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, 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: AUGUST 2018 – AS SUMMER ENDS – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: August 2018


Photographs by:
Garry Armstrong
Ben Taylor
Marilyn Armstrong

Unlike in July, this month, we took some pictures. Of course, the two months look a lot alike, though July has more flowers. This month, I’m including pictures of mine, pictures from Garry and a few from a good friend who was visiting us and shooting his amazing (I want one!) Olympus Pen-F camera.

Please look for the shooter’s signature on photographs so you know who took it!

High point of the month: Garry gets his new hearing equipment.

And we got a new(er) car, a bright orange Jeep Renegade!

We saw goats.
Ben’s goats!

There were horses and chickens and cows — and one brown calf, as well as a barn full of cats and kittens.

Kitten anyone?
One beautiful cat! \
Up the ladder
Ben’s horses 
Garry’s horse
Marilyn’s horses
Photo: Ben Taylor

And let us not forget the landscapes and the produce!

And we had two lovely meals in Miss Mendon, a refurbished Worcester Dining car located at the car dealer (it’s a big dealership).

And  just one more …

Last of the daylilies

It has been a busy and exciting month and I’m exhausted! But happy, too.

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 all of yours.

UPDATE

Please check out these bloggers and see how August played out for them

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Klara’s Brussels in August

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.

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.