Wednesday, 12 December 2012

SEASONS ~ Winter Wonderland

Jack Frost by Arthur Rackham
from "Arthur Rackham's Book of Pictures" published by Heinemann, London in 1913

Jack Frost has come and strung tiny fairy lights and icy jewels in the hedges and trees.  All  glistens with a dewy irridescence.  The Autumn lanterns, spider webs and fence posts, just every day things, are made magical with a wave of the long icy fingers of just one of his his frosty hands.

It is very cold outside but beautiful and so eeriely still that you can hear the sound of your own footfall. You do not have to imagine very hard to think that the tinkling upon the wind is the bells from the carriage of The Snow Queen in the distance in the woods. We put out food for the birds each morning and take it away each evening or it will freeze.

Gerda and The Reindeer by Edmund Dulac
Poem, "Reindeer Presence," by Mario Milosevic.
cards available from Endicott Studio, Here:
Some animals simply by being have a magical mystical quality to them. In the eyes of a child Reindeer inhabit the same realm as Dragons, flying Horses and Unicorns. The Hans Christian Anderson tale of The Snow Queen has frightened and thrilled generations of children all over the world. C.S. Lewis acknowledged that his land of Narnia owed a debt of inspiration to Hans Christian Anderson for his having first gathered the folklore and preserved it forever in his tale.

My favourite characters in the story are Gerda and the Reindeer who is her big friend. Edmund Dulac captured his tears at the distress of his little maiden. This image was dear to me as a child, and then almost forgotten until someone sent me a Christmas card bearing it. So many years after reading the story it still made my heart glad. In this poem by Mario Milosevic the spirit of The Reindeer is captured beautifully. I am as glad today as I was some 50 years ago when I discovered that Reindeer are in fact very real.

"Reindeer Presence," by Mario Milosevic

Reindeer, you are keepers of time,
your souls always moving.
You eat lichen and moss,
swallowing the magic of the Earth.
You know nothing of us
but we see your other–worldly ways,
and we know your wild heart
is the only gift we ever need.

—an excerpt from Reindeer Presence
by Mario Milosevic.
Art by Edmund Dulac. 


  1. What a lovely celebration of winter beauty! This week's frost and freezing fog has been spectacular hasn't it? I love the illustrations you've posted and what a beautiful poem! Winter is full of a surprising depth of inspiration, I think. Keep warm! Hope Mrs Black the Cat is cosily curled up by the fire or on your toes! E x

    1. Thank you for stopping by Thomasina! Your photos of Jack Frost's work are divine too! Yes indeed, Mrs Black is curled fast in soft blanket by the fire. x

  2. I am so enjoying the startling counterpoint this year. The still, crunchy, magic of your winter Christmas set against our sunshine & hydrangeas, strawberries & red pohutukawa flowers...watering the parched garden..a Kiwi Christmas. Thank you for your lovely photos & reflections Much love Catherine x0x0x

    1. Catherine, It is still a kind of magic to me that whilst one half of our planet is under a blanket of snow, another part is in sunshine. Strawberries at Christmas? Sounds lovely! x

    2. Thanks for your visit and comment. Funny, we do own four black cats and they are magical, like your reindeer poem and memories of your childhood. A Danish friend who lives in Greece and rescued already 30 kittens from death (collected at the dumpster) uses a great quote on her blog: "ANIMALS SHARE WITH US THE PRIVILEGE OF HAVING A SOUL" - Pythagoras |
      Wishing you a lovely winter time, together with your lovely Mrs. Black!
      Hugs to you,

      PS if you type in the search box at the top of my blog: our felines, you will find our furry babies...

  3. I love this! Beautiful pictures. I must find the rest of that poem! Thank you for the frosty post!

  4. Robin, The link, 'Reindeer Presence' leads you to the whole poem.

  5. You have shared with us a wondrous Winter Wonderland ~ enjoyed everything about it!

    1. Thank you for visiting! I've had a look at your magnificent bird visitors, how lucky you are and such nice photographs of them too. x

  6. What a beautiful post, thank you!

  7. Wasn't it absolutely beautiful ? I couldn't believe how magical everywhere looked. I can't remember such a hard frost for a long time.
    ......and, many thanks for your lovely comment today. XXXX

  8. Today was like being in fairyland, and you have captured the essence of it so beautifully with both your writing and lovely Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac illustrations.

  9. I love this post. The Rackham and Dulac illustrations are magical ... some of my all time favorite illustrators. I'm one of those reindeer and dragon lovers ... keepers of time, magic of the earth. YES!!! Add Jack Frost and WOW!

  10. Dear Minerva,
    "Keepers of Time" - very impressing. And thank you for the very lovely photographs of frost on the plants! As to Anderson: though I see his qualities (and I own a book with lovely Art Deco prints to accompany his fairy tales) I shunned him as a child: I found his tales so depressing.

  11. My dear Minerva, this post captured my heart....last Christmas I found the image of Gerda and the reindeer and copied it for my Christmas tags....I loved it's sweet poignancy and naive gentleness of heart. I did not know anything about it until now, from your I adore blog land !! The poem Reindeer Presence also struck a cord, as I often glimpse deer in our woods in is a gift of Nature to me, and I am always left in awe of these beautiful creatures...thank you so much for this lovely post, especially at this special time of year, N.xo

  12. The illustrations are so very lovely and the story that goes with them, even more so. Thank you!

  13. Hello Kitty Kitty! teeheeee.....

    MAGIC. WONDER. ANIMALS and snow? Well what other world would I rather be in than this realm of joy and make-believe that helps make my reality a better place to live?

    Thank you dear one for visiting today! May peace and beauty surround you today! Anita


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