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Anyone living along the east coast who thought the weather forecasters were kidding about the Nor’easter woke up to find the joke was on us! My city faired better than many with only a few inches, BUT it was the heavy, wet kind of snow that downed many branches including a large one off of my (already damaged) Coral Bark Maple. 😦 I must admit, Mother Nature got me since I didn’t see that one coming or else I would have strapped the branches together (as I intended to do before ‘winter’ arrived) when we were scurrying around yesterday covering furniture and moving in fragile perennials that I had yet to get planted into the ground. Sigh.

Not wanting to dwell on what was damaged, I decided instead, to look for the beauty of the day. It isn’t often we get the combination of gorgeous fall foliage, crisp blue skies, brilliant sunshine AND a bed of the white stuff. As the winds whipped, I walked the landscape, shooting until my hands were frozen.

Folks who don’t experience snowstorms often ask how we ‘deal’ with it.

Well, I think the last photo pretty much sums it up. 🙂

"S(no!)w Welcome" (Welcome Flag with Urn) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 11mm, F/4.0, 1/100s, IS0 125, Built-in Flash, -1.3EV


"Duck, Duck, Snow!" (Resin Ducks in Snow) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 13.5mm, F/4, 1/250s, ISO 100


"When Seasons Collide" (Backyard Shed in Snowy October) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 6.8mm, F/4.0, -0.3EV, 1/320s, IS0 100


"S(no)w Swimming" (October Pool) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 4.3mm, F/8.0, 1/125s, IS0 320


"Snow Birds" (Copper Swans with 'Cardinal Red' Hydrangea) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 21.8mm, F/4.5, 1/80s, IS0 125


"Seasonal Confusion" (October Backyard, Far View) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 4.3mm, F/8.0, 1/60s, IS0 160


"How to Weather Snow in October" (Backyard Vignette) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 7mm, F/4.0, 1/00s, IS0 100

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, was a strange weather day for us here in Massachusetts. The air was downright hot and thick with humidity, not normal for early June but who were we to complain after such a brutally cold winter? Even so, somehow, in the back of your brain, you knew this was different.

You could literally feel it.

The news talked about potential severe thunderstorms throughout the day and there were even a few tornado watches but, what’s to worry about? We don’t get tornadoes here. This is Massachusetts!

Hubby left work that afternoon a little early to beat any bad weather and arrived home safely but a bit apprehensive that I had to head out to teach a class in the next town over. I figured all I needed to worry about was getting drenched in a downpour so off I went as scheduled. (At the time we had no idea that a series of very powerful tornadoes were carving a path of destruction through the western and central part of the state)!

The winds howled outside as I taught and when class was over, we all were simply glad it wasn’t raining. I made it home without incident and we ate dinner glued to the local news channels, awestruck by the ugly-looking radar that now seemed to be heading our way. News reports of the tornado in Springfield were starting to come in and as the storms approached, we began to get nervous things were indeed as serious as they appeared. 

We decided to head outside to ‘batten down the hatches’ and as we did so, we witnessed the strangest sky. I’ve never seen it look like this before – the entire sky was yellow. And not a pastel yellow but a deep golden tone that washed over the landscape with an eerie glow. I did my best to try to capture it but this image does not truly do it justice. Dusk never looks like this. In fact, the sun sets way off to the left of the frame and couldn’t possibly produce this effect!

Only now do I understand that this sort of yellow sky oftentimes indicates the coming of a severe storm and one highly favorable for tornadoes. Yikes.

Luckily for us, the storms lessened as they worked their way to the coast and much of the severe thunderstorms went south of us. Relief! We wouldn’t begin to discover the magnitude of the day for those in Western and Central Mass until the next morning as all our news channels were filled with incredible images and video of the destruction. Being familiar with many of the affected areas only makes it all that much more unreal. It just doesn’t seem possible.

My heart goes out to all who witnessed first-hand the horror of the day’s events, especially those who suffered the greatest loss of all – the loss of life. Many have a difficult road ahead of them. Debris can be cleared, trees replanted, homes re-built and power restored, but the scars of this day will take a long, long time to heal.

God Bless.

The first major Nor’easter of the season arrived last night and raged on into today, ending around mid-day. Now according to meteorologists, the storm didn’t quite reach ‘blizzard status’ in our city but still managed to deliver a significant amount of the white stuff along with major wind gusts that knocked out power and caused other problems in many areas. Luckily, we have no issues to report other than the normal woes that come along with such a storm. 

Earlier today I forced myself outside into the howling winds to snap some photos before gettin’ down to the business of snow removal (the things I do for this blog… 😉 )

Snow House 2010

Nikon D300, 18mm, F/9, 1/320s, ISO 200

I soon learned it was heavy, wet snow, the kind that weighs down all the branches. Good for snowballs, bad for shoveling!

Backyard December 2010

Nikon D300, 36mm, F/8, 1/250s, +0.7EV, ISO 400

A snowblower (and a man to run it) is a good thing to have… 😉

Snowblower Man

Nikon D300, 50mm, F/9, 1/320s, ISO 200

While the Audi sits snug in the garage (see first photo), the Jeep bears the brunt of the storm. No worries… my girl can take it! 🙂

Snow Jeep

Nikon D300, 26mm, F/8, 1/250s, +0.7EV, ISO 200, Nik Color Efex Pro B&W Filter

The studio took a snow day…

Milkay Photography

Nikon D300, 75mm, F/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 1EV under 200

I do have to admit it does make everyday things look oh-so-pretty!

Snow Chalet

“Snow Chalet” (Snow-covered Birdhouse) Nikon D300, 120mm, F/6.3, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 200

Neither Rain Nor Snow

“Neither Rain Nor Snow” (Snow-covered Mailbox) Nikon D300, 82mm, F/6.3, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 200


“Frosty” (Snow-covered Holiday Wreath) Nikon D300, 82mm, F/5, 1/60s, +0.7EV, IS0 200

Okay, I’ve had enough and my fingers are frozen. Definitely time for a steaming cup of cocoa! 🙂

By popular demand request, I’ve put together a slideshow showing wider views of my garden landscape. You are welcome to stay as long as you’d like (and feel free to leave your generous donations by the side gate when you go). 😉

Enjoy! 🙂

Please Note: Unfortunately, I cannot control how quickly the images advance. If you hover your mouse over the slideshow area, a set of controls will display allowing you to STOP the auto advancement of the images. Then, you can use the forward and back arrows to scroll through the images at your leisure.

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