Sunday, December 28, 2008

Melt Down.

12-28-08 VERMONT: After the deep freeze, we have thawed out. It has been progressively warmer and rainier. The snow is slowly vanishing. The roofs have dumped the retained snow and icicles on the deck and doorways which meant that more shoveling was necessary. There was dense fog this morning. Just before sunset it cleared enough to reveal pink skies.

We were at the Reese’s on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day the Hoffmans and Robinsons came here for dinner. Val, Maggie and Lucy arrived the day after, for the exciting melt down. Yesterday we skated on the pond because the snow melt left an adequate layer of decent ice. Tomorrow is shaping up as sunny and not too warm, so we may yet ski.

Skaters and Friends.

An End to the Rain?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Even Whiter Christmas.

WINTER SOLSTICE, VERMONT: It snowed again through our nine hours of daylight. It was overcast with the snow fall and dusk-like all day. We got another foot of snow. Let’s see—if the trend continues, we’ll have seventy feet of snow by March 1.

I trudged out to the end of the pasture to exercise the dogs. They porpoise through the deep snow, it looks exhausting. Judy decorated the tree, and we watched football. It hasn’t been out of the teens, but the end of the pond where the springs enter is unfrozen. I think because there has been so much precip that the springs are running a lot, and the water coming up from the ground is too warm to freeze.

The icicles are a hazard, can you find the dog?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

An Extremely White Christmas.

12-20-08 VERMONT: It’s not seventy here, the thermometer has dropped faster than the stock market. The high here today was 15°. We arrived on the 18th to find the house cleaned and spruced up by the neighbors who had moved back to their renovated house. They left us a pile of goodies on the kitchen table.

There were surprises outside as well. Last week’s snow storm ended as rain and then a sharp freeze. This weather sequence is common in New England. This time there was so much snow and rain on the pine trees that they lost many branches from the weight of the ice and the wind, many big branches. Pines don’t have the sense to be deciduous. In front of the house there were two dozen downer branches, a few needed cutting up before I could drag them away. The pines on the corner where the pasture, road and yard meet lost huge branches, up to 10-12 inches in diameter, which took out the power and telephone lines for two days. There are too many, too heavy branches for me to drag to the burn pile, and the burn pile is snowed in anyway. In a storm with only snow, no ice, the pines just shed the snow as it accumulates.

After that destructive storm, there was another five inches of snow before we arrived and, starting yesterday afternoon, another foot of snow. More expected tomorrow.

This afternoon, we got out and cut down a spruce behind the pond, dragged it up to the porch, measured it, shortened it and brought it in the mudroom to melt off and, set it up in the living room.

The tree in the middle is now in the living room, but with less snow and shorter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pronunciation Lesson.

12-16-09 SHORT HILLS: We have had a potpourri of weather, yesterday was almost seventy and sunny in the morning, today is cold and rainy with sleet predicted. Before the one day heat wave, we had cold rain and sub-freezing days.

Notice how people have trouble with pronouncing Rod Blagojevich’s name? Just remember the second syllable is ‘gone’ as in
Bla-gone-e-vich. Madoff, the celebrity embezzler, is pronounced made-off, as in made off with the loot.

See what I have to resort to when there’s no flowers

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Dog With Three Balls.

12-7-08 SHORT HILLS: There was an inch of snow last night, but it’s gone this afternoon. We dog-walked with the Zevins this morning when it was pleasant. Now it’s colder and windy.

Gus, the golden puppy, is still less than a year old but is bigger than his uncle Nick. He has almost mastered carrying three tennis balls at the same time. He will give you one or, perhaps, two to throw for him to retrieve, but he keeps at least one for himself. Separation anxiety?

Gus has Three Balls.


Friday, December 05, 2008

What To Do When The Gardens Are Hibernating.

12-5-08 SHORT HILLS: Everyone survived Thanksgiving, but I feel a little heavier for the experience. We had two dustings of snow last week, and it remains rather cold. Pat R. was visiting in NJ this week, it was nice to see her back here after a couple years in Atlanta.

Judy and I heard the Philharmonic do Schumann’s Fourth, The sixth Brandenburg, and the Fifth Symphony Wednesday night. Tomorrow we see Garrison Keillor with the Lums and Zissus. Next week we hear the BSO do the Seventh Symphony at NJPAC. We manage to keep busy even when there’s no gardening to be done.