Friday, March 27, 2015

Snowdrops!

3-27-15 SHORT HILLS: The knee is healing, I am now allowed to bend it to 90° of flexion, but not to bear weight, so I am still using crutches and/or the walker. I have no pain, and the sutures are out. Being able to bend it means I can ride in the front seat of the car and drive soon, hopefully.

We still have patches of snow in the yard, even after a rainy two days, and the plow-piles in the driveway are still huge. The lawn is very muddy, and the dogs seem to tract lots of it into the house to Judy’s dismay.

The grackles and red-wing blackbirds are on their way north, and have been at the feeders for a few weeks.

Snowdrops have popped up in the last couple of days as the snow has grudgingly retreated. In years with mild winters, these snowdrops have appeared as early as February. Pussy willow buds are swelling as are maples and elms.

New blooms: snowdrops.


This clump of Snowdrops is always the first in this yard.

Here are another bunch, a day or so behind and still yellowish from being buried in the snow.

And here's some of that snow which will last well into April - in New Jersey!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring begins.

3-20-15 SHORT HILLS: At this moment, 7:29:15 EDT, we are about 45 minutes into spring—isn’t that a relief after a killer winter. If, however, you should look out the window, you will see four inches of new #$*&.

Besides the Vernal Equinox, today has a solar eclipse, not visible in the US, and the new moon [when the moon is directly between the earth and sun and might cause an eclipse] is at that spot in its orbit, perigee, when it is closest to the earth. Does that grab bag of astronomic trivia make up for the #$*&? I didn’t think so either.

As for me, I tore up my left knee that last day of skiing, Friday, got a ride down the mountain on the toboggan, drove home and had dinner and called my NJ orthopedist after it was apparent the knee wasn’t getting better on its own. He said go to the local ER, I borrowed crutches from a neighbor and drove to Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

After X-rays, a CT scan and consultations, we decided to do the necessary repair to the tibial plateau of the knee in the morning, Saturday. Judy, always there to bail me out, drove up Sunday and found me in a Bledsoe Brace locked in extension [straight out]. After PT lessons, I was discharged on Monday, and then we drove back to NJ on Tuesday, ahead of yet another blizzard.

Here we are learning how to make the situation work. We lost our trip to Naples and will loose some theatre and opera. Even though this was my first serious injury in 58 years of skiing, I suspect that I’ve made my last run.


Just when we were starting a nest?!

Same old, same old.

Iron Maiden.

It's pretty, but.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sugar Time.

3-11-15 VERMONT: I came up yesterday to ski for a few days while it’s warm, that's relatively warm. Yesterday was in the forties, but overcast, and today is as warm and sunny. The snow at the Skiway is on the verge of slushy, but with good cover and almost no skiers.

Warm weather in March means mud, by the end of the day the dirt parts of the roads had standing water and deep, deep ruts. It makes me glad I’m in an AWD Subaru.

The other thing that March means is syrup. Neighbor Steve has the taps and buckets out and on the trees.


Selfie at the Skiway. No helmet indicates a geezer.

Winslow side of the Skiway and the McLane Family Lodge.

Spring means mud. This is not the worst spot, but one where I felt OK with stopping for a moment. The strategy for the bad spots is to plow through.

The taps and buckets are out. Sweetness on the way.

BTW, that's a three rail fence behind the wall and maples. There's still plenty of snow.

Monday, March 09, 2015

"Constellations"

3-9-15 SHORT HILLS: It’s been warm and sunny for a few days now with no precip for three days. The ice dam issue seems to have resolved and the leaks have stopped. DST has started, but it still seems like winter with a foot of snow in the yard.

Of course, in some other parallel universe, daffodils are in bloom now. That is the premise of Constellations now playing at the Manhattan Theatre Club in this universe, one of an infinite number in the multiverse. Jake Gyllenhaal as Roland, a beekeeper, and Ruth Wilson as Marianne, an astrophysicist, act on a bare black stage under a canopy of lighted balloons.

The plot is simple—boy meets girl, boy marries girl, girl gets sick. Just like a minimalist Love Story. A handful of scenes are repeated for several of the parallel universes, each, naturally, somewhat different. Think of the Goldberg Variations of J. S. Bach [BWV 988].

All the repeats add up to 70 minutes of theatre, each minute fairly expensive. The scenes are played very conventionally forward in time, from meet to grief, but since the Playbill tells us, “Time is an illusion,” perhaps it was more, or less, than 70 minutes and was actually performed backwards or sideways—who really knows?

It’s always interesting to see actors from the big screen, or the little one, perform live. Jake and Ruth were both excellent. [Actually a lot of the big screens are pretty small these days, and the little screens are getting very big.] It probably didn’t take playwright, Nick Payne, more than an afternoon to create this vehicle with just the variations on a few scenes to do. He does deserve credit for the concept.

The house was full, and they got a standing O from the audience, including Judy and me.


Minimal staging with balloons above reflected below on the black stage.

Gyllenhaal and Wilson meet several times...

in different universes.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Déjà Vu All Over Again.

3-5-15 SHORT HILLS: As predicted we are getting another ton of snow, heavy wet stuff this time. There are about eight inches so far with more to come.

It was warm yesterday, and we started to get water dripping from the ceiling of the sunroom. An ice dam has formed on the roof and melt water backs up behind the dam, seeps under the roof shingles and works its way inside the house. Now it’s getting colder which will stop the leak until the next thaw. Something to look forward to.


It's not cute anymore...

Not at all...

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Even More Snow.

3-3 -15 SHORT HILLS: It’s snowing tonight, it snowed two days ago and might snow two days from now. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the forties with rain, but after that the cold returns.

There’s plenty of bird activity at the feeders. The ground is covered with several inches of snow and ice and all the berries have been eaten from all the bushes. There are no insects yet so the feeders are a major food source for the birds. I can sit in the dining room and get pretty good shots through the window.

The encouraging news today is that the Goldfinches are showing some yellow color. Their winter plumage is grey, but the males, especially, are vivid yellow with a black cap in breeding summer season. They are, I assume, responding to the increasing daylight. They are certainly not responding to higher temperatures.


Red-bellied Woodpecker, seems like a misnomer.

Cardinal and Titmouse.

House Finch and Cardinal discuss sharing.

House Finch and Goldfinches.

The Goldfinch is going from winter grey to summer yellow - must be a good sign,

White-crowned Sparrow and Downy Woodpecker, male in the snow.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Still Cold.

2-28-15 SHORT HILLS: I’m glad to see the last of February. March 1 always means spring to me even though the Vernal Equinox doesn’t happen for another three weeks. The sun is racing northward and by April 21 will be half way to the Summer Solstice from the Equator. At the Summer Solstice the sun’s geographic position, the spot on the earth’s surface directly beneath the sun, is on the Tropic of Capricorn, the northern limit of the tropics and the northernmost reach of the sun’s excursion. It is about 23° North Latitude.

At the moment the sun is at 10° South Latitude. At the Equinox, of course, the sun will be at 0° on the Equator, and four weeks later it will be at 12° North Latitude. Are we ready for that?

Winter is certainly hanging on with tenacity, our yard is full of snow, and it was 10° F. here at 7 AM.


No spring in his step.

Not in bloom....

Not yet.....