THE CHANGING SEASONS – JUNE 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong

THE CHANGING SEASONS – JUNE 2020 – AND SO MUCH MORE …


What a strange and haunted year we have had. We are living in a world we never imagined except perhaps as a science fiction novel of the dystopian future. We don’t go anywhere, although today we went to the vet to say goodbye to Bonnie … and the grocery to say hello to food.

It’s almost a weird kind of relief that we finally let her go. This has been looming for close to a year. I remember last summer refusing to take even a short vacation because I felt she needed care and no one else had the time to give it to her. I haven’t absorbed it yet, but the Duke is grieving. Lots of sighing and moaning. When they walked her away up the ramp he started to cry and we cried with him.

Good bye Bonnie. Your were the best little girl ever and we will always miss you.



From Su Leslie:

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 post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

MAY 2020 – THE CHANGING SEASONS, A DIFFERENT WORLD – MARILYN ARMSTRONG

The Changing Seasons, May 2020


To say that the world is a different place than it was last month and completely different than the month before, AND has almost nothing to do with last spring or even last winter is probably an understatement. I hardly know where to start. Plagues,  riots and warm winter without snow which, in one night, turned into summer.

Whatever comes out of this, it’s going to be different. Possibly very different. Or maybe not. Does anyone know? I sure don’t know.

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 (Choose your favorite format):

Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month

Don’t use archived stuff. Only new material! Except for maybe this and last month when a lot of us have gotten out of the house much — or at all.

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to SuLeslie’s post, she can update all the entries with links.

THE CHANGING SEASONS MARCH 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, March 2020


I suspect we will all remember this as the month during which we saw the full-throttle arrival of Coronavirus. My birthday was March 11th and we went out to dinner. The following day, they closed Massachusetts and much of the rest of the country. Interesting birthday. Interesting times.

My picture taking opportunities are limited to whoever flies to our deck to eat from the feeders … and will hold still long enough for me to get a picture.

I have pictures of lots of Goldfinches, House Finches, and a few common sparrows as well as flying squirrels and three young raccoons who come to raid our seeds every night.

They eat by sticking their paws into the holes in the feeder and pulling out pawsful of seeds, dropping about half of them on the deck in the process. This inspires all the ground birds to show up the next day to eat the seeds, though they never really clean up the mess that the raccoons make.

For flowers, we have some crocuses as well as some healthy orchids. Otherwise, we haven’t been anywhere except the grocery to pick up prescriptions or something to drink, bread, and cream cheese.

There’s no delivery here for anything. Not groceries or medication. They will mail drugs, but that takes a few days and I have a tendency to not realize I’m out of that medication until I’m really out of that medication. Garry’s even worse than me — AND our mail has a funny way of not showing up in any reasonable time frame.

Part of the problem is that even when our post office is fully staffed, there are only three or four deliverers for this area. Now, there are maybe two still working. Everything is being delivered very slowly including shipments from Amazon. I have stuff that’s been waiting for more than a month for delivery.

I am grateful to the orchids and the birds. All our Goldfinch have turned brilliant yellow, ready for mating. The House Finches are richly red and the Brown-headed Cowbirds are back.

BIRDS, BEES, FLOWERS, POLLEN, AND A VIRUS – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons


It was such a warm winter — with no snow at all — that spring is arriving without the usual fanfare. I don’t know how well out “outside” flowers are doing because I don’t go out. I can tell the season is changing because the birds are beginning to show their breeding colors. It’s odd.

They usually change more or less all at the same time, but this year, it’s rather patchy. Some are fully feathered in their finest mating displays. Others are partly changed. One has a bright yellow head, but a dull greenish body while another had brilliant yellow wings but was a dull green everywhere else.

Very yellow and ready to mate!

House Finch on the rail

House Finch

I have seen quite a few fledglings recently from their nests, so some of the Goldfinch are already breeding. The other day, I saw the first Brown-headed Cowbirds of the year. Most of the House Finches are deep red and obviously ready to mate.

There are buds on the trees and the pollen count is up.

We have the green shoots for the daffodils, tulip, and daylilies, but they are just shoots. Not ready for blooming. But it is very early in the gardening year for the northeast.

And finally, inside we are growing a beautiful array of orchids and hoping to stay healthy while trying hard to not worry. Worry is the ultimate waste of time. We always worry about the wrong things anyway. Whatever is coming, will come, with or without months of angst.

THE CHANGING SEASONS, JANUARY 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, January 2020


This hasn’t been a normal January. We had no measurable snow and only 4 out of 31 days have been lower than average January temperature. Every other day was higher than average bringing this month in as the third warmest recorded.

Most of my pictures this month were birds. Without snow to make the landscape interesting, there hasn’t been much to photograph. Glad I have the birds!

At the very end, I realized my Christmas cactus is blooming again and my big purple orchid is about to bloom too.

Orchid ready to bloom

I almost missed it!

Icy small canal off the Mumford Dam

Wide view of mid-winter on the Mumford


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 1 (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 2 (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 Su Leslie’s original post, she can update it with links to all of yours.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – JULY 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, July 2019 – Our Hottest July Ever!

It’s official. This has been the hottest July in recorded weather history … 140 years worth. Not only have these been the hottest days, but they have also been the hottest nights with temperatures rarely dropping below the 80s.

I haven’t been outside much. For an asthmatic, this is bad karma. The hot, wet air makes it difficult to breathe and lacking inhalers (because I can’t afford them), being inside is a lot safer.

I did take a few pictures in the garden and of the newly repainted deck, but this hasn’t been much of a photographic month. If someone turns down the thermostat and the humidity, maybe we’ll have some breathable air. Right now, it’s like trying to inhale hot soup. Whatever that stuff is, it isn’t real air.

The newly refinished deck — which is also why there are no birds. It was time to take in the feeders until the fall. I miss my birds!

The Garden – Daylily Central!

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 Su-Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – JUNE 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, June 2019

I took more than 2000 pictures in May, but June, not so many. Part of that was taking down the bird feeders. I really miss the birds. I got a few bird pictures early in June before I emptied the feeders. I didn’t realize how much I counted on being able to take great pictures without driving somewhere or even trekking outside with the camera.

Mourning Dove

But on the other hand, Rich Paschall came to visit from Chicago and it was great. To finally meet someone you’ve known online for many years was a huge treat. Despite it raining the entire time he was here, we still managed to get outside to take some pictures.

Mostly, it has rained. We are hoping to paint our deck. Owen power washed it, but we need two days of dry weather and then a third to do the painting. We have yet to get three non-rainy days in a row. We live in hope.

The pictures which follow are mine and Garry’s, taken whenever and wherever it wasn’t raining. We tried to cover as much territory as we could. Not bad, all the wet weather considered!

Rich, Marilyn, and Garry by the Blackstone Canal
By the Blackstone in Smithfield, Rhode Island
Tom and Ellin, Marilyn and Garry in the Marina, Connecticut
Flowers
Birds and Squirrels

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 Su-Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.

APRIL IS ALMOST SPRING – Marilyn Armstrong

FLOWERS IN APRIL – FOTD – 04/22/2019

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

The Sunny Gallery

It has been raining relentlessly forever, it seems. We get a couple of nice days … then a week of gray weather and pouring rain. No worries about dry rivers this year!

Red-bellied woodpecker and his friend, the Tufted Titmouse

Bright Goldfinch

Not that crazy isn’t an inherent part of our New England weather. Our weather is unpredictable, especially as winter tries to turn into spring — and usually fails, until May when suddenly, it’s summer.

An Easter bouquet

It was lovely here Monday and Tuesday. Blue skies, warm weather and the song of the Carolina Wren can be heard all around the property. Today the gray weather showed up again, but it’s not supposed actually rain again until Friday and Saturday. But no sunshine, either.

Tomorrow, there will be rain and wind — but after that, I’m hoping to clean up the garden before the rest of the flowers open. It’s hard to rake when the daylilies are blooming. And half the rhododendrons are dead and need cutting back.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – MARCH 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

HIBERNATING THROUGH MARCH

The season didn’t change much here, though I suppose it got warmer overall. Mostly, though, the birds changed. I spent the month hibernating. This is the time of year when I really begin to hate our weather.

We are (usually) past major amounts of snow, though some of the heaviest snow we’ve ever seen has shown up in March and April. In this area in 1997, 36 inches of snow fell on April 1st and almost 25 in Boston.

Garry’s Snow Pictures

There is a storm on the way, but I am expecting mostly rain. I could be wrong, but I’m counting on being right.

Birds in March

Red-Bellied Woodpecker at feeding time

We got the heaviest snow of the winter at the beginning of the month and Garry took the pictures. It took about a week to melt and then it got warm, rained, was windy, got cold. Then a day or two of warm.

Garry’s Valley In March

Cardinal back in the woods

I’m trying to pay as little attention as I can to the news. I’m not very good at it, but I keep trying. All of the news from everywhere on the globe, but even more from here, is bad. I feel like the entire world has gone wrong. I really want to live through this and see it get better. I do not want this to be the last I see of this world!

Cardinal in the woods

We see each other!

Scarred and scornful, I stand my ground!

One of my birthday bouquets!

And the new bathroom!


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 Su-Leslie’s post, she will update it with links to of yours.

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.

THE CHANGING SEASON – YEAR IV – JANUARY 2018 – GARRY & MARILYN ARMSTRONG

The Changing Seasons, January 2018


Home during the blizzard

It started with three years of host Cardinal Guzman — Max — who did a wonderful job. I’m so glad Su Leslie has taken over. It has been a great deal of fun to follow the seasons through the years, especially in this region where we have four seasons, but in some years, more like six or seven!

Right now, it’s deep winter. Except it has warmed up, the snow has been washed away by two days of pouring rain and today the sun was out and the temperature was up. The climate is changing. You can argue about it all you like, but it is happening anyway. I think it’s more obvious some places than others.

The old tractor

Regardless, January is not much of an outdoor month. It’s cold, frequently snowy, with warm breaks and mud between the storms.

And one birthday party

The Duke

Bonnie and Gibbs

Garry took all of the outdoor  shots in the blizzard. Mine are entirely indoors. I don’t seem to have quite the energy to get “out this and into the weather” these days.

RULES OF THE SEASONS

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.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – DECEMBER 2017 AND THE YEAR COMES TO AN END

I didn’t do a lot of shooting this month. Almost all of the little I did was taken indoors. Lots of dogs and Christmas trees.

We had a little bit of snow at the beginning of the month and a tiny bit more here and there, but mostly, it has been cold and dry. It is supposed to snow tomorrow or the day after, but not soon enough for photography this month.


Su Leslie has mentioned that she is willing to run this challenge next year, so if you feel like joining in, make sure to follow her blog where this challenge will continue to live on without Max (Cardinal Guzman) as host. He has done a brilliant job and I have very much enjoyed the challenge from year to year. Thanks, Max! Please check out his beautiful photography on his site.


Almost all of these were shot today — a few earlier in the month. I hope to see all of you next year. Have a great holiday season and may winter not be too cruel to any of you.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Marilyn on Main Street – Photo: Garry Armstrong

TheChangingSeasons_6367

THE CHANGING SEASONS: NOVEMBER 2017

The Changing Seasons: November 2017


November is one of the two non-photogenic months in the valley, the other being March. Last year, we got lucky. We had an exceptionally long autumn that lasted through most of November.

The perfect image for the month

Not this year, though. Autumn came late and ended early and now, we have mostly bare trees with some hanging brown leaves. And unlike in the bigger cities, we don’t have much hint of Christmas here. Not yet. Around the second week in December, everything will light up, but until then, it has been gray and rainy and cold.

And windy, I should add.

Please visit Max, Cardinal Guzman to see his wonderful pictures!

What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?

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

These are the rules for Version 1 (The 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 (The 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!

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

SUMMER SOLSTICE – THE CHANGING SEASONS, JUNE 2017

The Changing Seasons: June 2017

This has been the coldest, wettest spring I can remember and today is the start of our official summer. Longest day of the year, and from now on, each day will be just a little bit shorter. It’s hard to believe.

My garden is incredibly green. It has rained almost nonstop since the melting of the snows in March. Green, but without flowers. Mostly it has been dark and chilly. The roses are branching out like barbed wire with roots … and not a single bud. The lilies have buds, but no flowers. The columbine are gone for the year. Even the hosta are looking pathetic.

All of these pictures were taken during the perhaps three or four days of sunshine we’ve had … or indoors. I have gone out to shoot half a dozen times … and come back with nothing much.

Vines in the woods

That rarely happens, but this time it did. I’m not sure what all this dark, wet weather means relative to autumn to come. Super wet weather frequently means a rather dull autumn.

Summer woods

Many of the photos are Garry’s and the rest are mine except for the one shot by the stranger who snapped us at a restaurant we were visiting with friends.

Max “The Cardinal” has more interesting pictures to show, so drop by his site and take a look.

Speaking of weather, no matter who says what about the changing weather? This has been one peculiar year.

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