Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sweet warm wishes as we close out the year

Casey and I took a trip to the city on what was a very cold but bright day on Tuesday.
This year's Capitol Christmas tree was given to the people by the state of Arizona. The tree, just visible to the right of the foreground tree, was covered in decorations made by school children from Arizona. I was surprised how well the decorations have held up to the rigors of being outside in the unusually cold weather we have had in the past few weeks.

After walking fast from Union Station to the Capitol and back in an attempt to keep warm we decided to venture on to National Harbor, a newly developed area in Maryland. The main destination there for us was a visit to the first (and currently only) Peeps store. We had fun browsing the shop, trying our hand to see how "hot" we were on the Red Hot Tamales side of the store and choosing just which flavors to fill the bag with from the Mike and Ikes display. Afterwards Casey posed for his photo outside the store - at first I thought this would be a "delete" photo but I like the contrast of Casey bundled up and sitting straight and the girl just inside the store peering out to see what we were doing.
And in case you might wonder how cold it was that day check out this photo of the filling station at the pleasure boat jetty. Yes, that really is ice. And no, I did not venture too close to the edge because that water did not look at all appealing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Through rain and snow the mail must get through

I was walking by the front windows when I saw our intrepid mailman drive by in his truck. Alas, this was as far as he got so he got out and delivered the mail on foot from here.
Here he is going box to box...
But when he got back in his truck he could not get going again. He started to reverse down the hill but more snow piled up around the chained wheels and he came to a complete halt. I alerted my own snow removal team and they headed out with shovels in hand to dig out around the wheels. It took a bit of shoveling but soon they had cleared enough space for the truck to get turned around. And off he went about his delivery rounds.
The teenagers from the side street who had watched the happenings were there to applaud once the truck got underway again. We watched as that mailtruck skidded and slid and with a rattling of the chains set off up the hill and passed out of sight.

The mail got through! And after all that excitement it was only a couple of bills and an envelope of coupons that got delivered.

A pretty real weather event

We are in the midst of an unusual December weather event. Snow is falling at the rate of 1 - 2" per hour and is scheduled to continue all day long. This storm has the potential to be the biggest snowfall on record for December.
These birds are doubtless regretting that they forgot to fly south for the winter. However, officially winter does not begin until December 21 so they still have a few more days to flee.

I try to have some images that I record in various seasons. Here is the back garden pagoda but it is in danger of disappearing. I like the way the snow has sculptured a perfect form on the roof tops of the pagoda.
Here, above, is the first man of my snow removal team. He did a great job clearing the front walk.
And the number two man on my snow removal team had the smelly noisy machinery to deal with. But it does get rid of the snow at a faster rate than the shovel will. Before we started clearing the snow we measured it at 9.5" in the middle of the driveway. That was at around 10:45am and the snow is ongoing.

The snow began around 9pm Friday evening. When I looked out at 7am this morning the snow had stopped falling but it began again by 8am and has not stopped since then.

It looks as though the snow plow did come down our street once in the night but we have not seen it in the daylight. We will stay safe and dry at home as road conditions are very dangerous.

There is so much snow already that it is safe to say we will be having a white Christmas even if, by then, it is a dirty white.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seasonal colors

Today we had fall and winter collide. Despite the predictions of the weathermen for a 70% chance of snow that would not stick...we did have snow and it has stuck all day long. Around 3pm I ransacked the closet to find my snow boots and ventured outside with my camera. I liked the contrast of the last red leaves on a small viburnum bush with the otherwise snowy scene viewed through an already denuded viburnum.
Here, the foo dog seems to be smiling at the weather. See how the mossy green coat on the dog contrasts with the wintry backdrop. And no, there are no eyeglasses on the face of the dog, it is just an illusion.

But, perhaps you need some brighter colors. Below is a shot of a bunch of flowers that are well past their "sell by" date. These were arranged ten days ago for Thanksgiving but look how colorful and vibrant they still are.

I am enjoying finding seasonal color in whatever form to share with you.