posts tagged with 'weather'

hail yes

Saturday had all the weather. There was sun, there was rain—a little bit during the pole capping parade—and there were even thunderstorms. As we were coming home from helping with a food drive outside Donelan's Supermarket and enjoying the sparkling sunshine after the latest downpour I noticed some white stuff in the yard of a house down the street from us. "Look, it snowed!" I told the boys—as a joke, because at over 50°F I was sure it was some construction debris or something. But then the next lawn was white too, and the one across the street...

"It's hail!" we all realized at once.

lots of hail on our back deck

hail aftermath

Yes indeed, while it had been raining on us in Acton we'd missed a hailstorm at home, a hailstorm whose furthest edge was just a couple hundred yards beyond our house. There was plenty of hail for us to admire, but Zion at least was a little upset to have missed it. Leah was home when it all fell but she missed it too: she was working, and didn't know it had done anything more than rain hard until we told her..

It doesn't hail often around here, and certainly not that big and that much. A day to remember!

hail on the garlic row

all the plants survived

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all the weather

Every time it's gotten warm the last few weeks I ask the boys if they think we're going to get more snow, and they always say no. And they're always wrong. Wednesday close to two inches of snow fell on us in the couple hours we spent at the park, and Thursday morning we awoke to this beautiful wintery scene.

snow covering every twig of the trees out the back of our house at first light

well, it is still winter

But the snow didn't stick around. Thursday was warm—not hot, but plenty mild—and the March sun made short work of all the new snow except in patches of deep shade. Today was even warmer, at least until this evening when we were gathering outside with friends, with the kids sunbathing shirtless on the shed roof mid afternoon. You could almost see the daffodils growing as they started to push their way out of the ground. Of course, tomorrow is going to be another winter storm: mostly rain for us, but sleety rain into wet snow with a high in the low forties. Elijah's party has been postponed until next weekend. Yay for March in New England!

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a spring outing in winter

Besides planting, feeling the ground under my feet again has got me thinking about biking. So on Saturday the boys and I headed out on an expedition to Fawn Lake, where we met some friends, had a picnic, played tag and hide-and-seek, floated boats in a stream, and generally had a lovely spring-like time of it. While enduring bitter cold and, from halfway through the outing, some kind-of serious snow. I guess you could call late February a transitional period.

Zion and Elijah riding on a muddy bike path in the falling snow

so much fun!

Fawn Lake is a pretty cool place. There are rocks and cliffs to climb and eat lunch on top of, a field for running games, and plenty of signs of beaver activity to admire. At first we were disappointed that we couldn't get onto ice—it was clearly thick enough over most of the pond, but less than cat ice close to the shore—but eventually we made our way to a cove where it was solid right up to the banks, and got our sliding time in (Zion was heard to remark that he wished he brought his skates).

the boys picnicing on the cliff above frozen Fawn Lake

good picnics make good outings

That would have been enough for the kids. But what I wanted on an outing after a giant thaw was to see some running water, so before heading home we took a little side trip to Wilderness Park, where the outflow from Fawn Lake forms a delightful stream rushing over rocks. Even though my stick boat didn't win the race, being by running water was a balm to my soul.

Zion and Elijah playing by a rocky stream

nobody fell in too badly

Of course, going to the stream extended the outing a bit, and as the kids pushed their bikes back up the icy hill out of Wilderness Park in a driving snow squall they were kind of questioning my leadership. Luckily they're strong cyclists, and the fact that the bike path home is mostly downhill made the mud and the snow a little less of an issue. Suffice it to say that we all made it home. Being on bikes again was a mixed experience: as we started out Elijah told me how excited he was to be riding again, and he wondered why we hadn't been cycling more over the past month. A few hours later he was ready to never see a bicycle again. And of course, no matter your energy level winter riding has its challenges.

Elijah lying under his bike on a big patch of ice on the bike path

ouch

The younger boys and I were out for four and a half hours (Harvey went home a little earlier because he had an online engagement with a friend). Imagine what we'll be able to do when it's actually spring!

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weather whiplash

It's been a strange winter, and never stranger than the last few days: from bitter cold to rain to sudden spring. That on top of the icy snow that let us sled and skate on the same field at the same time in not one but two different places! So as you can see I don't mean to complain—we've had tons of fun. And the fun continued today, despite the fact that just as we needed to spend an afternoon outside the mild spring weather of the past two days turned suddenly cold and extremely windy. I wasn't dressed for it! Even in the cold, though, the kids were happy to turn to some activities they haven't done in a while, like wading in the brook and playing baseball. I know that winter still has lots in store for us—and I don't even want it to end yet!—but the sound of running water and the mud under my feet wakened my spring senses enough that I finally put in my seed order. Let's have some more snow and some more delightful thaws and some more wild wind threatening to blow the house down (that's what we've got right now), and then lets have those seeds ready for spring! It's all my favorite.

kids playing baseball on some grass with snow in the foreground

as soon as there's grass

blizzard

It snowed on Saturday. We were anticipating it: it was in the forecast since at least the beginning of the week, but the amount kept changing. Would it be seven inches? Or 19? In the end the forecasters decided to give us a blizzard warning and lots of news chatter about a potentially historic storm. Some of that chatter was probably because we haven't had a big storm yet this year, and the first one always gets the most press. But even so, it was certainly a real blizzard. We didn't get two feet of snow, but we got plenty.

Elijah mostly buried in snow

Elijah demonstrates the depth

It was actually hard to tell how much, because the main feature of the storm was the wind. It was relentless all day, and it blew the snow clear off some areas while depositing it thickly other places. And it was the wind that kept the boys from spending more than an hour and a half playing outside, since it was kind of hard to open your eyes if you were facing anywhere between north and east. Their game of "push snow into your friends' faces" also maybe limited their ability to stay out, but not as much as you might expect. In that time Harvey's hair picked up a dramatic amount of snow—from the air and from his friends combined.

Harvey in the blizzard with lots of snow in his hair

it's a good look

Then yesterday dawned bright, clear, and calm; as dramatic a difference as you could imagine. Still cold, though. The dogs were eager to get out, since after their morning walk Saturday they weren't able to go anywhere: we couldn't drive, since our little street was unplowed, and the sidewalks on the big street were worse than unplowed since the plow debris from the street left them completely impassible (and walking on the street didn't feel wise under the circumstances). They didn't mind too much—they mostly just hunkered down with their tails over their noses, like their wild cousins but on couches—but even though we still didn't have sidewalks Sunday morning they weren't going to wait any longer! Lucky we don't like too far from the woods.

the dogs running in the snowy woods

so much energy to burn!

We didn't have the energy for sledding Sunday—plus we didn't want to face the hordes of Sunday sledders—but we're super looking forward to some fun times this week!

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water everywhere

I had an unusually wet morning yesterday. There was the weather: wind-whipped wild rain going every which way, including into the cellar when a downspout fell off (and all over me when I went out to fix it). With the ground frozen our yard turned into a bit of a pond, but nobody went out to experience it because just opening the door got us pretty wet with the rain blowing in. Then there was the frozen spinach I was thawing on the counter overnight that leaked green water everywhere. But worst of all was when I reached for the clock in the morning and knocked over the glass of water Elijah had left on my bedside table when he came into the bed with us at 4:00, and spilled it all over my pillow and my clothes that I'd put at the head of the bed to be warm. My face too, but that dries easily. Then by mid-afternoon it was sunny and beautiful, so I don't mean to complain... it just all felt so thematic I thought it was worthy of comment!

snow day

Today we saw our first real snow of the winter. It started overnight and there was easily three inches on the ground by first light, but the boys didn't even realize it right away. We're so used to just getting a dusting at a time. At breakfast they noticed that it was piling up on the outside table—maybe four inches by then—and somebody said, "wait, it's really snowing!" Yes indeed. Leah, who had already been out with the dogs, could have told them that! We had a little work to do before they could go out and play in it but when a neighbor friend rang the bell at around 9, there was no holding them back. They spent the next three hours roaming the snowy streets, shoving snow in each others' faces (and each others' faces in the snow), and, in Elijah's case, working hard to make a snow fort.

Elijah sitting in a tiny snow fort in the falling snow

snow is to dig

I made them a hot lunch in acknowledgement of all their hard playing, and then after lunch we spent some time in that other great snow-day occupation: board gaming. By the time we finished the game (Harvey won, as usual) the snow had stopped falling despite some people's gear being quite wet we pulled the sleds out from the basement, got dressed again, and headed out to go sledding. Despite the kind of late start and the distance we drove to be able to sled with friends on the slopes of the golf course conveniently located across the street from the their house, we made the most of the remains of the day and got a great many runs in before it was too dark to see where the bumps were. It feels like we've waited quite a while for a real snowy day, and when we got it we were ready to enjoy it to the fullest. Plus it gave us five more hours to add to our total!

the boys and friends pausing at the top of a sledding hill at dusk

snow day is done

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so cold!

On Friday we were digging on a trail at our friends' house and it felt like full summer: sweat was literally dripping down my face as I worked. Then over the weekend the weather took a turn, and now today it didn't crack 60°F all day. And I've got to say, I'm not ready for the cold! That's true for two reasons. There's the usual way, which is that my body hasn't adapted to the sudden change and all day I had trouble shaking a chill. But also that our house still has a couple broken windows and a broken front door, so that any cold outside can come right inside. I was expecting I'd have to do some repairs before winter, but now it looks like winter is just about here! Oops. Elijah tells me he'll help me with the door, though, so that's alright. Maybe we'll get started tomorrow.

cold

It got cold today! Very exciting, and it made it really feel like September. Harvey is delighted to get to wear his hooded sweatshirt; me, it's baking I'm excited about. We had the oven on and rather than it driving us out of the sweltering kitchen—which is what we've been used to the last month or so—the warmth was positively welcome! The other thing that we all love (all but Leah anyway) is getting to pile blankets on the bed, which we'll certainly be doing because we've still got the fans going at night. Of course, with our Cape Cod vacation coming up next week we're also hoping that summery weather isn't gone for good, but either way we're going to be sleeping good tonight!

it never rains but it... rains some more

This morning I took the dogs out in the rain, because Leah had already done it more than enough times this week. After a hot dry June—the hottest on record for Massachusetts, I understand—we've had a very wet July, and that continued today with the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa (which by the way, shouldn't Elsa be bringing snow and ice, not torrential rain?!). I had my raincoat on of course, and boots, but I should have added rain pants, since by the time I got home I couldn't have been any wetter if I'd fallen in a pond.

The rain has certainly been good for the plants, and for the water table, and for our cozy inside reading time, but I think we'd appreciate a little moderation. June was too dry, July is too wet. We're feeling kind of cooped up now, and things might be starting to mildew. At least the rain stopped in time this evening to let friends gather on the back porch (rain has a much greater effect on our social life in these pandemic times!). But there's more in the forecast for next week. I hope we don't all float away!