Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bartz Brothers Snow Sculptures

Bartz Snow Sculptures of St. Paul, MN are amazing.
Photo from Bartz Brothers Facebook page
The Bartz Brothers have done it again. These guys have been sculpting sea creatures out of snow for the past 5 years, and they have really honed their skills. For the past two years they have been partnering with Onedayswages.org to raise money to provide clean water and sanitation for different villages around the world. Last year, they raised over $17,000. This year they are looking to raise $25,000.
Photo from Bartz Brothers Facebook page
This year, they created Finnegan the Fish. Absolutely amazing. Check out their Facebook page at Bartz Snow Sculptures and follow them through their snow art journey.

Hmmm... If I wasn't so completely exhausted from shoveling snow, I'd make a snowman, but even that is too much for me. I guess I'll have to live vicariously through the Bartz brothers!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ummm... This snow storm was a pretty good one!

SNOW TOTAL THUS FAR:  27.5" for this season.
The snow table was holding 9" of heavy, wet snow.
Well, the weather reports oscillated back and forth so much we didn't know what to expect. This is because we tend to be on a dividing line of coastal to inland weather conditions. 
In this case, we got all snow and only about 1/2 hour of freezing rain. Thus, we got a total of 11" from this storm. 
I shot this as the sunlight was just coming up over the horizon...
We didn't get the wind, but the snow was incredibly wet and heavy. Check out how much there is clinging to the branches, the bird feeder, the bench, etc.
We started clearing snow at 5am and this continued well into the afternoon. I must say that I am so exhausted that I didn't even go out to photograph the pond. The photos would have been magnificent... But, I had other, more important obligations today...
You can see where the branch broke off the tree and up-ended itself onto the power line.
We were without power from Thursday at 11:55 pm until 2:45 pm on Friday. And, we found that we were the last house on the street, with a branch hanging onto a power line, to get cleared. We got power within minutes of Asplundh cleaning up the line.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snow update


At 6pm, we have 2" of wet, heavy snow. Check out the shadows of the huge clumps of snow falling from the sky!
Big "flakes" of snow falling fast. Aughhhh... they are ganging up on us!
How much snow will the ash tree branches capture without breaking off?
And, soon the freezing rain may begin. It is going to be a crazy night of uncertainty as to what we will get as far as rainfall.

A big snowstorm is on the way

THE STORM HIT US GOOD AND HARD. NO RAIN. ALL SNOW...
Turkey footprint probably made when there was slush on Tuesday.
This was on the trail over to the pond today.
We were supposed to get about 1" of snow but got hit hard instead! Yay!
Our dock stays over at the pond's edge and it rests on the picnic table all winter long.
Here are some snowy shots!
Branches reach out to grab sunlight (and snowflakes;-)
There are lots of mighty oaks, maples and pine trees along the pond's edge.
And, the pond sedges and grasses lean over due to the prevailing wind from the north.
Everybody leans toward the south as the cold north wind blows.
As you can see, there are indents into the ice as the grasses were blown down while the water froze.

Toasty, colorful wood stove flames

This is a Gif of several photos that Drew strung together. I need to take a video of the fire next time.
Ahhhh... the joys of a fire in the wood stove. In my opinion, there is nothing more mesmerizing than watching the flames as they move sinuously into a variety of shapes.
This ghost looks like it jumped right out of cartoons I saw as a child!
Some of the shapes are rather ghostly. Can you see the cartoonish ghost in these flames? I laughed aloud while scanning through the photos. 
I see ghostly eyes to the left of what looks like a ghostly duck! Ha!
Scene after scene showed other-worldly figures in conversation, then being transmorgified into ghastly, ghostly shapes at other moments.
A ghoulishly great horned owl! Ha! And, no, I didn't photoshop any shapes in; these occurred naturally.
This has to be one of my favorites, and I dedicate it to my owl-loving friend, Shannon. Hey, Shan, do you see the owl! Wicked cool... Flame photography rocks! I just snapped a hundred or so photos and I couldn't have been happier with the results.
Drew says I have a very active imagination. That's good, right? Ha!
I see a serpent in this photo. Do you??? Ooohh... and to the left of the serpent there is a barn owl swooping in!
What made these colorful results? Well...Drew let the fire get up to about 550F and then threw in a creosote buster block. As the block burns, it is supposed to break up the creosote that builds up in the chimney. The active chemicals in this block are copper sulfate (green flame color), ammonium chloride (maybe faint green flame color), magnesium acetate (maybe white flame color), and trisodium phosphate (maybe pale bluish green flame color.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Snow and rain on the way

And, here is the "lovely" forecast for tomorrow. Why is there always rain?
 WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING... * HAZARD TYPES... HEAVY SNOW CHANGING TO RAIN. * ACCUMULATIONS... SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 2 TO 4 INCHES. HIGHER AMOUNTS NEAR 6 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE SEVERAL MILES INLAND AWAY FROM THE SHORELINE. * TIMING... SNOW WILL BEGIN TO FALL BETWEEN LATE MORNING AND MID AFTERNOON THURSDAY. THE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO BE HEAVY AT TIMES THURSDAY NIGHT. AN ISOLATED THUNDERSTORM IS ALSO POSSIBLE. THE PRECIPITATION WILL END FROM SOUTH TO NORTH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY MORNING. * IMPACTS... * WINDS... SOUTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH. * TEMPERATURES... IN THE LOWER 30S. * VISIBILITIES... ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A warm and gorgeous day

Can you believe the 50F temp.! Neither can we. Absolutely loverly;-)
Wow, it is warm and partly sunny outside, today. We took a nice walk with the dogs and soaked up as many sunny rays as possible. I couldn't get enough fresh air into my lungs. I am feeling incredibly refreshed and somewhat renewed after all the inside work I have been doing.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Snowy Day

Snow Total thus far: 16.5" snow.

We got about 1.5 inches of snow today. It was wet and heavy due to the outdoor temp. being around 30F.

I trampled a trail from the street toward the pond.
View looking back at Neighbor Carla's house.
This was the first day of my Christmas vacation, and I took the entire day off. I walked over to the pond to check out the ice. We have yet to measure it, but as I chatted with neighbors Rhoda and Jeanetta , they told me that Dale had measured the ice, last week, at a bit over 4" thick.
Untrampled path to the pond
The ice is as slick as can be under the thin coating of snow. I know this firsthand as I almost fell down as I ventured about 10 feet out from shore. NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT VENTURE OUT ONTO THE ICE WITHOUT YAK TRAX;-)
Rhoda was sitting on the ice to cool off from a hard skating workout.
In this photo you can barely see Jeanetta and Rhoda in the distance. They are great ice skaters.
This shot shows the northwestern view of the pond. One of the two active beaver lodges is barely visible due to my using the wide-angle lens, but in reality it is like a huge, white mounded beacon.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Hidden Life of Trees

Thanks, Shannon!
I received a new book for my 60th birthday titled, "The Hidden Life of Trees", by Peter Wohlleben. And, I must say, I am enjoying it immensely. It is written by a forester who describes the intricate processes that are involved between trees and their surroundings, as well as the relationships between trees, and the inner workings of trees. One of his goals is to introduce people to forests and to encourage them to investigate the natural world in their own backyards. Besides the pure enjoyment of learning, I am looking forward to gathering new ideas for photography, for MND, as I delve into this book. Boy, do my friends know me well;-)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Snowy Saturday

Snow Total thus far: 15" of snow.
We had a lovely snowy day with exactly 4" of fluffy, white snow falling onto our little acre of Maine! Our dogs had their buddies over for a play date, and they romped themselves silly around the backyard;-)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Weather update

Well, we sure are in a rough transition from autumn to winter (which will begin Wednesday, Dec. 21st.) We range from super cold, to warm and rainy on a daily basis. It is difficult to adjust to this variability. And, it looks like we will not have a white Christmas. Ugh...

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snow Total

Snow Total: 11" of snow thus far this season.
Snow: We got 6.5 inches of snow from this storm.

SNOW DAY # 1


Well, it seems as just about every school in the lower half of Maine is closed today! Wahoooo!
4" of snow at 6:20 am
These photos are from 6:20 am, with a few more hours of snowfall to come.
All too soon, we may get the dreaded rain...then icing of surfaces tonight followed by icy road conditions as we drive to school tomorrow.  These in-between storms are the worst and we had way too many of them last year. We want just plain snow, than you very much!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ice-In

Houston...we have ice-in! Caesar Pond is nearing readiness for ice skating! We haven't drilled into the ice yet, to check depth, but will do so in a few days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snow

Snow Total: 4.5" thus far.
Snow: We got about 0.5" of snow today. But, with the daytime high rising to about 35F, the snow all but melted.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Snow

We got 2.5 inches of snow today.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Darkness and Sunset Hours

Wow, it sure does get dark early this time of year. Currently, sunset in our neck of the woods is at 4:02 pm, and by next Friday and Saturday, the sun will set at 4:01 pm. Then, it will begin to set later by tiny increments. Unfortunately, so does sunrise. Ugga Bugga...It is so much easier to navigate the snowy roads during the light of day, but unfortunately, I rarely see daylight except for when I peek out of my classroom window for a few seconds per day. This is just about the only thing I dislike about winter...