THE CHANGING SEASONS: JUNE 2018 – Garry & Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: June 2018


And now, it is summer. Spring came late, but it came. Even though winter seemed to have lasted forever. By the end of March, it felt eternal.

Right now, the weather is as perfect as the weather ever gets. It’s comfortable and warm.

Sunny, with a light breeze. All my flowers are blooming and there’s a light scent of freshly cut grass in the air.

Generations by the Blackstone in June

I didn’t have to cut the grass myself. It helps me appreciate it more.

We’ve been out on a boat, clearing the gardens. Cutting down trees that weren’t even a sapling in March.

Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

Apparently, the long, cold winter gave the flowers inspiration. They are growing like crazy.

Vertical dock from the muddy edge of the river.
Downtown sheep
Sheep Shearing
Taking the wool to market


About the Changing Seasons:

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this SuLeslie’s “The Changing Seasons” post, she can update it with links to all of yours.

GOD HAS A PLAN – Marilyn Armstrong

I was still trying to figure out if John Oliver was really going off the air, or it was the end of this season, or we’d just missed the final few minutes of his piece because we have a stupid DVR that clips the final few minutes. Instead, the Sports News Final came on.

It was retribution for Bruins fans. They lost. Bigly. All five games. So I left it on until finally one player admitted that the other team “played better than us,” and no amount of analysis was going to change that. This was the hour that I spend trying to find all the missed typos in new posts and that usually  takes me about an hour.

Garry goes off to bed because he has a DVR in there with all his favorite old westerns on it … plus a bunch of 1930s and 1940s black and white movies he loves which I don’t love nearly as much. He watches with the headset on and he is finally happy. No one is going to ask him to do ANYTHING. He has found true peace.

At some undetermined point, the Bruins concluded their apologies to all their fans and it being late Sunday night, a preacher came on television to announce that God has a plan.

For everything. Every single thing.

March Equinox Sunrise

Everything you think. Every illness, every idea, every mistake. Everything. Effectively humans have no control over their lives because it’s all part of God’s huge, gigantic, amazing plan that covers everything, everywhere forever, amen and probably the Bruins will win next year.

After a while, the harangue got a bit intense and I had to turn it off. I was getting ready to yell back at the television and ask about cancer and pain and death and Donald J. Trump, but I have found that yelling at the TV isn’t nearly as effective as I want it to be.

I gave the dogs their final biscuit and went into the bedroom. I made Garry remove his headphones and told him that God has a plan.

“Okay,” he said. “What brought this on?”

“The Bruins lost five to nothing and then there was a preacher and he was shouting how God knows every idiotic idea in your head, every ridiculous thing that might happen to you or me or anyone, so no matter how painful or scary life is, IT IS ALL PART OF GOD’s PLAN.”

“What were you WATCHING?’ he asked me. He then pointed out that on television they were singing Shall We Gather At The River with the ultimate intention of hanging someone.

I pointed out that this too was part of God’s plan and Garry said I should stop watching that stuff because it was ruining his viewing experience.

So, I wrote this instead. By the way — they hanged the guy. Not to worry because it was all part of God’s plan. I know because they told me. On television. So it must be true.

FLAUNTING? Marilyn Armstrong

Some people like to flaunt stuff.

They get a new car and they want to make sure every single person they know — or almost know, or might know in the future — see it. Most of us like to show off new stuff, but we have limits. We don’t show off everything and we don’t do it all the time.

Along the Atlantic …

I think of those who flaunt as people who wear and use bright colors. I’m not one of the them. I get uncomfortable if too many people notice me. I’ve stopped wearing most large jewelry because I don’t want people to see it or comment on it.

It’s just a thing. To each his own, but that isn’t my way.

But I do like having work I write read. Does that count? And having pictures looked at, too. That’s sort of flaunt-ish, right?

THE AMAZING CHANGING SEASONS: APRIL 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: April 2018

Speaking of changing, what a month! For that matter, what a couple of months this has been. Crazy weather.

The Nice Weather Gallery

Not that crazy isn’t an inherent part of our New England weather. The northeastern piece of this continent has weather that is utterly unpredictable, especially as winter tries to turn into spring and generally fails.

Good morning little red finch!

Typically, we get winter. Then we get the end of winter which is like winter with occasional warmer days sandwiched between cold ones.

The Not Nice Weather Gallery

I suppose what has made this “spring” particularly difficult has been the cold. By this time of year, I’m usually turning down the heat, opening the windows. Cleaning out the garden. Getting excited about daffodils and glorying in the yellowness of forsythia.

As of right now, we have no flowers. We have had crocuses and they were lovely and we have a lot of growth — the beginning of what I fondly believe will be flowers in a couple of weeks. Maybe even less. But as of right now? It’s the end of the winter. Freezing temperatures at night, warming into the high forties or low fifties in the middle of the day.

Snow along the road

And then there were the super storms. We are not on the seashore, so we didn’t get the kind of battering people living closer to the ocean have gotten. During the past ten years, we’ve gotten giant storms, often stretching from coast-to-coast or taking up most of the Atlantic Ocean.

The scientists dealing with climate change believe these super storms are prime indicators of climate change.  It’s not that we don’t get strange weather in New England, but rarely do we get three super storms with hurricane-level winds in less than two weeks. With snow and rain and sleet and flooding.

Almost daffodils

It’s sort of like the weather we have always gotten multiplied by a factor of five. Very intense weather packed tightly together.

We will have spring and in many places, today was the day it seemed to show up. It was love here today. Blue skies, moderate weather and the song of the Carolina wren can be heard all around the property.

Christmas cactus ready to bloom again

Tomorrow, there will be rain and wind — but after that, I think we will have a few days of spring and then it will be summer. I’m hoping I can get down to clean up the garden before the flowers open. It’s really hard to rake when the day lilies are blooming and the roses are rampant in the garden.

TWO BY TWO – SUNRISE-SUNSET

Photo Challenge – Rise and Set

For this week’s photo challenge, explore the vibrant, hopeful colors of your favorite sunrise or sunset.

Other than from the direction, you can’t tell if the sun is coming up or setting. I’ve done all the checking I can and in fact, the light is the same. It depends on the season of the year, but the coloring is identical otherwise.

And yet we are fascinated by the coming and going of the sun. Even when I was a child, I used to stand outside and watch the sky, sometimes for a full hour from late afternoon until final darkness, watching the delicate changes in the sky and the clouds and the way the light filtered through the trees.

I have not yet lost my wonder.


The rising sun in the mountains in October
A gull at sunrise
Sunset in Douglas
Sunset through clouds

DAWN, DUSK, AND NIGHT

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:
Sunset to Sunrise (including nighttime photography)


And because I like to keep an even keel, I’ve given you one of each!

Sunrise in Vermont
Sunset in Arizona
Night in Uxbridge

 

CAPTIVATING AND ALSO, THE MOTOR VEHICLE BUREAU

Captivating. Adorable. Charming.
And then, there’s the Motor Vehicle Bureau


For me, that would probably mean dogs, cats, birds, horses … and anything going on in New England in the Autumn. And, okay … those first few minutes after snow has fallen when the world is hushed and completely white, blanketed in snow so that every little thing is hidden by that perfect white frosting.

Late afternoon with the sun low in the sky
The little white house with the big red tree
The Duke
Gibbs
Bonnie 
Sunrise – Home on the Vernal Equinox
Manchaug
Sunset
Vermont
Sunset – Jackman, Maine

I hope you will find this all quite captivating. It makes me years to go out and shoot a few more pictures. Except today, we are off to the Motor Vehicle Bureau because — yes, it has come around again and Garry is past 75 and he has to go in and prove he can see and understand simple instructions. I think from this point on in our lives, we are never going to escape again.

At least we can still renew the registration by mail. I’m going to try to deal with this with as little stress as I can manage. Thing beautiful images, oh self. Think sunrise and mountains and rivers and don’t think about bureaucrats.

Today, I am thinking captivating, beautiful