Weekend Waterview: First Snow of the New Year


Are you covered in snow? We received a beautiful 7″ layer of snow, courtesy of Winter Storm Helena Friday night into Saturday.


I always look forward to snow when it’s not accompanied by freezing rain. It gives me an excuse to stay inside and be lazy, reading and watching the birds.


Our snow doesn’t stick around very long and the sun came out yesterday afternoon to start the melting process, making everything blindingly white. . .



And easy for me to lose two white dogs. :)


Gracie likes the snow since it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet :)


And speaking of all-you-can-eat-buffets, my edible birdhouses were flocked by birds with our snow and freezing weather. My blogging friend Lynn referred to the birdseed houses as a Bed and Breakfast. ;) They’ll be stripped of seed by Monday with all the bird activity and I can recoat them with seed next week. You can find out how to make these easy edible birdhouses, HERE.


 I saw lots of small birds ~ Sparrows, Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Titmice and Chickadees, dining at the birdseed houses.


I even spotted some larger birds visiting them, Cardinals and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know the female Cowbird lays eggs in nests of other birds? Young cowbirds are raised and fed by the host parents, often at the expense of their own young. Brown-headed cowbird females can lay 36 eggs in a season. It makes me want to shoo them away from the feeders.


This Cardinal found a perfect spot to bask in the sun.


It’s in the single digits here this morning so what melted yesterday is frozen and icy, with a high in the 20s today. Another day to stay inside while watching the birds and reading. We’re enjoying a new chili recipe this weekend that I’ll share soon. If you’re looking for a good winter soup or chili recipe, I highly recommend Winter Minestrone!

Winter Minestrone

 Ina Garten’s, Winter Minestrone is hearty, comforting and a foolproof recipe but the proof is in the bowl! You can find the recipe, HERE.


Do you have snow and are you feeding the birds? Have a favorite soup or chili recipe for winter? Read any good books lately? I’d love to know!


Hope you’re warm and cozy this morning, Stay Safe!


Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  59 comments for “Weekend Waterview: First Snow of the New Year

  1. Michelle
    January 8, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Burrr! Cold this morning here! That soup will be welcoming today. No snow but plenty of cold weather! Enjoy your day!😎🌴

  2. Sue
    January 8, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Love your snowy pics!!! I love a good snow too. The temp got down to 5 degrees here last night and of course our heat went out!!! We slept in front of the fire and kept pipes from freezing with space heaters. Hope we can get someone here today to fix the problem. Stay warm and keep those pups warm too.:) xoxo

  3. Leslie
    January 8, 2017 at 8:32 am

    You always take the most beautiful photo’s! I envy you your most perfect landscape. Stay warm!

    • Melinda Labombard
      January 8, 2017 at 8:51 am

      They are the best pictures ever!

  4. Kelley S.
    January 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

    No snow in Charleston but it is cold – in the 20s. I just finished reading “Winter Street” and “Winter Stroll” and am on the waiting list for “Winter Storm” by Elin Hildebrand. Great winter reading and highly entertaining. Love the photos of your precious pups in the snow!

  5. Carol
    January 8, 2017 at 8:42 am

    One inch of snow here in Buffalo, NY–grass peeking through! Very cold though, brrrr–perfect day for Winter Minestrone.

  6. Granny Gay
    January 8, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Wonderful photos of “Life in White on Lake Normand”….thanks for venturing out in the cold to share these with us. It is in the 20’s this morning in S. Louisiana, but ‘spring’ returns Tuesday with temps in the 70’s. Enjoy the landscape…:)

  7. Lori S
    January 8, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Beautiful. Cooking Light magazine’s All American chili is also perfect for a cold winters day

  8. Melinda Labombard
    January 8, 2017 at 8:56 am

    We are cold here in Greenville,South Carolina… but it will be short lived; our grandkids are so excited for it is their first time for snow; exciting times for sure. The birds are devouring the seed and suet, got to stay warm too! Maybe that minestrone soup will a great idea for tomorrows dinner, sure looks good. Thanks for the wonderful pictures of your neck of the woods!

  9. Karen
    January 8, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful photos as always:) I learned something new from you about the Cowbirds,my husband feeds the birds every morning in the winter months. It is snowy and called here in Philly.

  10. Sue P.
    January 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

    The minestroni soup looks perfect for snowy days! Here in Montana our temp is 2 degrees above zero this morning with more snow on the way. Last month we recieved 35 inches of that white stuff. Your photos are so pretty!

  11. Bren
    January 8, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Love the photo of the dock with the shadows of the rope garland reflecting like royal icing on a wedding cake. Snow makes the world softer and quieter, like being wrapped up in love in a warm blanket.

  12. Cheryl
    January 8, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Brrrrrrr……I’ll enjoy your lovely pictures of the snow from afar and go outside and bask in the warm California sun. Tomorrow is a trip to the beach. It may be raining. We’ll take all of the rain we can get. Snow is for mountain tops. LOL

  13. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    January 8, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Oh my, it looks gorgeous. I’m just glad I don’t have to be out in it anymore.

  14. January 8, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Oh my, you did get snow Mary! I must admit I was doing a “no snow” dance all day Friday, and it didn’t work at all! We got mostly an inch of ice, and not many scenic photo opps…Your snow on the lake is just stunning and I love the photos of the deep snow covering your furniture with the water scenic backdrop. I have been curled up by the fire reading “The Coincidence of Coconut Cake” which is making me wish I had the ingredients to make one :) Your birds look so happy nibbling away, and the cardinal in the snowy bush is breathtaking! Enjoy your soup & snow!

  15. January 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Beautiful shots and I was hoping we would have some of that, but it missed us.

  16. Mina Flor
    January 8, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Thank you for your beautiful photos! It is always a pleasure to visit your blog! Greetings from Germany!

  17. January 8, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Beautiful pictures as always……:) Just north of Atlanta we got maybe 2inches, turning to ice, which was great for the grand kids to sled away. Loved book Orphan Train, reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and am very much enjoying it.Love your blog!!

  18. Cyndi Raines
    January 8, 2017 at 9:44 am

    It’s a chilly10 degrees right now on the thumb of MI with a strong wind making it feel even colder. Yes, I feed the birds and they surely LOVE their suet cakes! Your birdseed covered houses are too cute! Want to make those! I agree the deck picture is really neat and the Cardinal is stunning, love the little birds eating on the house too. Hubby and I devour the copy-cat version of Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli – oh so good. We add Alfredo sauce to the broth to make it extra creamy – yum – who’s counting calories anyways?! -ha!

  19. Ellen Stillabower
    January 8, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Very cold here in Indy and a little leftover snow…you got it all…we dodged the snow..thank goodness..the white snow is great for bird watching..it makes the birds easier to see…especially the Cardinals!!! Fire in the fireplace and a bowl of chili is the ticket!!! Stay warm & cozy!! ❄️❄️❄️❄️

  20. Linda Charlton
    January 8, 2017 at 9:59 am

    A little more than an inch here on the NJ/PA border It looks so pretty in your photos. And the dogs are perfect.

  21. January 8, 2017 at 10:04 am

    That is gorgeous! Love that bird feeder idea.

  22. Marty K
    January 8, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Beautiful pictures! We even got a little snow here in Fort Worth! Just refilled the bird feeder – hoping the female cardinal I saw earlier will come back with her mate.

  23. Bette McCollister
    January 8, 2017 at 10:06 am

    A multi-talented lady: you could easily had made your bed and board as a photographer. From the previous posts it seems much of the nation is truly, honestly very cold as in single digit cold! In southern Indiana it is all of 6 degrees. But hang on: to be in the 50’s on Tuesday. I have read “The Last Noel” by Michael Malone. I haven’t had a book in decades that left me it tears but this one sure did!! A beautiful love story.

  24. January 8, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures. We had ice with snow on top of that here in Wilson, NC. Keeping the birds fed….cardinals are so pretty against snow. I did not know about cowbirds, how interesting! Staying in and enjoying the beauty with magazines!

  25. Cyndi Ott
    January 8, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Absolutely love. Love today’s snow pics. Outstanding as usual. Keep up the great work, my morning go to blog.

  26. Sherlie Magaret
    January 8, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Beautiful pictures, the snow is so pristine, glad you are enjoying it, very little snow but lots of cold here in SW Iowa.

  27. Terri
    January 8, 2017 at 10:43 am

    No snow in central PA. Cold – about 9 degrees this morning. Absolutely beautiful photos! Great work. Love your blog!

  28. January 8, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I am sitting in my lake view condominium in Ohio gazing at the ice on Lake Erie this weekend. It is nice to stay inside and look out at the beautiful scene outside. Yours with the open water is lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  29. Lisa Ronan
    January 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

    So beautiful! Living in southeast PA I keep saying I’m gonna have to move south to see snow because we keep getting robbed of it here😢 Thank you for the gorgeous pics!

  30. Jo
    January 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Beautiful photos, but how can you not have such photos living in such a scenic area. The bird house is a great idea. It’s a balmy 17 degrees here with lots of snow as well. Everything is covered in white!
    Stay warm!

  31. BamaCarol
    January 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Love your photos! No snow south of Birmingham but some ice so we are inside again today. I have a big bowl of taco soup to eat and Red Beans and Rice with sausage for supper. I am about to finish “A Gentleman in Moscow” that I highly recommend.

  32. January 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Finally up to 30 (our warmest temp in a week!) and freezing rain predicted all day which will cover up our inch of snow that fell yesterday…should be out of this by this time tomorrow hopefully. I’m near the end of “The Boys in the Boat” which i highly recommend. Your photos are beautiful and the sun in them brightened my morning as I am gazing out my kitchen window at the rather gray, icy day in Boring Oregon!

  33. Brenda
    January 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Absolutely beautiful photos!

  34. Vikki
    January 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    We got pounded here in Chesapeake, VA with about 8″ of snow. That’s a lot for this area. Jim Cantore, of Weather Channel fame, came to Va Beach to telecast on the “blizzard.” You know it’s serious if Cantore is in the house. Today we have the blinding sun, however, still have freezing temps so nothing is melting. I always love your pictures and the one of the cardinal in the snow covered bush is so beautiful. Stay warm. Vikki in VA

  35. Ellen
    January 8, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Your photos are spectacular, they always are! We have about 8 inches of snow on the southern end of little R.I. after Helena went through all day Saturday. I’m going to have the best New England clam chowder and clamcakes later from our local “Iggy’s”, it is positively the most delicious! Reading is my passion and I get most of my books from a monthly book swap at the 300 yr. old Quaker Meeting House in Lincoln, R.I.. It is put together by some of their women and they still have their weekly services too! Everyone is welcome to take as many books as you wish and to bring books too, so glad I found them. Thank-you for this delightful post, I always learn from them. Chloe and Gracie seem mesmerized by the snow- adorable!

  36. Jacklyn carney
    January 8, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    ~ Mary ~
    Your snow covered yard and dock r just stunning, what a winter wonderland u
    Have there, each photograph was better and more beautiful than the one before!

    We r covered up here in New England too, temps in the teens, with single digits
    To come!

    Thank u for sharing the beauty of Lake Norman, peace and blessings and b careful
    of the ice. 🌨 😇

  37. January 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Just gorgeous photos. love the edible bird house idea!

  38. January 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Your images are beautiful!! We had 5 minutes of snow on Friday 🙄 Today is my birthday…what a wonderful gift your snow would have been! Never had a “white” birthday before. Um…or a white day hardly ever here in Deep South!
    But I did cook chili 🌶 for this cold weekend. Yet by tues it’s supposed to be 77🙄!

  39. January 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Love your beautiful photos. Not a footprint in sight. I have a post going up today with a recipe for Turkey Chili. We had snow and that post is going up later this week. Yes, I am reading a great book now. I am starting off the new year with Magic by Rhonda Byrne. Gratitude is my work in progress for 2017.

  40. Paula
    January 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm


    No snow here in northern Indiana, but the air is so cold it hurts my face hehe! Wow you really captures some beautiful pictures of the birds !! I am keeping my little sparrows well feed, I think they are happy since they are singing !! :) I enjoy reading Mary Kay Andrews stories, missed meeting her by one day while in Savannah, darn. Your winter soup looks yummy, I have been wanting to make white chicken chili, I bet you have that one !!?!
    Be safe!
    p.s funny your pups like eating the snow, our Boxer runs out and in fast !!

  41. January 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Mary, As soon as I saw your 7″ on the table I wondered if you would let the pups out for fear of mistaking them for giant snowballs! Your photos are amazing — the one of the dock walkway especially! Your yard will be on the bird travel sites now as best place to stop for a bed and breakfast :) I have assembled the pieces for some of my own and hopefully tomorrow I’ll have some to hang. We have about the same amount of snow but luckily no ice. I have no good books to recommend as I’m looking for one now too — I may tackle Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier but in the meantime I’m nursing a bad cold and listening to mindless Georgette Heyer regency romances, my secret indulgence! Enjoy the snow! Linda

  42. January 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Beautiful recap! Ours was only 4″ (Thurs into Fri), but gray and bitterly cold these past few days for walking (calling for long underwear!). The sun finally peeked out late Saturday and today, which helps the mood. If that’s the only snow we get this season (yea, right), I’d be happy.

  43. January 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    gorgeous photos & I love the edible birdhouses!

  44. January 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Beautiful pics Mary! Philly had about 3-4″ and since it’s been so cold the snow is light and fluffy and blowing all over the place. We had a very hearty, loaded potato soup today with the corn stock I made this summer-very good! I’m sure the birds appreciate your B&B’s:@)

  45. January 8, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Your snowy pictures are gorgeous! We only got about 2 inches here. I have been working non stop all weekend taking Christmas down and still not done. Hopefully tomorrow. Love seeing the birds and sweet pups.

  46. January 8, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Your snowy photos are so pretty, Mary, and I especially loved the one with the Cardinal. We even had a light dusting of snow this past Friday, and very cold temperatures. Your minestrone looks especially comforting for warming the soul. I made a really tasty Black Eyed Pea soup recently, and also Italian Wedding Soup. Cooking and baking in the winter months is my favorite, and there’s just something about a bowl of homemade soup.

  47. January 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Beautiful snow shots! Love your birdhouse feeders. The birds are so pretty. Know you were gratified for your efforts with such pretty birds feeding.
    Your soup looks good. I love soup for cold weather and need to get busy making your minestrone recipe from Ina. My husband loves it.

  48. bobbi duncan
    January 8, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Beautiful views, Mary! We only got around two inches up here in SE PA–I love driving the back roads with their gorgeous rolling hills because the vistas are far reaching all dressed in white, and a pretty blue sky to compliment them makes the trip especially nice. Stay warm and cozy.

  49. Donna Perdue
    January 9, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Took advantage of our 6+ inches of snow to put the edible bird houses together and am letting them cure. It’s supposed to in the low sixties by the end of next week so goodbye snow! Low of zero tonight. Reading Mr. Owita’s Guide to Gardening for the second time. The title is a little misleading but I highly recommend it. One of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read. Hoping to get outside tomorrow and take a walk around the lake with the camera. Sunny with a high of thirty and no wind chill factor. Have a wonderful week☀️❄️

  50. January 9, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Mary, the snow photos are stunning!! We had a teaspoon of snow but very cold temps! I love Ina Garten’s recipes and perusing her cookbooks! Stay warm!

  51. January 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    You certainly got lots of snow…much more than we did!….Everything looks so beautiful….love the scene of the bright red cardinal sitting perched alone in a snow covered shub….Just says Winter although cold, can be beautiful. These are definitely the days for comfort food! Stay warm!

  52. Bonnie
    January 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Mary,
    It is very cold here ~ around 6-8 degrees! But we don’t have as much snow as you. And by all weather reports, we will have temps in the 40s and 50s by weeks end. Unbelieveable! You mentioned books in your blog. I just finished one you may enjoy. It is Dinner With Edward by Isabel Vincent, a nonfiction short story of unexpected friendship. I loved it. I hope you give it a try ~ please let us know if you do!

  53. January 13, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    HI there! We don’t have snow where I live and I am okay with that, but your pictures are absolutely beautiful! The sunshine on the snow and the views of the lake are something I would love to be able to see! Thanks for sharing the beauty!

  54. Kathy
    January 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Mary,
    So enjoyed hearing how you love to stay in snuggle up and make a snowbound day special!! Also, liked hearing you have your tree up!!! I have mine up also since January is so cold and snowy that the warm lights (I add gold and a few red lights to a white light tree) friends comment how warm the room feels.(We live on top of a foothill on the Rocky Mountain Range in Utah, so it is snow country with more than a dozen ski resorts).
    Your bird posts have been so inspirational and I have been feeding them for a couple years now, especially during the Winter!! It is nice to know they know where they can get a constant food source along with water (purchased a heated water source that mounts easily onto deck railing). The feeders are outside the dining deck and are easy to get to for refilling and it brings the winter snow covered trees to life to enjoy from kitchen & dining room. You also inspired me to make suet and that has become a nice activity on a snowy day-the birds crave it for extra energy and warmth. The bluebirds call and I immediately reward them with treats that are only for them, keeping the magpies at bay..
    The other day a storm was brewing and the Oak trees were being wildly whipped around, but the birds hung on tightly thru the wild ride; I filmed it and posted, it was something to see. Also, I left the red domes over the feeders to make it easier for them when flying overhead to spot feeders from the air, and it looks festive for Christmas & Valentines. (I think it has worked as more types arrive in waves, especially during storms). I commend you for feeding them thru the winter-that is when they need it most, (do you have feeders close to be able to feed more easily)?
    Thank you for your beautiful blog, it is my favorite and I have been so inspired to try many of your ideas to celebrate the seasons. Also, have purchased dinnerware to correspond to seasons!! It is a nice way to seize the moments, create memories, and enjoy the years more fully without them flying by so quickly. Yesterday a couple deer were feeding in the yard, I was able to film, and we celebrated their visit with my cherished “Deer in the Snow” dinnerware by Pottery Barn. I used evergreen place mats layered with the scalloped wicker. It was special, memorable and reminded me of you!!
    As far as soup, I also like the Olive Garden, Pasta Fagioli. I just made note of ingredients and created a new recipe using Aidells Italian Style Smoked Chicken sausage, which I brown first and it adds a wonderful flavor to the broth. Also, incorporated your idea to add grated cheese over top and it is a hearty soup on a cold winter day. Sorry about the length…just wanted to give you a couple examples of how you have added a new dimension to my everyday life and how grateful I am to enjoy your many talents that you share so beautifully!!

    Happy Winter Days Mary!!

    Love Kath XO

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