The year’s gone by too fast. It’s already well in to summer. So on top of the year feeling like it’s gone by too fast, the days are getting shorter again.
Before summer came, the trees were sprouting, and seedlings fell from the trees. Once summer hit, hard winds and rain began to knock leaves from the trees— and it can be harsh, some days. But there always seems to be some kind of flower patch somewhere throughout the seasons.
And when the flowers shrivel up, the stems just continue to rise. Plants will take whatever they can, and adapt however they can.
Humans, however, don’t even like being out in the rain. (Okay, some do sometimes.)
Which makes it odd that many of the tree leaves near home are still in early development or just budding, whereas trees in Biddeford and Portland have already bloomed.
Of course, snow makes everything take longer. (Not to mention, planted trees, flowers and grass are treated differently.) It’s been cold for May— temperatures in the 40s (°F) versus “normal” numbers in the 60s.
It had been many a year since I visited this beach.
I remember visiting the Old Orchard Street— lined with stores, rides on the side… and pizza. And more pizza. I remember playing at the arcade. The last time, however… I sat in my mother’s car parked along the street, and didn’t get out due to self-consciousness.
On Wednesday, most everything was closed, and will remain closed until summer, of course.
Yeah, it snowed again, about a week ago. But that’s Maine for you. It can snow “unexpectedly” in Spring. That isn’t to say we’re the only state that gets snow in April. Some parts of the U.S. got blizzard conditions. (And Texas got a dust storm.)
But, with rising temperatures and rain, it soon began to clear up. The white stuff vanished in two days, save a few patches.
Yeah…. it snowed again. And unexpectedly; it wasn’t supposed to look like this Thursday. The forecast temperatures for that part of the week were above freezing…. But “supposed to” is a fallacy. Us humans can’t tell the weather what to do; we can only predict it.
Supposedly, this was in part due to a “bomb cyclone.” The weather across the U.S. has been a bit crazy this month. Very low temps this winter. Tornadoes in the south. Over a dozen fatalities in the midwest alone… and that’s just January. Fierce winds and fallen branches. Hail …in Britain.
Here? Some winds. Cold. Nothing much happens in Maine. But so many blue sky days. And I’m talking bluer than these photos here.
Tis winter and a new year, and places have been closed for the holidays… due also to road conditions. But the white stuff melted throughout winter.
Until it snowed again. 1.5″, and sleet and…
…slush. At its worst, the daily walk can become an obstacle course, sometimes with mini-lakes in the driveway, and sometimes with this kind of mixture you wouldn’t dare put your shoes in. I’ve walked the sidelines… in the snow, instead of the path that’s… made so you don’t have to walk in the snow. Continue reading Iced, slushed and sugar-high→
Winter’s approaching fast, and the snow is… significantly evaporated since the scene above.
Dirt is exposed once again. Freezing rain and sleet made for something mushy then icy. But days of precipitation in southern Maine have been few. Brine has been put on roads as a precaution. But unlike other states, we just haven’t seen any more snow.
Blue skies. The kind of blue & sun that makes the snow look purple. Sunny all week. But cold.
Visually, the snow— while it lasts— can make for some remarkable photos. There are days where the mixture of snow and moonlight make for scenes you have to see in person… especially if the camera can’t handle low light conditions very well.
Maybe you can see a bit of what I mean by remarkable moonlit snow scenes.
First snow was on Nov 16. Nothing over half a foot, so far, as measured by the yard stick.
First pumpkin pie was on the 22nd. And it was one of those store brand pies that had a bit of pecan and coconut in the flavoring… which makes it kind of special, come to think of it. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a bird… an understated Thanksgiving that went by too fast.
The days are still for the most part ordinary, but colorful sometimes. Last Monday morning was foggy/misty. When the fog lifted, the overcast sky had a bright tint of blue until the yellow of sunrise.
Some animals are still out. I saw and captured a woodpecker on video; I’ve seen a chipmunk using our stick pile as shelter; and today, I saw a herd of deer from our kitchen window, before they entered the woods.
As for the holiday season, the tree is up. First ornament, from a close friend. See if you can spot it. 😁
A few more ornaments added since. The basic cellotape doesn’t do a good job of holding up the star.
The lights went up first. And as always, bright light sources don’t pick up well with most cameras. The little incandescent bulbs, for example, aren’t very bright, but a basic camera will make their light a big bright blur.
To the naked eye, the hot filament in a clear bulb looks like a hot filament.
Adjusting for the outside in LDR (so the out isn’t washed out in blurry whiteness), you get the opposite effect: the foreground is too dark. For conventional cameras, the required dynamic range is too high for an accurate photo. (It’s even more difficult when the sun is in frame— a much higher DR.) Long exposure is necessary to reduce noise with the iPhone SE… not a professional camera… so I digress.
The climate has been dry. The kind of dry that you get static shocks when you least expect them. Even with faucet water. (An odd sensation.) Skin has cracked and fissures have formed. My hands don’t look too great right now.
The cold has all but kept me indoors. And the fact that it’s now the last month of the year, that had gotten me to look at 2018 in review. But since the restoration of our cable— as Spectrum killed off the analog channels in our area, forcing us to replace the degraded line to get any channels at all— much of my indoor time has actually been spent watching BBC America… which reruns Star Trek: TNG and The X-Files. I’m a fan of those shows, so… yeah, the TV has been on in the overnights. I even checked out some Dr Who with Doctor #13, played by Jodie Whittaker.
And this increased use of the TV comes despite backlight discoloration. The photo above was taken in October; it’s worse now. LED backlighting isn’t so great after all— at least during this crappier stage of LED panel design to lower prices. Two color temperatures for balance and control …and two temperatures that decay unevenly.
…On the matter of lighting, incandescent light bulbs may make a comeback. Using infrared trapping, MIT has managed to make an efficient tungsten bulb. Nothing commercial as of yet. But imagine the natural light of classic light bulbs, but about as efficient as LED. 🙂
Well, that’s it for now. It’s been kind of a struggle to write as it is. Writer’s block… or vegging out with the TV and/or YouTube… it seems I need to get back to nature to write anything. And sleep. I can never seem to get much done, and I always need more sleep. We are addicted to our screens, and so are our kids.
Having gotten up at 2-something in the morning, I am a bit too tired to continue to stare at screens right now. So I will bid you all adieu. Have a good night, morning, or afternoon— wherever you are in the world. 🙂
The trees have shed, and the oranges and browns are setting in.
It’s the last day of October. And on some calendars, this marks the end of harvest season. In Celtic tradition, this end is celebrated with the festival of Samhain; tomorrow on the Gregorian calendar is the beginning of winter on their calendar. In the U.S., however, we recognize … Hallowe’en.
This is about as All-Hallows’-Eve as it gets around here. (A crude face has since been drawn on this pumpkin.) Fun fact: before pumpkins were used for jack-o’-lanterns, turnips were used.
This year, analysts say consumers will spend some $9 billion on Halloween candy and costumes in total.
But I’d rather look at the leaves. The reds, in particular, come and go fast.
Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. And free.
And as far as weather goes, there have been strong rains…
And there have been strong winds.
And soon enough, maybe as early as this Sunday, there will be the white stuff where I live. It’s already snowed north of here; on the 24th, cars slipped off the road in Bangor due to early snow fall. In Canada, snow fell almost as soon as fall began.
There always seems to be grass at Crescent Beach.
And with signs taken down, at least one person hasn’t picked up after his/her dog.
Imagine seeing a double rainbow behind the supermarket right after you parked. I don’t remember see the fainter rainbow, above, until I reviewed the photos. I take it that the camera picked it up because digital cameras are more ISO-specific sensitive than the human eye when it comes to direct light, whereas we see a high range mixture of ISO somewhere between 25 to over a thousand. Our HDR vision enables us to see texture on the moon versus a typical ISO blur with the iPhone, but it can make it more difficult to see some fainter light sources.
Anyway. It turns out this may have been the double rainbow over Old Orchard Beach, in the distance. It’s certainly not the first one of the year over there. Within a few minutes, this double rainbow began to disappear with the clouds.
It was a downpour earlier in the day, Monday. Saco Island Deli helped lift my spirits a bit. (At least until I fell asleep in the car because I hadn’t gotten enough rest before the day began.) I tried their Mainah-as-panini special: romaine, Cabot cheddar, pan-seared chicken, uncured bacon and their famous maple aioli. And I gotta say, they make quality sandwiches!
The good news is I’ve finally seen a dentist. The bad news: three cavities, and an eye-popping bill. Cross my fingers that I’ll get any kind of insurance this year…
At home, the mice have returned. Sometimes, they’ll brave running around in the house… lil’ bastards.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope your Halloween night is a good one! 🙂