We’ve been having a nor’easter today in the Philadelphia area – lots of rain, lots of wind. There have been wind gusts between forty and fifty miles an hour near here, but that’s nothing. At Cape May – the little finger of land that sticks out of the southeast corner of New Jersey into the Atlantic – the gusts have been over sixty miles an hour. That’s not quite hurricane speed, but it’s plenty fast enough.
Branches and trees and power lines have blown down here and there. But that’s just the sort of thing that happens in a bad storm. No, the most dramatic sight of the day happened in my back yard (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
This morning, our holly tree was full of robins feasting on bright red berries. Then came a stronger blast of wind, and one bird was blown sideways out of the tree! His left wing was canted uncomfortably upward while he began desperately flapping his right wing, struggling to get control – and all the while he was moving steadily sideways. I’ve never seen a bird’s face look panicky before.
There is a happy ending – the robin managed to get both wings moving and landed safely on the walk.
A few weeks ago we went on a short vacation, just to run away from home and look at unfamiliar scenery. One of our plans was to follow the Skyline Drive, which meanders down the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.
There are lots of places to pull off and look down at the valley on either side of the mountains – farms, little towns here and there, and always forest.
Unfortunately, as we drove on the valley below filled with fog.
Then we had to crawl slowly through some road construction
and finally the fog climbed up the mountain and surrounded us. The whole point of the Skyline Drive is scenery, and we couldn’t see any. So we headed downhill at the first exit and went to Luray Caverns instead.
We were underneath the Shenandoah Valley instead of looking down on it from a mountaintop, but the view was a lot better.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of shivering and wondering how icy the world might be tomorrow. I want some spring flowers. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait weeks and weeks before any of 2015’s flowers dare to show themselves. (And when they do arrive, we’ll have pollen allergies to cope with.)
So here’s the next best thing: an assortment of flowers from other years and other places. With no pollen. Enjoy.
I’ve been suffering from a bout of brain freeze lately, for reasons I’ll go into when I can figure out how to make them interesting. Meanwhile, the weather is getting cold. Really cold. Miserably, dangerously, frostbite and hypothermia cold.
So let’s relax with a few pictures of people enjoying the summer of 2010.
Windsurfing off Mykonos (Greece)
Exploring the ruins of Ephesus (Turkey)
Drifting at Krka Falls (Croatia)
Ahh, that feels better.
Days grow short, shorter.
Air chills with lengthening night.
Leaves? They’ve all fallen.
If summer weather stays late, we’re glad.
November in October, sad.
Dark noon, low clouds, wet feet, cold ears –
Enough! We need some tropics here.
* * *
It’s been a miserable day. Cough.
…from this evening’s weather report: “You know it’s a cold day when even the Canada geese look cold.” *
Illustrated by someone’s photo of half a dozen geese with their feathers fluffed so much they looked like balls, and with those long necks pulled down somehow to make them look like their heads grew directly out of their shoulders. They did look cold.
* Cecily Tynan, Channel 6, Philadelphia
Posted in Bad Weather
It started to snow here about quarter of ten this morning. By lunchtime, the front steps and the walk were covered with an inch or two of fluffy snow, so I went out with a broom and thoroughly cleaned everything off.
The snow kept falling.
About forty-five minutes later, I took another look outside. There was no sign that anyone had cleared the steps since the house was built over fifty years ago. The snow kept falling.
Right now, it’s ten o’clock at night. It’s been snowing for nearly twelve hours. It’s not expected to stop till dawn. There’s a large lump of snow in the driveway that probably has my car underneath, and there’s a slope down from my front porch that just might be covering some steps. Various levels of local government are begging or advising or ordering people to stay off the roads so the snowplows can work, and really nobody with any sense would want to go out tonight unless they absolutely had to.
And the snow keeps falling.
Our end-of-the-world storm last night wasn’t nearly as bad as forecast – only a few inches of snow, no violent winds – but there’s no question what season we’re in.
I’m dreaming of a white new year…
This week’s travel theme? Well, as of this week, it’s officially winter – even though in my part of the world, winter weather started weeks ago, and since yesterday (also known as The First Day Of Winter Arrrgghh), it’s felt pretty much like spring outside.
But when you’re traveling, what “winter” means can change quickly. Here’s a photo from last December 27 –
Early winter, south central Pennsylvania
And a second picture, taken the following day in Williamsburg, Virginia, only a couple of hundred miles (or about 370 kilometers, if you think in metric) further south and nearer the ocean.
A miserably cold rainy day – but not a trace of snow