmer colors to try and counter-balance the impression of a crazed killer. If I’d done my usual favoring of blue and cyan, you would’ve seen real severity.

        That’s cool that your Annunciation will hang someplace other than a museum or private collection.

    2. Ha ha ha! I didn’t anticipate that reaction. Yes, a critter bit the dust (though I still have lots of long hair from the shoulders down).

      I’m still wearing the knit cap you sent me after my last haircut. Many thanks.

  2. I love the sequence of pictures in this. I don’t know if this is your first time going down to the scalp or not, but I did it about 15 years ago and learned how much I rely on hair to tell me to duck a little more for those low hanging branches. I scratched the top of my head real nice on more than one hike.

    1. Well, that’s definitely something to keep in mind. My cousin Tony (on FB) almost has me convinced to keep the look — which is the closest shave I’ve ever given my pate, yes.

  3. Looks good! re: Aging, I know what you mean, but every time I go to a barber’s, they tell me afterward, “you look younger!”

    I guess you’re contributing your hair to the ecosystem? Locks for Doves, as it were…. :-)

    I saw my year’s first pair of geese the other day, they were flying back and forth over my development.

    1. Those sound like the geese we see year ’round here — a new phenomenon since about the mid-90s, as I recall. When I was a kid, all Canada geese were migrants, seen just twice a year.

  4. Oh wow! Like Deb and the others, I thought a critter had come to a sorry end. Good to know it’s just hair And hey, that getting-old-thing? Well, it sure beats the alternative, hair or no hair. Or, should I say, better to be here than to have nothing hair?

    1. Well, you try smiling when there’s no one on the other side of the camera! Besides, it’s not inaccurate: I am glum much of the time.

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