Me pinching the little tiny winter sun. From 2012.
Today is the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. (All of my days seem to go too quickly, so I barely noticed that this was the shortest day. I am looking forward to the days getting longer again, even though that doesn’t actually mean I’ll find more time…It will be nice to start having more sun.)
It’s time of year when my phone fills up with photos of ice. This time of year is, naturally, close on the heels of the time of year when my phone fills up with photos of leaves.
It may not shock you to know that in this transition from late fall into winter, I sometimes also take photos of leaves and ice together.
Snow plows at the ready at Boston Logan airport.
I’m rather in denial that it is now December, but I can only ignore the evidence for so long. This weekend, we went to 2 different towns’ tree lighting ceremonies, and tomorrow we go to a local tree farm to get our own tree. There isn’t any snow in the immediate forecast, but it will come. (And really, this reminds me that I should probably scoop up and toss what remains of the pumpkins that are currently rotting on our front porch.)
A few weeks ago, I posted some photos of views through beautiful sparkling ice. Beautiful sparkling ice that was on our windows and screens and indicated that water was coming in under the roof due to ice dams. One surprisingly warm day in February, we came home from a relaxing weekend away to find that the ice was melting. Oh glory day! And then we walked into this:
Our breakfast nook was raining. The hardwood floors were puddled. Naturally, I felt this was an opportunity to make a slo-mo movie. (Clearly the water had been coming in for at least an hour. A few seconds delay to cleaning it up were hardly going to make a major difference to the damage.)
This wasn’t even the first time we had water coming in. It was just the most dramatic. Other leaks were a bit more slow, and a range of buckets and beach towels kept things more-or-less under control.
I think the beach towels add a cheerful summery look to the room.
John also spent many hours breaking through the ice dams to release the water. Once the water had another way out, it stopped finding its way into the house. (Until the ice dams reformed the next time. And the next time.)
Another view of the summer beach decor, and a view of the ladder where John spent many hours dreaming of summer.
And so ends April, and I did manage to post something here every day for the whole month. Not much of substance, but it still felt good. Hopefully I will manage to continue to post.
This was the mountain that we had out front on February 5th. I don’t remember how many more feet of snow were added to it after this.
It’s funny looking back at my photos of the last few months. Given how much my life was dominated by the record-breaking quantities of snow we got this winter (mostly all dumping on us in the month of February), I didn’t take very many photos of the snow. (I mean, of course, “very many for me.”) Take the giant pile of snow at the end of our driveway. This gargantuan mound towered about 8 feet high. The town did a good job of clearing the road and the cul-de-sac so that the school bus could still make its rounds, but all that snow had to go somewhere. And that somewhere turned out to be on either side of our driveway. While the driveway itself wasn’t blocked, the towering mounds of snow extended a good 10 feet into the road from the curb. What this meant was that our mailbox, while we had dug out the mailbox and the driveway, was not still accessible to the mail carrier. (They aren’t allowed to back up in order to maneuver to reach a mailbox.) Our mail stopped being delivered, and we had to go collect it at the post office. Eventually, we set up a temporary mailbox in a bucket which we placed about 8 feet in front of the regular mailbox.
This was the shrinking mountain on March 11. Still well over 6 feet high at its peak.
I think it was last week or the week before when I finally retired the temporary mailbox, after scooching the mailbox bucket back bit by bit over a few weeks as the giant snowbanks receded.
Now we’ve had sunny and warm days, and there is hardly any snow left on the ground. Looking back at my snow photos, I can almost feel nostalgic about the snow! (Almost.)
The last remnants of the snowpile of doom, yesterday. I kind of like how the lens flare looks like rainbow shining down.
Part of what was keeping me busy over the last few months was winter. It was a long hard winter. There was so very much ice and snow. Record-breaking quantities of snow.
I love to take pictures of ice and snow, but I had more than my fill. Today was the first day since the first day of spring when it actually felt a bit like spring. Now that the thaw is under way, I can look back at some of my ice photos without whimpering. As much.
These are some photos I took through our breakfast nook windows. This ice was due to some early stages of ice dams. (I’m sure I’ll have more to say about ice dams.) The ice was really quite beautiful, sparkling in the morning sunlight, bending and molding the grid lines of the screen into curves and whorls.
It’s really quite hard to reconcile this sparkling beauty with the knowledge that it was the herald of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the house.
Last week’s friday foto finder theme was “comfort.” If you’re out and about walking, it can be a comfort to find a bench to sit on.
Perhaps not, though, if you happen to be walking in New England in winter. Unless your idea of comfort includes having a seriously cold backside.
This bench looks not only cold, but lumpy.
I’ve often thought that fresh fallen snow looks beautifully soft and pillowy. Given enough winter clothing, these chairs might actually be pretty comfortable with their fluffy white cushions….
(This photo was from my archives, taken in December, 2008.)
These snowy cushions, however, are really quite over the top. Literally.¹
This photo was from February, 2011. That was a very long, very snowy, very miserable winter. Even more so than this year. I’m happy to say that after a few days of temperatures well above freezing, our deck is now almost completely clear of snow. Which is good, as we might have more snow on the way this week. (I feel for my friends up in parts of Canada who have not so much of a thaw, and whose decks look still largely like this photo. Take comfort, friends. Spring will surely arrive…some day.)
To see other people getting comfortable with this theme, head on over to the fff blog and set a spell.
¹ I do mean literally literally. Not figuratively.² That snow reaches over the tops of the chairs.
² I received an email from Tumblr recently with the subject line “Your Dashboard is literally on fire.” I found this rather alarming. In case of an actual fire, an email is perhaps not the best means of communication.
Tomorrow is the official first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, in the particular part of the Northern Hemisphere where I live, Winter seems not to have gotten that message.
I’ve gone into Boston for meetings the last couple of days, and the snow is all but gone there. Roofs, roads, and ground are free of snow and ice, save for the occasional fist-sized stubborn lump of ice remaining from what once have been a mighty mound.
Not so in my neck of the woods. Here is my front yard:
This is the mound of snow and ice resulting from shoveling out the top of the driveway. This was this morning. It was 20 degrees out.
It’s true that I have really enjoyed looking at and taking pictures of many of the ice and snow formations.
I have many, many photos of ice and snow. Icicles, frost, falling snow. Snow flakes, snow men, snow caves. Sparkling ice in the morning sun. Smooth frozen puddles with embedded bubbles and cracks. Fluffy untrampled snow, and interesting patterns of tracks in the snow. Quite honestly, I am about ready to move on to another subject matter.
Soon, I hope to fill up my phone with images of green shoots and early blooms. Unfortunately , this is where our first crocuses tend to emerge:
There are many things that I like about Winter. One of them is that it eventually ends and gives way to Spring. So, here’s wishing a fond farewell to Winter. (And here’s hoping that Winter gets the message and departs. Before I have to file a restraining order against it.)
When the weather turns cold, but the snow isn’t falling, any remaining drops of humidity in the air get applied to whatever surfaces are left exposed outside. While it sometimes looks like my car has been draped a sheer but sparkly fabric in the morning, other times the frost appears in lines and shapes that resemble hieroglyphics. I don’t always know what to make of these weird drawings and cryptic messages.
Yesterday when I got in the car, there was a thin, long white zig-zagging line across my windshield, and I thought for sure that the windshield had cracked, but it turned out to be another one of the frost’s practical jokes: the apparent crack wiped away with a finger tip.
Here is a collection of some of the insane ramblings that Jack Frost has inscribed on the surfaces of my car.
This bit looked like the start of a spiderweb, or maybe the beginnings of some sort of dastardly plot.
These bits look like someone was at work with an Etch-a-Sketch.
Who can say what was meant by this:
I wished I could have gotten the phone’s camera to focus better, but I was cold. But I thought the message looked important.
Dire warnings written on the tail light?
A treasure map drawn on my rear window?
I’ll let you know if I am ever able to decode this.
Has Jack Frost been leaving you cryptic messages as well?