Saturday, February 20, 2010

Newly Fallen Snow

Nothing is as pure and beautiful as newly fallen snow. I can just sit and watch the gentle flakes fall, turning everything -- lawns, trees, streets, sidewalks, houses, cars, lawns, and even the trash in the gutter. Especially in the city, the transformation can be most dramatic.

After our winter drought, we had a little bit of snow again in the Boston area.

Below: Snow falling in the halo of a street light and covering steets, sidewalks, cars, and the roofs of houses.

Below: close-up of falling snow covering the branches of a tree.

Below: The next morning, snow covered tree limbs contrast with a bright blue sky.

Below: Snow covered lawns in the Public Garden complete the winter sceen of a Back Bay skyline.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter Drought

We usually think of droughts as happening in the summer. With no rain for weeks, lawns and flowers and crops dry up and wither. But, droughts can happen even in the freezing cold of winter.

While Washington, DC, and the surrounding areas were pounded by 2 to 3 feet (0.7 to 1.0 meters) of snow, the Boston area missed out on the entire storm. What snow we had graddually disappeared, melting little by little on the colder days and then disappearing when we got a brief thaw.

Now it's freezing cold and again and snowless. These photographs in Boston's Public Garden illustrate what a winter drought looks like: the brown lawns, bare trees, and fozen ponds, but no snow. It's not the kind of sceen you'll seen on any Christmas card where the snow is always beautifully white and freshly fallen!

Below: The snowless lawns are brown and the lagoon is frozen solid in this view looking down Newbury Street.

Below: A little contrast of morning and evening showing the same view. The church spire is that of the Chuch of the Covenant. The evening view was in December while the morning view is February.

Below: A comparison of the lagoon bridge in a snowy winter (left, Jan. 2009) and a winter drought (right, Feb. 2010)

Below: A close-up of the brown lawns and bare trees. One advantage: a young couple taking a shortcut across the fozen lagoon.

Below: During a winter drought, there's no snow for skiing (except at the facilities with snow making equipment). If you can't ski, at least you can skate: a business man did just that on his lunch hour.