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ktinkel
02-22-2008, 02:15 PM
We awoke to a magical snowy day. Big snowflakes dropping lazily, piling up to fluffy heights, 6 or 7 inches.

Anyway, we took some snapshots from my bed this morning so you can see what I awoke to! (Attached.)

The first one is actually what I see as a wake up. I love that old maple tree (though I half expect it to fall on the house one day).

The second shows our oak tree, which doesn’t do too well; possibly because it is too close to the water. But it combines with the dock to create a Japanese-print effect, especially on a snowy day.

The last one is the tacky gate that goes down to the water. I love the look of the grasses in the snow.

Then we just spent the day at home. Kind of peaceful.

annc
02-22-2008, 02:27 PM
That does look nice and cool. I'll remember it later when the temperature here hits the expected 36ºC.

terrie
02-22-2008, 02:42 PM
Great shots! It's pretty much ice here in VA...I was supposed to meet the vet at the barn this afternoon but the other person sharing the barn call was able to get the appointment switched to late yesterday afternoon so I've spent the day today retouching old photographs for a family collage I'm working on for a friend...much nicer than having to go out into the ice...'-}}

Terrie

ktinkel
02-22-2008, 06:03 PM
That does look nice and cool. I'll remember it later when the temperature here hits the expected 36ºC.Hah! Well, you said it yourself: You’re used to it! <g>

ktinkel
02-22-2008, 06:05 PM
Great shots! It's pretty much ice here in VA...Oh, ick. That causes so many problems, too.

It was really nice today. Every storm before this one has skated past us; not sure how many inches of snow we have had, but I believe this is the most.

By tomorrow it should be rain. Ah well.

annc
02-22-2008, 08:16 PM
Hah! Well, you said it yourself: You’re used to it! <g>Yeah, but it's hit 40 and I have to mow my lawn. :(

iamback
02-23-2008, 01:06 PM
I love the shots with just the barest hint of color!

But — brrrt!

Here, spring has started (http://my.opera.com/JavaWoman/blog/2008/02/22/storms-and-catkins) for real (early) and although it's still possible to see a dusting of snow, that's not only unlikely, but even if it does occur would be nothing like the amount you have.

Michael Rowley
02-23-2008, 01:19 PM
Marjolein:

that's not only unlikely, but even if it does occur would be nothing like the amount you have

You've got a short memory! Snow is possible, even likely, at any time from January to March in the British Isles, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, all of which have the same sort of climate, at least in parts.

iamback
02-23-2008, 01:37 PM
"In parts" is right - Belgium does have more or less the same climate as the Netherlands, but most of France, most of Germany and most of Britain do not: somewhat similar, but there are other influences (more land climate in Germany, mountains in France... etc.) that we don't have and our climate is determined to a very large extent by the North Sea and the warm gulf stream in there.

I assure you snow is possible here this time of year, but no longer likely. It's no longer uncommon not to see any snow at all during winter.

My memory is excellent, thank you! I do remember thick snow covers that lasted for many days from my childhood. But the climate really has changed. Today, temperatures were ranging from 7.7C to 9.5C (http://www.knmi.nl/actueel/) - hardly the kind of temperatures that make snow "likely".

terrie
02-23-2008, 02:27 PM
kt: Oh, ick. That causes so many problems, too.I was very glad I didn't have to go out in it even though it turned out to be much less of a mess than had been predicted...

Terrie

ktinkel
02-23-2008, 06:01 PM
I love the shots with just the barest hint of color!Me, too. I was trying to catch that, against the starker dark, almost black, of the trees. But it was difficult. Our bedroom has mostly windows with screens, and the screens interfere with the camera.

Still, it was wonderful to wake up, wrapped up in blankets, and see all that stuff.

Here, spring has started (http://my.opera.com/JavaWoman/blog/2008/02/22/storms-and-catkins) for real (early) and although it's still possible to see a dusting of snow, that's not only unlikely, but even if it does occur would be nothing like the amount you have.No, likely not.

But last year our daffodils started budding about this time. In the end it was a problem, but they were beautiful to see at the time (I love dafs, second only to irises). Unfortunately, my garlics grew about the same time, and then we had a couple of storms, and many of both the garlics and the dafs were wiped out.

Which goes to show, you can’t mess with Mother Nature!

Our birds are silent now, btw. Not sure what that’s about. We go get the gulls, for whom I am grateful. Last week we had heavy winds, and it was incredible to see the gulls trying to cope with the wind. Very beautiful.

iamback
02-23-2008, 09:37 PM
Our birds are silent now, btw. Not sure what that’s about. We go get the gulls, for whom I am grateful. Last week we had heavy winds, and it was incredible to see the gulls trying to cope with the wind. Very beautiful.I love gulls. Thy don't just "cope" with the wind: they play with it, for the sheer joy of it. When I was a teenager, I used to wish that in a next life I could be a seagull. :)

Franca
02-23-2008, 10:28 PM
Purty ... I do miss looking out on fresh snow first thing in the morning ... but not enough to move back there! ;)

ktinkel
02-24-2008, 05:34 AM
I love gulls. Thy don't just "cope" with the wind: they play with it, for the sheer joy of it. When I was a teenager, I used to wish that in a next life I could be a seagull. :)These actually did seem just be coping. The wind was strong enough that a couple of gulls seemed to be turned around by its force.

But I do know what you mean by gulls playing with the wind. They seem to be gliding, going up and down with the currents with no appearance of purpose. What I love to see, though, is when they struggle, turning their bodies at an angle, flashing the bottom of their wings, in order to turn around or land somewhere.

Gulls are incredible predators. I have seen one take hours consuming a huge fish (probably a striped bass) when the tide is out, especially when there is a band of ice along the shore. Gulls come from all over and hover; some make a challenge (and sometimes one succeeds). Eventually though it all gets sorted out, and a ring of gulls kind of restlessly watch the eater, hoping, I guess, for a chance. Or leftovers.

They also illustrate pecking order! Our long dock has many gull perches, and the perches obviously have some sort of hierarchy. If a young or small or low-class gull has the best perch, all a higher-caste gull has to do is glide over, and the first one leaves, moving down a perch or two.

But that is just among gulls. Cormorants trump any gull. The (very) occasional osprey instantly clears the entire dock. Egrets don’t play at all, just stay out of the way, naturally taking less competitive perches.

annc
02-24-2008, 10:56 AM
Our long dock has many gull perchesYou'e just reminded me of a sight I saw a couple of weeks ago. I was travelling to our library on Bribie Island and noticed that every single street light on the bridge to the island had at least one pelican on it, while some had two.

ElyseC
02-26-2008, 08:01 PM
Lovely images. Too bad we're all sick to death of winter here.

This has been one dreadful winter. It's messed up school schedules something terrible and everyone's grouchy. People are way stressed as we keep getting slammed with storm after storm after storm. It wouldn't be so difficult if it was just snow, but the damn things always seem to start with freezing rain/ice, end with wind and blowing/drifting snow, and everything has to shut down. People have to miss work (can't get in) so are missing income. Kids can't go to school because they have to close until the unpaved roads get cleared enough for country kids to make it. (Our district population is heavily rural.) Oh, and everyone's tired of dressing in so many layers that we look like close relatives of the Michelin Man.

Our chorus is performing this Saturday and the damn storms keep hitting on rehearsal nights, so we have to cancel them! Those of us with acting parts in the show Saturday haven't been able to all get together for one full practice yet and we have only one more evening available, but...guess what...another bunch of freezing rain is predicted for that one available night!

I am so done with winter.

iamback
02-26-2008, 08:50 PM
I am so done with winter.Maybe my Storms and catkins (http://my.opera.com/JavaWoman/blog/2008/02/22/storms-and-catkins) (and II and III) could cheer you up a little? Images link to the album with full-size (and a few more) cheery pics.

ElyseC
02-27-2008, 02:20 PM
Beautiful images! I think 6240 and 6238 would make fabulous desktop wallpaper in high enough resolution!

iamback
02-28-2008, 03:28 AM
Beautiful images! I think 6240 and 6238 would make fabulous desktop wallpaper in high enough resolution!I wasn't sure - especially since 6240 is already a crop, I can't get that close with my compact Fuji F30 - but I think these will work:

100_6240_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg (http://www.xs4all.nl/~iamback/img/wallpaper/100_6240_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg)
100_6238_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg (http://www.xs4all.nl/~iamback/img/wallpaper/100_6238_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg)

Enjoy!

(Oh, and btw, you can leave photo comments in the album (http://my.opera.com/JavaWoman/albums/show.dml?id=477119) itself, too - hint, hint... ;))

ElyseC
02-29-2008, 07:50 AM
but I think these will work:Ooooo! Thanks! Got one of them brightening my desktop right now!:)

dthomsen8
02-29-2008, 10:00 AM
That does look nice and cool. I'll remember it later when the temperature here hits the expected 36ºC.

City bedroom window snow day.

iamback
02-29-2008, 11:28 AM
:)

annc
02-29-2008, 12:53 PM
City bedroom window snow day.Does everyone park in the street where you live?

Steve Rindsberg
02-29-2008, 01:03 PM
Do you see many driveways in the photo? ;-)

The houses in my neighborhood were built when automobiles were a luxury only the very rich and eccentric could afford. This wasn't and isn't the sort of neigborhood where the well-to-do congregated (eccentrics are in better supply). A few of the houses have garages or just driveways; the rest of us compete for the street.

annc
02-29-2008, 01:58 PM
Do you see many driveways in the photo? ;-)

The houses in my neighborhood were built when automobiles were a luxury only the very rich and eccentric could afford. This wasn't and isn't the sort of neigborhood where the well-to-do congregated (eccentrics are in better supply). A few of the houses have garages or just driveways; the rest of us compete for the street.I grew up in a suburb of workers' cottages built in the mid-nineteenth century on tiny blocks, but there was still room on the blocks for a driveway and carport. Must be the different climate determining the desirability of car space. Cars left out in the weather here don't last very long. And the driving habits of the locals where I live now determine that people will park anywhere but the street. :)

ktinkel
02-29-2008, 02:02 PM
Does everyone park in the street where you live?Pretty common in cities, especially the older cities of the northeastern U.S.

In NYC not only do most car owners park in the street, but they must move the car every morning or risk getting a ticket. So you see all these cold and grumpy souls sitting in their cars in the morning waiting for someone else to move so they can catch a spot.

We paid to keep our car in a parking lot when we lived in New York. “Parking lot” is kind of grandiose — it was just a local guy with a vacant lot. We entrusted the car and the keys to him, so he could jockey cars around to keep the place literally full. We used the car only occasionally — to take dogs to the vet, say; or to travel out of Manhattan. It was not uncommon to pick it up with 10 miles on the trip meter in the weeks since we last used it. For all we knew, he used it to take his wife to the doctor! But it was a space, and vastly better than shifting the car every day.

Calvin Trillin wrote a novel called Tepper Isn’t Going Out (http://www.amazon.com/Tepper-Isnt-Going-Out-Novel/dp/B0001GUQPW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204325938&sr=8-6) about a man and a car in Manhattan. I love Trillin — but save your money for his Tummy Trilogy (or its component books: American Fried and Alice, Let’s Eat). Tepper is not his best work, but you might enjoy the publisher’s description.

Steve Rindsberg
02-29-2008, 07:37 PM
Hm. How tiny is tiny? Our house isn't all that big, but it fills the lot quite nicely (built in the days before setback requirements prevented this sort of thing).

On the one side, I can touch both houses by extending my arms.

There's not quite so much room on t'other side. ;-)

Luckily the locals are fairly well behaved behind the wheel, especially now that some younger families with kids have moved in. They don't take kindly to people racing up and down the street.

ktinkel
03-01-2008, 05:57 AM
Does everyone park in the street where you live?Another issue: Those look like typical brownstones, in which several families probably live. Each building would need to provide many parking places, something that wasn’t even contemplated when they were built.

In New York City, there are parking buildings, but it is usually expensive.

Howard Allen
03-01-2008, 07:33 AM
100_6240_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg (http://www.xs4all.nl/~iamback/img/wallpaper/100_6240_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg)
100_6238_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg (http://www.xs4all.nl/~iamback/img/wallpaper/100_6238_wallpaper_1600x1200.jpg)

Enjoy!



Nice photos! And almost certainly a poplar, BTW. Resembles balsam poplar, which grows here, but there are probably other species that live in Europe. Balsam poplar has very fragrant, sticky sap that covers the unopened buds--one of my all-time favourite spring smells.

dthomsen8
03-01-2008, 07:47 AM
Does everyone park in the street where you live?
We park on the street. One neighbor in my block has a garage. There is a public school a block away, where we can park overnight, if we move the car early enough in the morning to avoid a ticket.

These row houses, or townhouses in modern real estate terminology, are mostly single family, but there are multi-family ones including the ones you see across from my three story house. The corner with the business front is a yoga studio, converted from a hardware store. You can't tell from the photo, but many houses have marble steps and part of the front in marble rather than any kind of brownstone. These buildings are 1870-1890 era homes, but many have been gutted and entirely renovated.

Those who speculate that there are far more cars than spaces are correct, especially at night. I am chair of our civic association transportation and parking committee, and we are charged with the difficult task of improving the parking situation.

annc
03-01-2008, 10:01 AM
Thanks, David. It is really interesting to learn how other people arrange their lives.

iamback
03-01-2008, 09:16 PM
Nice photos! And almost certainly a poplar, BTW. Resembles balsam poplar, which grows here, but there are probably other species that live in Europe. Balsam poplar has very fragrant, sticky sap that covers the unopened buds--one of my all-time favourite spring smells.That's interesting, thanks. The buds did have leaves that originally covered the buds, rolled up, coming loose when the catkins grew but often sticking to the catkins because they were covered in sticky sap. Not fragrant though, but it could be a clue.

I'm more knowledgeable with smaller plants than trees... Meanwhile we had another fierce wind storm - there's still a strong wind though not as bad as it was yesterday - I might go back to that row of trees today to see if there's more blown off :) and if I can get a decent picture of the tree itself. Or trees.

iamback
03-02-2008, 12:33 AM
It's still blowing quite a bit but the sun came through a little, too, so I went out to see what there was. It's a whole row of the same trees, and indeed - now that I knew what to look for - almost certainly poplars: I looked in my flora before going out and it says about the Populus genus (translated):
A difficult genus with many hybrids

I've come to the conclusion that these trees are almost certainly a hybrid, with the Zwarte populier ("Black poplar" - Populus nigra) likely to be part of the mix, but its catkins as drawn are not exactly like mine (none of the delicate white petals, for instance). The Ratelpopulier (Populus tremula) OTH has a lot of that fluffy stuff, so it might well be Populus nigra X tremulus, or something. :)

The catkins themselves are a lot larger now, and many had been blown off, not so many branches. Still, I found a largish branch that I broke some smaller branches off (very easily, it seems the wood is quite brittle) and took home. Alas, too large to fit on my desk.

I haven't yet looked how the photographs have come out.

Howard Allen
03-02-2008, 09:23 PM
The Ratelpopulier (Populus tremula) OTH has a lot of that fluffy stuff, so it might well be Populus nigra X tremulus, or something. :)

I knew it must be a poplar of some sort. Interesting about the Populus tremula. We have Populus tremuloides, the "trembling aspen" or "quaking aspen", which is by far the commonest native hardwood tree in the northern half of North America. In Canada it's found from coast to coast, and almost as far north as the tree line. Must be very closely related to your tremulus.

Regarding the "fluffy stuff", keep in mind that poplars are dioecious (male and female on different trees). Some species of female poplars generate prodigious amounts of "poplar fluff" (seeds). Here in Calgary, the parks and sidewalks are often ankle-deep in the stuff in May or June, mostly from the balsam and cottonwood poplars. People often avoid planting female trees for that reason. Poplars (and willows) are among the few hardwood trees that can survive our climate, so they're planted everywhere. Your photos are of male catkins.

iamback
03-02-2008, 10:40 PM
Your photos are of male catkins.Yup - in fact, I have not seen a single female one, so I suspect all trees in that row are fully male.

The new catkins have grown like mad once indoors... started almost immediately, probably reacting to temperature.