WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE

Source: offtheshelf.com

Ever since living in Israel and working at the Environmental Health Laboratory of the University of Jerusalem, I’ve been very aware of water. How limited fresh water resources are. How fragile.

When our well went dry last year — not for the first time — it was brought home with the greatest possible force that the one thing we cannot live without is drinkable water.

Without fresh water, our world is over. Think about it. Read about it. Don’t pretend it’s going to go away and never be your problem. It is everybody’s problem.

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5-DAY BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE – DAY 5

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I was tagged by Cordelia’s Mom, Still to participate in this challenge. 

It turns out that no one is quite sure where this challenge originated, but everyone seems to be enjoying it. It’s got only two rules:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using one of your photos in B&W. It doesn’t have to be new or any particular subject. Just black and white.

2. Each day, invite another blog friend to join in the fun. The hard part is finding people who haven’t done it already, and would like to play.

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On this fifth day of the challenge, I invite you (you know who you are!) to participate. You don’t have to play if you’re too busy or prefer not to, but you are officially (formally) invited.

The following sunrise I used a bi-tone filter so that it’s dark gray at the top, transitioning to soft moss-green approaching the bottom.

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The hardest subjects for me to do in black and white are nature and landscapes. I find these subjects easier to do in color, but I have had some surprise successes in monochrome. I’m also enjoying playing around with color toning.

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AT NOON IN SUNSHINE

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I was up rather earlier this morning than I wanted to be. Noon seemed a rather long time away, but I got into editing a few photos and time just flew. Suddenly, it was 11:40 am … twenty minutes before noon. I grabbed the camera.

The sun was shining. We’ve had a lot of rain recently, so almost all the snow is gone except for a patch way back in the woods. You can see it, if you look carefully.

An hour and a half later, the sun is gone. The sky is gray and it’s cold, suddenly. Oh well.

THE LAST SNOW

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When I woke up around dawn Saturday morning, it was drizzling. As it had been, off and on, for several days. I went back to bed. Too early for anything useful. The next time I woke up, a couple of hours later, big fat snowflakes were drifting from the sky. Not a serious snow.

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If I have learned nothing else, it is how to tell the difference between snow that means business, and those casually drifting snow flakes which will evaporate when they touch ground. I went back to bed. Again.

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When finally I got up and it was time for coffee and the day to begin, the snow had changed again. Finer flakes, but now mixed with a hint of rain. Still not serious.

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And so it has continued for several hours. Not enough snow to make a statement. It is just winter lodging a formal protest against being forced to leave.

Sorry about that, old man winter. You’ve out-stayed your welcome. There’s a new weather deity in town and she brings flowers and warmer weather. Pack your bags and go wherever you are supposed to be.

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This is, I am convinced, the last snow. We will see no more of it until the seasons roll around again. It’s not that we haven’t seen snow later than this.

I remember a 28 inch blizzard on April 1st that was (no surprise) dubbed “The April Fool’s Blizzard.” It came, dumped more than two feet on Boston, then melted in a couple of days of 70 degree temperatures. I’m told there have been surprise snowstorms as late as mid May. But not this year.

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This is the last snow of this winter. I have decided.

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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.

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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