CONTRAST: SPRING TO WINTER AND BACK AGAIN

CONTRAST: SPRING TO WINTER AND BACK AGAIN IN LESS THAN A WEEK

It’s snowing again today. Like yesterday, but more steadily. A fine, dry snow that means business. None of the fat, wet flakes that are decorative, but frivolous — for snow. We had a veterinarian appointment today for Gibbs and Bonnie.

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I looked out the window, realized I was not going to even try wrangling two Scotties into the car, then drive on slippery roads (they don’t plow this time of year; they let nature take its course) for an hour (usually half an hour; longer with ice and snow).

Especially since it’s not an emergency visit. It can wait a week.

weather map

It’s gotten cold out there. Yesterday felt like joke, not to be taken seriously. Temperature rose into the forties before the snow stopped falling. Essentially, it was all gone before nightfall.

Not today.

Today it has that grey, grim sky thing happening that say “I’m gonna get you, sucker!”

When I called the vet, I started by saying “I bet you won’t be surprised when I say I’d like to reschedule today’s appointments.”

“Not at all,” she said. She was laughing.

Weather report

“This is so wrong,” I said.

“I know,” she said. “It’s like Mother Nature felt that winter wasn’t bad enough, so she decided to give us a bit more, just so we didn’t feel cheated.”

A couple of days ago, my woods looked ready to bloom.

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March 31, 2016

March 30, 2016

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April 2, 2016

The forsythia were beginning to bloom.

Now … how about today and yesterday?

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The Vernal Equinox came. You can’t argue with the Equinox. It happens and the earth literally shifts into the tilt towards warm weather. Polar Vortex, be gone! Your time has passed.

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By next weekend, it will be over, finally and fully.

A week from today, the Red Sox will open their season at Fenway Park. Play ball!

SNOW? REALLY? SERIOUSLY?

What? It’s spring, isn’t it? Just yesterday, I was looking at the fat buds on the daffodils and noticing that the forsythia has started blooming.

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It was hard to believe the forecast. Snow? Really? High winds? Really? Easter is over. Is this a joke?

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More is expected tomorrow. After that, can we please settle down and “do spring?” Like a normal place?

SPRING IS SPRUNG

Ode to Spring

“Spring has sprung,

The Grass has riz,

I wonder where the flowers is?

The little bird is on the wing,

But that’s absurd!

Because the wing is on the bird!”

A ditty by Unknown

It will be near 70 degrees tomorrow. That’s 21 in Celsius, by the way. Weather just doesn’t get nicer than this.

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This is it. We wait for it all year. We dream of it while we shovel tons of snow and wash the residue of salt from our car’s under-body.

Solomon's Seal

Solomon’s Seal

We yearn for it through mud season while mopping the mess off the floors. Will winter never end? Will spring never come?

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Winter ended.

Spring came.

I wonder where the flowers is?

THE CHANGING SEASONS: VERNAL EQUINOX 2016

THE CHANGING SEASONS: MARCH 2016

Welcome to spring! Sunday was the Vernal Equinox, when day and night were the same length.

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Knowing it was the first day of spring, I set my alarm to wake me in time to photograph the sunrise. This sequence of shots were all take during the approximately 2 minute window of the equinox.

SUNDAY MORNING: DAWN ON THE EQUINOX

Spring is here. The earth rejoices. Me too!

And then, the following morning (yesterday), the fickle finger of fate, known locally as “the weather” decided to make a point.

MONDAY MORNING: DAWN, 2nd DAY OF SPRING

Please visit Cardinal Guzman’s gorgeous site to see his amazing pictures and find links to other participants in this wonderful year-long challenge!

The Rules:

These are the rules for Version 1 (Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

This is a fascinating challenge and if you take pictures, you will enjoy it. This is my second year as a participant and I still love it!

DROP, DROP, DROP

DROP

It is raining. It has been raining hard and steadily for two days — so far. According to the forecast, it is going to continue to do this for at least a week. After which, there’s a good chance we’ll have a short break followed by more rain.

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It’s mud season in New England.

This is not unusual. March is traditional mud and flood season. A combination of melting snow and spring rains turns the ground to goo. Mold grows on every surface. Did you know that vinyl siding can grow green with mold? It can and does.

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This year, we have no melting snow, but we are getting plenty of rain. We need the rain. (Rain is good. OM.)

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Although I am painfully aware of just how badly we need water to refill rivers, ponds, and the aquifer, a lot of rain in a very short time makes life difficult.

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The good news about rain? You don’t have to shovel it. When it’s over, usually that’s the whole story. The flowers and other plants love and need it. It refills our wells.  Our water pressure gets better when the well is full.

The bad news?

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Mud. Yucky, sucking black mud. With many paws coming in and out of the house, the amount of dirt is impressive. It doesn’t take long to make our living room floor suitable for planting.

If the rain continues with enthusiasm for a long time, the valley will flood. The rivers rise over their banks and try to eat the towns. This is a river valley in which every town is built along one or more rivers, so it’s messy.

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Basements flood. We’ve got a system of French drains as well as a sump and a pump. In recent years, this has been enough to keep the water outside, but if it gets bad enough … well, it goes to show you never can tell.

Anyone who has ever been in a flood knows what I mean. You can’t hold back water.

It starts with a drop, continues with millions upon millions of drops. After which, there is the mud.

OBJECTS IN SUNSHINE

OBJECTS IN SUNSHINE

Object lesson of the day: I picked up my camera. Removed the lens cap. Pressed the ‘on’ button. Nothing happened.

I panicked.

Then I changed the battery.

Lesson: Before you panic, check the battery. You’d think after 40 years, I’d have figured it out by now, wouldn’t you?


It is not spring. That’s two weeks in the future, but the weather hasn’t looked at the calendar. It thinks it’s spring. I’m not about to argue the point.

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It’s lovely. Warm. Gentle breeze. Bright blue sky. Too early for leaves, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the forsythia bloomed early. After three years of brutal winters when snow lingered late, what a treat this warm, friendly weather is.

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The open dutch door lets in the fresh air — a luxury after a winter with everything closed up tight.

Sunshine is streaming through the aloe by the sink. The light glows in a little bottle on the window sill.

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It’s almost my birthday … just two more days. The gypsy fortune-teller was wrong. I did not die in my 68th year (so there, gypsy lady). I might make it to the big 70!

Today, it’s too warm for my “between season” jacket! Too warm for a sweatshirt. Perfection will be more rain until our rivers are full again.

THE CHANGING SEASONS: FEBRUARY 2016

The Changing Seasons: February 2016

This is the final month of deep winter in New England — but we have had a rather gentle winter. Only two snows of any significance. We’ve had terribly hard winters for the past few years, so I can’t begin to express how pleased I am to not have one this year.

February has been a mixed bag. Several weeks of a snowy landscape, as lovely as a picture postcard or a Currier and Ives print.

Otherwise, plain naked trees and gray skies. A world waiting for spring.

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Spring is a month in the future. Technically. It could yet snow. Winter could have a “last stand,” a last frigid final week of below zero temperatures. But I think not.

By late February, even if we should get snow, it doesn’t stay long — and rarely does the mercury dip much below freezing. The world has moved around the sun. The planetary tilt says “spring.” It will come.

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The birds are gradually returning. Soon, we’ll see a robin and won’t that be lovely.

Check out these links to other entries: