We went down to the dam in the middle of Uxbridge today. It was relatively warm and there’s a lot of melting going on. Still, it’s supposed to snow tonight. Not a lot of snow. A mere couple of inches, but with temperatures dropping, it’s likely to stick. Maybe this will be winter’s last gasp — or blast.
It is not the most snow we’ve ever had in a winter, at least not here in the Blackstone Valley. Nor was it the coldest winter we’ve had. Not even the coldest in memory. I remember a couple of January-s, when Kaity was only 6 or 7. We would wait for the school bus at the top of the drive. It was below zero at 7 in the morning. I’d warm up the car so we wouldn’t freeze solid before the bus arrived.
Philosophical question: Why are school buses early when you are late, but always late when the weather is terrible? Just asking.
This may be the iciest winter I can remember. Or anyone can remember. We’ve had tons (literally) of sleet and ice layered over the snow to create the heaviest, most immovable mix on surfaces. This is the first time ever we’ve been completely trapped by the weather. Although the winter of 2011 when we had to shovel the roof to keep it from collapsing under the weight of snow came pretty close. This has been a good winter to be retired.
So it’s March now. This is the time of year where my yearning for spring goes into high gear. I believe that there are crocuses buried under that icy mess we humorously call a garden. By the time the ice melts, they’ll be long gone. We probably won’t see flowers until daffodils … April if we are lucky.
We all want a bit of warm sun. Spring is brief in this region and sometimes, it’s all torrential rain. Rising rivers. Flooded basements. Sodden ground.
Mud season. Muddy paws, muddy floors, sucking mud everywhere.
Our driveway used to be a seasonal stream, but the imbecile who built this house just paved it over. The stream doesn’t care whether it’s paved or not and when the spring rains and snow melt come, it returns to its original form and flows merrily down the driveway. It forms a little lake at the base of the driveway and a swamp in the backyard.
It used to turn the lower part of the house into a wading pool, but since Owen put in a sump and pump, we’ve managed to dodge the bullet. But we haven’t had the combination of heavy rain and snow melt in several years. With a little luck, we’ll skip it this year too.
Spring will come. No matter how disgusting winter has been or how delayed, spring arrives and suddenly everything blooms. Literally between breakfast and supper, the trees come into leaf and the flowers open.
Two days later, the mercury rises into the 80s. Voila! Summer.
In a nutshell, a three-picture story is a way to help you think about storytelling with images. To create a three-picture story, gather:
- An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.
- A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.
- A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.
- – - – -
Last April, the geese made a play for ownership of what has always been swan territory by stealing the nest from a pair of swans. Geese live all over the valley. This area is a watershed, crisscrossed with rivers, streams, ponds and marsh — perfect nesting grounds for water fowl. From herons and egrets, to swans and all kinds of ducks, water birds nest and live in the Valley.
Herons, swans and geese get along fine with ducks … but not with each other. Herons are secretive and nest far from other birds, but swans and geese are forever encroaching on each others’ territory. For whatever the reason, these two species are enemies, even though they share space with other water birds without problems.
By some quirk of fate, Garry and I were there with our cameras to witness the battle. Talk about serendipity!
Despite a temporary setback, there’s a happy ending. Six young swans cruise with mama on Whitins Pond. The geese are not in evidence, but I’m sure they’ll try again. They are persistent.
It’s a big pond. They could just share, but apparently, they don’t want to. You’d have to ask them why not.