Surprise snowfall this morning in Connecticut, New England, USA. Snow before Halloween is unusual in the southern half of the state. After about two hours it turned to sleet and then rain leaving only small, sheltered reminders of the winter to come.
Note: Video and still photography captured using Canon Rebel T3i. YouTube video put together using YouTube Video Editor which was a complete nightmare. Never again.
What a wonderful, beautiful quote. Lewis Carroll knew. He just knew.
Short video taken at 7:30 a.m. from the door to the driveway, which I could only open about 18″ due to the snow drifted against it. Looks like we have between 12″ and 16″ of snow so far. So far so good. I thought I would share with everyone what it is like from Connecticut. #snowmageddon2015 #blizzard2015
Sunrise created this amazing, warm light. By the time I got this downloaded to my computer, the light was gone. This photo is completely untouched except for the watermark. There was nothing I could do to make it look more beautiful or stunning.
The sun just came out. It is 10° outside and completely still after blowing like crazy all morning. This angry day turned its mouth up into a smile and suddenly my heart is glad. I can see the heat from the baseboard rising in tiny waves before the south-facing bay window where two cats are napping oblivious to the tiny shadows of brave birds who are flitting from tree to tree celebrating the light.
Sunlight dances off of the advent gift bags hanging in the same bay window, remnants of a time of family celebration when my youngest climbed up on the back of the couch and dug the gifts out for that day. The tree is still up and mostly decorated, stripped of its delicious candy canes which treated each of us for days after all the wrapping paper had been bagged up, the gifts had been sorted and everyone who doesn’t live here had gone home. Charlotte’s hand ornament reminds me of her laughter and fussy times, of Katie sitting on my couch watching holiday specials while chatting on her laptop and making plans with her friends. Some of that holiday spirit still lingers now that the sun has come out and splashes upon the wall and creeps toward the sparkly garland on the tree. The cookies are all gone, the fudge was consumed ages ago, and no leftovers remain from Christmas dinner; but the joy of having most of my family here remains.
My granddaughter’s hand print stayed behind after she went back home
These memories are echoes of the holidays.
Back yard garden and woods
I had to go shopping yesterday which means a fairly long drive through Connecticut back roads to Waterford and New London. It is a beautiful drive, usually. Yesterday it was not. The snow has mostly melted. Everything is brown and grey, but very messy. How can woods be messy? We have had a lot of extreme weather the past two years. Trees knocked over, uprooted, split and broken in half, huge branches down, and debris everywhere. On top of that Connecticut Light & Power finally decided to get very serious about trimming trees along the miles and miles and miles of power lines in this state, including in small towns such as ours. They, at least, clean up most of their tree-trimming debris. But they left raw places on the trees they trimmed, empty places. But then on top of the broken and split, ugly trees are invasive vines everywhere with no foliage on them. Connecticut is not very pretty at all right now.
Pear buds just waiting
As I was driving I sensed potential just beneath the surface of every living thing. It felt as though there was a huge plug on spring and it was about to pop. Yesterday it was brown and grey but tomorrow I might wake up to daffodils, forsythia, azaleas, pear blossoms, and green grass. It will happen that quickly. Overnight. And I will rejoice in the beauty that hid just beneath the surface for months.
Daffodils waiting for warmer days
You see, we have had warm days where the daffodils creep up from beneath the soil, tentatively peeking their green blades above the surface to see if it is safe. It seemed safe. Then it would get very cold again for a few days and they would stop. Right in their tracks, they would just stop. Another few warm days and they would venture forth a little further. Boom, another cold spell with temps in the 20’s or low 30’s at night. I can see the flower buds now. They aren’t sure it is safe yet so they just wait. They sit and wait enjoying the sun that they get on the occasional sunny day. One day they will know it is safe to explode, and explode they will.
Yes, I have little green things growing in my kitchen. Yes, I have another jar of forced pear blossoms on my kitchen table. They are mere promises, premonitions of things to come: spring! It is nearly here. Waiting expectantly. Waiting for spring.
I don’t wait for spring alone. Boots is waiting with me.
Many, many years ago after moving to Connecticut from the sunny and warm south I decided to cut some forsythia branches and put them in water hoping they would bloom weeks before the first color would naturally show up outdoors. It worked and I was thrilled! I love flowers. I love color. And as winter drags on and on the browns and greys that characterize our winters here when we don’t have snow on the ground can be so depressing.
Place in vase, jar or other container filled with water
It is that simple. I have read that you should change the water every few days but I never have. I read that you should split the branches at the base up to 4 inches and I never have. I just cut the branches and put them in water. They bloom every time.
I decided to chronicle the process to share with all of you, my lovely blog readers (yes, even the men are lovely, so there!).
Forsythia branches 4 days after cutting
Forsythia almost ready to open
Forsythia a week after bringing indoors
After reading that you can also force fruit tree branches I decided to give it a try. My pear tree actually requires radical pruning this winter before spring arrives so I felt no guilt in diving in. I initially cut four branches to force then decided to add many more a couple of days ago.
Bosc pear branches
Five days later the pear blossoms are nearly ready to open. So pretty even at this stage.
Pear blossoms nearly ready to open
Pear blossoms a week after cutting
Pear blossoms open at last less than 2 weeks after cutting
Forcing shrubs and flowering trees to bloom in winter is a simple way to bring spring to your home in the midst of winter. In the south spring has arrived already, but up here in New England spring is almost 2 months away. Now I have a little spring to cheer me up for the last bit of winter.
We survived Winter Storm Nemo or Charlotte as it was referred to here in Connecticut. Looks like a total of about 2 feet of snow fell. We never lost electricity for which we are extremely thankful. By mid-day yesterday the snow had slowed down to a very light snow, but the wind had kicked up a notch or two or three. We got a pathway from the house, up the driveway and to the cars, with the cars and end of the driveway cleared but that was it. It was just too cold to stay outside for long yesterday. Hoping we can move a lot of snow today as it warms up above freezing. Here are some photos I took yesterday. I plan to take a lot more today and will post those separately.
Friday night snow on the deck.
I was awakened at 4 AM Saturday morning to a Blizzard Alert on my cell phone. Um, the storm had been raging for over 12 hours and I just now get an alert? I decided to get up and clear the front steps. I needed to clear a path for the dog to get out so she could do her thing. Thirty minutes later I had about 18 feet done and my 22 year old son was up. He said he couldn’t believe his mom beat him outside shoveling. I have always been the head shoveler in this family, even with a little baby. I had to do it or it didn’t get done. So, of course, I was out shoveling snow at 4:30 AM.
Before clearing the snow away from the driveway entrance taken before 6 AM.
My 22yo shoveling the path up the driveway at 6:30 AM.
Making a path through the snow up the driveway. About 3/4ths of the way done here.
Almost reached the cars. We always park at the top of the driveway so we can get out faster after a storm. The wind has blown a lot of the snow away from the cars.
And finally, here is the best shot of them all: This is TJ, our adventurous, snow-loving, water-loving cat. He is always the first one to venture out into the snow. This time, however, he was not enjoying himself one bit. He started crying and as I walked to find him in the path that we had cleared there he was, plopped down having given up on ever finding his way back to and into the house. He was miserable. I took the shot and then my 12 year old immediately let him back in the house where he has stayed ever since with absolutely no interest in going outside.
TJ not enjoying the snow and wind one bit
Took a walk down to the pond and captured some pictures along the way. The snow has melted in the warm temperatures. It feels like spring.
At the top of the gravel road heading toward the pond.
Halfway down the gravel road this bark grabbed my attention especially when the sun peeked out.
The huge pine tree in the clearing near the pond is the only real climbing tree we have on our property.
The pond surrounded by wild grasses and wildflowers dried and yellow now.
The ice on the pond has nearly thawed. It was 5 inches thick a couple of weeks ago.
January 15, 2013
The snow had just melted except for a few shaded areas and the landscape had greened up after several days of warm temperatures.
Covered pedestrian bridge over the Eightmile River in Devil’s Hopyard State Park, East Haddam, CT
Lingering fall leaves
January 16, 2013
A winter storm hit in the early morning hours giving us three inches of snow. When I woke up around 5:00 a.m. it had turned to sleet and by the time I was back at Devil’s Hopyard State Park it was raining.
Snowy covered bridge
A cathedral effect – Eightmile River
Eightmile River, Devil’s Hopyard State Park