Welcome signs

I went on an excursion into Boston today with my mother (visiting from California) and my son. My son has a school project this year for which he is encouraged to visit various historic and culturally significant sites in Massachusetts. We went to the State House (just the outside), hit a few more landmarks on the Freedom Trail, and then headed to the Boston Public Library. Getting out of the T station at Copley, we were greeted by banners at the beautiful Old South Church proclaiming: “Love thy (Muslim) neighbor as thyself.” I was very heartened by this message of love and inclusion, what I see as an overt and beautiful response to the islamophobia that is running rampant among many in this country. (And which is sickeningly encouraged by the President-elect.)


I have been running behind in my enumeration of gratitude, which I had intended to post here daily this month. However, tonight, it is easy for me to say that I am immensely grateful to live in Massachusetts: a state not only rich in history, but which has frequently shown itself to be on the right side of history. While not everyone in the state feels the same way I do, Massachusetts voters by and large choose social progress. And there are many, many people in Massachusetts speaking out loudly for these ideals.

late fall snowfall

We had a bit of a snowfall Tuesday night, and while there wasn’t much in the way of accumulation, the wet snow stuck to every leaf and twig such that almost everything was outlined in white. Occasional water drops had also frozen, adding some sparkle to the scene. I took a few photos around the yard before the school bus came, and then a few more later in the morning during a short walk with a neighbor.

Here are a handful of my favorites from the morning.

A tree in our front yard that hasn’t quite given up all its leaves.

Along our house’s front path.

A neighbor’s rail fence.

This stone wall is at the dairy farm that is a half mile from my house.

Snow and ice on the shrubbery.

White snow, red berries.

Ice drops on pine needles.

(Those last two were ones I posted on Instagram, with filters. I posted a version of the stone wall there, too, but without filters.)

Once again, my trusty iPhone did some nice work. I’m sure my camera would have done a good job, but I am less likely to throw it in my coat pocket. Especially given that it doesn’t fit in my coat pocket. Maybe I just need bigger coat pockets.

ridiculously colorful Fall leaves

New England is known for its spectacular Fall foliage, primarily for the show put on by the sugar maples that are native to the region. However, there are plenty of other plants, trees and shrubs that put on autumnal shows of their own. And I have no idea what most of them are.

These are some photos I took around and about over the last 2 weeks.

This little guy is a shrub on the campus of BU. The leaves reminded me of confetti.

These leaves were on a smallish tree on the MIT campus. I loved the way the colors changed variably across the surface of each leaf, making striking multi-colored outlines.

This plant caught Phoebe’s attention at an apple orchard we went to a couple weekends ago. Likely a weed, these plants grew over 6 feet tall, and had very soft, fuzzy stems. (Phoebe wanted to just stay and pet the plant.) We were all amazed by the varied colors, covering quite a large range of the spectrum, and often over the surface of a single leaf.

This is just another shot of that same plant.

Anyone have any idea what any of these are?