The hardest part is getting out of the car

In chilly -5C (23F), snow a foot deep in some areas, the hardest thing is to get out of a warm car. I drove around, actually left the natural park and then, a couple of blocks later, thought about turning back, all because of the flocks of dark spots by the river I saw from afar.

Glad I finally mustered the will to make a U-turn, find a spot to park and part with the story I’ve been listening from the audiobook CD.  I layered up, attached the ice grippers on my shoes (discovered this secret only a year ago), put on toque and gloves, and with my camera gear in tow, stepped out of the car.

Here’s my reward.

From afar, just some tiny black dots on the water…

From afar



that turned out to be a party of ducks and geese, basking in the afternoon sun on the icy river:




And from behind tall grass, a buck watching me watching the ducks:

Buck behind grass

Suddenly from the corner of my viewfinder, a pheasant flew into frame. Here’s the serendipitous sequence:

Pheasant 1Pheasant 2Pheasant 3

At another spot, more Mallards gathering, over a hundred of them:

More ducks

These pigeons could only watch.

Pigeon A: Don’t you wish you could swim?

Pigeon B: And get all wet in the icy water? I’m thankful that I can’t swim.

Your guess: which is A? and B?

If only we could swim




In the sky Canada Geese flew by:


On the ground, remnants of fall:



and some positive human footprints left behind.



And so I learned: Any worthwhile journey began with a step out of a warm car.

Oh, and one more thing… 

Wisdom from the pigeon: Be thankful for what you can’t do. I’ve got lots to be thankful for.


This is my post for Saturday Snapshot: Nov. 28. Thanks to West Metro Mommy Reads for hosting. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.





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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

28 thoughts on “The hardest part is getting out of the car”

  1. Hi Arti, I am glad to have discovered your blog. I am already in love with it. πŸ™‚

    I look forward to reading more posts soon.


  2. I do love seeing your snowy pictures and read about how you have to rug up to get out of the car… As we strip down to summer dresses to try and combat the hot, sticky weather that is now well upon us!


  3. Before I gave up my car, I worried so much every time I got out of it that I would spend all my time shivering and being cold, because that was the hardest part too, and I don’t even live in -5 degree temperatures. Thank you for going out in the cold for us and taking these beautiful pictures!


    1. Denise,

      Despite our low winter temp., I have the feeling that our cold is relatively more bearable than yours because we always get clear blue sky and very dry weather. I can see how much colder if the air is damp and wet. Wishing you a pleasant upcoming winter season. πŸ˜‰


  4. Love this to the max — especially the pigeons! And that pheasant! How glorious — it’s a fabulous photo — looks crystal clear. (Is there a holiday card in its future?)

    Thanks for the reminder about the ice things for the shoes. I have some of those somewhere and I had better find them now on this cold, sunny day instead of waiting until it’s seriously awful.

    Yes, much for which to be thankful. The birds are back and Arti’s got Γ©m!


    1. Jeanie,

      Thanks. That pheasant was very close by me apparently so when I stepped in the grass it dashed out from there. Too bad, I could have got a fine pic of it much closer. Those ice/snow grippers (don’t know exactly what they’re called) were essential or I wouldn’t have stepped out of the car at all. πŸ˜‰


  5. Some really nice captures! Love the narrative order of the photos too… We are all ice here at the moment. Picking up hundred of tree limbs.The destruction was awful. It’s finally beginning to melt.


    1. Michelle,

      Interesting you point that out. Yes, I’m a straight-laced linear story teller when it comes to sharing my photos. (Like, my New England posts… all in chronological order. For my own memory’s sake really.)

      Hope your area will fully recover in time so you all can have a beautiful Christmas.


  6. Ha! I’m glad you reminded me to be thankful for things I can’t do! I’m also glad you got out of your warm car for these beautiful shots!


  7. Despite the cold temperatures and the snow, your blue skies and that glorious water look so nice. I took Tuesday through Saturday for a little local trip with a friend. It was wonderful, except that it was gray, windy, drizzly, and/or rainy the entire time. There were a few peeks of the moon one night, and occasional patches of blue on one day, but it surely wasn’t very good photo-taking light.

    You, on the other hand, certainly made good use of your light. I do like the “love” message left in the snow, but your birds are the winners. I especially like the pheasant, since that was a common Iowa bird I never get to see any more (or rarely — only on trips north.)

    I did see a flock of sandhill cranes on the way home. They were quite a distance away, in a field, but if I can spiff the photo up enough to make them at least recognizable, I’ll send it along via twitter or email.

    I’m so glad to see this post. I’ve been missing your Saturdays, so this is a real pleasure.


    1. Linda,

      Yes, we have big, blue sky most of the day. So even with the snow, it’s dry and bearable. Haven’t been participating in the Sat. Snapshot due to a lack of good photo stories to tell. Glad you like the pheasant. I flew by so quickly that it’s hard to capture them in pictures, unless, like here, this one just flew right into my camera frame, albeit a bit too far and fast. Sandhill cranes we don’t have here. Excited to see your pic. And what a sight to see so many of them partying. πŸ˜‰


  8. What a reward! The pheasant is gorgeous! We are getting snowed on heavily today and might catch up to your snow depth by the time it is over tomorrow. We had such a long, mild autumn it is nice to have snow to keep things interesting πŸ™‚


    1. Stefanie,

      I think we’re having it light compared to your snowstorm. Also, our temp. fluctuate a great deal. Due to our dry weather, sunny, blue sky, our winter actually is very bearable. Did I say winter? Oops, it’s still fall now… sure feels like we’re in the midst of winer. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ti,

      It’s still fall, winter temperatures are going to be much much lower, minus 20C easily and that’s minus 15F for you. You can call me brave when I venture out then. (And yes, I do get out in those temp. But don’t want to think about it now. πŸ˜‰ )


  9. A delightful post, Arti. I felt like I got to accompany you (albeit with no reluctance to leave my office chair), seeing a few of the beauties you’d captured. That pheasant series was wonderful! I think you should post exif data πŸ˜‰


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