Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Things - Presto Change-O

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, our area had between two and three feet of snow.

Monday, spring came (and my Wednesday feature transitions into Spring Things.)

Yesterday, after a weekend with some cool weather, it got up into the 50's F (about 11 C), and the snow really started to melt.  It was the first full day of spring, after all.

Today, winter is back, with howling winds, snow, and cold.  The wind chill is about 13 (-10.5).

My bulbs wait patiently for spring to truly begin.

They may look a bit wilted, but they will recover.

I, however, am less patient.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Giving Tree

I am a grown-up crybaby.

I cry at weddings.  I cry through movies.  Some children's books choked me up so much that I couldn't even read them to my then-young son.

Strange how, recently, the memory of gardening led to the memory of a book I was given to read sometimes to my then young son called The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. But I was never able to because the mere thought of that poem makes me cry.

This is a poem you either love or hate.  I think, in a way, that I both love and hate it.

I never understood that poem until I was a mother.

Now, there is a real Giving Tree in Oakland, California.

It still makes me cry.

What am I crying for?  Youth lost?  A son grown?  I really don't know.

Is there a book, a poem, or a movie that makes you cry?

Tree (not an apple tree) Binghamton, New York, October 2016

Monday, March 20, 2017

Traveling Through Time and Space the A to Z Way - #atoztheme reveal #atozchallenge

Picking my A to Z theme for 2017 was difficult, and I don't know why.

At first, I thought, "Oh, nostalgia."  For many of us, nostalgia is a fun pastime.  What would be hard about it?

When you get to a "certain age", your memories become a kind of museum.   A museum of historical events.  A museum of obsolete technology.  A museum of memories that sometimes mean so much to others younger than you.  But sometimes, those memories don't matter at all.

I've accumulated a lot of memories in 64 plus years of living, after all.

Recent memories.  Memories from long ago.  Some happy.  Some not so happy. Memories of travel.  Memories of everyday life.  Times of nostalgia.  All them, I hope, interesting.

But, we have to live in the present, too.

So, my theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is:  Traveling Through Time and Space.  For most of the challenge, I will dust off some of my thousands of iPhone photos and travel once again to places I've been, and memories I've accumulated.  Other days, it will just be memories in writing.

I invite you to join me on my 30 day trip.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Music Sunday - Chuck Berry

Tomorrow, normally my Music Monday, will be my Theme Reveal for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  I am switching my Music post to today.

Today, I offer a tribute today to the late Chuck Berry, who passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

On Twitter, tweets from various music greats flew in - Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and more.  He's been on Rolling Stone magazine's lists of greatest rock and roll musicians of all time.  Three of his songs are on the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest rock songs.

He was considered one of the greatest rock guitar players of the modern era.

Here are some of my favorite Chuck Berry songs.

From 1956, Roll Over Beethoven.

Johnny B. Goode - a live performance from 1958.

Also from 1958, Sweet Little Sixteen.

You may want to remove the children from the room for this final one.  This song was popular when I was in college, and this live performance - well, let's say it's not suitable for all audiences.  But it was his only #one hit song.

Berry, as late as last year, was still performing live shows.  He was planning to release an album later this year called Chuck.  It would have been his first album in 38 years.  This rock pioneer proved you don't have to be young to rock and roll.

Another rock and roll great gone.

Rest in Peace, Chuck Berry.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sustainable Saturday - April, Allysa, Animal Support Animals and Snow

It's been an interesting week in the Southern Tier of upstate New York.

At Animal Adventure Park, in nearby Harpursville (about 30 minutes from where I live), a pregnant giraffe, April, continues to attract hundreds of thousands of daily views to her You Tube page.  Meanwhile, both the best and worst in human nature continues to appear in live chats and comments on the park's Facebook page.

I'm watching as I write this blog post, along with about 102,000 other people.  Just think, a reticulated giraffe could unite this country. But, after she gives birth, will anyone pay attention anymore? That remains to be seen.

Around 9pm Eastern Daylight Time each night, you can see one of the park employees coming in and interacting with the giraffes.  My personal favorite is a woman by the name of Allysa.  The interaction between Allysa and April is so heartwarming, as Allysa feeds April romaine lettuce and carrots, and will then give April a quick external exam, a belly rub, and belly kisses.  Upwards of 130,000 or more people will watch that tender moment.

So, why are so many people obsessed (and I do mean, for some, obsessed) with April? Forbes Magazine had an interesting take on the situation - April could be, for some, a virtual emotional support animal. Call it, if you will, virtual animal therapy to relieve stress and anxiety, something many of us are experiencing right now.  Read the article at the link to find out more about emotional support animals.

Meanwhile, Animal Adventure continues to dig out of the snow we all received in this area earlier in the week.  For my readers who live in areas that don't get much, if any, snow, here are some more pictures for you.

Broome County Courthouse (downtown Binghamton, New York) and the moon, March 16, shortly after sunrise.

A downtown Binghamton, New York street the afternoon of March 17.  Yes, after a day or so, snow doesn't look as pretty as it once did.
An area house.  Looks so peaceful, doesn't it?  Those lumps on either side of the small porch are buried bushes.

Happy Saturday, wherever you live.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Skywatch Friday - Record Snowfall Edition

So close to spring, and yet so far.

Here was the sunrise on March 13 in upstate New York.
And then, on March 14, this came along.

They weren't kidding.  Almost three feet later, no one was going anywhere.
And the beautiful sunny sky of the day before was replaced with this.

And then, last night, Nature tried to apologize with a gorgeous sunset.

Because today is St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would end this post with a cute St. Patrick's Day poem by a fellow blogger.

May your St. Patrick's Day be green, and not white (unless you like snow, that is.)

Join others participating at #SkywatchFriday and see skies from all over the world.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

After The Snow

We are clearing out from a record snowstorm in the Binghamton area of upstate New York - officially, 31.8 inches (80.7 cm) of snow dumped out just a few days before the beginning of spring.

Yesterday afternoon, gusty winds were blowing the snow my spouse and others labored so hard to plow back onto the streets and sidewalks.  The Governor of New York came to our area, and National Guard troops were dispatched to help medical personnel get to work and to help with other issues so crews could start the cleanup.

Here are some highlights, for my readers who live in climates with little or no snow.

A bush, and garage roof, with about 22 inches (almost 56 cm) of snow at that point in time.
Me, standing in that same 22 inches.   No one was going anywhere-we were under a state of emergency.
Perhaps it should have been put in the garage.
Our rhododendron.

Near sunrise yesterday morning, it looked like a winter wonderland.

We got more snow yesterday than we got all of last year (which was a record year for least snowfall, strangely.)  Another storm, and we may exceed our snowiest winter on record.

But we won't win the Golden Snowball award, alas (a yearly friendly competition between five cities for the most snowfall).

Let's hope this is winter's last hurrah.  But it doesn't look like it.