Over the past few years, I've sadly watched our neighbor's Magnolia tree decline and a weedy Mulberry (Morus sp.) grow up along its trunk. Last winter, the Magnolia put out what I believe will be the last buds of its life. The neighbors have left the tree standing, I think in hope that it still has one last spring left in it.
Over the past few days, as we've had some sun and warmer temperatures, the gutters above the magnolia have dripped slowly onto the branches below. The ice that collected on the branches has been carefully sculpted by the prevailing wind, creating a work of art outside our bedroom window. In the morning light (this photo was taken mid-afternoon), the ice looks like three glimmering birds in flight.
The beauty of the ice may be ephemeral in nature, but it reminds me that even in death, the magnificent is possible.