SUMMERTIME – MAY IN THE MIDDLE

Photo: Garry Armstrong

This is how it works in New England. It starts with winter. Which may begin as early as September, but more typically gets moving around Thanksgiving … but may hold off until late January. The worst winter we ever had (that was measurable) started January 29, 2015. We hadn’t had so much as a serious flurry.

From the end of January until March, we were hit by just about 12 feet of snow. That is a lot of snow, no matter how you count it or what measurements you use.ย Other years, we’ve gotten significant snow in early November and notย seen the ground until the following April.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

About spring. It’s our most ephemeral season. Many years, we go directly from winter to summer without a weekend to go buy a bathing suit. The first year I spent in New England, the temperature hit 90 degrees in early April and never dropped until suddenly, in September, the temperature fell by 60 degrees. Autumn arrived.

Pink wildflowers by the river

This year was as typical or at least as typical as spring gets. Cold, wet, cold, wet, windy, cold wet. In the middle of May, overnight, the clouds broke. The next day, it hit 96 degrees on the clock in the middle of town. While all the cold, wet, and windy weather was doing its thing, flowers were budding and leaves were beginning to pop.

Thus, I went out and took some pictures today. I was surprised that we have no sign of roses yet. Usually we see rose buds by mid May, but not this year.

Look closely and you can see the tiny black caterpillars destined to eat every leaf on the trees.

Bad news? The caterpillars are back. Tiny little Gypsy Moth caterpillars are crawling all over the oak trees along the canal. How bad will it be this year? No way to know. We had a lot of rain and that may help … but there’s really no way to know. Our property has been sprayed as much as we can without killing everything. It won’t solve the larger problem, but it will make it possible for us to come and go from our house without getting assaulted by hairy, poisonous caterpillars.

I’m trying to focus on enjoying the flowers and leaves while we have them. And hoping the trees survive another defoliation.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

There’s nothing “gradual” about weather in this part of New England. It doesn’t change a little bit from minute to minute. It can change with hilarious suddenness. Back when Garry and I were living in Boston, one warm November day, we walked to the nearby bar to grab some lunch. We were wearing shorts and tee shirts. We were there for an hour and half.

When we hit the door to depart, it was 35 degrees and blowing a minor gale. We ran all the way home.

18 thoughts on “SUMMERTIME – MAY IN THE MIDDLE

  1. Through a photographers eye you see the beauty in everything and look at the world differently. I used to hate the winter snow and ice but since taking photos of it I see it differently. Love all your photos showing how green the Spring arrival can be.

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    • It is an incredibly rich time in the valley. If it weren’t for the oncoming caterpillars, I’d be a lot happier about it. I’m going out tomorrow to try and grab some more pictures. The weather has turned hot and it is summer

      You do develop a different eye when you take pictures. The good part it finding beauty in all kinds of places The bad part is that you stop looking at the world as “the world” and instead, tend to see it as photographs. I went for almost a decade NOT taking pictures because I felt like I only saw the world as pictures and had forgotten how to see “the whole thing.” Of course, one day, I needed a camera. I think I’m a little better at seeing the whole thing, but it is a problem. Not that different from seeing everything that happens as a new post!

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  2. Seasons are always strange in NE but also so gorgeous. Maine got a weird spring too with high temperatures dropping back to almost winter and then up again. Hope for a lovely summer for you two in Mass. Gorgeous photos, as always.

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