Another day, another rainbow.

Today’s plans were a bit of a washout. The kids’ swimming class at the town beach (on the lake) were cancelled due to thunderstorms, and the playdate we’d had planned for after the class as well. The day’s weather pretty much ranged from dark skies and heavy downpour to blue skies with scattered fluffy clouds. After a couple failed attempts to set up another playdate, we headed briefly to the playground. We stayed for a good while under the cheery blue skies, but left upon overhearing talk of thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Happily, the weather in our town was fairly calm, and tornado-free, but we did have a few more thunderstorms in the evening. Then the sun came back out for a bit before setting. This time, I knew exactly which direction to look for the rainbow. We looked out over the back deck, and were rewarded with some faint stripes of color between some of the trees. We watched for a few minutes, and then caught a glimpse of a lower and brighter arc of another rainbow, barely visible through the leaves. Then the colors faded. I didn’t get any photos. But wouldn’t you know, maybe 15 or 20 minutes later, there was a shift in the light again. This time, when I looked out on the deck, I could see quite a bit of rainbow. I grabbed my camera, ran out on the wet deck in my bare feet, and had time to get a few photos of the rainbow before it faded away again.

I was quite impressed by how bright the photo turned out. That top photo was not edited at all. Here’s another photo, a bit zoomed in, and with the brightness and contrast and such mucked with a bit.

I found it interesting that as I mucked with it, I could make out more repetitions of the rainbow. Whereas the previous double rainbow of earlier in the evening, as well as that of a couple weeks ago had arcs that were quite spaced apart, this version had tight stack of rainbows. I can actually make out a faint third repetition of the color bands, and even the barest hint of a fourth.

Wikipedia tells me that this is a supernumerary rainbow:

A supernumerary rainbow—also known as a stacker rainbow—is an infrequent phenomenon, consisting of several faint rainbows on the inner side of the primary rainbow, and very rarely also outside the secondary rainbow. Supernumerary rainbows are slightly detached and have pastel colour bands that do not fit the usual pattern.


(Apparently, seeing rainbows is a good excuse to post.)

Searching for Signs of Spring

Today is the official start of Spring in my part of the world, but you might not realize it by looking out the window. We had a bit of a winter storm yesterday, an icy-slushy-snowy mix that brought messy roads and cancelled schools. Today is bright and sunny, but I hear that more snow is on the way.

A couple of days ago, I saw the first spikes of crocuses poking out of the ground. I was too rushed to get a photo. Here is the stretch of ground where they were a couple of days ago:

No signs of crocus here. But I was happy that my lens managed to capture the rainbow sparkle of the icy snow in the sunlight. (Rainbow Sparkle sounds like a My Little Pony name. Crocus, on the other hand, sounds like a name for a toad.)

It wasn’t was I was looking for, but I will admit that the snow is pretty.

Iced mushrooms on a stump. (Sounds like the name for an unsuccessful recipe.)

Pretty it may be in clumps on pine needles, but “pretty” is not what I was thinking as I was chiseling through the 1-inch crust of frozen slush on my windshield.

The sunlight hitting the drooping rhododendron leaves made for a splash of color.

The most color was to be found in the wintery clothing of my children. (Here’s one splash of color sweeping the snowy footprints with a branch of pine. On my driveway. Yes, that sheet of snow and ice is my driveway. Good times.)

Here, one of my splashes of color cradles a lump of ice. (Additional color provided by the recycling bins. Pick-up delayed one day by the storm.)

So, there we are. Spring? Not so much sprung. I may have to resort to looking at photos of last year’s spring.

tree-lined road on a foggy morning

There was a brief stretch last week when the temperatures were strangely balmy for a January in New England, and we awoke to a thick fog on Wednesday morning. This is a photo I took from the top of our driveway, looking down our street while waiting with Phoebe for her school bus.

Photo taken with my iPhone, with the Instagram filter Sutro applied.

shadows with highlights, highlights with shadows

On Friday we awoke to a cold but bright and sunny morning and a very light dusting of snow. After going about the usual morning routine and getting the kids off to school, I came home and got ready to do some work. I’m not sure why it caught my eye, but when I looked out my back door, I saw something I hadn’t seen before: The sun had melted the very thin layer of snow, all except for any that was in shadow. On our deck, the railings cast their long morning shadows onto the deck floor, and each shadow had its own outline of snow. The angle of the sun had clearly changed since most of the melting, as the snow didn’t line up perfectly with the shadows. Instead, the thinner dark stripes had their white highlights, and the thicker white stripes were set off by a dark shadow outline.


Yes, our deck could use a good sweeping, and perhaps a scrubbing. But the leaves and debris add a bit of texture, right?

Today’s forecast

Hour-by-hour forecast for Thursday, January 21

2:00 a.m. 95% chance of baby wakefulness
3:00 a.m. continued baby wakefulness with intermittent parental snoozes
4:00 a.m. continued baby wakefulness with intermittent parental outbursts
5:00 a.m. 85% chance of fitful slumber, punctuated by dreams of wakefulness
6:00 a.m. 99% chance of beeping alarm clock, chance of snooze button 100%
7:00 a.m. Blustery tempers and high-speed chases, chance of toddler eye precipitation 98%
8:00 a.m. Frosty windshield combined with hot tempers lead to isolated storms
9:00 a.m. 80% chance of showers skipped
10:00 a.m. 75% chance of feeling snowed over

Mood likely will continue to be partly cloudy throughout the day, with scattered thoughts and intermittent storms of crankiness.

Image from wpclipart.

summer skies



We had a wedding to go to up in New Hampshire this weekend, and Phoebe got to be a flower girl. It was a fun trip, if largely hectic with various functions and family commitments. I’d write more about the weekend, but I’ve got some work to catch up on. I actually didn’t even bring my laptop on the trip with us, knowing how tight our schedule (and cargo space) would be.

On Sunday, one of John’s cousins invited us up to spend a bit of time with her family at a beach in Maine. So we headed up there after checking out of the hotel, and attending the last of the wedding-related gatherings.

The setting was gorgeous, and the weather was perfect.

This “summer” has been one of the coldest, rainiest ones I can remember, so it was a real treat to have warm sunshine this weekend. Now we’re back to chilly rain and thunder, the afternoon sky so dark outside the window that it makes me feel like climbing into bed. As I sit here hunched over my laptop trying to do work, I find it hard to tear myself away from the photos that tell a different story about these days of summer.

p.s. I forgot to mention that it’s time for the Just Posts once more. If you have read or written posts on topics of social justice, send ’em in!

more than one way to shovel a driveway

It was snowing heavily when I woke up this morning. I’m not sure how many inches accumulated before things turned to rain. Then the sun came out. The result was that by late afternoon, everything was covered with about an inch of very wet, very dense slush-snow. Since John has been sick for the last couple of days with a fever, it was up to me to get the driveway cleared before the inevitable night-time freeze.

If you have ever shoveled slush, you will know that it is very heavy, and slides off the shovel pretty easily. Which made it pretty hard to throw as you might do when shovelling fluffy snow. So I spent a lot of time scraping up a shovel-load of snow, and walking it to the side of the drive to dump it. It was very slow going. After clearing the area in front of our garage, I was mightily bored. So as I worked towards clearing the way up to the street, I got a bit more creative.


Ok, I had a bit of reason for doing this. Namely, I wanted to get up to the mailbox without traipsing through the snow, which can lead to harder shovelling. The side paths were to walk over my shovelfuls. Of course, once I’d started a pattern, I felt like going a bit further with that.


And since I’d bothered to go inside to get my camera, why not go all out?


As I was working on that last bit, a couple of people out for a walk strolled by and said “hello.” I can only wonder what they thought of me.

(Just so you know, I did actually finish clearing the driveway.)

sunshine on a cloudy day?

Here is a little screen shot of the weather widget on my Mac. The top weather summary is for Boston, and the bottom is for our town. Please look closely at the two summaries, especially for the Wednesday column. Notice any differences between the two forecasts?



We live 45 miles from Boston. Admittedly we live in a different county, and in many ways our little semi-rural, one-stoplight town is worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitain urban center. But dammit, I thought we were generally in the same climate.

Okay, since we are inland, and Boston is on the water, we typically see some differences in amount of precipitation and temperature. I’m used to that. However, it would appear that for tomorrow, as I’ll go into Boston for a meeting after I drop off Phoebe at daycare, I need to dress for snow and cold, and also for balmy sunshine. Maybe I should mail home a postcard from sunny Boston.

Update: Aha! It would appear that Boston is not going to have the Mediterranean temperatures that my widget told me. Well, not Boston, Massachusetts, at least. At some point in the last few days, perhaps sensing that I’m looking forward to Spring, my widget decided on its own that I would like to see what the weather is like in Boston, Georgia. I guess this looks more like what I should expect: