Gratitude Spiral: Day 118

Today, I’m grateful for a spring snowstorm.

Its big, fat flakes accumulate on grass and cars and trees, but in the end it’s no match for the rising temperatures of spring. It’s also a nice change of scenery in the midst of social-distancing and keeping close to home.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 21

Today, I’m grateful for helpful neighbors.

Yesterday afternoon, at the tail end of a messy snowstorm, our neighbor plowed our street because the town trucks hadn’t reached us yet. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced neighborliness and I’m sure it won’t be the last. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 13

Today, I’m grateful for the roof over my head. In the past week or so, we’ve seen a foot and a half of snow, single-digit temperatures, and pouring rain in this part of the country. All this weather can be a nuisance. But that’s all it is when we have a warm, dry home to count on. There are those who don’t have that luxury. So, today, I’m thankful that I do.

What about you?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 6

Today, I’m grateful for the beauty of snow.

Plenty of un-beautiful things could be said about it, but today I appreciate the gentle way it falls, the way it lines every branch, twig, and pine needle, the peaceful way it muffles the outdoors, and the way it glows blue in the shadowy places. 🙂

What do you appreciate today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 4

Today, I’m grateful for this first day of December which, in my home, means a change of decorations is in order. Out with the autumn leaves and in with snowflakes and a Christmas tree! A little sparkle in the face of an impending nor’easter. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered…

“Weathered” usually conjures up images of water-worn rocks or sun-bleached wood or time-worn skin. But the howling winds of a New England blizzard can carve the snow like desert sand…

In response to this week’s photo challenge: Weathered

Photo Project: Wrap-up…

At the end of January 2015, I began this Photo Project. Now, I end with a few last photos and a bit of wisdom garnered from the experiment. Check out my first Photo Project post here. Or you can click on the Kitchen Window tab at the top of this page and scroll…all…the…way…to…the…bottom.

In my previous post, snow had arrived after higher than normal temperatures for Christmas Day. December’s snow almost disappeared by the second week in January.

Pardon the general fuzziness of these first photos…I’d been experimenting with new filters that I got for Christmas and must have left the camera on Manual Focus. Oops!

Then the snow came again…

and began to fade…again.

It snowed a few days later…but that was outside the scope of this project.

What I Learned…

My goal in all of this was to grow in my understanding of photography and to learn more about my camera in particular.  And I did…(while learning a few things about myself along the way). For example, I discovered:

I could choose my subject more carefully next time.

The scene outside my window is peaceful. But that translated into boring when I was hoping for a measure of entertainment! The birds and other wildlife didn’t show up much. And facing northeast at sunrise misses a lot of light and color happening just a few degrees to the right. Oh, well!

There are a lot of settings on my camera!

I’m fairly certain that the settings I ended the project with are not the ones I started out using a year ago. I’d make setting adjustments for other photographic endeavors and then forget to adjust back. Or I’d forget what the previous setting even was! This was definitely not what you’d call a controlled experiment. 🙂 I did learn a bit about the different “white balance” effects this way!

Remotely triggering the shutter is possible and easy.

The last time I “remotely” triggered a shutter, I was using a cable release. The shutter release button on my D3200 isn’t an open hole lined with threads to screw in a cable release. I didn’t know what to do. But I took the easy steps necessary to find a handy little remote device made for my camera and voila! (I should mention that when I first received the remote, I couldn’t get it to work. I complained to the seller and then poked around inside it, digging out a small piece of plastic that had slipped between the battery and the contacts, fixing the problem instantly.)

Change is not as gradual as I thought.

I expected to capture all the subtle changes of the seasons. What I found instead, were long weeks of sameness and then (Bam!) a frenzied week of change! The melting snow at the end of spring suggested a gradual change, but then I went on vacation for a week in May and came back to a fully greened landscape. The autumn colors seemed subtle at first, but then, within a week or two, they were blazing. And within a couple of rainy, windy days, all the leaves came down! The mild temperatures in the fall kept the grass fairly green…until it was all white with snow. In the past, I would’ve chalked up the sudden changes to my not really paying attention. Now, I know…all I have to do is blink!

A year is a long time…and a short time.

I found myself resenting the self-imposed mandate towards the end of the year. As a result, I got lazy. I’d “forget” to stop in the middle of getting breakfast or I’d decide that my sleep was more important and I’d stay in bed past 7:30am. But now, I can’t believe I did it for a whole year already! I won’t be starting another yearlong project anytime soon. I think shorter photographic experiments are in order this year. So, it’s a wrap!

And that about sums it up. Thanks for checking in. 🙂

 

 

 

Photo Project: The Disappearing Act…

As winter turns to spring, the view from my kitchen window shows promise. The solid blanket of snow has turned to patches and the landscape has transformed from white to brownish-green. The following photos document the official end of winter…

I was away from home for that first weekend of spring. Then, the early spring rains and occasional above-freezing temperatures during the remainder of March jump-started a disappearing act. Note the receding snow line in the photos below…

What’s most exciting, but not visible in these shots, are the swelling buds on bushes and trees. But it’s happening! Really!

Celebrating a Record…

Well, it’s official: it’s been a record-breaking year for snowfall amounts in New England! Yipee.

Last winter, I shared my thoughts on The Art of Snow Shoveling. This year, after one particularly deep snowfall, I was out shoveling (duh!) when I thought how little my previous advice applied while standing in two or more feet of snow! And I thought, “It’s hard to be methodical when the snow is three feet deep!” The following poem was born. I thought I’d share it on this record-breaking occasion…

Help! I’m Caught in a Snow Drift!

It’s hard to be methodicalapple tree 858
when the snow is three feet deep;
I’ve been shoveling in circles
and can’t seem to find my feet!

I swear they were there at the end of my legs
only a minute ago,
but now I can’t see nor feel them —
I’m numb from hip to toe.

I wonder, will someone notice
the pathway that I shoveled?
I tried to call for help just now,
but the sound was somewhat muffled.

The wind is blowing sideways
and my scarf has frozen flat.
Perhaps they’ll spy the pom-pom
on my smartly knitted hat.

I could use a sip of cocoa
or a nip of something stronger,
for I may be a “hearty New Englander,”
but I can’t take this much longer!

Wait, I see light; maybe someone’s coming
to rescue me somehow.
They’re coming closer, hallelujah!
Oh, crap, it’s only a plow!

cvb 2015