Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Storm that Came to Dinner.

2-27-10 SHORT HILLS: We had another flurry today. If this storm hangs around any longer, I’m going to charge it rent. We continue to get damage to shrubs and trees, broken branches and trunks. The heavy wet snow froze on the branches in big globs. If you try to get it off with a broom or rake, it usually causes more damage than benefit. I foresee lots of pruning next month.

So if global warming is happening, why are we getting all these snow storm? Funny you should ask, I was just thinking about that. The accumulation of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide, from the burning of fossil fuels continues. This January was the warmest on record. A hotter atmosphere holds more water vapor, think of the summer time humidity, and more energy. More energy and water in the atmosphere means more intense storms with more precipitation, rain or snow. So the storms don’t call climate change, a better term than global warming, into question, but they confirm it.

Just another sunset.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Winter.

2-25-10 SHORT HILLS: Well, we are getting another snow storm. This stuff is a wet, heavy, wet, sticky, gloppy mess that is crushing shrubs and damaging trees. There are branches down all over the yard. Even deciduous shrubs are bent to the ground. One section of split rail fence was taken out by a snow covered juniper. I have cleaned off the shrubs around the driveway twice so when the plowers show up, they won’t destroy the bushes while clearing snow.

It was above 32° all day, but now the thermometer is dropping and this harmful mess is going to freeze in place. It’s hard to say how much we have gotten so far because it is so heavy that it packs itself down. They are predicting another 24 hours of this stuff—I’m ready for spring.

Cement-like snow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bright Lights, Big Cities.

2-23-06 SHORT HILLS: The weather has warmed. It gets into the forties every day, and the snow is sneaking away. Today we have rain.

Last night we heard the Mets’ production of Donizetti’s “La Fille du Régiment” with Alison and Dan. It was a snow date from the performance we missed a few weeks ago. Juan Diego Flórez was brilliant, as usual, but Diana Damrau stole the show as Marie. She has a beautiful voice, of course, and a great comedic talent. It’s a fun opera, and a great way to start kids.

Saturday we saw Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson in Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” after a great dinner at Barbetta. Interesting parallels with “On the Waterfront” about informing and the HUAC era. Two thumbs up from us.

And, for this Friday, NJPAC is offering the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra doing an all Beethoven program—Symphony 7 and the Emperor Concerto. A pretty good week.

A pathetic iPhone pic from the Grand Tier of the Met at the end of the opera.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another WW.

2-16-10 SHORT HILLS: We snuck back to NJ ahead of the new storm. So far we only got a few inches of soggy snow with the temperature about 32°. It’s wet enough to stick to the trees and bushes and looks beautiful, yet again. Hopefully Vermont will get some snow cover out of this storm.

I got a half day of skiing at the Skiway on Sunday with Roger and Ann. Roger and I calculated that we made enough runs to reduce the cost, already cheap enough for half-day seniors, to less than $2 per run. It was my first day of downhill this season. The first run is always a revelation for me of how much fun skiing still is.

Snow Falling on Bamboo, and everything else.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where's the snow.

2-13-10 VERMONT: There’s so much snow in NJ that we came to Vermont to escape the harsh winter weather. Here we have a couple inches of snow slowly evaporating. It looks like late March, but is still cold, in the twenties.

The Katz’s, Hanlon’s and Korey’s came for Judy’s seafood gumbo last night. It was the gumbo recipe’s debut—very successful, people almost stayed until 10:30.

Walking around the pasture today, we heard at least two woodpeckers drumming away. It sounded like an early spring. We’ll see.

If there's a foot of snow in NJ and two feet in VA, how much should there be in VT?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard Trumps Met.

2-10-2010 SHORT HILLS: Tonight is the night when our whole family meets for dinner at Fiorello's and goes to the Metropolitan Opera for Donizetti's 'La Fille du Régiment' which had a rave review, except we got a *#%*load of snow with more coming.

NJ whiteout.

"Whadda mean we're not going to the opera?"

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Birding Paradise.

2-7-10 NAPLES, FLORIDA: We’ve been here for a few days staying at the gracious home of our gracious hosts, Ken and Carol. It’s been cool and windy, in the seventies, but warmer than NYC or VT.

We went to the Corkscrew Wildlife Preserve yesterday morning. Last year was dry and the birds were concentrated in the few deeper pools. This year has been wet and almost the whole preserve is wet and marshy. We saw water birds, raptors, small fry, a raccoon, vultures, hawks—it was great.

We saw wind boarders on the Gulf in three foot waves, too rough for easy boating out there, so we stayed in the lagoons.

Tomorrow we go back to NJ, if EWR is running.

White Ibis.

Great Egret.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Sun Room Surprise

2-1-10 SHORT HILLS: One month to go before we might get back into the garden although some our biggest blizzards have happened in March. We had a thrilling experience this morning. In the face of the bitter cold outside, someone in the sun room reminded us of the season around the corner of February.

New blooms: hibiscus.