Tag Archives: snow

what a difference 2 months makes

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.

fluffy December blooms

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

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.)

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