JUNE IS SQUARE – ROOF 13 – Garry Armstrong

It’s that time of year again and squares are back! 

An old red barn (circa 1750) and a roof

It’s also the museum in River Bend park by the Blackstone Canal.


Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer). Your roof can be;

A – any type, any condition, any size, and in any location.
B – it could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro
C – you might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.


See you tomorrow!

OF THE EARTH: CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE – Garry Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Ground: sand, dirt, grass, paths


When I took my excursion earlier this month, I took a lot of pictures of the ground. I had no idea why. The grass, the roads, the concrete. A gravel path. Our sidewalk.

Marilyn asked me why I’d take so many pictures of the ground and I said it was going to come in useful one day. Today seems to be the day!

Gravel path to the river
Dogs in their yard
Great green lawn
Shipping parking lot
Ground in the woods

REMEMBERING LAZY SUMMER DAYS – Marilyn Armstrong

Remember?

School was out. The days were long and warm. There was no homework. You played games with your friends and if it wasn’t too hot, you jumped rope or rode your bike.

You moved slowly. No one had air-conditioning. You took it slow and the days were lazy and just a bit sleepy.

In Israel, summer was even lazier. It was the heat. By the time you got to August, you moved as little as possible. If there was a way you could just stay in the water all the time, that would have worked fine.

These days, though, in New England summer is “catch up” time. Because winter is when your house gets eaten by snow, ice, and icicles, now more lovingly known as “ice dams.” Icicles didn’t sound evil, but ice dams do.

Summer is stockpiling the wood. Patching the roof. Replacing shingles and the sagging windows. Tearing down the old rotting things and putting up new stuff to survive the winter to come.

The sagging window has to go and so does the rotting outdoor shower. You have to hurry, hurry, hurry because summer is short while winter is long and hard. If you don’t get it done before October, it probably won’t get done until next year.

Who dares predict what will be next year? I barely know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Our really lazy days are in the winter when we are socked inside by piles of snow. So much of our winter are snow days, roads covered with ice and a storm coming before we’ve figured out how to dig out of the one we just had.

Laying in supplies. Hoping it doesn’t get too cold — and the price of heating oil doesn’t go through the moon.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Hoping no one, nothing gets sick. There’s little you can do about anything much in the winter, so those are the lazy slow days. Okay, you have to wear two sweaters, but you aren’t going anywhere — unless you are one of the lucky snowbirds who fly to a warmer climate.

No more lazy days of summer. No more slow golden autumn weeks, either. The closer to winter it gets, the more frenzied you get trying to finish off the stuff which you can only do when the weather is warm.

The cows know when it’s time to lay in the grass and just relax

But today, I am tired. I need some warm, lazy weeks. Some slow days without appointments and plans. A few months when my hobby seems less like a job and my worry level can drop off and leave me to sleep in peace.

I expect we could all use that. Much more of that.

GOLDEN TREES AND THE ROAD HOME – CEE’S WHICH WAY PHOTOS – Garry & Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

I had forgotten about these pictures. I have never seen this happen to trees, but something was going on with the sun filtering through the clouds and the naked trees. It was a year ago last March. I never did anything with the pictures.

Full golden trees
Sky and almost home – Route 146

Last night, I wanted to use one of them and realized my processing had advanced a great deal since I’d taken the pictures. I went back and realized most of them had never been processed at all.

Almost the end of the road and nearly night – I think maybe Garry really took this one. Usually, we use different cameras, so it’s easy to tell, but this time, we were sharing one.
Golden trees while coming home

Most (not all, but most) were taken through the window of the car, so they were a bit distorted from that. A few were taken when we got off route 146 and were only a mile from home.

We parked as soon as we exited Rt. 146 and we started handing the camera back and forth. I think I took this one, but it might have been Garry.
This was when I realized the light was doing something amazing to the trees. I took all the shots through the car window because Garry was driving. We pulled off as soon as we could safely do so.

So all of these are from the same drive. The gold in the trees was a natural thing and had something to do with the color of the clouds, which were quite dark. It was also just about the vernal equinox when the colors seem strange and we have the most exciting sunrises and sunsets.

Garry shot this of the overpass over Chocolog Road.
Route 146 crossing Chocolog Road in Uxbridge

I have never seen the sun do this to the trees before or since. No idea what happened, but I’m very glad I was able to catch it on camera. I should mention that no amount of sharpening makes the trees look normal. It was a play of light and the branches seem to be glowing.

Bridge and the fading light

Also, notice that the trees have no leaves. The glow around them makes them look like they have leaves, but other than fir trees, everything is bare.

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Gold

I live in the land of gold, at least for somewhere around a month every year. Autumn is golden time here in the northeast unless we are rudely interrupted by a hurricane or a very early snow. Sometimes, the gold lasts right through November and finally vanishes in December.

Lackey Dam, ducks and a swan
Mallards on the Mumford

Followed about one week later by a major blizzard. I’m not sure why, but that’s the way it seems to work.

HOME AND THE GIANT FIX-IT LIST – Marilyn Armstrong

It may be grubby, but it’s home.

Home is …

where the DVRs record the shows we watch.

where the bed is comfortable and we can sleep.

where the dogs are … dirt and all.

where the furniture isn’t classy, but is back-friendly and lets me put my feet up so my ankles don’t swell.

where my stuff lives.

 

It’s grubby. Frayed at the edges. Dusty. Full of memories, hopes and dreams. It ain’t fancy, big, or likely to impress anyone. Lots of things need fixing, replacing, painting, cleaning.

For all that, it’s incredibly comfortable. It has soft edges and inviting places to sit and rest. The roof don’t leak … and most of all,  it’s ours.

GOOD MORNING – MEMORIAL DAY IN THE U.S. – Marilyn Armstrong

Unlike most other American holidays, we retain a bit of respect for a day that honors veterans of our many wars. The cemeteries will be full of flags and visitors.

Otherwise, this is “grill your meat” day. It is the official opening of summer. Everything closed all winter opens on Memorial Day.

Macro Begonia

I have a problem with grilling insofar as we don’t own a grill. Well, we do, sort of. A tiny hibachi which uses charcoal. The amount of labor required to cook two hamburgers on a hibachi exceeds any joy we might get from eating them, so I think I’ll cook normally. Finally, I understand why gas grills have become so popular.

Flick, it’s on. No lighting the charcoal and waiting until it finally gets to the right color … and then waiting for it all to chill down so you can figure out what to do with the ashes. (Answer? Put them in the garden; they make a pretty good fertilizer.)

Tomorrow isn’t supposed to be a nice day. Grey and chilly like today, though we might get a little bit of sunshine. Hard to know. By Wednesday, summer will make another appearance.

We used to give barbecues in the summer. When we were younger. When I could still get from the deck to the lawn without a chair lift. For that matter, when Garry could get from the lawn to the deck on those long, steep stairs.

If the sun comes out, maybe I’ll take some pictures. Otherwise … it’s will be another Monday. Holidays don’t pack the same oomph they had when we were working.

When every day is a “day off,” a three-day holiday is another day off, but with a lot more traffic.