WEATHER OF THE SEASON – Marilyn & Garry Armstrong

Weekly Photo Challenge: Advent Weather

Sometime around now or next week or tomorrow, we usually get our first serious snow. The cold weather is coming … today was a warm, rainy fluke.

So here is my advent weather, a gallery of New England’s winter.

WINTER SOLSTICE DINNER TIME FOR BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

Winter Solstice – Time for Dinner

It was not a day for taking pictures of birds. It has been pouring all day. Even at midday, it was dark outside.

I have taken so many pictures over the past month, there were more than enough pictures to make a post for today. On this dark and dreary day, it seemed a good time for bright birds. And it was almost warm enough for flowers, though the meteorologists assure us that cold weather is fast approaching.

This warm day is just that. A day of warm rain … on the winter solstice.

Squared Hairy Woodpecker
Squared two Hairy Woodpeckers and a Warbler
Square impressionist birds at the feeder – Two Warblers and a Chickadee

COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Tuesday: Rain

Yesterday, when Garry was getting his ears tested, he commented that the sound of the rain was really bothering him. It was so LOUD.

The wet and rainy ride to vote

The audiologist said that it was bothering everybody, that she didn’t ever remember so much heavy rain, so continuously. I said that I thought that something was wrong with the house, that suddenly there was so much noise until I realized that a cloud had broken open and all the rain in the heavens was pouring down on our roof.

We have now had more than 20 inches of rain sing fall began and it’s not over yet unless it gets cold enough to be snow and that’s an even more formidable — if less noisy — weather pattern to contemplate. Last year, we got three blizzards in two weeks. That isn’t normal. One blizzard … maybe two … in a season is normal. Three in two weeks? Really?

Say what you want about climate change, I don’t think we are waiting for it. I think it’s here. This is the “new” weather. Unpredictable. Even our sharpest, smartest meteorologists no longer are able to give a reasonably definite forecast for as much as a day or two ahead.

It might rain. It might snow. It should get colder, but maybe not. Wind? Possibly but maybe only on the Cape or further north. They really aren’t sure because weather patterns are not doing what they always did before. We could (more or less) predict weather because it followed known patterns based on the seasons.

We aren’t even getting all the seasons now. Spring was never big here in New England, but now we aren’t getting autumn either and that is a serious loss. It didn’t ever last long enough, but it was the best weather of the year and certainly the most beautiful.

And just for thwarting, this was our trip to Connecticut. I don’t have any graphic software here so … this is just the way it looked through the front window …

No more predictability. While (overall) the world is getting hotter, the wild swings of weather mean that you may get hotter summers, but you also get buried in snow and ice at the other end of the cycle. Climate change isn’t one thing. It’s everything.

It doesn’t merely rain. It pours. We don’t get breezes. We get violent wind storms. Weekly or even more often. There’s no more “rarely” in weather. Everything is ramped up. It’s super snowmageddon or violent tides. Floods, drought, fire, mudslides. Everything is the biggest, worst of its kind until the next one which is even worse.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

It won’t get better unless we fix it and I’m not sure we will fix it. How do you get all of humanity and its governments united on saving their planet? How can you get so many people to agree on anything? Ever?

Our exterminator was here today. He assured me if blow ourselves up, the only living thing on earth will be cockroaches. That didn’t make me feel better at all.

COLD! CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cold


Is cold fun? It was okay when I was a kid, though I also remember trying to defrost my frozen feet. They make warm boots a lot better today than they did when I was a kid. I would have given a lot for a pair of water-resistant Emu boots … or any kind of Uggs!

Home during the blizzard
By the time the storm was over, we had twice this much
This is my favorite way to look at the snow — through the French doors

It has been getting very cold at night and sometimes, by day. We’ve been getting brushed by snow. Not really whacked by it as they have been further north, but it has been a very close shave. Soon enough, it will actually land right on us.

CLIMATE-INDUCED COMA – Marilyn Armstrong

I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to stay in bed, either. I just didn’t want to move. It isn’t too much turkey because we had ham. It’s just the dreary weather. Wet, chilly, always gray. There hasn’t been enough light from the morning sun to take a clear photograph of my Christmas Cacti.

Gray afternoon in winter

Why do they make us change time exactly when we really need that extra hour of light? It’s depressing getting dark before five in the evening. It reminds me of going to work in the dark and driving home in the dark. My office didn’t have a window, so winter got downright grim.

I’m not exactly in a coma. I’m not in a coma, but I feel like I am. I’m tired of the wind, the rain, the mud. The grayness of it all. I think at least one day out of every five should be sunny.

If it weren’t for the birds, I think I’d be going around ye olde bend. This isn’t even lovely winter weather. It’s just gloomy and it’s hard to get all worked up in the gray of day and the dark of night.

COMPARING SEASONS – Marilyn Armstrong

Weekly Photo Challenge: Comparison

Two weeks ago, we were still hoping to get a bit more autumn, but before we were finished hoping, it was snowing. Snowing? Before Thanksgiving? It produced the coldest Thanksgiving holiday ever.

Even though it has warmed up a bit today, by tomorrow, it will be bitterly cold again.

House in summer

October at home in Uxbridge
Photo: Garry Armstrong –Winter at home

No pictures of spring because that’s a season we don’t really get. It’s winter, then suddenly, summer.

FEEDING THE BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

We aren’t supposed to feed the birds. Not the swans or the pretty feathered ones. They are supposed to survive naturally. So I never put a feeder up. And I felt guilty every winter when I saw the poor frozen birds huddled in the bushes in the backyard.

This year, I said “Screw natural. We’ve destroyed their environment. We’ve killed the old forests and burned much of the rest. We’ve poisoned them with weed killer and let our pet cats eat millions of them every year … but we can’t feed them? Nuts to that.”

I decided it was the least I could do.

The latest climate report came out today. Because it’s Black Friday (which Garry called “Racist Friday”) and we are all supposed to be shopping (and no one I know actually was shopping at least partly because there aren’t a lot of places to shop), so maybe we’d miss that the entire report is nothing but bad news.

I wasn’t surprised. It has been pretty obvious that our environment is changing fast. Fires and floods. Spring and fall have gone missing. The bitter cold came too soon with snow in early November. Ocean water is more than 9-inches higher than it was 50 years ago.

There’s less snow in the mountains, so the drought in the west is probably permanent. It gets hotter and stays hotter longer each year and sooner rather than later, the crops will start to suffer. I think no matter how hard they try to manipulate the DNA for seeds, when it gets hot and stays hot, and doesn’t rain … the crops will fail.

People will die from the heat, die from lack of water. Eventually, people will also die from hunger. Rich people will survive longer, but sooner or later, the climate will get us all. Unless we go back to doing sensible things to deal with it. We can do it, but it’s not something any of us can do individually.

This needs to be a regional and national effort. This is why we have governments. They are supposed to care for us. It’s why we pay them money. I don’t think the idea was that we should pay them money so they can buy bigger private planes.

We need to get the big Orange Fool out of the White House and start taking care of our planet. While we can.

Meanwhile, I’m going to feed the birds!