ODE TO SPRING

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March 20, 2015. It was the first day of spring. Cold, raw, with leaden skies and a promise of snow. Supposedly not a lot of snow. The forecast called for less than an inch. Not noteworthy. After the past 7 weeks, “noteworthy” has a new meaning.

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So I said “Let’s go shooting,” and Garry agreed.

Garry goes out everyday. I am sometimes inside for a week or more. Usually, it doesn’t bother me. This winter, though, I haven’t been able to get out at all, not even to the backyard or deck.

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Finally, I got restless. I had a sudden, urgent need for a change of scenery. An airing. It was, after all, spring. The vernal equinox.

We went down to the river and took pictures.

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I’ve lived in the northeast my entire life, minus 9 years. Garry too. We’ve both been in New England through many winters. I don’t remember this much snow still on the ground so late in the season. Not in my 28 winters. Garry’s been here or in Boston for 45 years and he doesn’t remember one like this, either.

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I don’t necessarily expect it to be warm and flowery at the end of March, but I expect the snow to be mostly melted. Maybe see a crocus or two. Robins returning to build nests.

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Not this year. No crocus, no robins. And the thing is, it’s cold. Still dropping into the low twenties at night and barely going above freezing by day.

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NOTHING SAYS SPRINGTIME LIKE MORE SNOW

March 21, 2015. It was the second day of spring. Surprise! It’s snowing. It had been snowing since the previous afternoon and there wasn’t much accumulation. But it wasn’t nothing, either. All the ground which had appeared was white again.

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I took pictures out the front of the house, out the back window and over the deck. I still can’t get to the deck, but I can push the door open about halfway. We call this progress.

We cancelled our planned excursion for the beginning of April. Even if the weather turns suddenly seasonably warm, it will take more than two weeks for the mess to clear up. For the mud to dry up. For the huge piles of dirty ice to disappear. Maybe we’ll go in the autumn.

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Maybe we’ll just stay home.

MONTHLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – THE CHANGING SEASONS 03

Monthly Photo Challenge:

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The rules are simple. Every month, each of us posts pictures of the same area where we live that shows the seasons as they change. This month should look more springlike. There is less snow than there was in February. Probably several feet less, but it snowed the day before yesterday, laying down a few new inches of powder.

It seemed so unfair, it being the first day of spring and all. I hope by the next month, I will have pictures of flowers. These were taken over a period of a week.

Perhaps the grass will be green again and the robins will be nesting.

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE

DEAD CENTER

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There are plenty of reasons to shoot subjects centered in the frame. Many of them have fur or feathers.

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When you subject is going to fly or run away, you take your shot, however you can grab it.

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Press the shutter the instant your subject’s in focus, sometimes before you are sure you’re in focus … and hope for the best.

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Wildlife — in the wild as opposed to at a zoo or otherwise enclosed — doesn’t wait while you line up your shot. I know from painful experience — speed counts. Until I got over my need for perfection, I missed pretty much everything.

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Seize the moment! He who hesitates gets a great picture of an empty branch.

LATE AFTERNOON IN THE MIDDLE OF MARCH

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It was nearly sundown in the middle of March. At this time of year, I ought, by rights, to be counting crocus. I am instead taking pictures of piles of frozen slush.

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It was after five in the evening and the shadows were long. Bonnie had obviously discovered the snowdrifts were no longer soft, but climbable. Most inconvenient. That one is way too smart for her own good!

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Today it’s raining and hopefully, that will reduce the height of the frozen piles of old snow. Maybe even peel away enough layers that we can get to the yellow car we haven’t seen since January.

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Maybe, underneath this mess, the flowers are struggling to come out of the earth. Maybe they have already popped up … and are there, waiting, underneath the ice and snow.

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LAST BIRDS OF WINTER

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Slowly, the ice and snow is melting. Very slowly. Huge piles of frozen slush. The birds are still hanging around and we have had a bit of additional fluffy snow.

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Nothing serious, not enough to cover the ground that is finally exposed. The birds have been pecking away at the ground.

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I’m sure they are very happy to find some live food, some green. Even if it is just moss.

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