I Smell Snow

Some of you might recognize that line as coming from Lorelai Gilmore’s mouth in the much loved (or hated–it was one of those shows that pushed a person one way or the other–I don’t know anyone who watched it and came out of the experience middle-of-the-road) Gilmore Girls. Me? I’m one of the former. I was thrilled when the series was revisited by Netflix in the four part mini-series with so many of the original cast members. It took a little getting used to the rapid-fire dialogue again, but I fell right back into the pattern in short order.

But I digress (as usual).

This blog is only to share some photos of the snow I took this morning. Last snowfall was a fizzle here, went from snow to ice to rain to ice to snow… We ended up with an inch or so of slush that froze over and made for dangerous walking. For many on the East Coast, though, and in the South and elsewhere in the country, that recent snow was hazardous, causing stranded motorists, power outages, and worse, so I’m not making light of it. I’m only saying I had hoped we’d have a little more than we ended up with, because I do so like snow under most circumstances.

Today’s snow isn’t supposed to add up to much either, and started with some rain and ice, but it looked quite pretty for a while so I stepped outside my door and grabbed a few photos during the best of it. My favorite is the one that serves as a header to this blog.

It’s a Love-Hate Thing…

Well, sort of, anyway. The past few years, I have found driving in the snow a bit annoying, especially when the weather is unexpected, the roads aren’t cleared, cars are in places they have no business being, and a one to one-and-a-quarter hour commute from work to home can take upwards of four. 

But I absolutely love the stark crystalline beauty of snow. Which I guess is the yin and yang in me. After all, how can I feel that way, when I am also so  enamored of flowers in riotous bloom, the gentle new green of Spring, the flaming colors of Autumn? I suppose it’s Nature that I love, in all its glory, even at its most overwhelming.

On my way  home from the post office/bank/grocery store early this frigid Saturday morning, I was complaining aloud about how cold I was as I clung to the steering wheel that somehow, impossibly, still felt like an ice cube in my hands despite the heat blasting so hard my eyeballs were turning to sawdust. I was grumbling and sour and using, as usual, language I would certainly avoid in company other than my own.

And then, I actually looked out of the car window.

And stopped, right there in the middle of the deserted, snow-covered road.

And got out, despite the temperature that had not yet topped ten degrees.

Because what I saw was beautiful.

Crossing the road on cold-numbed feet, I took the photo above with my phone, of the Hosensack Creek as it passes beneath the bridge on Schultz Bridge Road. (At least I believe it is the Hosensack at that point, and not one of the other numerous watercourses in this area–if anyone knows for certain otherwise, please enlighten me.) I stood there a while longer in contemplation of the grandeur Nature provides us. Though chilled, I no longer cared quite so much because, like the Grinch, my complaining, whining little heart grew ten times larger in those few moments. 

So I went home, stuck my tingling toes into a pair of actual snow boots, slipped on my ear muffs, and went for a walk. In my own yard, but a walk through the snow nevertheless. The below photos are of the Hosensack Creek as it runs though my property (and yes, I am at least positive it’s the Hosensack here).

I also took a photo of the little stream that runs perpendicular to the creek. As I stood beside it listening to the flowing water making its way through the ice, I realized it sounded like an enormous, clogged toilet constantly giving way. Not very romantic, but true. The sound made me laugh out loud before I headed back inside to warm up by the fireplace, realizing how very fortunate I am to have this world to live in.

The water level remains high on the Hosensack from all the precipitation of this past year (see “When the Levee Breaks” blog for an extreme example), but the bitter cold has wrought changes, causing the flow to stop in winter stillness on the surface, while moving on ceaselessly beneath.
Here you see the water still, quiet and icebound in the foreground, reflecting the trees unseen in this photo but, just beyond, the water tumbles against the bank, the roots and grasses snow-covered and dipping into the flow.
Above is the yard at the bottom of the hill, where normally one can walk this time of year. However, the water table has not receded and the underground springs are percolating up through the earth, creating this humped landscape of snow and ice.
Here is where I had to laugh. The water of the small stream was determined to get to the Hosensack and wasn’t letting a little icy blockage keep it from its destination. I’m not kidding when I say it sounded like a freed clog swirling down a huge drain.

We Can

I went to a show at the Sellersville Theater last night. My very first time there. As it is only thirty-five minutes from my house, I can’t help wondering why I haven’t visited this venue in the past. The place is, as the name suggests, a theater, with theater seats and cabaret-style tables up front by the stage. The acoustics are good and, for the little I know about such things, the sound people seem to know their sh…er, shtuff. Everyone working there (most of whom I suspect are volunteers) are friendly and knowledgeable. The theater possesses a wonderful atmosphere and there is a great restaurant right next door. Indeed, the Washington House is on my list to visit next.

Jesse Ruben opened for Tony Lucca. I only knew one of his songs from satellite radio, but when he started speaking and playing I knew I’d become a fan. Here was a witty, self-effacing talented man who took the audience through moments of his life in ways that made you laugh and think, followed by songs that did the same. One—“Different”—made me cry. It was a song about acceptance of the differences that make us unique, and yet the same, and the fact that we all deserve a chance, at love and at life. “We Can” was another such song, funny and tender, about the ability to overcome adversity, sadness, mediocrity, cruelty, together. At least that was the way I took it. I bought the crocheted bracelet pictured above, and am wearing it now. Those two words mean so much.

Next, Tony came out. I can’t leave him out of this little post. Every show with him is something different. Tony Lucca is a man of many faces, so to speak. A singer-songwriter who can treat the audience to soulful ballads like “Nobody But You” to hard-rocking delights like “Foxy Jane.” For the most part, last night was the latter, with the inclusion of certain songs I’ve been listening to lately in the acoustic form, but with a Tony-twist, an electric guitar, a great bass player and drummer, those tunes came across with a whole different flavor—like a kick of whiskey with the same burn through your veins.

I didn’t stick around long afterward. Both of these fine gentlemen had fans a-plenty waiting to speak with them (plus it was seriously past my bedtime, lol). Tony and I had a quick discussion about lack of time and I gave him a heartfelt hug before departing. He wouldn’t let me leave without asking if I enjoyed the show–as he always will of stranger and friend alike, wanting to make sure he’s given it his all. I told him the show was great.

I lied. It was fantastic. And I have both performers to thank for that.

 

 

Lehigh County – After the Rain

A short ride from my home (or an ambitious walk) is a view across the valley to the hills. In this photo the hills are blue with distance, although on sunny days one might find them green with the trees that clothe them. A short downpour had just ended as I arrived and I happily climbed from my car to photograph the scene. What I like most about this photo is the water droplets still clinging to the vegetation.

After the Rain

Rain makes changes to the environment, both subtle and extreme. In this photo, which I took following a brief but heavy downpour, one can still see the raindrops clinging to the hardy Queen Anne’s Lace with the rain clouds visible in the background. The earth looked refreshed and rejuvenated by the rainfall, and totally inviting. I could have remained there looking out over the valley for hours. 

Lehigh County – Into the Wild

As stated in my prior brief blog (Roadside Ferns – the photograph of which is above and will be used as the feature image for the Lehigh County blog), I am sharing the beauty and history of Lehigh and areas nearby. This photo is among my favorites, and was taken some years back right on my very own property.  Over time, nature’s cantankerous weather has changed the path of this creek which has been listed as one of the top ten pristine waterways in the county. Though the creek and the woods bordering it are still lovely, when I look at this photo I realize I will never see this scene as it is depicted here again. I’m glad I had the camera in my hand that day.

Into the Wild

This very primal scene of stark contrast depicts barren winter trees reflected in the pool created in Hosensack Creek by the land’s curve around a fallen ash tree. This photograph illustrates the wild beauty that can still be found.

Lehigh County – Roadside Ferns

I have decided to add to my regular blogging with an active photographic journal of my little section of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. I want to share the beauty and history of this place where I have been fortunate enough to reside for almost twenty years. I will even venture a little beyond Lehigh’s boundaries (photographically, I mean) to nearby areas where other scenes as picturesque and interesting can be found. However, I am starting with this photograph aptly titled “Roadside Ferns”.

roadsideferns

A walk down a local road provided this photographic opportunity, proving that beauty can be found nearly everywhere you look. These graceful fronds caught the sun in such a way as to display color from emerald green to the deepest hunter. Looking at this image, one might never guess that I was crouching on blacktop and a mailbox stood only feet away awaiting rural delivery. 

Peony Perfection

whitepeony

I’m a little behind in my blogging, but I thought I would share these two photos of lovely white blooms I brought indoors a couple of weeks back. Alas, the bountiful rain and hot, humid days have all but eliminated my peonies outdoors.

I didn't have a short vase, so I put the peonies in this glass canister and loved the effect.

Those flowers I placed in a green glass container (as I had no vase available) were fairly ant-free and smelled heavenly, even after they had drooped and started losing their petals. I still have the unopened buds in a small vase for the scent alone. When fresh, they looked like the perfect bridal bouquet.