Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Golden Snowball #ThursdayTreeLove

Having grown up in the Northeast United States, the concept of someone never having seen snow is a little hard to imagine.  Snow has been a part of my life for all but two years of my seventy or so years on this planet (years I lived in Florida).

I have two first cousins who are natives of Florida, a state which rarely sees snow. They've lived most of their lives in Florida and still live there.  Even they have seen snow - one, when he lived for a time in my native New York State, and the other, because for a while she enjoyed the sport of snow skiing and would travel to places that (obviously) had snow.

But my blog has some readers who either have never seen snow in person, or had to travel distances just to see it.  They look forward to my pictures of snow and trees and I'm normally happy to oblige.

I can understand (I think) their love of snow pictures.   There's just something about snow that makes everything pretty, at least at first. But this year snow has played hard to get - until now.  So, finally:

(These pictures were taken Monday - we have more snow now.)

OK, it's a bush, but I'll call it a short tree.

Stretch to the sky!

You'll note all these trees and bushes are still green.  Not all our trees here lose their leaves and sleep through the winter.  These evergreens have narrow, needle like leaves coated in a wax, and have air pockets in their outer bark instead of liquid like many of our other trees do, so they can survive our winter without going through full dormancy (they are partially dormant).

Here's more on the science of winter survival of trees in our climate.

We've had two snowfalls this week (none major) and we have snow on the ground once again.  It's about to get a lot colder, too.

Which brings me to something called the Golden Snowball, a friendly competition between five cities in New York State for the most snowfall each year.   We here in the Binghamton, New York area don't win it too often - since I've lived here, only twice.  

If you go to the website I've linked to earlier in this paragraph, you can see there are some major totals so far for this winter (especially for Buffalo, which was paralyzed by an epic snowstorm last December.  To paralyze Buffalo with snow takes a lot of doing by Nature.)

Buffalo, officially, has 105 inches (that's 266.7 cm) of snow this year.  They are also noted for originating Buffalo style chicken wings. 

We in the Binghamton area average about 86 inches (218 cm) of snow in a year.  We are way behind this year so far.   (Our food?  Spiedies.)

Buffalo's going to win the 2022-23 Golden Snowball, I suspect.  As far as I'm concerned, they are welcome to the award.

Do you like snow? Hate it? Or: Are you someone who has never seen snow except in photos and movies?

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food for #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

A Temperature Record in Yarn #WordlessWednesday

My year long project is underway!

I have been in a crocheting drought for months.  After 50 plus years of avid crocheting, things had slowed.  I needed something to restore my mojo.  Last year, I found a project.

This was my plan.

I researched, reading several blog posts on temperature afghans, which are afghans crocheted (or knitted) in stripes.  Every day represents the color of that day's high.  Many people start on January 1 and the blanket represents a year of weather (mine will work that way) but people will, for example, do this for a newborn child or grandchild, a gift for their first birthday.

Some people make other items - shawls, or (as one reader suggested to me) scarves. Many make quilts. A quilt I saw in October gave me the idea, originally.

I bought my initial skeins of yarn.  These are no dye lot yarns, so if I have to buy more, the color will be (more or less) the same.

From left to right: (temperatures in F).  I live in the Southern Tier of New York, where January is winter.  Winter, as in snow, and cold.  And ice.  Brrr.  So this is my working chart (when it gets above 88 F (31.11 C), I'll probably use red.  We rarely hit 100 F (38 C) here.

Dark orchid 1 to 21 F
Royal blue 21-32 F
Turquoise 33 to 43 F
Spring green 44 to 53 F
Paddy green 54 to 66 F
Bright yellow 67-77 F
Not pictured - Carrot 78 to 88 F.
(I based this on a color chart I found online for New York City, which is close enough for my purposes, although we run colder in the winter. The temperature ranges work.)

Turns out, I'm recording quite an unusual January.  For example, so far I've done the high temperature rows for January 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th  and 5th so far.   Look at the colors!
January 1  high 50 F or 10 C (spring green)
January 2  high 57 F or 13.8 C  (paddy green)
January 3  high  49 F or 9.4 C (spring green)
January 4  high 60 F or 15.6 C (paddy green)
January 5  high 57 F or 13.8 C (paddy green)

After January 5 the weather became more seasonable, but still above normal  I'll be using a lot of Turquoise and some spring green after January 5.

We'll see where this goes.  It will actually take more than a year, because I have a year of temperatures to record in the blanket and I don't work on the blanket each day.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Maureen McGovern Memory

I like reading People Magazine, which I get out from our local library from time.  In a recent issue there was an article about the singer Maureen McGovern, famed for her hit song "The Morning After" from the movie The Poseidon Adventure.  I have to admit that I was never a fan of the song (maybe one of the few who didn't like it) but I am a fan of Ms. McGovern and her voice.

In 2022, McGovern announced she was suffering from posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and was showing symptoms of Alzheimer's (she first started showing these symptoms was in 2018, when she started to struggle with familiar song lyrics).   She has had to retire from live performing.

The recent article in People concentrated on how the 73 year old singer was coping.  It also discussed how McGovern would interact with communities where she was performing, visiting (with no publicity) hospitals, hospices, and prisons.

It brought back memories, and here is a blog post where I wrote about her in 2011, after floods devastated portion of the neighborhood I've lived in for years.  The newspaper article my original blog post linked to is gone but the memory remains.

I didn't get to meet her, but I wish her the best.

May the coming years be good to Maureen McGovern.

The Glamour of Ordinary (October 2011)

Just an ordinary act by a more than ordinary woman.

Last Saturday, singer Maureen McGovern (of "The Morning After" fame) visited my neighborhood.  She was in town to give a concert.  She was here because, after our floods in September, a fan contacted her and asked her to come.

What a class act.  She came because a fan asked her to come.  We needed her.

And not only that, but she toured the flood-affected neighborhoods. She just didn't breeze into town, perform, and leave.  She came, not looking like a glamour photo, but as herself.  Just like someone you might find at your water aerobics class, or at the grocery.  She spent time with someone whose life was turned totally upside down on September 8.

Look in a dictionary for the definition of glamour:   Maureen McGovern, you don't have to make yourself up.  You are special just the way you are.

Glamour (noun)
  1. The attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special:

We Could Have It All.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Blog Name Music and a Tribute #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and you know what that means!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please!)   Our head hostess is Cathy from Curious as a Cathy,  and she is joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and (last but not least) me. 

Why not join our music loving folks?  It's so easy. All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video.  Without a music video, the post may be removed, or may be labeled *NO MUSIC*.  

Every other week is Free Choice, and on non-free choice weeks, we invite anyone (that means anyone) to suggest a theme.   There are still weeks without themes available for someone to suggest a theme for.  The 2023 themes so far can be found here.

Today's theme is  Use a band or artist to spell your full name, either real or blog.

I am choosing the first name of my blog:  Ramblin.  I am also paying tribute to the great David Crosby, who passed away on January 18 at the age of 81.  He had been in poor health for a long time.  A singer and songwriter, Crosby was a member of several groups, including the Yardbirds and the Byrds, and supergroups Crosby,Stills and Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash andYoung.   He also performed solo. 

I'll sneak in a couple of songs related to David Crosby in the following list.

Reach Out I'll Be There - Four Tops (from 1966)

Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins, with David Crosby as backup singer, from 1989.

Mr. Tambourine Man - the Byrds, from 1965.

Berlin and Metro.

Long Time Gone - Crosby, Stills and Nash, from 1969.

Intervention - Arcade Fire, my newest song on the list, from 2007.

New Year's Day - U2 (a little late).  Fun fact, this was released in January, 1983 - this song is now 40 years old.

And that's a wrap!  

Join us again next week for another episode of #MusicMovesMe.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Shadowshot Sunday

Benches along the Vestal Rail Trail, Vestal, New York cast shadows on a rare sunny January day.


A little further along, another bench, plus a tree.
The trail itself was full of shadows.

The path ahead, with building and tree shadows and a hint of the blue sky that day.

Joining up today with Magical Mystical Teacher and #ShadowshotSunday, where watching shadows invites us to be more observant of the world around us..

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Squirrel Appreciation Day

A blogger in Virginia recently told her readers that January 21 (today!) is Squirrel Appreciation Day.

It's true.   Really true.  There is such a day and here is its history.

Well, hmmm.  Either you love squirrels or you find yourself liking them despite their antics.  Except, perhaps, if you have bird feeders in your yard.

Here's one fact.  Squirrels were introduced to big city parks, starting around 1847 to "create rural pockets of peace and calm".

(Cut to mental picture of spouse, waving a broom, yelling and chasing squirrels trying to raid our bird feeder).

Here's another fact.  They plant trees for us.

In New York City, where I grew up, we have both grey squirrels and black squirrels.  Where I live now in another part of New York State, I've only seen grey squirrels.

They are frequent visitors to our yard.

 Too frequent, perhaps.


One has to admire their abilities to scramble up and down trees.


Alas, I have no pictures of them doing acrobatics on our clothesline (now taken down) and I'm having problems getting my pictures from today of a squirrel trying to raid our squirrel proof feeder (ha ha) onto my blog.  So maybe another time.

Do I appreciate squirrels?  I must admit they are cute and I do like to watch them in action.  Maybe that person from 1847 was onto something.

What about you?

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Colors of Mid January #SkywatchFriday

In this most unusual of Januaries, we've had a variety of colors to choose from.

January 16, the sun set in almost clear skies and shed a reflection on the water of the river near where I live.

 A better view of the reflection on the water.

As the sun touched the hills, a glow spread along the hills.

The next day, freezing drizzle was predicted.  I was getting ready for work when I remembered the sunrise.  I opened the door and saw the purple glow.  I ran outside, dressed in work clothes and house slippers.  Concentrating on the sunrise, I failed to note it was raining.  And 26 degrees F (-3.3 C)  Which meant the rain would be freezing on any surface.  I hurried inside and only got this one picture.

Oops.  The rain had only begun, fortunately, and there was no glaze on the ground - yet.  If the sunrise had been a few minutes later, I would have been ice skating (or house slipper skating) down my sidewalk.

On January 18, the skies were back to their normal grim grey, but there was still enough sun for a reflection of trees on a creek that the western Vestal Rail Trail crosses over.  No snow on the ground but you can see snow/ice on the bottom center and along the edge of the left bank.

Yesterday, it rained almost all day.  I was busy during sunset, but at some point I noticed that the sky was purple - again.  I quickly grabbed my phone.  Unfortunately, the iPhone didn't capture all the purple; just a hint of it.

I am wondering when we will return to normal winter weather.  Hoping it isn't in April or May.

Joining Yogi and other sky watching bloggers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.