Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back to Winter.

1-31-13 SHORT HILLS: Yesterday was warm, the car said it was 61° in the afternoon. It was foggy all day as snow and ice were busy melting. I saw a perplexed flock of Canada geese standing on a frozen pond, they were almost hidden in the fog. I had seen, and heard, them flying around in their v-formation earlier in the day.

We went to the NJ Medical Club winter, social meeting last night and saw a bunch of old friends.

Last night there was a rain and wind storm, and it’s still windy this morning, but dry now and getting cold again. Tomorrow is predicted to be below freezing with snow flurries.

New blooms: snowdrop, partially open.

Canada Geese having a problem with hard water.

There's ice, fog and melt water.

Fog in the morning lasted all day.

Here's the snowdrop, almost open on January 31.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Glimpse of Spring.

1-29-13 SHORT HILLS: It was warmer yesterday, even with a dusting of early morning snow, and quite warm today, springishly warm. I was outside with a light jacket, no gloves or winter hat. Tomorrow may hit sixty, even in the rain.

The big surprise, the huge surprise, was a Snowdrop popping up. We have one that always starts before the others, but this is unusually early. It’s not open, but it’s up, and the first flower is in bud.

Snowdrop is up, not open yet, but maybe in January?

Closer look.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Glimpse of Summer.

1-27-13 SHORT HILLS: After about a week of sub-freezing temps, it warmed up to the mid-thirties today, with sun, and we felt comfortable on our dog walk. Tomorrow will provide us with rain, snow or both, but the middle of the week will be in the fifties, maybe, hopefully.

We had a nice dinner with Dan and Charlene in the city last night at a small, local place on the Upper East Side named Spigolo. They offer Italian cuisine and a friendly staff, the food was excellent even on a busy Saturday night.

Still shivering from our frigid snap, I thought I’d show a couple other pix from our Met visit. The three are all summery with water, and all by Monet. I think they are each of the Seine. [Anyone?] The water depiction is very different in each one, but they all have reflections, what water paintings, and photos, need. I'm sure you've seen these before.

Feel a little warmer?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sunlight and Paint.

1-25-13 SHORT HILLS: I forgot to mention the amount of daylight we get as the sun moves toward us northern hemispherians. At the winter solstice we get, in NJ latitudes, about 9 hours and 20 minutes of sun. A month later in January we get a little more sun, 9h-45min, a small increase of daylight. By February 21, we get 11h of sun a bigger jump.

We went to the Met Museum yesterday to catch the Matisse show and visit a few other galleries before our feet and backs got tired. There are things painters do with light that photographers struggle with. Here are a few examples…

Matisse-love the black.

Matisse did the indoor and outdoor through the window. With the camera the outdoor is over-exposed and/or the indoor is under-exposed.

Monet is so good with light and shadow. This is hard with the camera, the shadows are too dark or the sun light is over exposed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NJ Shivers.

1-23-13 SHORT HILLS: We seem to have brought Vermont back to NJ. Today was in the teens, but felt colder with a bit of wind and dampness. We took the dogs around the block, in our winter best, and we were all mighty glad to get back inside. Tonight is colder. We had dinner with Bill and Lynn, both Bill and I are limping around, to the great amusement of the ladies.

If you hadn’t noticed, we are a little more than a month away from the winter solstice. The sun has begun to climb back toward the Equator and, a month from now will be half way.

Another pic from VT, Mt Moosilauke in the far center.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vermont, Hot and Cold.

1-20-13 VERMONT: We’ve had a mélange of weather and socializing. We got here after an easy trip on Thursday. We took care of errands on Friday before a great dinner in Norwich with Ned and Lou at Jim and Brook’s. Friday was sub-zero in the morning on the way to the market. Saturday was much warmer, up in the forties in the afternoon, before we fed Ann and Roger, Phyllis and Arnie and Donna and Bruce. Judy’s dinner was up to her usual, impossibly high standards.

Today started warm, got very windy with the chimney moaning and branches, snow and leaves flying around the yard before the temps crashed again. This morning we had brunch with Lily and Anna in Hanover and got updated on their lives, at least in part. We went to Smith’s Auction House this afternoon to look for rugs that might work in Los Gatos and bumped into old friend Beth, also exploring the offerings.

Back to NJ tomorrow.

Nuthatch waiting for an opening at the feeder.

Cold, warm, windy, cold.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Icy Surprise.

1-16-13 SHORT HILLS: We got an inch of wintry-mix last night, and this morning everything’s gone crystal. It’s melting already. But before it all drips away…

These are all cherry tree branches.

In three months-pink flowers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zero Dark January.

1-15-13 SHORT HILLS: It remains overcast, but not very cold. There was a shower, rain shower, last night when we came out of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. That is a thrilling movie, even though you know what happened, it still has you on the edge of your seat. Jessica Chastain deserved her Golden Globe for best actress, and Kathryn Bigelow’s direction is superb. We’re off to VT for a long weekend.

January in NJ usually looks like this.

The other morning the sun broke out for a few minutes, lighting up drops of condensation on all the branches. It was like Xmas lights for a moment of two, but I couldn't really catch the image.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

More Thaw.

1-12-13 SHORT HILLS: The January thaw continues, all the snow is gone, the top layer of the soil has turned to mud making the yard treacherous for walking. The days have been dark, drizzly and dreary. Everything is wet, but there hasn’t been much rain accumulation. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the sixties.

2012 was the warmest year on record, beating out the previous record, 1998, I think, by a whole degree, which is a big increase.

There is a Op-Ed piece by Dan Fagin in today’s NYT about carcinogenic industrial wastes contaminating drinking water now happening in China, and echoing previous similar practices in Europe and then America. It’s titled, ‘A Cancer Cycle from Here to China’.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

January Thaw.

1-8-13 SHORT HILLS: We have survived the new year celebrations, the trip back to NJ, an unpleasant URI, the fiscal cliff, the beginning of January and my wonderful Birthday Party at Val’s in Brooklyn, given by Valerie’s and Alison’s families. The guests came from the far ends of the country. Most people had no trouble finding her co-op.

Judy made a beautiful speech, the kids and grands were funny and I did a Top Ten. I won’t repeat anything that was said and I seem to forgotten the number.

Here in NJ we have thin snow cover that is fast disappearing in a week-long January thaw. On the weather maps, it looks like the whole country is getting a thaw.

Val, Judy, me, Alison, Anna.
Lucy, Maggie, Lily.