Posts Tagged ‘photography’

“Sugar Snow” Graces Vermont

March 12, 2011

As is well documented in this blog, I’m anxious for the snow to melt. I’m itching to get the landscaping season going and the snow is very much in the way.

This morning's sugar snow added to the deep accumulation on my lawn in St. Albans, Vermont.

So imagine my disappointment when I woke up to two inches of fresh snow that replaced some of what melted yesterday.

Forecasts had called for absolutely no snow last night around my place in St. Albans, Vermont, so I got the booby prize there.

But I made the best of the new snow. It was “sugar snow.” What that is a couple inches of wet snow that often falls at night in Vermont during March. It’s maple sugaring season now, so such a snowfall adds a little moisture for the trees to keep producing sap.

Snow clings to branches and frames an old courthouse in downtown St. Albans, Vermont this morning.

Granted, we don’t particularly need the moisture this year, but sugar snow is a tradition of sorts, so I have to accept it.

The great thing about sugar snow is it’s very pretty. It usually falls when there’s very little wind, and the wet snow clings to every last twig and cornice.

That’s what happened today.  So of course I took pictures, which you see on this blog post. (You might have to scroll down after this text to see all of them)

Snow on tree branches brightens the facades of buildings in downtown St. Albans, Vermont this morning.

Another good thing about sugar snow is it melts fast. It stopped snowing around 8 a.m. It’s now 10:30 a.m. and the sugar snow is melting fast under the glare of fleeting glimpses of the sun sneaking through the clouds.

The slow March melt now resumes. Until tonight, when chances are we’ll get yet another sugar snow.

Snow on a tree in my St. Albans, Vermont yard this morning.

Snow on the trees around a brook near my house in St. Albans, Vermont yesterday. Ice broke on the brook in yesterday's thaw, exposing the flowing water

Wet snow creates a tangled pattern on a tree in my yard in St. Albans, Vermont this morning.

Wild Animals Caught On Candid Camera

March 4, 2011

Ever wonder what animals are up to in the woods when nobody’s around?

Well, maybe not, but the thought is still fascinating. Which is why I’m excited that the Smithsonian Institute has a great web page with a ton of photos from remote, motion-triggered cameras of a huge variety of wild animals.

A jaguar captured by a camera in the Smithsonian Institute's photo project

The site has at least 200,000 photos, so this is a guaranteed, fun time waster.

Apparently, the cameras were planted in wild areas all over the world. And photos are still coming in, which means there will be more.

I love how some of the animals seem awfully curious about the cameras.

Not Praying For Snow

February 2, 2011

Some people in the Northeast are sick of snow. For evidence, I offer you Exhibit A, a sign that appeared at a Poughkeesie, N.Y. Church:

Tiny, Frozen Bubbles: Winter Fun

January 29, 2011

Last week, I whined about the cold when the temperature went down t0 25 below.

Mount Washington from a distance in a photo I took in New Hampshire on a bright day in January, 2010.

I’m whining in a minor way now because another cold snap is coming. But not as bad, just 1o below is in the forecast, hence the smaller whine.

I guess my mistake was just not having enough fun with the frigid temperatures.

Up on the summit of Mount Washington, where a meteorological station records just about the worst weather in the world, people endured temperatures as low as 33 below.

Their reaction? They just blew soap bubbles. But of course, the bubbles froze, resulting in the following really neat video:

Photo, Video Antidote to The Cold

January 24, 2011

As you’ve already heard me whine about, it’s cold and miserable in Vermont. Temperatures in the state were mostly in the 20s below zero this morning.

A warm, green leavy roadway last August near Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vermont.

One of the “warm” spots was 19 below in Burlington. North Troy, Vermont takes the cold prize, as they reached 35 below. Brrrr!!!!

This is probably driving a lot of people nuts here. We can take the cold, but it doesn’t mean we like it.

Meanwhile, the Midwest is frigid, the South is cold, and parts of the East Coast are bracing for yet another big snowstorm. I hope the photos and video help distract anybody in those areas from the pains of winter.

Green leaves grow in the trees in my backyard on a warm, sunny evening last May.

I will also interject a note of envy. My friend Denis, who lives dangerously close to North Troy, where it was 35 below, missed out on all the cold fun. He’s in South Africa at the moment. It’s summer down there. The forecast high in Johannsburg today is 78 degrees. Denis is a lucky feller. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

So, I’m offering some medicine in the form of a couple photos I took in Vermont last summer. I also found a YouTube video taken in Vermont’s Mad River Valley last July during a heat wave.

Roses on a trellice in Burlington, Vermont last July.

The video is amateurish and a tourism plug for the area, but it’s still full of green leaves, blue skies and people embracing summer.

Look at it this way. The 30 below you might have experienced this morning is just the price you pay for paradise in the summer.

Here’s the vid:

Turning Jeff into an Outdoor Grizzly

January 17, 2011

Jeff is not the winter outdoor type.

Jeff, on snowshoes, was the master of the mountain Sunday at Smuggler's Notch, Vermont

His cold season outdoor wardrobe consists of sneakers, jeans, a sweater, and definitely no hat. He hates hats.

It’s not that he’s inexperienced with winter. He was born and raised in South Dakota, after all. He just believes winter is best ignored.

So it was a shock to get him outdoors on a snowy, cold January day, in the mountains, bundled up and walking around on snowshoes.

I’m proud to report he took to the snowshoes so well he could have been mistaken for an Alaskan outdoor guide.

Let this be a lesson: You can embrace winter, too. Jeff did. Really, it’s less boring than hibernating until April.

We spied this ice climber at Smuggler's Notch Sunday.

To prepare for Jeff’s inaugural expedition,  we went shopping Saturday for outdoor clothes. With no experience in real winter clothing,  he had no idea what to buy. So a sales clerk at Burlington, Vermont’s Outdoor Gear Exchange and I ganged up on him

We threw at him moisture wicking long underwear, some winter pants, a good pair of boots, warm mittens and a wool hat. He just helplessly let all this stuff pile up in his arms. What could he do?

We rented some snowshoes for him, and Sunday, off we went to Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont.  I picked the road to snowshoe on, figuring it was Jeff’s first time, the trail would be packed down some and he would have a relatively easy time of it, there would be people around to watch and the scenery is beautiful.

A cold, beautiful scene we saw while snowshoeing at Smuggler's Notch, Vermont Sunday.

And lo and behold, magic happened.  Jeff, the man who never stares winter in the face, took off like he was born on snowshoes.

True, he said he wasn’t used to it, that the hat irritated him because he never wears one, that his toes got cold and his hands got warm. But those are all hazards a first-time snowshoer goes through.

He liked that snowshoeing was a cardio workout different than the usual one he does in the gym. A light snow that fell during our trip added to the beauty of the surroundings, giving the January landscape a gauzy, dreamy look.

Me, in photo by Jeff, pausing on a snowshoe walk at Smuggler's Notch Sunday.

Not that Jeff is going to Antarctica on some six month expedition anytime soon. He thought the ice climbers we saw were crazy. He imagined the kids thrashing through the woods on steep slopes on snowboards would become impaled on a tree branch, making for a nice snowy horror movie tableau.

But he actually said he would like to go snowshoeing again. Hmm. It’s below zero this morning. Lake Champlain is freezing up nicely. Maybe I can get him some skates and bring him out onto the lake…….

Excellent Boston Snow Time Lapse Video

January 13, 2011

Dina Rudnick of the Boston Globe shot a great time lapse video of various views of yesterday’s snowstorm from tne Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.

A spectacular satellite view of the storm that caused the big snowfall in New England yesterday. It looks a bit like a hurricane, but of course it wasn't. Just a nor'easter.

Really cool how things change. The snow is shoveled, it comes back, shoveled again, etc.

Click on this sentence to view the video

Sparkly Snow Flurries in Vermont

January 11, 2011

Great big snowflakes came down in Vermont this morning.

Big glittery snowflakes falling in sunshine break winter's gloom in downtown Burlington, Vermont Tuesday morning.

Combined with the sun breaking through the clouds, it looked like sparkly glitter drifting down on us.

Felt like somebody up there was having a party. It was pretty magical.

The sunny snowflakes also made it look like I was viewing the world on a pixlelated screen.

Here’s a glimpse of it on a brief video I took in downtown Burlington:

On a Vermont Winter’s Day

January 10, 2011

Yesterday, a gusty, chilly Sunday,  reflected the changeability of a Vermont January day, especially as you moved from one place to another.

A setting sun highlights tree trunk shadows and ripples in the snow in my St. Albans yard Sunday.

Here in St. Albans, Vermont, we stayed in a transition zone all day. To the west and north, the clouds stayed broken up, revealing glimpses of blue sky over the Adirondacks and the flat lands in Quebec, south of Montreal.

To the east, on the western slopes of the Green Mountains, dark, smooth clouds covered the sky and a snowstorm raged, dropping six to ten inches of snow on the mountains.

A setting sun makes tree trunks glow against a slate gray sky Sunday in St. Albans, Vermont

Between the two extremes in St. Albans, the sky was flat gray and a few fitful snow flakes fell from time to time.

By late afternoon, the setting sun found some holes in the clouds far to the southwest of us  and flooded St. Albans with an orange glow. Dark clouds overhead combined with the low sun created some otherworldly lighting.

The result were bare trees glowing pumpkin warm beneath a gloomy, cold sky. The low sun created alternating patterns of slate gray and peach in the snow.

Of course, I ran for the camera and began shooting. A few of the images are in this post.

A setting sun Sunday in St. Albans reveals a moonscape like pattern in the snow

Vermont Winter Sunset

January 9, 2011

Light snow has been falling in Vermont this weekend, but it tapered off for awhile late this afternoon, allowing for a wintry sunset over Burlington.

A winter sun sets over Burlington, Vermont Saturday

So of course I snapped a couple of pictures.

Most of Vermont only got one to four inches of new snow. That’s clearly not a big deal.

But winter drivers, already miserable at driving in normal seasonal conditions, are clearly getting worse, if at all possible.

Vermont State Police reported at least 100 crashes and cars sliding off Vermont roads, even though the weather was perfectly normal for January.

Another view of Saturday's sunset over Burlington, Vermont

Police said most of the crashes were caused by people going too fast for the conditions. I’ve ranted on this before, but come on.

That many people have no clue that snow and ice are slippery? That it snows in Vermont in January? Can that mamy people be that stupid?

The mysteries of life continue. Meanwhile, enjoy the lovely winter skies.