THE FIRST SUNNY SUNDAY – GARRY ARMSTRONG

It is spring. The calendar is unequivocal.

Spring has officially been here for nearly three weeks. Sure enough, if you look carefully, you can see the signs. Crocuses in the garden. Fat buds on trees and vines.

Our back garden is full of day lily shoots. They have a lot of growing to do before they bloom — a month or more — but they’re coming up thick and fast. It’s going to be a bonanza year for day lilies. I hope their enthusiasm is contagious.

This past weekend, the temperatures soared. The sun came out and stayed out.

72-Kayaks-GA-Sunny-Sunday_067

And we emerged.  Winter-pale, wearing crumpled shorts and tee shirts pulled from the bottom of drawers in which they have lain since last October. Squinting in the strong sunlight. Winter is finally over. We won!

Hauling cameras and fishing poles, kayaks and canoes. Picnic baskets. Umbrellas and lawn blankets. With small frisky dogs in tow.

It was the first sunny Sunday after the worst-ever winter.

No leaves yet on the trees. Nor were any flowers — wild or cultivated — to be seen. There is a world of hope for more sunny days and weeks stretching ahead. It’s the beginning. Never have we deserved it more.

DRIVING THROUGH THE RAIN

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #14

72-On-The-Road_028

It’s raining again. It has been raining for more than a week and will continue to rain for a few days more. Actually, to be entirely accurate, it’s a mixture of sleet, hail, and rain. Nasty.

72-On-The-Road_019

This make it a perfect time to post pictures of driving in rain. I might mention, at this point, that both my husband and I very much dislike driving in rain and I’m afraid to drive in snow.

72-On-The-Road_026

If you use headlights, they reflect back and you can’t see anything. But of course, if you don’t turn on your lights, no one can see you coming. Also dangerous.

72-On-The-Road_032

THE LAST SNOW

72-Junco-Last-snow-D_118

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.

last snow bark winter

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.

72-Last snow_17

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.

72-Cat-Last snow_20

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.

last snow low contrast winter

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.

72-Woods-Last-snow-D_115

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

75-Spring-woods-2014

LAST BIRDS OF WINTER

72-birds in the bush_002

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.

72-Birds-II_054

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

72-OIL-Cardinal_5

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

72-birds in the bush_024

WINTER 2015 – THE TIME CAPSULE

Time Capsule – What would you put in this year’s time capsule to channel the essence of our current moment for future generations?


It would have to be an electrified, refrigerated time capsule because aside from the technical problem involved in keeping stuff frozen indefinitely, there’s but one possible answer, at least if you live around here.

Snow. Ice. More snow. More ice.

For your shivery pleasure, here’s a summary of the past 6 weeks:

MARCH FIRST, SUNRISE

72-Sunrise-Early March_04

It’s March. The month of spring, the end of winter. My birthday. This morning, I woke up and looked out the window. It was sunrise. I wanted to go back to sleep. It was so early, but it was a pretty sunrise. Soon (I hope), there will be leaves on the trees. I won’t be able to see the sunrise until next winter.

72-Sunrise-Early March_03

So I went to get my camera. But it’s not that simple. The dogs were waiting. I managed to get them out the door and grab my camera. I took pictures, then went back out to give the required biscuit. You cannot just make the babies go out into the cold and not reward them with something. How do you say “that’s so wrong” in dog?

72-Sunrise-Early March_20

Now, as the light is fading, it’s snowing again. When I looked at the forecast last night, it said snow showers. Tops, an inch or two. Now the prediction calls for heavy snow, maybe five or six inches. Which, as these things go, isn’t much. The pile of snow on my deck is as high as my door. I can’t open my door. I haven’t been able to open it for weeks.

It isn’t supposed to snow again until Tuesday night. I’m relieved to hear that. Aren’t you?

72-Sunrise-Early March_06

I took all the pictures with the Pentax Q7 … and without my eyeglasses. I forgot to put them on, probably for the first time in 50 years. Let’s hear it for auto-focus.

I’VE GOT THE WINTER BLUES – SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Published on Feb 15, 2015 via YouTube

My collaborator, Leslie Martel of swo8 Blues Jazz did the work. Composed the music and wrote the words. She also put the video together. Posted it to YouTube. I think that’s all the work. I supplied the photographs.

This video is called Winter Blues, a unique, fun collaboration between me and composer-musician swo8 Blues Jazz.

I have more than enough snow pictures. And plenty of snow! Since the end of January, it has been a fury of storms and blizzards, one after another. Before this endless month is done, I expect I will have even more winter photographs.Too much snow and cold.Trapped in a winter nightmare.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s almost spring … isn’t it?