THE CHANGING SEASONS: MAY 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, May 2019

Photography: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

It has been a weird month of May. A lot of rain, a lot of cold days with and without rain, then a couple of hot muggy days. Immediately followed by cooler dry days and then wet, quite cold days. It’s only in the low 50s right now and will be in the mid-40s tonight. That is cold for this time of year.

Flowers – Marilyn Armstrong

Weather forecasts these days are closer to guesses than they used to be. There’s so much very bad, dangerous weather rolling across the continent. Tornadoes, flooding, violent thunderstorms only a few miles south of here. As long as the winds don’t change, all we are going to get is drenching rain.

Mumford Dam and River – Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

The gardens look pretty sad. There are flowers, but everything, even the Hosta, is droopy and no really fully developed. Except for Solomon’s Seal — which is happy in gray rainy weather — everything else looks like it wishes it could have stayed in the ground.

The Village – Garry Armstrong

There were a few good days and we went out for one, and Garry for another. Otherwise, it was some of the flowers and of course, the birds.

Boys and the River – Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

The pictures make it look like we’ve had a lovely, sunny month. The truth is that all of the pictures were taken over a period of five sunny days. The rest of the months was gray, rainy, and mostly, cold.

The following pictures of the birds may tell more of the story because the birds get really hungry when the weather is cold and rainy. When it’s bright and sunny, they tend to ignore us. Also, they aren’t happy with us right now because we bought cheaper food. It’s not bad food, but it has less of the more expensive components because rain or not, there’s real, live food all over the woods. There are bugs and fruit and nuts to eat and they don’t need to depend on our buffet.

Birds – Marilyn Armstrong

Except for the squirrels. They have completely given up finding their own food. As far as they are concerned, they own us and expect a good, solid meal every single day. They ate ALL the food in two days this week. I mean down to the last few seeds at the very bottom of the hanging feeder. And they did it while we weren’t looking.

The Red Christmas Cactus – Marilyn Armstrong
Macro red cactus

Murderer’s Row – Marilyn Armstrong

They have figured out when we are around — and when we aren’t. They are smarter than people think!


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 pingback to Su-Leslie’s post, she will update it with links to your post.

THE CHANGING SEASONS: APRIL 2019 – THE RAINIEST APRIL SINCE 1872 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, April 2019
The Rainiest April in 140 Years

Photography: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

It wasn’t just my imagination. Of the 29 days of this past, April 2019, twenty of them were rainy. And for the final day, tomorrow, it will also rain which will bring the total to 21 days of rain for the month of April.

Not surprisingly, we didn’t get out to take a lot of pictures this month. If it weren’t were the bird feeders on our deck, there might not be any pictures at all.

Most of the time, it has been chilly and wet. We got some daffodils and a few crocuses. We even got a few sad-looking Forsythias. Meanwhile, although we got a whole set of brand new young Rhododendrons while the mature bushes all died. I don’t know if the rain drowned them or maybe they were just ready to move on and that’s why they sent up the new shoots.

My son is going to cut them all down — the dead ones and the young ones and all of the rose bushes. They will grow back, or at least the living ones will. I guarantee that by August, the young Rhododendrons and the barbed-wire roses will be taller than me.

Owen says they cut down their bushes every year and by mid-summer, they stand more than seven feet high. Meantime, there are a lot of shoots for upcoming daylilies. Bless you, daylilies. When everything else fails, I can count on you!

Double trouble
Brown-headed Cowbirds

The rain killed most everything else. We got two tulips and a bunch of bright yellow daffodils. I’m hoping we will see some Columbine and Spiderwort, too.

When I look into the woods, I can see that there is green there. The maples are beginning to show fat buds. The young pine trees have new growth, too.

Despite having several large trees fall on it, the lilac has a full growth of new leaves. I am surprised. I was sure it was going to give up at long last, but somehow, it keeps coming back. It doesn’t bloom much anymore. There isn’t enough sunshine back at the edge of the woods. And this is not a bush anymore. It hasn’t been a bush in more than 18 years. It is old growth and almost as tall as a maple tree.

It’s baseball season again!

Whether or not it will flower? Your guess is as good as mine. It’s too early for blooming. It won’t flower until the middle of May if it flowers at all. Sunshine would help.


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 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.

THE CHANGING SEASONS, October 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: October 2018


Photographs: Marilyn & Garry Armstrong and The Blackstone Valley

Today I ordered “Milestones & Guideposts of Massachusetts and Southeastern New Hampshire.” I know I’m an eclectic reader, but sometimes I’m so eclectic I surprise even me. The worst part of my passion for odd yet historic books is they are expensive. There are no bargains on the only book ever written on this subject. The pictures are all black and white — and not very sharp. You can’t get it for Kindle, either. Not that it would make much sense as an e-book.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

No, this is one you need to hold in your hand as you walk through a strange alley in Boston or the edge of a woods in the Valley.

Still, I couldn’t help myself. New England was one of the first places on the continent infested with Europeans. Being of a practical turn of mind, instead of building new roads, they followed Native American trails and set up milestones and guideposts to point the way to the first couple of “cities” in the area: Boston and its harbor (aka “the Bay”) and Springfield.

Marilyn’s October


Once you passed through Springfield, you were in the wilds of Connecticut … or whatever it was called back then. After you got to Boston or the Bay, you stopped … or got on a sailing ship.

I’m hoping to track down some of these spots. There are quite a few milestones nearby. I know there is one in Uxbridge — I found it quite by accident one day while getting lost. I never found it again. There is another in Mendon and a bunch various parts of Worcester County and of course, Boston. Some of these are now alongside major roads.

The Native American paths originally marked eventually became roads and later, highways. Some are in an alley in Boston. Others are hidden in a woods or in someone’s yard. Not all are mapped. For all I know, there might be one buried in our woods.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

On days like this, I muse on what the history of this area would be had Europeans not invaded it in the 1500s. If, instead of conquest, societies had melded and produced a decent world for all of us.

It’s a forlorn hope, I know, but it didn’t have to be this way.

Garry’s October


October has been too warm and rain for the first couple of weeks, wet and windy since then. We had some pretty colors yesterday and today, but for the end of October, there’s a lot of green on the trees.

After the storm hits us tomorrow (and Sunday, Monday and maybe Tuesday), I’d be surprised if there are enough leaves left on the trees. Not every fall is a great one.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

It has been pretty, but we never really hit our stride. Nonetheless, we did take a lot of pictures of the Mumford in Uxbridge and the Blackstone 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):

  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.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – SEPTEMBER 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, September 2018


Painted falls …
Rocks at Manchaug

It’s the very end of September here in New England, so it’s the middle of our best season, Autumn.

Except it isn’t Autumn.

The stone mill

The trees are entirely green without even a hint of red. A few yellow leaves on a few trees, but none of the colors we are supposed to have. We went and we sought for fall, but we could not find it. I was not by the river, which is the first place you usually find it … nor by the dam. Nor in the woods.

The dam at Manchaug was full this year. Lots of rain this spring and summer.
Lily pads. Not Monet,. Just me.

And we went down to another part of the valley, too. It wasn’t just Manchaug!
Photo: Garry Armstrong
And me, too – Photo: Garry Armstrong
The pond at Manchaug …. right before the dam. Photo: Garry Armstrong
Softly falling water – Photo Garry Armstrong
Graphic stone and falls – Marilyn Armstrong
Roses for our anniversary

So, not a red tree to be seen. Not even a bright yellow or slightly orange tree. Nothing at all. This was how it was last year, too. We finally got ONE week of Autumn. Then, all the leaves just fell off the tree. Kerplunk. End of Autumn.

I’m sure glad the seasons aren’t changing! I’d hate to lost whole seasons — like Autumn.

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, Su-Leslie can update her post with links to all of your posts.

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.