Tag Archives: snow

to catch a snowflake (friday foto finder: snowflake)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programing of fall leaves and water drops to bring you a preview of the trends to come.

Back in January, a few weeks after I serendipitously spotted and photographed a bunch of freshly fallen and perfectly articulated snowflakes, I decided to try to try my luck with intentionally capturing freshly fallen snowflakes. Once there is snow on the ground (which there pretty much is here December through February or March), the fresh flakes tend to blend in with the old flakes. They are certainly fresher and whiter than the snow on the ground, but they don’t photograph well. What they need is a bit more contrast to show off their lines.

So, when snowstorm started, I decided to see if I could catch some snowflakes. As a background, I grabbed a dark colored fuzzy scarf and brought it outside to my front yard. Actually, first I let it chill for a bit on covered front porch, because a warm scarf from inside would certainly melt any individual snowflakes pretty much instantly.

The trap was moderately successful, and I could indeed make out the shapes of many an individual snowflake. Photographing them was rather challenging, though. You see, snowflakes are small. It’s quite tricky to focus on the little buggers. And you might also be surprised to know that when it is snowing outside, it can be downright cold out. Yes, you heard it here first. The result of this was that as I squatted over my scarf trying to focus on the individual flakes with my quickly numbing fingers, I also got downright chilled. (Shivering, does not help one steady one’s hand.)

Clearly, what I needed was to bring out a tripod. However, it wasn’t long before it was a moot point. The fickle New England weather turned from snow to freezing rain, and the individual snowflakes on my scarf quickly evolved into clumps of slush.

Perhaps this year I will try again and set an all-new snowflake trap, and work out these kinks. Build a better snowflake trap, as it were.

This week’s friday foto finder theme was “snowflake.” To see the flurry of other snowflakes that have been caught, stop by the fff blog.

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.