posts tagged with 'weather'

winter wonderland

We don't usually get good snow in December, so we were extra excited when, on the first of the month, wintery weather arrived ahead of schedule. The forecast for Sunday into Monday was uncertain, with the rain-snow line wavering back and forth somewhere over Lexington; as it happened it was well to the east of Lexington Center, and our precipitation was all snow. Then on Tuesday we had a second storm; it was predicted to be over by noon but kept going strong until late afternoon. There was a lot of snow. And we enjoyed it! On Monday the boys sledded with Grandma (in the sleety Lexington snow). On Tuesday they romped and wrestled and snowball fought with schooled friends who were enjoying a second straight snow day. And on Wednesday I got to join in with the sledding, as we traveled to enjoy some beautiful powder on a Chelmsford golf course.

Harvey standing on the hill with a sled

this is the life!

The winter weather was so beautiful that over the week I took almost a hundred and fifty pictures—more than I took in the whole month of November! (always a low month for photography, I find). Admittedly, 50 or 60 of them were burst mode pictures of the kids going off jumps on their sleds, but I also did my best to capture the winter's own artistry.

natural ice sculptures on the wisteria

ice art

Sadly, today was warm and rainy and the considerable snowpack is melting away almost faster than it accumulated just a week ago. Oh, I hope more falls soon. As lovely as our yard and our town are all the time, they're even better under a blanket of white!

the deck cleared of snow, with snow still piled high on the picnic table

I like it like this

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storm report

There was a storm last night. A "bomb cyclone", apparently, that brought 55mph winds to Bedford, along with some rain. It didn't feel entirely cataclysmic as we experienced it, though things crashing did wake me up once or twice. Our power went out between 1:00 and 4:30 or so, but really, who needs electricity in the middle of the night? It was back when it counted. And none of our plants or trees suffered at all.

But that's not to say we escaped entirely unscathed! Our storm door in front blew around and got a little (more) banged up. Some water came in one of the downstairs windows. And most startlingly, the back door blew open entirely and the kitchen floor got soaked, as did my backpack which I'd left by the door. I know, I should have put it away—but you still don't expect to suffer a deluge! The bag was soaked through, my Pokemon card case was wet through... luckily, the deck box itself within the case kept out the water so my favorite deck didn't suffer any damage.

Lots of folks had it worse than us. 45 percent of Bedford households were still without power at 6am, and the schools had a two-hour delay to let the DPW clear the roads. At Harvey's friend's house around the corner a tree fell on their car—luckily missing smashing it entirely, but it's still not something you like to see. Then today was cold and wintery. Summer is over.. the season of storms is upon us!

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we beat the heat

It was super hot here Friday and over the weekend. Hot enough that it was all over the news, with heat warnings and cancellations and everything. The official word was that it was dangerous to be without air conditioning, so those of us who don't have were directed to visit the mall to seek relief—and, presumably, to pick an AC unit from Sears or whatever. I'm on the record pooh-poohing similar panic around extreme cold weather, and while I don't know that I've written about it I've certainly talked about how I don't care for the heat, as a general thing. And you can bet we don't have AC. But I want to say, it wasn't that bad. I don't even think it topped 100°F.

Sure, there was some humidity. Sure, it was probably close to 100°F inside our house by Sunday afternoon. It wasn't really enjoyable. But sitting in front of the fan, or outside in the shade, was totally fine. And by this morning it was already much cooler; in fact, I needed to get up in the middle of the night to get the comforter off the floor since I was getting chilly. Right now it's 66° in Bedford and raining, and tomorrow's high is forecast at 68°. I think we survived it. And now I'm looking forward to the kids complaining about being cold tomorrow morning!

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fast forwarding spring

Time feels like it's zipping by these days. I have no idea how I'm going to write about Easter before something else noteworthy happens, never mind writing about prosaic things like the garden or what books we're reading (worthwhile topics both!). Yesterday I had another experience of moving forward in time (at a greater-than-usual rate) when I biked into work in Cambridge. See, in Bedford our leaves are barely out now, but as I made my way east through Arlington I noticed them getting bigger and bigger. By the time I hit Spy Pond I felt like they were a full three or four days more advanced than our trees at home. So I took a picture.

leafed out maple trees along the bike path in Arlington

riding into summer

Microclimates are interesting. We had a hard frost Sunday night, and I wouldn't be surprised if we had more even into May. I feel like here in the valley of the Concord River we can have cold weather two weeks later than, say, my parents' house on the down slope towards the Atlantic Ocean. But I don't know. The only real purpose of this post was so I don't come across the photo above months later and wonder why on earth I took it. In just a couple weeks I suppose leaves will be commonplace! But at the moments they seemed pretty special.

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spring can really hang you up the most

You know, it's actually kind of hard to tell what the weather's doing these days. It was rainy and cold this morning, then by lunchtime we were eating outside on the porch in the bright sunshine. By that point it was warm enough for Harvey to be in shorts and short sleeves, but the rest of us were still wearing our long underwear. At one point Lijah was barefoot but wearing mittens; then he took them off and left them out in the garden, where they must now be blowing around in the wild wind that came up late afternoon. Hooray for spring!

welcome winter

November 15 is a fine day to have the first snowfall of the winter, but we still weren't ready. It wasn't possible for me to be ready. We did some things, sure; I worked the day before yesterday afternoon getting the leaf pile off the lawn and picking up garden stakes, and yesterday morning I sent the kids out to pick up at least some of the toys scattered all over the yard. And we found at least some cold-weather gear for everyone; we had to, since the middle of the day we needed to go out to the last homeschool coop park day of the year (the first one to take place in solidly below-freezing weather!). But then when we got back from running and playing in the park we ran out of steam for serious preparations. Instead we did some reading and some deck-building and some napping, and then hosted Harvey's friend for a couple hours. Good winter activities. But nothing to make be feel ready for three inches of snow on the ground before 10:00 last night!

snow piled on the table on the back porch

winter!

Well, that's not totally true; in one respect we were fully prepared. Seeing the snow in the forecast, yesterday morning we busted out the white paper and scissors and made snowflakes. They're up on the windows now. And all the scraps on the kitchen floor made a pretty convincing facsimile of fallen snow. Although they were a whole lot lighter to sweep up than the actual snow was to shovel this morning: the snow changed to rain early in the morning so clearing the front walk was like trying to move wet cement. The rain didn't slow down the kids any, though! There was a two-hour school delay here in town, so Harvey's friend Jack rang the doorbell a little after eight and, after we invited him in for a couple pancakes, the kids spent a delightful couple hours romping in the sodden snow. Now it's getting colder again, and the rain has changed back to light snow. It looks like things'll be white for a little while yet. I'm OK with that.

the boys making paper snowflakes at the kitchen table

let it snow!

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snow days

As of a few days ago the garlic and rhubarb were up in the garden, and the daffodils and crocuses growing fast in the beds; I assume they're still growing, but it's hard to tell because yesterday we got like two feet of snow.

lots of snow on the back porch

pretty good for one storm in March...

I measure it at 18 inches, actually, but I hear from neighbors with reliable information that we actually got over 20; either way, it was enough to close school for two days. So our schedule—never particularly rigorous to begin with—was thrown out the window so our kids could entertain their friends who were suddenly deprived of their usual weekday framework. I missed school today too: I'm taking part in a class at work, and it was cancelled today. It's interesting and engaging material, to be sure, but I don't think I'll even get too old to appreciate a snow day.

Especially one like today, with some sun and reasonably mild temperatures. Just the thing for spending a few hours shoveling! I still fully trust that March will go out with a lamb, but it has plenty of time yet—and we have another 8-12 inch storm forecast for next week. Flowers or snow-forts, we'll enjoy whatever we get.

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still very lion-like

Harvey's tiny snowman, with him building a big one in the background

snow, man!

The weather continues to be wild. After a summer-like warm spell it's hard to feel ready for a blizzard, but it's still winter and we're in New England, so. It could have been worse; the front half of the storm, all day Wednesday, was all rain. But overnight Wednesday to Thursday brought plenty of snow—heavy, wet, solid snow, just right for epic snowmen. And for bringing trees down too, as it happens.

About a third of Bedford was still without electricity yesterday evening, and there are limbs and trees down all over our neighborhood. We didn't lose anything important; the neighbors' lilac breaking onto Leah's car wasn't really a problem.

Harvey clearing Mama's car of snow

pretty heavy

We had friends over for most of the day, in order to help their parents out with school being cancelled. After they left Harvey and I enjoyed some relaxing outside time. Even with dry wood from our newly-built woodpile shelter our fire wasn't totally successful—too much snow in the fireplace—but it made a nice smell and some cheery smoke. And nothing could be more successful than Harvey's snowmen. We can still enjoy winter!

the face of Harvey's snowman

with real home-made charcoal!

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the livin is easy

the boys in summer clothes playing on the street

easy riders

Just like last year, February vacation week has seen a bizarre warm spell. Tuesday it was mild and springlike in the afternoon, and yesterday, all day, it was downright summery. While it's always strange when the climate behaves oddly, we couldn't help but enjoy the sudden break from winter. It's so lovely to have outside be as easy and accessible as inside! The kids spent hours running and playing, and we even had a picnic dinner, with steak and hot dogs cooked over the fire.

Of course, nothing can ever be perfect, and two small imperfections marred our complete enjoyment of the warmth. For one thing, the mud is crazy. I had to put a plank out to cover the swampy patch outside our side door—I was worried some of the smaller kids would sink entirely! I'm also concerned about grass ever growing again on our lawn; with the mud it wasn't quite ready for the level of use we wanted to put it to. And then there's the injuries. Half an hour after remarking how easy it is to go play outside in the warm, Harvey came in noting how easy it also is to get hurt! All the boys except Lijah got are pretty marked up around the legs.. things hurt more when you're wearing shorts! There are also bugs.

But never mind! Far from taking away from the joy of warm spring weather, those things are all part of the experience and we were happy to dive into them. And now, since it's still February, we're happy to enjoy the snowfall forecast for this afternoon.

barefoot lijah watching the fire

a nice end to a summer day in February

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what to wear?

Changing weather is hard—at least, when it comes to knowing what to wear to go outside. Switching gears as the seasons change is always tricky, and all the more so when we have summer days in February followed by near-blizzards in March. The boys pretty much gave up on winter gear the first time it got warm, and besides when it was actually snowing they barely wore their jackets all through the barely-double-digit middle of March. Lijah refused his coat entirely for the entire second half of the winter: when I convinced him to wear it to go out in the rain-snow mix on Friday it was the first time it's been off the hanger since early February (not counting all the times the boys knocked it down, of course).

The last couple of days have been warm enough that Harvey and Zion have been rocking shorts and t-shirts, at least by mid morning—the weather has caught up to their expectations. Still, it's that in-between time where they have trouble, for example, getting in the side door of the house: tucked against the north side it's still snowy far past any other part of the yard, and they're mostly not fans of snow on bare feet. Still, they'll do it, such is their commitment to feeling summery.

Me, I have the opposite problem. Once I start wearing my long underwear and wool cap in November or whenever, I have a hard time giving them up. It's been well established that I love the cold, but that doesn't mean I enjoy being cold—on the contrary, my enjoyment is predicated on being well-equipped to sit around outside without feeling any discomfort. So lots of layers. Now that it's spring it's probably time to pare down a bit, but as I say—it's hard. For one thing, our house is pretty chilly in the morning, and the inside of a pair of jeans isn't what I'd call cozy first thing! And then there's always the haunting notion that I might suffer a chill at any time: better safe than sorry.

Of course, when it hits 55° and I'm playing tag with the boys on the playground in my winter get-up I'm pretty sorry anyway! But at what point does the risk calculation swing conclusively towards worrying about overheating? I don't know... but I will say that, this afternoon, I traded my winter hat in for my High Mowing Seeds ball cap. That feels like a seasonal inflection point...

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