Posts Tagged ‘winter’

It is not really spring yet although a weird February tried to fool us with several warm days before handing us back to single-digit temperatures.

There is a period in New England when the weather teeters back and forth between winter and spring — and inevitably brings to mind the e.e. cummings poem “[In Just-].” It’s a happy poem reminding one that as long as there are springs, there will always be excited children running outdoors to play, hollering back at someone in the house, “I don’t need a coat — it’s hot!”

Here is the poem:

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan whistles


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I thought I’d collect some early-winter images, but an out-of-season iris decided to redefine early winter for me. The iris loves that Dunkin Donuts brick wall so much it decided to bloom. Then the temperatures went down into the teens.

The USS Concord (1923-1947) had a bell that the town acquired and put on display in a public ceremony shortly after Veterans Day this year. I enjoyed watching the evolution of the pocket park that hosts the bell and was amazed by what a deep hole had to be dug for the pedestal support.

The unusual “Lost & Found for the People” is beside the path that runs down the middle of Blackstone Boulevard in Providence. (I hope that “the people” will find what they lost soon.)

The next picture is of the daily dog-walker gathering at Emerson Field, where I was delighted by a message nestled in the roots of a tree: “Just do right.”

The veggie colors spoke to me of Christmas.

The gingerbread house competition is at the Colonial Inn and will be up until January 1. The last gingerbread house is in the library. It all makes a person want to try her hand at some decorative baking.











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Our mostly warm December has turned into a chilly January, and the Samaritan with the hats may find that his or her offerings are finally in demand.

In December, Steve Annear wrote at the Boston Globe that someone had been leaving hats, scarves, and mittens prominently displayed on Boston Common with a sign encouraging whoever might need them to help themselves.

“In an act of kindness, an anonymous person this week hung winter garments on six trees on Boston Common, welcoming passersby affected by the frigid temperatures to help themselves to items of clothing to stay bundled up.

“Tied to the trunks of the trees along the path heading toward Boylston Street are mittens, gloves, scarves, ear-warmers, socks, a pair of warm-up pants, and knit hats.

“A note placed on the ground that was written with a winter-blue-colored marker reads: ‘I am not lost. If you are stuck out in the cold, please take what you need to keep warm.’

“At the bottom of the sign was a drawing of a snowflake. …

“A city spokeswoman said that the Parks and Recreation Department will leave the clothes where they are, as long as they are not damaging the trees or other property on the Common.” More here.

Photo: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Scarves and gloves available if you need them.


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It’s Daylight Savings, the sun is shining, the snow is starting to melt, and the birds are sounding excited.

I don’t think snowy Boston will get its record accumulation, but at least it has a shot at a stronger transit system, especially if the guys backing a summer Olympics decide the competing cities have trains and buses that work even when challenged.

Here are a few recent photos that show us moving on from winter to spring.

(PS. If you are on ello, would you look for suzannesmom there? I need more contacts to help me figure out this so-called anti-Facebook, which carries no ads. It’s very art- and design-oriented, which is lovely, but I think I’d get more out of it with friends.)


















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Public transit in Greater Boston didn’t run today as MBTA staff tried to dig out tracks, switches, and signals. We were told to work at home for the 5th time in two weeks. I went for a walk at lunch. Where sidewalks were plowed, the snow was often piled shoulder high on either side. I like walking in recently plowed snow because boots have more traction. The texture is like pie dough that’s a little too dry. Once the snow gets packed down, it makes for slippery walking. In the town, where merchants went bananas with salt, the sidewalk and crosswalks were unpleasantly soupy.

The first photo is from today. It’s Concord Academy. The others were taken in the past week and include a tree on Congress Street in Boston, a snowbank that the plow cut through as if slicing cake, snowy fire escapes near the TD Garden, a view of the Boston Seaport District from a roof garden, and my ice lantern (still going after more than a week of evening lighting).




















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Saturday was a day for hawks. I saw one on the highway as I drove home from John’s and then another one just a little farther along. Each was perched on a high limb, scanning the road and the verge for lunch. A third hawk, in the center of town, dove after a small bird, but being intercepted and stunned by a fast-moving car, wheeled back to land on a parked vehicle, catch his breath, and pose for photos.

I wondered why the hawk was hunting in such a heavily populated area. It must be hard to find food in this weather.

Fortunately, I had bought my camera, having decided that I don’t get enough pictures for the blog if I give in to the cold and take my daily walk indoors. There aren’t many photo ops when you go ’round and ’round from the hall to the living room to the dining room to the kitchen … .

If any reader knows what type of hawk this is, I’d appreciate being enlightened.


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It’s been surprisingly cold this April week, but at least we have had some sunshine. What if we lived in Norway, where people go for months without the sun? How would we manage? For that matter, how do Norwegians manage?

Suzanne Daley writes in the NY Times about one Norwegian town that got fed up with light deprivation and decided to try something new.

“Yearning for sunlight has been a part of life in [Rjukan, a] quaint old factory town in central Norway for as long as anyone can remember. Here, the sun disappears behind a mountain for six months of the year.

“It is worse for newcomers, of course, like Martin Andersen, a conceptual artist who arrived here 12 years ago and would find himself walking and walking, searching for any last puddle of sunshine to stand in. It was on one of these walks that he had the idea of slapping some huge mirrors up against the mountain to the north of town and bouncing some rays down on Rjukan.

“The town eventually agreed to try, and last fall, three solar- and wind-powered mirrors that move in concert with the sun started training a beam of sunlight into the town square. Thousands of people turned out for the opening event, wearing sunglasses and dragging out their beach chairs. And afterward, many residents say, life changed.

“The town became more social. Leaving church on Sundays, people would linger in the square, talking, laughing and drinking in the sun, trying not to look up directly into the mountain mirrors. On a recent morning, Anette Oien had taken a seat on newly installed benches in the square, her eyes closed, her face turned up. She was waiting for her partner to run an errand, and sitting in the light seemed much nicer than sitting in a car. ‘It’s been a great contribution to life here,’ she said.” More here.

Daley writes the article like a folk tale. You could imagine your own ending.

Photo: Kyrre Lien for The New York Times
In winter, the town square of Rjukan, Norway, is illuminated by sunlight reflected from three computer-controlled mirrors on a mountain overlooking the town.

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