I live in the Blackstone Valley where no one tells you nothing. When weather people stand in the studio and do their predicting, they position themselves so you can see the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Except where we live because that’s where they stand.


I asked our friend, the trustworthy meteorologist (there is one and he is it) about this. He said, “Well, we have to stand somewhere.” But on his next broadcast, he moved aside for a few seconds so that I could see the map. Thanks!

When anyone mentions the valley at all, it’s Worcester. The rest of our towns don’t exist. I have learned to read weather maps because I’m not going to get information any other way. Dinosaurs could be roaming the Valley, and no one would notice unless one of them ate a tourist.


Now that we’re turning the corner to warm weather, I can take a deep breath and relax. It’s a quiet weather period, usually.

The past couple of months gave us a big dose of weather frenzy. Most of it was on the money, unlike previous winters when the frenzy exceeded reality by 100%, give or take a few points. I was numb from the hyperbole of previous years, so I ignored the warnings. When the first, huge blizzard hit at the end of January, we were unprepared. I hadn’t even bought extra groceries.


The frenzy isn’t harmless.

Weather sells. It pulls in viewers. When hurricanes or blizzards threaten, people who normally don’t watch the news tune in. Higher ratings, lots of teasers.

“Seven feet of snow on the way!! Will you be buried tomorrow? Story at 11!” It’s money in the bank. Doom is a perennial best-seller.


TV stations like to whip everyone into a frenzy. It’s good business. Weather predictions don’t carry issues of journalistic responsibility. No one can call you to task for being wrong because, after all, it’s the weather.

The frenzy is not harmless. Every weather event is presented as if it’s the end of the world. It’s impossible to figure out if this next thing is serious or more of the same.

Should we lay in supplies? Ignore it? Plan to evacuate? Fill all the water containers? Cancel travel plans? Make travel plans? Head for public shelters?


Hysteria is exhausting and worse, it’s numbing. Some of us worry about the possibility of weeks without electricity. Telling us our world is ending is upsetting if you believe it. It is even more dangerous if it’s serious, and we don’t believe it.

They shouldn’t say that stuff unless it’s true. Or might be true. At the least, it’s rude to scare us to death, and then say “Sorry folks.”

You can’t unring the bell. When the real deal occurs — as it did this winter — we don’t listen. Weather forecasting may not be legally subject to standards or accuracy, but maintaining credibility might be worthwhile. I’m just saying, you know?

Just Past Midnight

We didn’t get the wind or the wrath of God that all the meteorologists on television were predicting. It was not snowmageddon nor the end of the world as we know it. But, by one in the morning, it was clear we were going to be digging out from under a lot of snow, more than we had seen in several winters and possibly the largest single storm in years.


Just before I went to bed, I managed to push the door to the deck open enough to poke half of me outside. The snow was falling so fast and so densely, you can see it. That’s not a screen … it’s falling snow.

This photograph was shot during the height of the storm, Captain Nemo, the Blizzard of 2013. Technically, it wasn’t a blizzard, but for the sake of argument, I’ll let it stand. They only named it Nemo, but I felt Captain belonged there too. This was a storm worthy of a salute.

Sandy takes Coney Island amusement zone on rough ride

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It may not be as bad as the Jersey Shore, but Hurricane Sandy also hit Coney Island’s amusement district pretty hard.

For those who asked what became of various parts of the area, this covers it pretty well.

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Coney Island after Hurricane Sandy

See on Scoop.itForty Two: Life and Other Important Things

CONEY ISLAND, NEW YORK—Despite rumors of looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there was no evidence of mobs near the area’s famous boardwalk this afternoon. around the usually bustling landmark was eerily abandoned.

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The Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel survived. The oldest things made it through the storm. The beach has sustained serious damage and nobody is talking about the boardwalk, but we can hope.


Seeking The Light

To say I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime chasing the light sounds a lot more meaningful on a philosophical level than it actually is. Perhaps, on some level, it’s true: I certainly have done my share of searching for truth, justice, and right and occasionally, I’ve even found a bit of it.

The sun, just above the horizon in April. My woods.

But more often and for fa longer, I’ve been chasing light with a camera in my hand, starting up, up, up into the treetops, looking for that perfect ray of sunshine filtering through a leafy canopy, waiting for me to take that perfect picture.

Winter twilight. Facing west from my house.

Yesterday, in a hopeless but fervent attempt to put a more order into my files of photographs, I found a few hundred more pictures of sunlight through leaves, trees, clouds, whatever. Always and forever seeking light.

Then, by the way, because I think I shouldn’t just talk about it, but do it, I backed up my entire photographic library and discovered I have 16,122 pictures. Not all are my own photographs; I have other miscellaneous images including those taken by my husband and granddaughter for whom I provide a back up service. Even so, at least 90% are mine and the number is not shrinking.

When the sun comes at exactly the right angle, the woods seems to glow.

It gives me pause to think about hard drive, crashes, external storage areas, and other philosophical concepts.

Having found a trove of pictures of light and leaf, I decided to edit some. It’s a gray, rainy Wednesday.

I know we need rain. It’s been a very dry summer. You can see it in the garden and the lawn. Even the woods looks a bit beige where it would normally be the deepest green of summer.

The road home, from Upton to Milford.

Days like this are made for hot cocoa, fires on the hearth, and reminiscence of days gone by … but it’s much too warm for cocoa or a fire. So I’ll settle for pictures. And maybe, even a few pictures of fire. I have a lot of them, too.

Fire is also light, a small sun rather than the giant globe in the sky.