Archive for the ‘ Nature and Landscape ’ Category

The Perfect Branch

March 7, 2014

March 7, 2014

Yes, Winter, you are beautiful, but goodbye. There is a sea change in the weather today. No heading to the thermostat first thing in the morning, daffodils racing to see which can bloom first, coats hanging unneeded  in the closet, and tinges of pale green showing up in trees and shrubs.  Only one day, and I’ve already forgotten about your ice and snow, your slick highways, closed schools and frozen water lines.

I do have pictures – in case I get nostalgic.

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Frozen

March 3, 2014 - Frozen

March 3, 2014 – Frozen

Beautiful, yes, but single digit temperatures, freezing rain and wind did some damage at Radnor over the weekend. The icicles are pointing sideways on this tree because it fell over!  Poor buds, swelling to pop open in what used to be considered spring, now encased in ice. Frozen and doomed.

Out My Window

Lightdance 365, Feb 14 - OUT MY WINDOW

Lightdance 365, Feb 14 – OUT MY WINDOW

We stayed in a great VBRO house in Ann Arbor last weekend. It is one of two older houses that remain on a downtown street that has been taken over by business and university buildings. Much more fun than a motel room, great for walking to many points of interest, and for window views of an Ann Arbor winter. The first is a porch column taken from the front door.

Snowfall in Ann Arbor

Snowfall in Ann Arbor

This is the house next door taken from our kitchen window. The snow falling might be described as chunky. The same snow falling in Nashville causes panic attacks and a run on all the grocery stores.

Icicles

Icicles

Ann Arbor, on this Valentine’s Day weekend, is a city of icicles decorating all the houses and glittering in the sun.  Pretty.

Icicles

Icicles

The trees are loaded with icicles, too, this one beside our kitchen window. I remember growing up in this environment. I loved it. What happened between Michigan and Tennessee to make me dread the sight of a snowflake? It must have something to do with uncleared roads, cars running into each other, schools closed, and frozen water lines.

Eeek!

Eeek!

Walker! Walker! How did you end up in that snowbank!?

Snack

Lightdance 365, Feb. 4, 2014 - SNACK

Lightdance 365, Feb. 4, 2014 – SNACK

A cranberry/popcorn string in the middle of the Warner Parks Trail is not what you expect to come upon. You might want to snack a little since you can work up quite an appetite climbing those hills, but that’s not advisable. This snack is for the birds.

Sugar

Lightdance 365, January 17, 2014 - SUGAR

Lightdance 365, January 17, 2014 – SUGAR

We knew something was about to happen on our walk at Radnor this morning from the silvery luminescence in the sky and the treetops lighted up by a sun that had disappeared from view. Sure enough, snow began to fall.  Dry little round crystals sprinkled on us like a sugar topping. We crunched along the path, then it stopped  and began to melt, but left us with a glorious sugar high. What a special start to the day.

Snow covered path

Cold

Lightdance 365, January 7, 2014 - COLD

Lightdance 365, January 7, 2014 – COLD

We couldn’t stand the inactivity caused by this Polar Vortex thing for one more day, so when the temperature warmed up to a balmy sixteen degrees this afternoon, Deer Barbara and I headed to Radnor. We met only two other people and one Siberian Husky on the path, but there were icy wonders every place we looked. I forgot to be cold, and my camera battery held out for the many photo ops, but poor phone went into a state of hypothermia. I think it will be OK with a little time on the battery charger. It was COLD out there!

Icy Lakescape

Icy Lakescape

Ice Flowers

Ice Flowers

Crystal textures

Crystal textures

The View From Here

Lightdance 365 - The View From Here

Lightdance 365, January 5, 2014 – THE VIEW FROM HERE

I’ve been waiting all day to get a picture of the snow arriving in Nashville, compliments of the Arctic Vortex. Darkness fell before the snow did, so the view from here is extremely limited. I would have ventured farther from my porch to get a picture, but it’s slippery out there, and cold! In addition, after listening to the weather announcements for the last three days, I’m fearing for my life, and feel a need to stay inside where there is a chance of protection.

Honestly, the weather segment of the news goes on so long that my mind wanders, and I usually miss the only information I tuned in to hear in the first place. Two nights ago, while we were still enjoying temperatures in the sixties, my phone beeped at 3:30 AM with news of an impending wind chill alert which was predicted in 48 hours. Uh, thanks so much. I’m forgetting my Michigan roots, where I learned early that eight inches of snow overnight means you throw a couple of Breeko blocks (that’s a nod to my Tennessee home) in the trunk, and off you go to school or work, or wherever. Winter sports were part of life when I was growing up, and I know they didn’t come to a halt when the temperature dropped below freezing. I was lucky enough to live down the street from one of the parks where the city flooded the ball diamonds to make skating rinks. You could put on enough clothes to stay warm for hours of ice skating, except for the toes. I remember many tears as feet were soaked in warm water in the tub trying to bring feeling back into them. And, who could forget the kid who stuck his tongue on the cold metal post outside the small building where we could go in to get warm. Candy bars could  provide no comfort for him for a good long time afterward!

In Tennessee, where winter storms usually start out as ice, not pure snow, driving is hazardous, and it’s hard making your way to the grocery store with the other half a million people heading there at the same time to stock up on beer and toilet paper. I was in a check-out line at Harris Teeter once with other people who had baskets full of necessities, and Eddie George of early Nashville Titans fame was in line in front of me, only he was buying candy bars. Excellent offensive move. Buy more candy bars, and let chocolate fight the chill!

Nashville has well organized plans in place to help its citizens in need during this unusually cold period of time for Tennessee. I have my own plan to slide by the mailbox with a donation to one of the agencies providing food and shelter as I make my way to the grocery store.