- Spring usually accompanied by breezes and winds of various degrees, so reflections from a relatively calm bay surface are rare. Reflections are easily ignored in the need to select what is important from a field of view _ after all, they will never interact with the “real” physical world. In fact, they are more easily admired in pictures than in life, and used to be a staple for cardboard jigsaw puzzles.
- That is why I find that photographs tend to lie. This house is not so near, when seen from my vantage point, without the use of the zoom. This selected scene does not jump out of all the surroundings. Just about everything in my field of view is cut out, and other senses are missing entirely. Like much of what I focus on, I have created a beautiful lie.
- Four inches of heavy white. California and Brazil are dried out, the rest of the world is overheated, but around here it has been a winter like those of the mythic 1800’s. All that has been missing is a horse and sleigh to compose a Currier and Ives print.
- A half-empty guy would declaim how much better things could be. Being more the half-full type, I’m glad it’s not worse. For example, if any of the trees had seriously leafed out yet this kind of storm could be a disaster. It’s sometimes hard being Pollyanna in a Cassandra epoch, but at least it works for my daily life.
- Crystalline air, brilliant sun, sharp wind. The range of pure blues and soft browns is fabulous, each breath is delightfully clean. Maybe the temperature does not quite meet expectations for the season, perhaps the season itself seems a bit nastier than normal, but on its own terms this day is another miracle.
- I hide too much behind polarized sunglasses, tinted windshields, or double-paned glass. I stupidly miss the incredible clarity of color unless I consciously strip my eyes and spend long minutes trying to see. I become so wrapped in remembering the past, fearing or anticipating the future, that I ignore the core existence in this moment that is what I really am. My lament is all the more foolish by being entirely my own doing. The world is always there in all its glory, but I must make the effort to engage.
- Deep freeze has returned, but there are local escapes such as this greenhouse at Oyster Bay Arboretum. Wonderful in all seasons, it is especially (nicely) shocking in mid and late winter. For anyone impatient with the pace of Mother Nature this is a fine rest stop along the way.
- Like everyone else, I take for granted the civilized miracles around me _ fresh flowers and food all the time, light and heat at the touch of a button, easy rapid travel to places like this, and on and on. Ancient and not-so-long-ago kings, emperors, and potentates would have given large chunks of the kingdom for comforts we almost ignore. Sometimes I reflect too much on nature _ which it is absolutely important to reverence _ while forgetting the daily conditions that allow me, especially at my age, to be able to enjoy it so completely.
- The differences between early and late winter can be subtle indeed. The only real clue in a picture like this is the color of the grass. Of course, in actual experience, there are a few more indicators such as birds and, for that matter, people. By the end of the winter, many folks and their dogs have adjusted to just waiting out the dark and cold days and taking advantage of any nice ones. At onset of snow, it was all exciting and “invigorating.”
- Humans are instinctually pretty unaffected by season _ I am part of one of the most adaptive species that ever lived. We don’t depend on weather sun or moon for mating or much of anything else. A few are affected by seasonal disorders, and we all experience flu or pollen and other specific maladies often associated with a given set of months, but for the most part we get up, d
o what we must, and deal with whatever has been spread out before us. My main difference is psychological _ what is spread before me here seems a harbinger of warmer and nicer mornings soon to arrive, simply because I know it is equinox in a couple of days.
- No ballplaying here! There have been reports that in various parts of the island geese and ducks are starving because the marshes froze over so long and so completely. The huge groups here apparently decided to try the comforts of civilization. While the surface is waterlogged and the subground solid ice, there will be no competition from the softball leagues that pop up like crocuses with the first warm days.
- Informally, it seems to me there are definitely a lot fewer birds around than there were back in January before all hell broke loose meteorologically. Our backyard feeder attracts a fraction of the swarms it once had. Yet there is plentiful birdsong and a few unfortunate victims still run into our windows each week. These guys seem fat and happy enough.
- In just about a week, harbor is practically ice out. Still parts frozen over, but any boats that want to go somewhere have clear channels cleared by others, and certainly nobody would try to walk on the treacherous half-frozen slush that is left. The hills have basically cleared back to brown, so each sunny day raises the ambient stored warmth. Not too many new craft out yet, but that will change soon, and the buoys that usually wait for official spring will be settled into place in the next few weeks. Activity keeps picking up, both natural and man-made.
- It’s hard to say which is worse _ a long hard winter with a sudden spring or a lingering one which teases forever. I have no say in the matter, so I accept whatever comes along. It certainly seems that this year the astronomical calendar is racing ahead of the seasonal one _ this could be a typical mid-February many years. Maybe there will be a sudden jump and blossoming as April rolls around, but I’m not going to hold my breath.