Tag Archives: snow

cold comfort

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.

Bidding Winter goodbye

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.)

first flakes of a snowstorm (friday foto finder: beginning)

The past month has been a blur of activity. Or, I suppose, given the subject of these photos, a “flurry of activity” would be a better fit. Deadlines. Holidays. Deadlines. Festivities. Deadlines. And lots and lots of baking. It’s hard to know even where to start. Happily, this week’s friday foto finder theme of beginning gave me a thought of where to dig in.

These first 3 photos are all crops of one photo that I took at the very beginning of a snowstorm we had a couple of weeks ago. I was out with Phoebe at a concert a friend of hers was performing in, and the first flakes of a big predicted storm started to fall as we watched the show. When we left, the snow had just started to collect here and there. We admired the flakes that had gathered on the ledge of the car window, and naturally I grabbed my phone to take a photo.

The conditions were just right such that the big, fluffy flakes maintained their crystalline form, even after landing. Sadly, I hadn’t remembered to bring my real camera. (Not that I would have had much time, as we were in somewhat of a hurry to get home.)

I keep hoping to see more snowflakes like these, but the snow we have had since hasn’t measured up. Our current snow, for example was so cold that the flakes that landed appeared to be just tiny shards of shattered flakes, with no evidence of intricate symmetry. Other snow has fallen wet and mixed with rain.


The beginnings of yesterday’s snow were much less dramatic to see. These tiny flaky bits were seen on our porch rail. I took this photo with a lens extender, but even the macro shot didn’t reveal any six-sided wonders.

To see what other beginnings are to be seen, drift over to the fff blog.fff 200x602

winter hold-outs

Here are 3 photos of Theo holding out big chunks of icy snow out on our driveway.

2 months ago.


A week ago.


2 days ago.

Seriously, I’m about done with this series. Soon, I hope to have photos of my children holding spring flowers. Or beach toys. Maybe even popsicles.

On the bright (?) side, I got buzzed by a gnat while waiting for the school bus this afternoon. So, spring is in the air…

marginal progress

The temperatures got quite warm yesterday afternoon, thankfully, and much of the snow on our driveway melted. When I checked for the crocuses again today, they were bravely poking up through the snow.

Crocuses at 8:30 a.m. 3 spikes have poked out of the snow. (Actually, there are more spikes off camera.)

As for me, I confess that today I’m feeling snowed under (though it’s not the snow that’s doing it). I ran up against a wall with an experiment I’m designing (which is not actually about running up against walls), and then decided to switch gears and work on a different work project (which is not about gears, or switching them). Only to find that I’d managed not to save the file I’d worked on the last time I worked on the project. And another file for a different project to boot. (There were no boots.) I spent a fair amount of time hunting for the files, before determining that I had to retrace my steps. (Though there was no actual stepping). I spent a fair amount of time swearing at myself. (You can bet that there was actual swearing.)

It did not feel like a productive day.

On the bright side, the crocuses are making some progress.

Crocuses at 5:30 p.m., from a slightly different angle. You can see a 4th purple spike just emerging in the middle of the 3.

3 photos of melting snow


These salt crystals on the road look like rough gemstones.


We had a night of mixed snow and rain. In the bright sun of the next morning, slushy snow fell from the trees with lots of little plops, some of which made patterns like barnacles.


The stones of our front walk must have been warmer than the surrounding ground. I like the way the spaces between the stones filled with snow.

barely balanced


I liked the way that these tall piles of snow managed to stay upright, nestled in the branches of this tree in our front yard. In the afternoon light, it even had a bit of a glow.

This photo was from Sunday. Now, remarkably, much of the snow is gone. We had a warm stretch, and lots of rain, melting and compacting the 2 feet of snow from Saturday down to maybe 4 inches. I thought that much snow would stick around for weeks! 2 years ago, we had a winter where the snow just kept coming, without the melting in between. There were a number of roof cave-ins around the area from the weight of all that snow. I like the quick melting snow much better!

Speaking of balance, I’m having a bit of trouble getting all the things done I need to do. It’s been another crazy stretch, with all kinds of commitments left and right. Valentine’s Day stuff for the kids. Work stuff. Home stuff. I have an early meeting in Boston tomorrow, and then I will collect my mother at the airport. The house is a mess, and I still haven’t found the guest bed. And I really, really want to share a story about a Big Thing I did last week. But I need to go to bed!

I also feel compelled to say that now that I’ve publicly announced my intentions to post every day this month, it suddenly feels like more of a burden to post every day this month. I know that’s sort of silly, especially given that I don’t actually *have* to post every day this month. And I certainly don’t need to do anything spectacular when I post every day this month. But now I have this strange compulsion to repeat the phrase “post every day this month.”

Did I mention that I need to get to bed?

digging in


Our array of snow shovels.

Some of you may have noticed that I have been posting rather frequently of late. I decided, you see, that I would post every day this month. I have so many photos and stories to share, I decided to just dig in. I don’t really have a plan, beyond that. I’m just picking from among the photos in my digital hoard, or posting as things come up. I hope to share some more of my travel stories, and other posts I’ve started to draft. Maybe, when I’ve laid it all out, some sort of pattern will emerge. Or maybe it will be just a big pile. But it will be my pile.


There are some bushes hiding under these piles.


Our front path.

And now I should try to dig back into my work, which has been entirely neglected for the past few days. Not only have I spent a lot of time shovelling snow, but I have also not had any time without at least one young child since Thursday.

digging out

As you may have heard, the US East Coast was hit by a blizzard over the past couple of days. We weathered the storm without any incident (happily, we didn’t lose power), and by mid-morning today the skies had cleared and the sun came out. All told, it looks like we got somewhere between 18 inches and 2 feet of snow. (It was crazy-windy last night, so there was much drifting.)

John had shovelled several times during the night, so the driveway only had about 8 inches when the snow stopped. He had, however, left the car untouched. Come 3 in the afternoon, pretty much all of the other necessary shovelling was done. It was time to deal with this:


Dude, where’s my car?

Theo, who often enjoys brushing the snow off the car with our long-handled snow brush, decided that he would take on the job.


2:54:28 p.m. Trying the side of the car first, but having trouble reaching the car.


2:54:46 p.m. Around to the back, and looking determined.


2:55:09 p.m.


2:55:16 p.m.


2:55:59 p.m. “You can get the rest, Mommy.”

So it was up to me.


4:09 Close enough? I think this is kind of a good look for the car. And we didn’t have to go anywhere.


What do you see? (Please participate in the snow Rorschach test.)