Jack’s Walk

Sunshine! ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a bright sunny day around here, but the weather remains cold, -7º C which feels like -12º C. I don’t mind the cold as much when it’s sunny, but I do mind all the ice that’s sticking around. We’ve had 2 ice storms in the past 2 weeks with snow in-between. We were supposed to have a few days of warming last week, but we really only had about 1/2 day of above zero temps and all that did was weld all those layers together to make thick sheets of ice that coat the roads and sidewalks. My city has done a poor job this year of clearing ice and snow and our side streets are coated with a 5 – 10 cm. thick layer of ice with deep potholes and grooves where the slush of car tracks froze quickly. They’ve been like this for over a week and the city is doing nothing about it. Driving down these streets is perilous and could easily ruin a car. As for the sidewalks, they are full of thick, slick ice that makes you fall down and go boom. I have cleats for my boots, but they’re difficult to manage because you need to high-step and stomp your feet with every step which is not easy for an old gal like me.

Our river path is also too slick for walking so Jack and I decided to visit our little forest path in the country to check out the conditions and we got lucky. There was packed snow, but ice in only a few places that we could go around. Also, the path has been roughed up by the dozens of people who walk their dogs there and all in all we had a pleasant walk. Best of all we found only minor damage to the trees from the 2 recent ice storms with just a few small downed branches. All of the big grandmother trees fared well. Hooray! I guess this is where Jack and I will be walking for the next little while because ice, ice baby turns out to be dangerous.

Jack’s Walk

Fresh Snow at the Lake. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Grey skies, grey light, trees in black and white. I’m hungry for colour and sunshine and maybe even just a break from frigging with the white balance on my camera. These softly lengthening days of February have been so dull this year that the extra daylight looks more like daylong twilight. It’s a good thing HappyJack™ has a happy tail to motivate me or I might not leave the house at all on days like this.

Memories of Snow 2

Right now temperatures change extremely between -5°C in the night and 15°c in the afternoon and the days, they’re getting longer. And all the hazel is blooming so I tried to claw out my own eyes because fuck allergies. So it’s time to for (hopefully) one last look at winter.

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Memories of Snow 1

With Winter nearing its end, at least here, it’s time to look back at the snow that we had.

© Giliell, all rights reserved
It wouldn’t be me without reflections, right?

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Oh, and did you know, there’s going to be Frozen 2

 

Jack’s Walk

A white quilt. ©voyager, all rights reserved

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Contrasts

As I am in Vilnius until Wednesday, I would like to take this small moment to cast a shadow (work will most likely occupy the rest of my time). Thank you, Nightjar, for those lovely photos of flowers and sunshine (really – today I got back to the hotel, refreshed Affinity, and it was… wow) – in sharp contrast, this is what we have: a look at Vilnius in evening (NB: there is still light, a month ago it would be completely dark!).

©rq, all rights reserved.

Here is a song from Estonia, to complete the Baltic triptych:

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The End Is Nigh

The end of winter at least seems to be nigh, but since one can never know what March will bring, it’s best not to cheer too loudly yet. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind real winter for another couple of weeks, it’s the yoyo I hate. Pick one, Winter. You can’t have it both ways.) The one noticeable difference now is the light – it is no longer dark outside when I leave work (had a bit of a shock Friday). Yay!

But today we will take a short look back at the Winter That Was, because it is, after all, Ronja’s favourite season.

Drive-by photo because she will not sit still if there’s snow to be et.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Well, usually…

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Love Is Metaphysical Gravity

That, apparently, is a quote by R Buckminster Fuller. It is also the title of a series of photographs by Reuben Wu, taken in Spitzbergen, with a particular focus on the Svalbard Satellite Station. About the series:

Taken on Spitzbergen, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Reuben Wu’s images detail the breathtaking appearance of our planet’s extremities. His photograph series Love Is Metaphysical Gravity is a visual feast of soft pink and blue colour tones, artic landscapes, dreamy auroras and the incomprehensible beauty of the unpolluted night’s sky.

[…]

While Love Is Metaphysical Gravity in part serves as a documentary of the remote islands and the radomes of the Svalbard Satellite Station, what it is perhaps most sensitive to is this: It may be one of the most uninhabited places on Earth, but Spitsbergen is no stranger to communication.

Picking out favourites out of that icy landscape is a challenge, but here’s a couple from Reuben’s website:

Love Is Metaphysical Gravity by Reuben Wu

Love Is Metaphysical Gravity by Reuben Wu. This one is by far my absolute favourite. Turns out it is possible to choose after all!

Love Is Metaphysical Gravity by Reuben Wu

For full effect and full-size pictures, visit his site, and there’s plenty more to explore, too. I sense a timesink of the best kind.

 

Jack’s Walk

Japanese Maple, ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been raining here most of the day and with the temp hovering between -1º C and +1º C all that rain has been freezing and accumulating. Just stepping out of the house is dangerous. I slipped several times going down my front stairs and once I was at the bottom there was no-where I could go beyond a small patch of grass. Every surface is coated with about 1.5 cm of ice. Even poor low to the ground and 4-footed Jack fell twice going out to pee. The schools are closed, city buses have been canceled and I haven’t seen a single car drive past my house all day. The big, heavy trees are groaning and cracking under the weight and my birch tree has already lost a sizable limb. The forecast says it should all melt soon though, with temps expected to warm up overnight and reach a high of +12º C tomorrow. I hope they’re right.

Jack’s Walk

Fishing at the Creek, ©voyager, all rights reserved

What do you do when the creek is full and flowing and there’s not a speck of ice in sight? You go fishing, of course. That’s what Jack is doing in this photo in case it’s not immediately obvious. He’s still hoping to repeat his lucky catch of a few years ago. Meanwhile, I stand onshore explaining to curious onlookers why my dog is standing up to his chest in cold water, not moving a muscle and staring at something that no-one else sees.