THE CHANGING SEASONS, DECEMBER 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, December 2019

The weather has definitely become an issue around here. We got some snow at the end of November and then again at the beginning of December. That appears to have been winter.

Since then, we’ve had heavy rain, a week of bitterly cold days, a few light dustings of snow, a lot of days so warm we had to put flea and tick collars back on the dogs because the moment the temperature goes into the 50s and 60s, the fleas and ticks pop up as if summer never ended.

For those who are waiting for climate change to show up, I have a flash for them. It’s here.

Many of us already live in hotspots where the temperature has met or exceeded the 2 degree Celsius level. The seasons are changing. Autumn is vanishing … and apparently, so is winter. The bugs are going to have a real field day this year since they’ve never died off.

Most large American cities are hotspots. All of Australia and Tasmania are in trouble. I suspect most major cities on every continent are already at, over, or approaching the tipping point. Between the fires, mudslides, giant storms, floods, polar ice melting … it’s here. Now. We are in it. Some places more obviously than others. I do not think we have a decade or two to fix our climate problems and I don’t see any evidence that we are doing anything positive to deal with the changing climate or our planetary ecology.

I’m trying to find something about which to be optimistic, but I’m not having much success.

Nuthatch and incoming Bluebird

Frozen woods

Carolina Wren

A huge Tufted Titmice!

Ice everywhere

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

 

THE CHANGING SEASONS NOVEMBER 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

THE CHANGING SEASONS – NOVEMBER 2019

This is one of the big change months of our calendar. We go from warm late fall days to bitter cold and sometimes snow. We didn’t (praise be!) get snow, but we got a lot of rain. We had one perfect week of Autumn. We used to get a month of it, but times are changing. It arrived late and departed in one night. A lot of trees just dropped their leaves without them even changing color.

But we got Cardinals and our very first Bluebirds. A triumph!

Bluebird and Chickadee

Very pretty Bluebird

Like Su Leslie, I’ve largely retreated emotionally to home and things I have some control over. I try to keep in touch with the world because maybe big things are coming and I hope I’m still here to participate. Meanwhile, I feed the birds — a small thing to help beleaguered creatures — and simultaneously am growing the fattest squirrels in North America.

From the front of the Bluebird

And one day, we had bluebirds!

It’s supposed to snow tomorrow and the news has been full of it. But when they talk about huge snowstorms, they mean nine inches to a foot. I am meanwhile thinking two to three feet or, as you folks say, a meter or more. What we are actually supposed to get is one to three inches, which isn’t snow. It’s a dusting.

It does mean winter really is here. I hope it isn’t really awful. A mild winter would be easier for everyone!

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

THE CHANGING SEASONS: FEBRUARY 2019 – Marilyn and Garry Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: February 2019

This has been a very strange winter. Instead of what we usually get — mountains of snow accompanied by very cold weather — we got a tiny bit of snow, a fair amount of sleet, and a lot of rain and wind.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – House and some snow

Aldrich Street – Photo: Garry Armstrong

In a lot of ways, this is a good summary of this winter. A little snow, a lot of sleet, and when this picture was taken, 60 mph winds were blowing.

And of course, there were the birds. Two bird feeders, about 100 pounds of birdseed … and one Panasonic 4/3 telephoto 100-300 mm lens later …

And of course, our Christmas cactus that has been in more or less continuous bloom since Thanksgiving ..

And more pictures from Garry.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

If you look beyond the fence, you’ll see Gibbs and the Duke by the front steps

Photo: Garry Armstrong

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

Bonnie and living room

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.

Three bright birds

If you do a ping-back to this post, Su-Leslie will update it with links to all the other photographers.

THE CHANGING SEASONS AND CHANGING FAST – JANUARY 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: January 2019

I can truly say that this entire month has been about birds. There have been a few more pictures here and there, but effectively? Birds. All birds all the time.

The birds help keep me sane in an insane world.

And there are so many MORE bird pictures. Buy a couple of feeders, get a good lens and a camera and you don’t have to worry about the world. You just have to worry about catching a picture of a chickadee diving off the feeder.

One Mourning Dove

And there are many woodpeckers, either a lot of Goldfinches or Warblers or both (take your pick, I personally have given up identifying anything) … and a new bird, the “house finch” — a little red finch that came from Texas via a whole lot of pet stores who weren’t allowed to sell wild birds in cages, so they just let them go and now, they live here.

House Finch

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month — and show how the weather has changed. Right now, there’s a lot of weather changing because this thing called “climate change” is affecting many countries all over the world.

You can call it whatever you want, but it’s here and it’s going to get a lot worse. If we can do nothing else, we can take pictures and talk about … the weather. Because the weather matter and it’s going to matter more and more as we ignore the problems this planet faces.


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 SuLeslie’s post at the following link:

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/the-changing-seasons-january-2019/

she can update your post with links to everyone else’s.

THE CHANGING SEASONS: NOVEMBER 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, November 2018

Photos by Marilyn & Garry Armstrong

If you don’t think climate change is real, this has been a good month to check your sense of reality. Autumn started September 20th this year and since then, we’ve had 18 inches of rain, 9 of those inches in this month. November. Not generally a particularly wet month for rain or snow.


This is the autumnal part. Some of these were shot by Garry Armstrong, the rest by me.


And we’ve had both, as well as a bit of brilliant autumn. We were in Connecticut when the first snow came down. We came home to snow, then the temperature rose. It rained and then the snow melted.

First snow of the season!


At the beginning of the month, we still had fresh roses growing in the garden.


And then, the plants came down from their hooks and the bird feeders went up … and suddenly, the world was full of hungry birds!


My Christmas Cactus is blooming, my bird feeder is attracting literally flocks of birds. The rivers have risen to their peak and any significant additional rain will cause at least minimal flooding.


It’s been a wild and crazy month with icy cold, warm rain, heavy wind, snow and usually one sunny day at some point in the week. Or at least half a day, or a few hours.

We’re not supposed to get more rain — or snow — until Sunday, by which time it will already be December. Crazy month!


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):

  1 – Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month

2 – Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

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

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

  2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

  3 – 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 to include your links.

JULY 2018 – THE CHANGING SEASONS – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons July 2018 


This hasn’t been one of my best photographic months. It was raining, or extremely hot, or extremely humid — and hot.  I am having a lot of trouble using the gallery function right now and I’ve been too busy to get in touch with WordPress. So I shall do the best I can.

My orchid continued to bloom up to four blooms — and it is still blooming!

Of course, the garden got really serious about blooming. The daylilies and the roses starred in the show.

Daylilies on the walk

Nearly perfect daylily

Also red roses

Photo: Garry Armstrong

And Garry went to Douglas and we both went to River Bend.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Downtown in Douglas

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Crazy Duke got groomed

Up the driveway

And then, Garry went in for his cochlear implant. He made it! Better every day.

And we got a new mattress and life has marched on. I haven’t done a lot of photography, but it has been an exceptionally busy and complicated month!


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 the others.

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.

A PROMISE OF A PHOTO A WEEK, BUT NOT A NIGHTMARE – Marilyn Armstrong

I post pictures all the time, but a nightmare is not an image I want to post. I don’t have any nightmare pictures and am disinclined to create any. In this case, I don’t think you really need to worry because there are lots of photography prompts and I participate in as many as I can.

Almost the end of the road and nearly night – From Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

We are not going to run short of photo prompts. Even without one from WordPress, there are plenty. My favorites include all of Cee’s weekly prompts. They have grown enormously in popularity. If you haven’t tried them, you should. She also does a daily “flower of the day” prompt — all year-long. Check her out at Cee’s Challenges.

Paula has a couple of her own, both weekly. She also gets a well-earned response. She does Thursday’s Special and another on Sundays which varies from week to week.

My favorite is still the annual Changing Seasons. Max at Cardinal Guzman managed it for three years. This year, SueLeslie is managing this wonderful monthly photo project.

Following is information about it:


About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge, originally hosted by Max at Cardinal Guzman. 

SU LESLIE has taken over hosting duties this year, and 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):

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

2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

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

If you do a ping-back to Sue Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.


I  mourn the loss of a prompt as widely viewed as was WordPress’s weekly photo prompt, but there are many photography prompts. Find a few that suit your style and remember, there are always more.

Columbine and spiderwort – My garden in May

If someone wants to start another prompt, I’ll participate, but photography for me is not like a writing prompt. I can write to almost any word, even if I have to look it up so I know what it means … but I can’t take pictures like that. We live where we live and there are things we don’t have. I’ll never be shooting palaces or medieval cathedrals because I live in New England. We don’t have anything much older than a few hundred years and there isn’t much of that.

Giant Thistles – Flowers of the Day

There are more challenges. Lest I almost forget, Nancy Merrill has a weekly prompt, too at Nancy Merrill Photography. I think her next one will be up tomorrow. She always has some beautiful work and picks great subjects.

June is one of Becky’s square photograph months. The subject is “roofs” or for you Brits, “rooves.” Or eaves or ceilings. The only criteria are that the picture is square. Check it out on The Life of B.


Since I’m currently participating in this one, here are the rules:

Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer!). Your roof can be;

A – any type, any condition, any size, and in any location.
B – it could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro
C – you might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.


Then, pingback to Becky and voilà!  Squaring pictures is more challenging than you think and not everything likes being square. I have one of the entries up today.

Old houses along the dock in Rockport, Massachusetts – one of this week’s squares

“Nightmare” is not a photography subject, at least not for me. I shoot rivers and mountains and flowers and sometimes, buildings and people and dogs. Beyond that, it’s not my thing.

Don’t give up. There really are a lot of photo prompts. Everywhere on planet earth. As Douglas Adams used to say:


“DON’T PANIC!” 


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.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – AUTUMN, OCTOBER 2017

In this third year of watching the seasons change from month to month, Autumn showed up in the middle of October … but not like it has in other years. It is pretty. Colorful, but many areas are still green while others are quite bare. A strange autumn.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

The weather has finally cooled down. It’s still very mild during the day, though it gets pretty chilly at night. Not exactly winter, but it no longer feels like summer.

Garry and I too a lot of pictures this month. It’s not our  most glorious New England autumn, but it’s pretty. At its least, New England’s autumn is forever beautiful.

Please don’t forget to visit:

Max a.k.a. Cardinal Guzman – The Changing Seasons 

Version 2 (link to Max’s new YouTube channel):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOn2NZfdFcJYCp4Y_fcbOyg

Here’s Max’s Flickr gallery with more photos:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm59WCD4

THE CHANGING SEASONS – SEPTEMBER AGAIN (2017)

LAYERED – THE DAILY POST WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE


In this third year of watching the seasons change from month to month, this is the first time we have reached late September, yet fall has not come.

Just as summer arrived a month and a half late this year, it appears that autumn will be equally late. Almost as if this earth has been slightly knocked off its typical circuit and isn’t rolling around in the usual way.

Old brickwork along the Blackstone Canal and river

It is still late summer outside. Although you can see hints of red and yellow here and there, the normal colors of autumn are pastel and difficult to see. Patches of some of the trees, especially those along the river, have a bit of color, but not what I would normally expect.

Of course, this is by no means the latest autumn has arrived. Autumn — that burst of brilliant color — is keyed to the weather. Dry weather with cold night is what usually makes the sap stop running and turns the trees bright and clear. We’ve had warm days with cooler nights, but not cool enough. And right now, we are enjoying rain brought to us by the remnants of former hurricane Jose. No wind, or at least not in this neighborhood. Maybe it is windier along the coast and on the Island — Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard maybe.

When the rain ends, then we shall see. October is always “the” month for autumn in this region. Further north, in Canada and Maine, they might already be deep into autumn, but I’m hearing that it hasn’t happened there, either. It is still late summer, even in the north.

I have a lot of pictures this month, but  you will have to wait one more month to see our glorious New England autumn.

Please don’t forget to visit:

Max a.k.a. Cardinal Guzman – The Changing Seasons 

for more of this months wonderful seasons around the world.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – JULY 2017

The Changing Seasons: July 2017


It stopped raining for a few days this month and we took advantage of the time, brief as it was, to go take some pictures. Last month, everything was still sparse due to the cold, rainy weather we’ve been having since March.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

As soon as it warmed up at the very end of June, everything that could grow went into hyper-overdrive, producing the must intense, lush flowers and leaves and ferns I’ve ever seen. To make up for the lost weeks of non-spring, we got spring and summer wrapped up on one crazy-ass ball!

The pictures were taken by both of us — Marilyn and Garry Armstrong. Except those taken around the house, they were taken in one of the Blackstone Valley Historic Corridor parks in Uxbridge.


Don’t miss Max “The Cardinal’s” wonderful pictures! Drop by his site and take a look.


The sun has been slipping in and out all morning … maybe there will be more pictures today.

 

THE CHANGING SEASONS: MAY 2017

THE CHANGING SEASONS – MAY AND SUMMER HAVE ARRIVED!

Spring is a fickle season in New England. It’s common for us to not get spring weather. It stays cold, wet, and generally nasty until suddenly, in the middle of May, summer happens.

You leave the house in the morning to do a little shopping, and when you come out of the grocery, summer arrived. That the way it happened this year and it is absolutely lovely outside now.

THE RIVER AND THE CANAL

Usually, May is the herald of summer in this region. Around the middle of the month, the cold, windy, damp air blows away and the flowers bloom. In a good year, it’s sort of perfect. Warm, dry, and bright.

THE GARDEN – EARLY MAY

And so it was. The warm days blew in. Except this is going to be another year of Gypsy Moths, so the beauty of the season is only going to last a few weeks and then the maniac caterpillars will defoliate the trees. We are all hoping it won’t be as bad as last year. The heavy rains this spring might help, but we won’t know for a few weeks.

SWANS ON THE POND

These are the best of the summer pictures. The roses aren’t out yet. It was so chilly for so long, some of the later blooming flowers are not flowering, but they will be here. Maybe one more week. Meanwhile, this is May — maybe our best month — especially since we don’t know what’s coming.

All the pictures were taken by me and Garry Armstrong. If you aren’t sure who took what, look for the name on the photograph.


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

THE CHANGING SEASONS: APRIL 2017

The Changing Seasons: April 2017


And also, today’s Daily Post | HARMONY

We haven’t been far from home this month. Last month, we were all over the place, but this has been a stay at home time. Not in a bad way. Lots of little fixes in the house. A quiet time. We have needed quiet.

The earliest flowers are in. Crocus and forsythia. A few daffodils. Everything else is budding, waiting for next month.

In town, no leaves on the trees, but the soft fuzz of spring on the edge. This gallery is from Garry Armstrong: