Early light on a dusting of snow …

The early light just after dawn always has a special quality. Its color varies from season to season, more golden or amber in Autumn, deep yellow in summer, pale, almost pink in springtime.  This time of year, full winter, there’s slate bluish light.

Just after sunrise, it’s pale yellow … but after that, for a brief few minutes, it blushes to a pink that paints the whole woods in its light.

This morning, there was a light powdering of snow across the ground and on the deck. It was gone by mid morning … but thanks to the magic of digital photography, the memories linger on.

Let it snow …

Just seemed like the right moment … New England and snow, like horse and carriage. Some of these pictures you may have seen before, others not. But until we have new snow, I’ll have to make do with the snows of winters past.

Old #2 in winter

This is old Number Two in the winter … growing old in the empty lot across from the post office … a little more faded with each passing season.

Two Red Chairs - First Snow

Two red lawn chairs, the remembrance of summer so recently passed are bright against the monochromatic snowy woods.

The Deck

The back porch after the first dusting of snow. It’s barely a dusting and will be gone in a matter of hours, but it’s early in the season. Who knows what the season will bring us?

Rimed With Ice

Late Winter Dawn

About 6AM in early March. Sunrise through the trees in my woods. Very late winter … soon, spring.

First snow, just a dusting …

It’s like an early warning system. It’s not really cold enough for snow to stick around, though it’s cold enough after the sun goes down to cling to tree branches and  unpaved surfaces.

Like powdered sugar dropped on our cake, the world is lightly covered in white. It’s not the real thing and it will be gone by afternoon. Not enough to shovel or even to disrupt traffic, but it’s a bell ringing that says “winter is on the way … ” Shake out the sweaters, find last year’s boots and coats. It’s coming … but for now, it’s just a nudge, a suggestion, a hint of what lies ahead.

Dark sky in the morning

It’s windy. The oak trees are bending like saplings. The wind must be strong higher up. It doesn’t seem like much on the ground, but a hundred or so feet upward, the oak trees are dancing to Mother Nature‘s tune. You can watch the dance and hear the music. It whooshes and whistles, rattling dead leaves that still hang on the branches.

Sometime during the night, most of the trees stripped bare. Oak trees never go completely naked, not like the maples do. Some leaves cling to branches even in the deepest part of winter. To the extent that leaves will be lost, the oaks lost them overnight. When we went to bed, it was already after midnight. There was a bit of wind and a lot of rain, one of the “local bands of showers” the weather guys keep talking about, but this morning, it’s mostly wind. Skies are gray, dark and sullen.

Rain is falling, but it isn’t much. Not yet. Tomorrow will probably be the big day for rain, or maybe tonight. My instincts are saying tonight, but the weather gurus are saying tomorrow. I’m usually more accurate.

The air is heavy. It doesn’t seem as if day has quite arrived, just like yesterday. It never brightened at all and by late afternoon, it looked like midnight. Absolutely no feeling or look of snow now or to come. I can smell snow. Actually, it’s no big deal. You live in a snow belt, you can smell it. Ozone? Whatever. You feel it, smell it, and see it in the sky. It’s not hard to tell the difference between a sky full of snow or rain. A snow sky is white, or nearly white. Rain clouds are gray, sometimes very dark gray, but never white. Today is gray. Solidly, dully gray. You can’t see clouds. The cover is unbroken, no patch of blue to provide contrast, nor even differing gradations of clouds. These aren’t thunderheads or typical cumulus rain clouds.

I’ve got a headache that coffee isn’t going to dissipate.

We have power, so although trees are swaying, they are not falling, at least not on power lines, or more exactly, not falling on any that affect us personally. I’m sure somewhere trees are falling, but not here, not right now.

I used to like storms. I loved watching thunder and lightning, seeing nature put on her show with fireworks and sound effects. That was until lightening started hitting us, at which point I began to take the whole thing personally. I’m not sure why the valley in general and we in particular are so prone to strikes, but I’ve noticed every public building taller than two stories … there aren’t many of them, so mostly, we are talking about church steeples … have a lightening rod. People have asked me how come we don’t have one too since we’ve been hit three times. The problem is, the lightening doesn’t hit our house. It hits ]nearby, close enough to do damage, but not a direct hit. We’ve lot a utility pole up on the street that it knocked out a couple of computers and the router. One strike hit a tree in the front yard and took out the power. The best hit was the well pump. I thought lightening aimed at the highest points. You couldn’t find a lower point than our well pump. It’s 450 feet underground.

I think that Zeus has it in for us. I have trouble finding our well, much less the pump, so how did he do that? The gusts are picking up. This was not supposed to happen until tomorrow. If this is the prelude, the full show is going to be really fun. It’s much more entertaining when your home, family, and everything you own are not on the line. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes.

I’m going to get some more coffee. I am doing what I’ve been told: planning for the worst while hoping for the best. If it doesn’t get much worse, we’ll be fine. But we haven’t gotten to tomorrow, so I have to wonder what the next 36 hours is going to bring. Meanwhile, there’s coffee and chocolate cake.

You didn’t expect me to go through a storm of epic proportions without chocolate did you?

An October Week

What a difference a week makes! Well, actually, 8 days, but why quibble?

Where the river divides and becomes a river and a canal.

October 21st, a bright sunny day by the Blackstone Canal, we watched the water, I took some pictures of bright foliage. It wasn’t a record-breaking year … the foliage was pretty, but without the incredible scarlet and gold we sometimes enjoy.

But the bright trees we still candy for the eyes, and we met a man with a dachshund, chatting casually about dogs, and life in the valley. We have a doxie too, so we could laugh as we enjoyed the mild weather. Eight days later, October 29th,  5 or 6 inches of snow fell. It was a wet, heavy snow and because the leaves hadn’t fallen, the weight of snow piling up on leaves broke branches off the oak trees, snapped saplings, and killed off autumn gardens. When it snows before Halloween, we assume it will be a hard winter … but folklore was wrong this time. Then, that was it. No more significant snow for the winter. How strange that was, and so out of character. But that’s New England. We call it home. Sometimes, we aren’t sure exactly why … but when Autumn comes again, we remember.