Category Archives: photos

remnants of fall

Even though I have mostly moved on from photos of leaves to photos of snow and ice, it is still officially fall for another 8 days. I wasn’t especially thinking of that when I took these photos in the woods behind my house this afternoon. I was just admiring the way the fern leaves curled and contrasted with the sharp straight lines of the pine needles.

The late afternoon sun also cast some crisp sharp shadows on these crisp leaves.

boughs of holly (friday foto finder: Christmas Decoration)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “Christmas Decoration.” My own halls remain undecked, but these holly boughs I came across last December would make an attractive decoration. Except all the snow on them would melt and leave puddles in the halls. Does the song specify that the boughs of holly should be free of ice and snow? Because that could be a real mess.

To see what festive arrangements might be decking some other halls, ride your sleigh over to the fff blog.

fluffy December blooms

The snow clumping on the shrubs looks rather like fluffy white flowers. Or even more like cotton balls.

gingerbread composition

It has become a tradition for me to bake gingerbread in the winter. On more than one occasion, I have been quite taken with the way the various dry ingredients compose themselves the bowl: the various spices making dark patterns on the lighter flour mixtures. Here are photos from three different times I made gingerbread in recent years.
Here, I seem to have added the spices from lighter color to dark, with ginger, then cinnamon, then cloves.


Here, the spices clumped up, looking like miniature boulders on a bed of sugar gravel.


Here, the cinnamon perfectly held the shape of the measuring spoon.

(And no, I haven’t had time for baking yet this year. I’ve been too busy cooking up perception experiments and writing abstracts. Which are not nearly as tasty.)

It’s beginning to look…marginally more like Christmas

I love the festive trappings of Christmas–the trees, the bright decorations, and especially the lights. In the long dark nights, it is so cheering to see the bright and colorful displays. However, getting things to look festive takes time and energy. These are things that I don’t have in excess just now. We managed to get our tree on Sunday, before rushing off to a recital, but had no time to put it up. (As I headed out to the garage before driving in to work, I was happy that John had remembered to take the tree off my car.)

We also picked up a little dangling ball of Christmas greenery. These probably have a name, but I don’t know what it is. I hung it out on our front porch, on a hook helpfully left by the previous owners. If I had to do anything more than that, the festive ball would probably be dangling less festively from a doorknob.

Our new neighborhood is much more of a neighborhood than our previous one, which was really more of a road through the woods with houses on it. And the new neighborhood apparently goes all out for holiday decorations. I feel like the neighbors might be a little disappointed that we aren’t joining in the spirit. But I can point out the ball, right?

In this photo, I was trying to capture the drips of the oh-so-festive freezing rain we had today.

And in zooming in to check the focus on my drip, I was amused to see my reflection, awkwardly hanging on to the porch pillar as I tried to get a better angle on the ball without stepping out onto the treacherously icy steps.

Ah, ’tis the season.

a decorative dusting of snow

I commuted into Boston again today, for a long day of running subjects on a bunch of different experiments. We are trying to get as much data as we can before a couple of upcoming conference deadlines, and also before our subject pool leaves town for winter break for a month.

I haven’t been taking many photos of late, largely due to being busy and often rushing around. This morning, I arrived and parked with enough time to get coffee from my favorite independent coffee house. On my way, my eye was caught a few times by patterns made by the very, very light dusting of snow that had fallen that morning. Most of the ground and surfaces were bare, but the the tiny dry snow flakes (more like little grains of ice-sand, really) had been blown around, and caught here and there in cracks and crevices.


I liked the way the snow filled in the cracks of these bricks in the sidewalk.


Here, I thought it was cool the way the snow had caught in some sort of fallen plant stems, which seem to have been arranged by a little whirlwind around a parking meter post.

Also seen were students attempting to have a snowball fight from the deeper piles of dusty snow that had caught along the curb. It was really not the sort of snow that you can make snowballs out of, so really people were just throwing poofy clouds of snow at each other. It was very cute. (I didn’t get any good photos. It did make me smile, though.)

minty miniature metropolis (friday foto finder: mint)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “mint.” Seeing as we are heading towards Christmas, mint made me think of candy canes. I haven’t taken many photos of candy canes, it turns out. And I didn’t much in the way of time to take a new photos this week. (Have I mentioned how busy I’ve been?) But I did remember this impressive candy display in the lobby of the Empire State Building when we visited there a few Decembers ago. There are quite a few candy canes to be found in the scene, as well as plenty of other minty candies.

Want to share some mints of your own, or partake of the other mints on display? Pay a visit to the fff blog. (Don’t worry, not all mints there will be as bad for the teeth as these.)