Archive for the ‘snow Photography’ category

FALL IS WINTER

November 26, 2018

Sometimes, anyway:  Fall is Winter —

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We got the visit from Bruce this morning – Bruce the second winter storm of the season.   But I noticed this brave little proclamation.      A wet snowfall and strong winds have torn off this leaf and flung it down on my deck railing, sticking like an upright oaken sentinel, proclaiming to all that it is still Fall!

Out my front window I could see that I wasn’t going anywhere today:

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See that thin dark gray line going across the middle of the picture?   That’s our street.  Someone was able to make a track.   But my little car is not going to slip and slide and add tracks to that track!

It gets a little bit lighter after noonday,   pretty outside and cozy inside.

S deck and pond

We had a holiday, of sorts, today.  A Snow Day!

I love this snow!

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(MINI)-TRAUMA ON A WINTER’S NIGHT

February 28, 2018

“Music, a Meeting,  More Snow,  and a Reverse Lesson in Kindness)

(This posting will feel like  a disorganized mess because . . .  well, I feel like a mess right now.)

RECOVERY MODE:

So,  this is me, recovering tonight:

Knitting

Words actually say it better than this photo:   I’m having a quiet, relaxing evening in front of a soothing fire with a bright almost- full moon shining through the window behind me, and I’m so surprised to be able to begin my new knitting project – a thick, luscious white cabled sweater.

(“Every journey begins with a few stitches.”)

It’s a surprise because I have fairly badly injured my right thumb, slightly traumatizing, and I thought I couldn’t start my new knitting project,  but as it turns out,  because there are so many cables in it,  I’m not using the European style of knitting which would have put more pressure on my thumb.   So,  two fingers, not the thumb. . . .

I need the knitting, the fireplace, and the quiet right now.

I injured my thumb yesterday during a meeting in an office of our, uh,  professional advisor,  just a periodic meeting,  with Son by my side.  I couldn’t hide the bleeding which didn’t stop during that whole time, but I had to hide the shock my body felt and the growing pain.

“BE YE KIND”

You don’t give up any of your strength when you are kind to someone:

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It matters, it matters very much if you are kind to the people around you.     Thankfully,  I’ve been surrounded by kindness.   Our “advisor”  who kindly got up several times to give me wads of paper towels to soak up the blood (which I didn’t know what to do with – not thinking clearly).

And Son,  glancing at me once in a while in the office,  and then his kind attention and (distracting) conversation as we went out for a nice lunch afterwards;  and his helping with needed yard work which I couldn’t do, and patient conversation afterwards.

The kindness of these two men was not unnoticed, and I’m a bit embarrassed to say, but  it was very much needed.

And kindness today:

RECORDER

It was Recorder Practice today.    I didn’t think I could use my thumb.   It hurt.   I was unaccountably tired.  And I felt a little tense and shaky all over.   But I like my friend and I like playing recorder together with her.    So I went.     (“Music hath charms to soothe the “traumatized”  breast.”)    My friend kindly listened to my tales of woe and said we could stop when my thumb said to stop.

And look what was waiting for us after we played our music!

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A beautiful table like this just doesn’t assemble itself.   My friend is an artist, with color and composition.   Those little  flowers grow on her property, and they’re called Snow Drops,  arranged beautifully.    They were so charming in the little crystal containers  that they actually soothed and cheered my body.

Table

When you do something like this for a friend,  that is an act of kindness.     It’s actually a command from our “Master.”

(Ephesians 4:32)   Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

The Snow Drops bring me to another whole set of considerations:

Not too long ago I woke up to this outside my window – an Ice Cage!

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Long icicles had formed across my house.   It was the aftermath of lots and lots of snow –

Snow Banks 380   –   I had shoveled the snow up into four-foot banks.

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Everything was deeply covered .

But then the ice on the pond turned “green” signaling a change in the weather.

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We had a couple days of very warm rains, causing the creek back there to rise into a raging river,  a couple days of flooded roads and detours,  and now,  though it’s “Indian Spring”  or whatever this warm weather is called,   we have some snow predicted.

A measly three inches.    Can I get back on my skis again?

Grandson Cooper has four to eight feet of snow predicted this week.    He lives right on the shore of Donner Lake,  here:

Donner Lake

And up in the pass?   Donner Pass:

Donner

It will be a white-out again.

Lucky Cooper!    He’ll be able to ski!

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NIGHT SURPRISE

January 29, 2018

I was raking old leaves this weekend, wearing a sweater . . .  but the Far North gives us surprises –

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This was taken about 4:30 this morning. We were having such a beautiful snowfall  . . .  I kept going around to all the windows and taking pictures (as though we’d never had snow before!).     The deck lights added so many little patterns  –

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There are nine or so inches on my deck railing and bench right now.    I know a lot of people  must have wakened  up to this “surprise”;  no one seems to have heard any weather report predicting this much snow.

The whole world looks so different under all this snow.         See those two small parallel white lines against the tree trunk?   —

29 Vines in the snow

Those two parallel lines are big Poison Ivy vines that  had been growing  all the way up that tall tree, and then they were ripped off  in a big storm.    They let go of the tree and just fell off.    No one is too willing to go and get them out of the creek where they fell.

Usually you can’t see them too well just behind my pond  (which is all that white in the foreground)  and when everything is colored in  the same brown tones.   But snow outlines everything in a thick soft covering, accentuating some things, obscuring other things.

Schools are closed.  My class is canceled.   The snowplows will not come today, and neither will the mailman.

But then there’s the driveway to think about.       (Think:  good exercise)

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Can’t get out on the roads to go (cross-country)  skiing anyway.     In fact,  looking at that snowbank at the end of the driveway,  I’ll be staying home for a while.    And when the snowplows come,  that snowbank is just going to get higher.

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There is a thin light snowfall right now,  but when we get a puff of wind,  the snow on the branches comes down in a cascade of tennis ball size chunks.

Now that I’m all snowed in,  I’m supposed to be enjoying the couch by a big window in my front room,, and reading and knitting . . .    but –

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Can’t keep my eyes off this scene.

I’m easily distracted.

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DADDY DUG HIM OUT!

March 7, 2017

Week after week after week this year,  my grandson Cooper has been receiving snowfalls by the feet!   I kind of wondered if they’re able to move around or something.

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Daddy’s been working hard!     That’s the walkway to their house!     Kind of looks like Cooper has his backpack on.   Ready for school?

Behind him,  over his shoulder, you can just about see  Donner Lake.   This is where they live,  somewhere down there on the lake shore.    I’ve been on that lake in the summer, and those mountains stay snow-covered – and beautiful.

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Between snowstorms  you can “get there from here”  —

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Meanwhile,    I heard about their weather this week:

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48 hours.   They got more feet of snow than Cooper is tall.

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Cooper’s Mommy is in India this week where the temperature is in the 90s.

What a planet!

GLOBE

DADDY MADE A PLAY SPACE

January 24, 2017

(Life underneath a good snowfall) –

I could have entitled this, yet once again:  “Cooper RE-buried!”    but I think Cooper’s Daddy took care to keep him  un-buried.

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That’s my grandson again,  Cooper,  pushing back the snow near his house.  Aren’t they getting cabin fever yet?    Aren’t they beginning to feel a little “suffocated”?     But Cooper and his Daddy and Mommy claim that they love living in the high Sierras, right near where the Donner Party had so much trouble with the snow . . . .   They claim they love the snow because then they have more to play in.

The base at upper Squaw Valley today is:   190 inches!    How many feet is that?

This is pretty close to what Cooper’s back yard looks like:

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Somehow, the kids find each other,  even after a third or fourth week of six-foot snowfalls.  Last weekend it was five.

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Five feet.    This is quite near Cooper’s neighborhood during a snowfall.   I recognize those roads.  I distinctly remember pushing him around in a baby stroller in that neighborhood  —  in the summer.

Wonder what it’s like to really “play” in all that  snow?   Well, before anyone can go skiing or snowboarding,  they have to  PLOW the slopes!

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A Midwestern flatlander like me wonders why they have to plow up there on the peaks.   This is why –

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You can probably recognize what those are;   they’re the lifts, the lift chairs – or the very tops of them.   The snow is too deep for them to work until some of the  snow is removed.

If you need help,  the California Highway Patrol will come – or try to come  –

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Don’t hold your breath.

Better to stay inside your house –

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(I’m pretty sure I pushed Cooper’s stroller past this house too.)

Can you have too much of a good thing?

 

 

ICE SCIENCE

January 17, 2017

Doing my errands today . . .

ice-driveway

. . .     doing errands on a solid sheet of ice that used to be my driveway.

Getting back up onto my front porch wasn’t any easier —

ice-bricks

It was only raining today.  It shouldn’t have been this bad.

We didn’t have the major part of that ice storm that crossed the nation during this past week,  but we had an interesting “weather event” just the same.

Our temperatures are pretty warm.  It’s going to be around 40 degrees more or less, for the next few days,   and precipitation will be in the form of rain.    HOWEVER —  our ground is frozen!    The temperature of the soil is less than 32 degrees,  so when rain comes down,  the ground freezes it.

So we’ve had an “ice storm”  at ground level, I guess you could say.    Everything else above two inches is pretty soaked and happy, and our  trees and power lines are just fine.

Cooper, however ––   remember the posts called “Grandson Buried”  and  “Burying Cooper Again” ?       Well, Mother Nature’s taking aim for a third try.   Another 5 to 6 feet of snow by Friday, and probably near 10 feet total at the end of a week.  Their forecast shows heavy snow for the next   eight  days!    I couldn’t drive out to see him if I tried.

How about a Snowplow Train?  –

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By the way,  Cooper lives on “Donner Pass Road,”  if that tells you anything.

Ice Science:

anatarctica-dark

Not Science Fiction, though.

antarctica

These are two photos of one of the science stations on the western edge of Antarctica.   They’re relocating because two huge crevices have opened up and are growing rapidly in length, threatening to cut off these scientists and their labs.

Thousands and thousands of new volcanoes have opened up in that region of the ocean,  warming the waters,  steering the warm water currents into that edge of Antarctica, so the ice shelf is getting unstable.

It’s not “climate change.”    And charging us massive “carbon tax” fees will not stop it. *

According to scientific statistics the area covered by ice down there has increased, year by year, over the past several years.   Antarctica has more ice than before.   However, this western edge is facing strong warm water currents.

Now what is causing the increase in volcanoes, underwater and around the Ring of Fire?

I guess we’d have to turn from Ice Science to Fire Science.

 

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.*   But don’t worry.  If you don’t know much about true science and you think you might be causing planetary changes in weather,    the outgoing Barack Hussein person, in the last three days of his White House occupation,  just gave away  one-half billion of our dollars to the United  Nations  “Climate”  Fund.

Do you know how much more he has already given away?

WINDING DOWN BEFORE CHRISTMAS

December 12, 2016

(A snapshot of Dec. 10;  just keeping a record.)

Yup, we had that snowstorm.     I was buried today.    Not too bad,  I’ve seen worse –

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This area had about 9 inches of snow today.  That photo is my second  round of shoveling the driveway.  Still hadn’t made it out as far as the mailbox.     I knew I’d have to drive out in the late afternoon, so instead of shoveling all at once,  I did it in   “shifts.”     12:40 . . .  2:30 . . .   4:15.

You might recognize that as pre-game,   half-time,  and  post-game  (or rather between the first and second games.

Now I’m home,  I don’t care how much more snow has fallen,  and I’m enjoying the effect of the “frosting”  on my blue deck lights:

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I can NOT get a good picture that shows how soft and beautiful the lights are.   I think I’ll  go to sleep by that window tonight.

Another view with dramatic lights and shadows, but even less of the blue lights.

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I’ll make good use of my insomnia tonight and just enjoy the winter beauty as I “wind down”  from all the things that have stirred me up during the past week or so.     The usual, of course:  holiday cleaning,  decorating,  gift-buying;   good preparation for the last-classes-of-the -year.   I can “wind down” on that too because we’re just going to take up where we left off after we begin  to meet again.   What I didn’t say or didn’t say well I can try again in January.

There was a flurry of party preparations for a while,  our Annual  Christmas-Movie-Pizza party,   but we had a less elaborate party this year.    We voted to have actual pizza this year,  so all we had to do was eat and enjoy.   I was very, very, very nervous about whether or not my guests would like the movie.    I wanted them to very much.

They did.    In fact,  they seemed to enjoy talking about it,  mulling over it,  letting it sink in,  beyond what I had hoped.       I can relax now.

I must have begun minimizing things,  simplifying,  winding down during the party.     I worked hard on creating an album of our past parties – that was fun –  I’d very much recommend keeping a small album of your own special group of friends…  just gather up photos from the past.

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Here’s a Rule of Life I discovered:  The older you get, the more your past experiences mean to you, so be sure to  record good moments for your future reference!!    But even so,   for some odd reason  I didn’t take one picture during this year’s party.      Not one.

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That’s about all I have left….  some sorry-looking punch.     Good friends cleaned up most of the rest.     The leftover glögg  is outside on the deck,  staying cool.      It won’t freeze with all that . . .  you know,  alcohol doesn’t freeze!

So,  this is  “Random Thoughts in the Spruce Tunnel.”     I’m minimizing my Advent activities too.   Most of it is internal, for me, anyway.    And now I have this to think about:     It is Gaudete Sunday.    Letting up from fasting and penance a little, we focus for a  moment on the  Joyful Event that we’re preparing for.

So it’s  Pink,  not Purple:

pink

Except I had some discordant thoughts today.    My first quick peek at the news this morning revealed several groups of killings:      Kenya,   a chemical gas truck accident killing a couple dozen;  in Turkey,  an explosion killing about three dozen;   in Egypt, an explosion in a church killing a couple dozen or so;   and back to Africa, Nigeria, where a church roof collapsed, killing  160 people.    Several  stabbings,  shootings, and rapes were reported this weekend in Europe,  courtesy of their  “refugee”  guests.

Not a good way to begin Gaudete Sunday.

And not a good way to end it either,  in the late afternoon,   in one of those modernist-awful new-version of the Church churches….    where the new young priest or deacon or whatever  continually mispronounced   the word “gaudete”   (that’s okay, lots of lay people do),  gave the wrong meaning to the word “gaudet”    and where, after making brief reference to  the purple colors used in Advent and Lent, asked us  what the color purple means.

“Preparation,”   he says.    Purple indicates preparation.

Nope.

I don’t mind mistakes,   but what this young man said in the rest of his sermon displayed a shocking lack of education,   understanding, and knowledge of Church doctrine.    One more generation of this . . .  and it won’t even really matter.

I’ll do “purple” in another post soon.   Did you know there was a Purple Revolution going on?    And I’ll do better on Advent things.

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Right now my biorhythms chart shows my Emotional line  (the red one) scraping bottom.

It’s a good time to slow down,   wind down for a while,  without coming to any specific conclusions.     After all, snowstorms are for warm quilts, hot cocoa,  and a good book in front of the fireplace.

Things can only go up from here!

 

DE-JA-VU-STORM

March 2, 2016

(The lady laments):

Just about the same time as  last week.   Another snowstorm.  Like deja vu .

Which is a very good thing . . . .

Somewhere between 9 and 10 inches of snow today.  No need for a ruler this time.  You can see it two postings ago.   9 1/2 inches.     As I was shoveling – again –  I remembered last week’s Snow Bear —

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But it wasn’t there today.

Missing . . . .

We had had a couple “warm” days  this weekend so the snow bear I had made went away.  But since I was outside shoveling the same snow from the same driveway,  it just seemed like it should be there.

Which reminds me why this snowstorm is a good thing. . ..

And sorry for the dark photos this time.

My laptop and my desktop PC  are gone today.  Gone like that Snow Bear.   And so , too, is all my software for lightening up photos.   

The snowstorm made it a dark day today.

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Big snowflakes.   Dark day.

Dark, dark, dark.  

All the bits and pieces of my brain are in my missing laptop and PC.     So many times today I wanted to check email –  not there –  check the news –  not there –  answer some questions – not there —  find a pretty painting I was reading about — not there.     Dark.

I do love a good snowstorm.   I love having some useful exercise to do.  (I wasn’t planning to drive anywhere,  but shoveling snow just seems – useful.)   I love the beauty that the snow brings, and the geometric patterns on my backyard pond –

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Deja vu on watching pond patterns again, I guess.   I’d lighten that for you and turn up the contrast.   But I can’t.

My laptop and my PC both,  AT THE SAME TIME,  “got sluggish” to the point of being unusable.  My PC was giving me very scary messages like “No operating system found.  Press any key to reboot.”      Yikes.

I saw it coming.   But I delayed taking them in.  I couldn’t figure out what I would be doing without them while they were being fixed.

They’re in good hands now.   Geeks.  Real, genuine, computer geeks.   I’m very confident.  They weren’t much for small talk but they had a large computer vocabulary.    They seemed to appreciate having my computers to work on,  like  “Oh, boy –  an interesting challenge.”    At least I hope that’s what they were thinking.  

No one could have more affection for my laptop and my PC than I have.

So,   I’m glad for a repeat of last week;  another snowstorm to distract me, and all the things that come with a snowstorm:  fireplace, reading, knitting,   hot cocoa,  comfort food,  and a little fresh air.

Not much else to do.      I could write about something serious today,  like we shouldn’t rely on computers so much, especially when it comes to voting, like electronic voting where today in Texas the people who cast votes for Trump report that they watched their vote on the screen get changed to another name —

Computers can do funny things to you.   But I can’t think about that much now.

My brain is in bits and pieces on someone’s work bench right now.

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FLEETING WINTER BEAUTY

February 25, 2016

 (Just a little photo journal  . . .)

I’ve had one long 32-hour distraction!

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It started yesterday with the beginning of our little snowstorm.   Looked up about noon, over my computer keyboard, out the window — and that was the end of all my work.  Can’t concentrate when there’s so much going on outside!

It seems all day long I just went from window to window as though I had never seen a snowstorm before.  The snow and the wind made such beautiful scenes and patterns –

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The pond was no longer good for ice skating and hockey,  but all day there was a swirl of changing patterns.  I don’t know what the aquamarine color was,  but it was a nice touch.  No.    No blue sky to reflect into the ice.

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The little weed tree at the edge of the pond was getting coated with thick, heavy, sticky snow.   Rather artistic for a “weed.”.

I checked the azaleas just outside the bay window:

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Well, they kind of looked the same as the little weed tree at the edge of the pond.

I went to the front of the house:

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I have a Snowball Bush!       Bloomin’ snowballs.

The snow came all day,  sometimes heavy, sometimes light.  I thought in order to keep up with it,  I’d have to shovel the driveway two or three times while it’s falling, or else I’d never be able to move it all at once.  It was wet and heavy!

Of course, this heavy, wet, sticky snow is good for rolling and packing so now I have —

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—  a Snow Bear!

Okay, you can hardly see a white Snow Bear in a snowstorm,  but I had to alternate snow shoveling with . . . some fun.   Came in soaking wet,  just like when I was a little girl.

Today brought pretty much an end to the snowfall,  but we still  had wind,  shadows, patterns, and interesting things.   First I wanted to see how much snow this area got.

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Mid-morning light shows 9 1/2 inches on the ruler.

Everything was covered with snow or painted with snow.

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I think the neighbors across the street won’t mind if I show you their landscaping shrubs:

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Well, as seen through snow falling.

Then I turned to my backyard pond.   It didn’t look the same today!

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Same aquamarine color but darker in a different lighting –  and what are those circles!

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As I kept going back to check on the snow patterns in the pond,  the sun came out —

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So now we have patterns of gray shadows crossing the giant “lily pads.”

The sun added a whole new range of things to look at.    The temperature dropped,  the snow got lighter and dryer,  and as the wind swirled the snow into the air from off the rooftops and trees,  the sunlight lit up each of the tiny frozen particles, and it seemed like the air was filled with a million glittering little diamonds.

I’m not sure even the finest painter could capture the beauty of a bright sunlit snow scene, after a snowstorm,  with the wind still blowing.

You would have to start with paper that is light gray and blue, and then use brushes dipped in all shades of white, and maybe a little silver.

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The scene is no longer fuzzy and dark and subdued,  but bright and full of contrasts.  And if you were an artist,  you’d have to remember to save the brightest white for the forest floor where the sun shines down full onto it.

We’ll lose all this in a few days.   We’re going to have a warming trend.  40 degrees and more.   Not good.   These photos will be my only memory.   Fleeting beauty!

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Kind of a nice bright interlude in the middle of Lent!

 

 

 

 

STORMS OF ANY KIND

February 16, 2015

8 days?   One of the longest silences The Spruce Tunnel has experienced.  Sorry for that.   If I listed all the bad things, difficult things, dangerous things,  frustrating and fearful things that have been going on here in such a short time,  it would sound like a “storm” has been swirling around me.   A storm made of elements bigger than I am.

Some of them will eventually work out well;  some will not.

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I’d rather write about this storm, that swirled up and down my street yesterday, same weather front that millions of Americans are experiencing.   There are storms like this — and there are “storms”  of another kind.

I wanted to stay home because of my “storms.”     Shelter and hide.       It was looking too bad out there.   But I needed about three minutes of Wi-Fi, that’s all,  but it would be worth going out;   and it could be an adventure driving through the snow clouds that whirled around, driven across the street by strong, frigid winds.

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I had to climb through these to get to my car.    Broom, shovel, scraper in hand,  “storms”  bring a lot of extra work just to be able to keep on going.

I didn’t know if these were snowbanks or snowdrifts along the side of my driveway —

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—  but I could see some beauty in the patterns  —  even though  I had to battle the elements just to get into the car.    The icy wind found its way under my hat, through my scarf,  past my gloves,  and up into my arms  . . .   Bare skin!     Brrrrrrrr.

I adjusted all my “protection”  many times while I tried to uncover my car.    Just like Nehemiah’s strong young men  building the city walls of Jerusalem with a trowel or shovel in one hand and a sword to fight off the enemies in the other hand,  so I was trying to keep my scarf and coat on while using the scraper and broom.

When storms swirl around you, expect to get really, physically tired!

Once out onto the highway, though, I was astonished:    The roads were a little okay, but they were busy.   Lots of cars, lots of other people out in the storm.   All the parking lots I passed were filled!    Stores, restaurants, gas stations — all looked busy.

Everyone was going about their business as though there was no storm?

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Here are the snowbanks along the side of the parking lot I was aiming for.   The snowbanks were twice as high as my car,  but I can’t show you that;    it was too cold to get out and do something as frivolous as taking a picture.   You can’t always do the things you want when there are “storms.”

In the midst of the swirling wind,  the sun came out, and this line of trees caught my attention as I came out of the store:

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So, on the way home I marveled at how many people were out, as though it were any busy Saturday on a nice day.   They didn’t seem to be doing  anything different. . . .

And that made me nervous.

I’m seeing storms of all kinds,  surrounding us,  swirling around us,  threatening us,    and . . . life goes on.

There was a man in the parking lot that I was just leaving.   He got out of his car, began to walk, and a big gust of wind blew a cloud of icy snow into him.  He wore an overcoat, unbuttoned,  over a business suit.    The wind nearly tore his coat off.    He was not dressed for the storm.

He and many others had not prepared for the “storms.”    

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I arrived home,  between wind gusts.   Things were calmer for a while.   Mission accomplished with the Wi-Fi.   I took home with me the memory of people walking around amidst the swirling clouds of snow, leaning into the wind,  grasping their coats close to them, but nevertheless,  going about their business.

I deliberately took into my house with me the sense of normalcy amidst the storm.

“Bias to the Normal.”     A survival technique.

 

SNOW AND SUN

February 2, 2015

While we were busy watching the Super Bowl  on Sunday,  our weatherman was busy steering 13 inches of snow into my little town.

blizzard

Then,  as often happens the day after a blizzard,  the skies become clear and blue.  The bright sun cast beautiful dark contrasting shadows onto all the snow;   black tree trunks and branches  on a snow white palette.    Monochrome modern art.      I turned my cell phone on to get some photos, but by the time I remembered to take a picture,  the sun had moved away from my front yard.

But the sunshine delighted in my backyard too.   One patch and one branch.

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That’s an untouched photo.    Did you know shadows can be so blue?

A few minutes later,  along the “shore” of my little pond,  the sun made a bright little chain as it got lower in the sky:

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And now tonight,  the sun is gone,  but the snow is lit from within by my deck railing lights.

SAMSUNGAt just the right angle you can see a claw-like shadow on the floor of the deck.    The claw is a moon-shadow from a tree branch above.  A little eerie out there under bright moonlight.