WINTER BLUES – SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

 IT’S FEBRUARY AND WE’VE GOT THE WINTER BLUES!


First published Feb 15, 2015 – 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 merely supplied photographs.

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

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It’s that time of year again and we’ve had our first blizzard. The forecast is for snow every day for the next six days, so I guess the season just got serious. This seems a good time to run this one again.

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Before this longest yet, ironically, shortest month is finished, I expect to have many more winter photographs. But it will end. It always has. So far!

It’s sort of almost spring … right?

SAILING – THE DAY OF THE MONARCHS

We named our little craft “Gwaihir,” after the Eagle Wind Lord from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” Really, she was a wind lady and a rather dainty girl at that. The name was perhaps a trifle pretentious for such a small craft, but I thought it would be a lucky name. Gwaihir was a 16-foot Soling with a centerboard, which is a retractable keel. With the board up, she drew only 16-inches. I used to tell friends that Gwaihir could sail on a wet hankie. I believe she could.

She was a surprisingly stable craft. We carried a 5 HP outboard motor so when tide and wind were against us, we could still get home. In the old days, sailboats had to drop anchor and wait for the tide, wind, or both to shift. Today, we have to get back in time for dinner … so we have outboard motors.

Sometimes, when the sea was calm and the wind was fair, we took Gwaihir out through Sloop Channel and Jones inlet to the ocean. Even a 3-foot roller looks huge when you are on the deck of such a small craft. My sailing partner was a madman on water. He would sail through thunder squalls because he liked the challenge. His father had been equally insane, so it must have been DNA.

Mostly though, I piloted her through the salt marshes, the shallow canals on Long Island’s south shore. She was ideal for shallow water sailing. We could move silently through nesting grounds of plovers, herons and divers, soundless except for a slight flapping of the jib. The birds were undisturbed by our passage and went about their business, our white sails wing-like in the breeze.

One bright day with a warm sun lighting the water and the sky blue as a robin’s egg, I anchored in a shallow, reedy spot, lay back on the bench and drifted off to sleep as I watched little puffy clouds scoot across the sky.

I awoke a while later and our white sail was covered with what seemed to be thousands upon thousands of monarch butterflies. I had drifted into their migration route and they had stopped for a rest on my little boat.

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I didn’t move or say anything. Just looked up and watched, thinking that if ever there had been a perfect day, crafted for my delight, this was it. Then, as if someone had signalled, they rose in a flock and flew onward to complete their long journey. And I sailed home.

CRAFT | THE DAILY POST

THE CHANGING SEASONS – AN UNUSUAL JANUARY

The Changing Seasons: January 2017


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It’s a new year. The last one zipped by in hyperdrive. A year ago today, we had just returned from Arizona. This year,  no such luck … but it has been a surprisingly warm month. Just one snow of any measurable amount. Other few little snows have not rated being shoveled, much less plowed.180-sunset-aldrich-st-210117_03

I really wanted to do just one picture this time, but the variability of the weather has made that difficult. We have been alternating springlike warm weather with deep winter cold and snow, often in as short an interval as 12 hours.

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«The Changing Seasons 2017» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the newer version (V2) where you can be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month.

Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2017. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed.

These are the rules (want the full introduction? Click Here), but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking.


The great Cardinal Guzman sponsors this challenge and it is my favorite. He is a wonderfully gifted and imaginative photographer. Whether or not you decide to participate, please visit and look at his amazing photography. You’ll be glad you did!

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

BRIGHT SHINY DAY

SHINE |THE DAILY POST


I am so tired this morning, I don’t feel at all shiny. Mostly, I feel like I need a few more hours of sleep. But, things to do today. Veterinarians to call. Coffee to drink. Dogs to send outside, even though it’s cold and they don’t entirely approve of snow. I understand Gibbs. He is unfamiliar with the stuff. This is his first exposure to winter outdoors, though I think he’s beginning to kick up his virtual heels a bit. But Bonnie was born on Halloween and raised during a hard winter. She loved snow and I have the pictures to prove it.

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She’s not a pup anymore. Now, she will go into the snow, but she’d rather hang out in the living room. On the sofa. With the central heat. Even though the sun is shining on the snow and all the world is aglow in the cold light of a bright winter’s day.

Odd how they change. Like people. I think if you asked her, she would tell you “Oh, I liked it well enough when I was a mere puppy, but now, I’m a grown up Scottie and I prefer to keep my paws warm and dry.” It’s hard to argue with her, but I miss my romping little girl who loved the snow.

PASSAGE THROUGH THE SNOW: BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY – GARRY ARMSTRONG

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: PASSAGE


It’s a snow day here in south central Massachusetts. Cold and blowy. Snow has been falling pretty heavily since late morning and now, it’s dark out. Seven in the evening. Dinner is finished. Dishes put away. We were both outside taking pictures earlier. I think Garry got just the right pictures for this topic.

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These are natural monochrome. It’s the way the world looks while snow is falling.