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WINTER’S LAST GASP – GARRY ARMSTRONG

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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.

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PASSAGE INTO SPRING

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.

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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.

Mallard amid reflections of spring - Garry Armstrong

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.

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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.

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A FOWL TRIPTYCH – GEESE V SWANS ON WHITINS POND

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

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.

Whitins Pond has for as long as we've lived in the valley been "swan territory."

Whitins Pond has, for as long as we’ve lived in the valley, been “swan territory.”

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!

War! Swans try to rout invading geese!

War! Swans try to rout invading geese!

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.

All's well that ends well. Mother and "teenage" swans cruise the pond. The nest was rebuilt and the swans are still the monarchs of their piece of the pond. It's a big pond, room for all.

All’s well that ends well. A new nest was built and another generation of young swans live on the pond.

Other Entries:

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BLUE SUNRISE AND ICICLES

This morning the sunrise was blue and pink. Not the typical colors of dawn around here. Grabbed the camera. Half asleep, no glasses or focus. But the soft colors were lovely and… ye gods, it’s SNOWING AGAIN …

Our car is still stuck in the ice and snow.  I think we are never going to get out of here again. I needn’t worry about surgery since we will never leave the driveway. The ice dams — huge roof icicles — are halfway down my window.

Welcome to the new arctic.

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MORE SNOW … THE NEVERENDING WINTER

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I’m was hoping we’d seen the last “big one” of the season, but nope.

This storm wasn’t suppose to really hit us. It was a coastal storm, so if we got it at all, it would be no more than a glancing blow, a few light inches.

When the snow started to come down heavily this morning,  I thought “Oh, just a flurry.” But it got heavier and Garry, foregoing his shower and other normal morning activities, made a dash for the grocery store … along with what seemed to be the entire population of the town. He thought there couldn’t be any more people coming, but as he was checking out, the rest of the towns showed up … those who’d been at work, probably.

Now the weather gurus are predicting as much as 2 feet of snow along the coast. No one is aware it’s snowing in the Valley. We never make it into weather reports so I have no idea what we are expecting. Apparently a bit more than the originally predicted 3 to 5 inches. (Ya think Probie?)

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So. Thirty four days by the calendar. Are we counting yet?

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NAVIGATING THE DRIVEWAY – TRAPPED!

Oh, look out my window. My granddaughter’s boyfriend’s truck is stuck in the middle of our ski slope. Now he’s pushing. Hah. Fat chance. He was warned. Wheels are spinning, but it just digs him in deeper. Now he’s out there with the shovel. Really digging. Heh, heh.

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I love it when the drama unfolds in front of my window … and I can grab my camera and show it to you.

This is winter in the valley. One truck, one 17-year old boy, a snow shovel … and our driveway, such as it is. And of course, starring all the snows of winter. Remember — another is on the way!

UPDATE!! THIS JUST IN!!

The granddaughter’s boyfriend is stuck in the driveway again. Too dark to take more pictures, but I can hear his tires spinning.

Apparently his truck is not 4-wheel drive. His mother’s truck is a four-wheeler. This is merely 2-wheel drive. You’d think after getting stuck this morning, he’d have figured out that he shouldn’t drive to the bottom of our little ski slope … but he didn’t want darling Kaity to have to slog down the driveway in all that snow. Aww, ain’t love grand?

Ah youth.

Yes indeed. I hear his tires spinning. He must have worn off half his treads by now. And life goes on in the Valley.

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VIOLET

A Word A Week Challenge: Violet

Spring in the valley is so purple. Violets, Mayflowers … all varieties of wildflower. Spiderwort and iris. Too many to show all at once, so here is a cross-section of violet … ranging from the other side of mauve through closer to purple. And meanwhile, it is snowing so heavily I can barely see out my window! 34 days to spring … if the weather deities are inclined to coöperate.

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OVERNIGHT SNOW

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It wasn’t predicted. The snow was supposed to be over, so waking up to a new layer? What’s another 5 or 6 inches at this point? Just more snow. And more and more. Spring will come. I know it will.

But not yet. Another storm is on the way. By tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be buried again. Oh well.

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PERFECT CIRCLE – TEEPEE IN ITS SEASONS

Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon

by Krista on February 12, 2014

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CIRCLE.

My teepee, from its first day, all shiny and white, to it’s nearly final winter, rimed with ice and snow.

Other entries:

  1. Sight and sound of a cemetery | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  2. Karma By Another Name | The Jittery Goat
  3. Karma | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
  4. Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon | Journeyman
  5. The Circle of Time – Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  6. Circle | Mara Eastern
  7. Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  8. cyclical not seasonal | peacefulblessedstar
  9. Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon | The Wandering Poet
  10. slightly less | yi-ching lin photography
  11. there is room to do | y
  12. Who Watches The Watchmen? | The Dragon Weyr
  13. karma and unsought gifts | gaikokumaniakku
  14. Wednesday Words | Tommia’s Tablet
  15. Karma… We Need to Talk | Under the Monkey Tree
  16. Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon « Mama Bear Musings
  17. Vengeance | A mom’s blog
  18. In a Circle | Ana Linden
  19. Circle | Sounds of Time
  20. Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss