xt7jh98zct60_15 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. circa 1957 text circa 1957 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_15/1957_1_10_Bevins_plowing_snow_p1.pdf circa 1957 1957 circa 1957 section false xt7jh98zct60_15 xt7jh98zct60 I . ‘ . '
Morning View
10 January 1957
Hello Mr McCarthy,
The week end of 5-6 January brought this winter's first christmas-
card snow fall to the tree patch. Not all snow falls in this
category, the one at Thanksggving, for instance, being too samll
of flake and much too swirled about by heavy winds.
The great, heavy, damp flakes which, throughout the day Sunday,
obscured all but the closest objects, silently but effectively
converted even the most ordinary stretches of horizon into realms
of enchantment. As the snow abated toward evening, scattered
small houses and big barns loomed on the tangled ridges or peered
from the pinched little valleys. The slopes and tiltings of the
white blocks that Were their snow covered roofs accentuated the
far hills as no bare roof could ever do. areas of woodland were so
- heavily snow clad that they seemed vagrant clouds or frosty bits of

mist, about to drift aWay at any moment. Fences and their
accompanying weeds lay across the fields in the faintest of visible
lines, a mere roughening of the uniform whiteness. Progress has
detracted slightly from this christmas card —— due to the installation
of oil burners and stokers, few peaceful trickles of smoke rise
from the distant chimneys any more.
One of the best Christmas cards is off to the southeast, across
the twisted steepness of a little valley. Pasture land billows
upWard on the far side in great steep but smooths curves. Just

' below the ridge tOp stands a fence dark with briers, weeds, and
young sassafras, beyond which the ground rises open and bare to
the broad crest. atop this smoothness stands an abandoned little
house, its color the inimitable grey found only in old wood that

‘ has never known paint. Its front Wall is broken by the black openings
of long departed windows and door, a window to each side, the door
Carefully centered. Above the middle of the white slope of its
simple roof juts the tumbled remnants of a chimney. across the
dooryard, meticulously Spaced in longfiforgotten planting, stands
a guardian row of old maples, their tnunks heavy, their tops black
and sharp and windblown against the sky far above the little white
roof and crumbling chimney. Perhaps it is a Christmas card with a
certain depth of somberness, but it is nevertheless incredibly lovely.flwme
we» « ,;-»/

By Sunday afternoon the tree patch itself was so encrusted and adorned
with snow that only the massive solidity of the great tree trunks
prevented its assuming the delicacy of a highly ornamented wedding
Cake. Twigs and branches bore such bulkiness of snow that the sky
was almost as obscured as when they wore leaves. On the windWard side,
the trunks themselves were sheathed with whiteness, the snow
pattern varying with that of the bark to which it adhered.—- smmoth
on the maples, more ragged upon the rougher bark of the oaks, and
clinging in extravagant drapery on the broad, curving, irregular
plates of the shagbark hickories.
My best Christmas card is a living one. It was most beautiful
Saturday morning When the sky had cleared after the nights snow.

 V ,laaaaa____________________________
-g- f
The little bulldozer blade had been installed on the Potato Chip
(Cub tractor) for a month, and as soon as it Was sufficiently light,

. I drove it to the feeder area near the side of the house, to scrape

a goodly bit of ground free from snow. AS I worked, the sun glow
through an ice mist turned the whole eastern sky into the pale copper
of a new penny. All planes of snow that tilted toward it assumed a
fainter tinge of the same hue, and those sloping westWard lay in a
soft, pure Delft blue shadow. Where the tractor blade had piled the
snow like rumpled cotton batting. the contrasting tints were lovely.
The tractor and I were the center of interest in the tree patch.
Countless eyes fiatched every move. Trusting birds such as litmice,
Chickadees, Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, and assorted woodpeckers
crowdedtthe trees about me, shouting their impatience and hunger.
Cardinals and Chewinks clustered a bit farther away. From the pond-
field came Song Sparrows and Tree Sparrows and White Throats, and
White Crowned Sparrows, followed by Goldfinch, dingy in winter garb.
More timid, doves grouped in the Walnut trees near the pond and I
was startled at their number. Doves are superbly stupid, but they
learn one thing quickly. as soon as they discover they will be fed
regularly throughout the winter, they no longer migrate southWard.
TWO remained the first winter 1 Was at the tree patch, and about
twenty are staying this winter. But Saturday morning there were
more than fifty in the walnut trees.
The ground Satisfactorily bare, I scrambled from the tractor and

' served breakfast -- a gallon can of mixed small grains spread over
the entire area, half a dozen heaps of sunflower seeds, a double
handful of shelled raw peanuts. By the ti e I had returned to Potato
Chip to its garage, making a wide detour past the suet feeder to see
that its contents were ample, the bit of ground I had exposed was
fairly carpeted with birds. ,
For some time I simply looked. Cardinals and Blue Jays feeding
side by side against a snow background are worth the watching. The
great cloud of doves flew in from the walnut trees, to form a shifting
setting for the more brilliantly Colored birds. they seemed grey
until a grey squirrel appeared in their midst, his silvery coat
instantly transforming their soft colors to tans and brown. Smaller
birds wove among thefilarger ones like little tugs amid battleships.
litmice alternated between suflflower seeds and peanuts as did Hairy
and Downy woodpeckers. Somehow, though wearing only black and white
with a tiny touch of scarlet on the male heads, these two woodpeckers
manage to present a definitly flamboyant appearance.
Many Red Bellied Woodpeckers were in the throng. I do not know who
so named them, for they have not the slightest hint of red beneath,
though the crimson of their head decoration is the most magnificent
of all reds found upon birds.

 I ,
32 -
The misguided mochkngbird who stays all winter, spoke harshly to
whoever approached his food too closely and was so belligerent
about it that he stood constantly surrounded by a small open
space. Mr. Wheat and the rest of the Quail flew in to mingle with
the Doves and eat busily.
' I had filled the birdbath (which sits upon the ground instead
of up on its stand) with warm water, and once their first
hunger Was appeased, birds of all species crowded its rim,
pushing over grudgingly to make room for thirsty squirrels.
The golden glow cast by the sun mist gave added intensity to
the colors of the birds until they surpassed the capabilities
of paint, and it seemed as though the breakfast area was
asparkle with glowing bits of glass, all surrounded by the
setting of White snow.
There is no more lovely christmas card.
I, 1 I
-Mv«1»M/2“42 ’
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