A Photo a Week Challenge: Clouds

A 360-degree sunset above the Housatonic River in Connecticut. If you stood on the dock and turned slowly in a circle, there would be a different color and formation of clouds in each bit of turning. I’ve never seen a sky like that before.

And then, there were clouds over the mountains in Arizona … and the mountains in Maine and Vermont. And sometimes, over the shore on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Ogunquit, Maine.

Sunset through clouds on the road home in Massachusetts – February

On the Housatonic River in Connecticut – September

In Jackman, Maine – October

Rockport, Massachusetts – July

Ogunquit, Maine – September

The desert near Phoenix, Arizona – January

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Housatonic River marina with reflections – September

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Housatonic River – September

Photo: Garry Armstrong: Route 146 crossing Chocolog Road in Uxbridge. Golden trees in a February sunset

A strange golden sunset on the way home in Uxbridge – February

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Attean View, Jackman, Maine – October

Sunset over the Phoenix mountains, Arizona – January

THINK IT’S GONNA RAIN – Marilyn Armstrong


I wasn’t going to post again … but I looked outside and it’s as dark as night. I guess we are getting some rain today. Finally. It’s about time!

As as the thunder rolled, the rain started pouring down.

Photo: Garry Armstrong, taken as the weather began to close in.

And now, it’s raining. Hard. It’s still very dark outside. Maybe we’ll get that cooler air they’ve been promising.



From Nancy Merrill:

Yesterday and this morning, while other places in the country were able to get good shots of the super blue moon and lunar eclipse, here in the Salt Lake Valley, we had clouds. Beautiful clouds, but still clouds that made it hard to impossible to get good photos of the moon. (We’ll just have to wait until 2037.) But it’s okay. I love photographing clouds.

Usually, I look for stormy skies and dramatic clouds. But for this, I thought I’d try a change of pace — a bright blue sky and those lovely puffy white clouds that decorate our skies. The bright skies and clouds over the farm around the corner.

Across a plowed field …

Blue skies and puffy white clouds over the pasture gate

Clouds until the cows come home



We went shooting yesterday. It was a warm July day, the kind of day I do not love. Not terribly hot, but so humid the air felt soupy. The insects were thicker than pollen and I could feel them bumping into my dress and my hair. We weren’t outside long. As soon as I felt one crawling down my collar, I called “uncle” and headed for the car.

Low-hanging clouds over the river, late on a summer’s day

I knew it would rain. The clouds were building. It was late in the day and they were piling up like thunderheads. We were home for maybe half an hour when the clouds opened and rain fell like a sheet. But hopefully, it will mean a better day tomorrow.


Last night, at just before midnight, the WiFi went down. Which meant the telephone also went out, though it was too late for much in the way of phone calls.

I went and rebooted the modem and router. Once, twice, … then three more times. At which point I figured it was Charter/Spectrum, not our router. I did all the getting ready for bed stuff  … fortunately, the cable was still working thus fending off a genuine crisis.

I fished out our cell phone. Which is when realized the entire point of our cell phone is so I can call Charter when their service goes out. I have a special wireless device so I can call the other wireless company to tell them something is broken.

Except I didn’t have to tell them. As soon as the call connected, they told me that there was a “problem in our area and their expert teams were working feverishly to fix it.”

I went to the kitchen and looked fondly at all the equipment that is not hooked up to WiFi and realized — again — how glad I am I don’t have all that stuff connected to our ISP. It’s bad enough losing the telephone and computers without also losing the kitchen stove and who knows what else.

Am I the only one that feels we are putting far too much faith in our ISPs? Do we really want absolutely everything in our lives to depend on one service provider? Is this a good idea? Talk about all the eggs in one basket!

At around 1:30, the signal came back. I turned off the cell, checked my email and felt a cozy sense of satisfaction that I have independent non-WiFi backup drives protecting my data.

The mobile phone can now rest until the next emergency. You guys can use all the clouds you want. Not me. I want my back ups accessible even if The Cloud turns to torrential rain — or a damned tornado.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sky

I’m looking at the sky right  now. Like pretty much every day for the past few weeks, it’s gray. Overcast. A bit of rain, ten minutes of sunshine. Then, the clouds are back. And it’s cold. Not bitterly cold like winter, but damp, bone-chilling. Not the kind of weather that makes you feel like going out there and doing something. Or, for that matter, doing anything. I had my hopes high for a reasonably nice day because I really wanted to take some pictures.

Maybe tomorrow.

Trucks heading into the sky

Sundown at the marina

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Almost sunset at Scorpion Gulch





Last night, Bonnie the Beloved Scottish Terrier of myth and legend, did not feel well. She was shivering and could not seem to find a comfortable position. When we gave her a careful looking over, she was all puffed up, like a blowfish about to pop. I had known for a few days that she was a bit constipated, something I thought might be related to the leftover New Year’s Eve rosemary roast potatoes. It might have been the potatoes — or for that matter, the rosemary — but Bonnie was an unhappy pup. Which made us unhappy dog parents.


These things never happen during veterinary business hours. I had no way to know if it was a genuine (potentially deadly) blockage or bloat (though bloat is uncommon in small dogs) … or just a normal backup during her digestive rush hour. After considerable soul-searching, we decided better safe than sorry and packed her off to the Doggy ER, about 20 miles away through some of the most labyrinthine and unlit roads in the commonwealth.

Night vision isn’t one of the things that improves with age. There aren’t many things that do improve with age, but vision in general is definitely not one of them and night vision in particular. I don’t like driving at all anymore and Garry is only slightly happier about it. But he will do it because he is Garry and he does what he has to do. It’s a thing.


Floating flakes

This was a job for the GPS. However, the GPS is a Garmin, made in Germany, and it is not at it’s best in rural areas where its internal maps seem to believe roads exist in places where they are not. But these illusory roads are on a map, somewhere, and Garmin will send us there. This can be funny, but at night, with a sick dog in the car and limited visibility, not so funny.

It was snowing very lightly. Big, soft flakes floating slowly and gently to the ground. Not enough to make the road disappear. Not heavy enough to be of much concern, but not a big help in navigation, either. We did eventually find the hospital. Find the ER. Get Bonnie in. And then, we waited. Like a human ER, the most serious cases go first, and Bonnie seemed stable and in fact, was apparently a really big hit with the doctors, who popped out periodically to tell us she was doing fine and what a charming girl!

Floating clouds

Floating clouds

Yes, indeed. By the end of the waiting, it was nearly two in morning. Bonnie was beginning to look downright chipper. She had been given some doggy Sennacot, an x-ray, a gentle probing, and some basic blood work because her liver is a bit big. They also found that at some point, she was shot. With a bee-bee, clearly visible under her skin. Not infected or anything. Just … there. No idea who shot her or when, but I suspect the nasty neighbors.

When we came out, finally, it had snowed a little. Mostly, it had snowed over the hospital parking lot because there was no snow anywhere else. When we finally crawled out of be this morning, it had snowed here too. Less than an inch. Nothing worth shoveling or plowing, especially in view of a prediction more snow tonight into tomorrow. Thus far, the big ones have been up in the hills, or down on the coast, giving us the “miss.” I do not expect this pattern will last, but I can hope.

These are pictures I took this morning as the flakes were floating down. Pretty. I wish I could appreciate the beauty without dreading the shoveling and plowing and slipping and sliding.

Bonnie is just fine, thank you. And they gave us six months to pay off the bill.


Outside my window, the sky is dark, dramatic, and glowering.

“Maybe there will finally be some rain today,” says my husband.


“That would be really nice,” I answer, but then I turn to the forecast.

It says that we can expect a day of dramatic, dark clouds … but no rain. None. Nor any rain for the next week. Maybe next weekend. I know from experience that meteorologists have no idea what the weather will be doing a week from now. They just put that stuff there to keep us from losing hope.

Stormy Skies - By Marilyn Armstrong

I’m trying not to lose hope … but we sure do need rain. Clouds? They’re a tease. They make us think something is going to happen to relieve the drought.

At least it isn’t so hot. That’s something.




It was a beautiful day with puffy white clouds against a bright, blue sky.


Saguaro Storm 06


Or perhaps an overcast day, with clouds threatening a storm that may or may not materialize.


misty morning 1

You can’t have a beautiful sunset or sunrise without clouds because it is the clouds which give a the rays of light color, a palette.


And sometimes, the blue sky is unbroken … not a cloud in the sky.



A Photo a Week Challenge: Unusual Clouds

I love taking pictures of clouds. The night of the super moon, I was disappointed by the cloud coverage until I started processing the photos, and then I was thrilled with some of the images because of how the clouds added to the images.



Late afternoon in the middle of town, on the bridge over the river. In black and white.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Snow Sky and the Day After


Mid afternoon, the day before the biggest snow in 20 years — 29 inches fell that night in the valley, but more in other places not far away including Boston which got more than 30 inches — the sky had that peculiar luminosity that we call “a snow sky” in New England. Probably everywhere. There was already some snow cover from earlier snows. That’s what it’s like here. From first snow, as early as October until whenever spring decides to come … anytime from March through late April … the ground is white.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering Clouds

storm coming

The clouds move in and the rain will follow. Until drops fall, there’s beauty to the dark of an oncoming storm. A sense of expectation. Maybe it’s the ozone in the air, the crackle of unexploded lightning. The river flows, uncaring, to its destination miles away.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond – Benches

Beyond - Benches

Beyond – Benches

The benches in front invite you to sit and look beyond the waterfall, down past the bend into the river beyond. So many hours have been spent sitting on these benches doing just that … looking beyond and beyond.