Windows – Watching a Fall Snow Storm

snow storm
A lacy pattern of ice on the window.

The first snow storm of the winter season, except it is supposed to be Fall…

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!
But furnace heat is delightful.
With the roads closed we can’t go,
Stop the wind, stop the cold, stop the snow!
– Margy, with help from the Christmas Carol ‘Let it Snow’ –

Photo altered in Topaz Studio with a crackly overlay and enhanced colours.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Windows (again).

Has the weather been unseasonably anything in your part of the world in the past few months?

Shadows on the Snow – a Mystery Shape

I call them Crystal Days. When the morning sun falls on the right kind of new snow, each snow flake glitters like a crystal.

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This photo was taken on a Crystal Day, mid December, a few years ago.  The overnight snowfall had turned our yard into a series of snow mounds, each sparkling in the morning sun. The snow pattern in this photo was particularly interesting. What had been a grid, was now a geometric series of hills and valleys, with each hill casting a shadow into the valley. Nearby objects added splashes of shadow too.

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Here is a closer look at one of the valleys. Now you can see the sparkles of the snow crystals on the hill surface.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember what was under the snow. Whatever it was, it had to have been a nearly horizontal surface. It was something in my yard and it was apparently familiar enough that I didn’t bother to take another photo that put this one into context. I didn’t even see the need to change the name of the photo from P1060359 to something a bit more useful. Drat…

Here are some more shadow photos. Click on any of them to open a slideshow.

If you have any suggestions as to what created my snow shadow mystery, please leave a comment!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Shadow.

Whatever Floats Your Boat – The Magic of Water

H2O – Water as Snowflakes
Autumn in Alberta. Like any other season here in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the weather can be unpredictable. The first snowfall of the season can be early, or it can be late, but it is rarely welcome for adults. It often causes a delay in harvesting. It invariably results in highway accidents – road conditions deteriorate before  winter driving skills kick in.

Our first snowfall was a few days ago. A foggy, snowy photo is not a cheery sight, but suitably moody.

H2O – Water as Ice
A few days later the sun returned and the garden was transformed into a wonderland coated with ice. You can see these photos at Frozen Leaves Encased in Ice.

H2O – Water as Water
You could also wander over to meet the incredibly cute Northern Cardinal that took a bath in my sprinkler: A Wet Northern Cardinal.

So why this new blog?
The simple answer is, I had enough material to create specialty blogs for the things that interest me the most.  So I moved a bunch of posts to this new home. The other stuff stays at my old blog, which is being renovated.

As moves go, it has been quite straight forward, though time consuming. WordPress provides an ‘Export’ tool for that. Unfortunately, the export is hit or miss in the media department, so it has taken a bit of time to move the missing photos.

Do you have more than one blog? If you were going to split your blog up, what interests would move to a new home?

All the water photos were my contribution to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge which is H2O.

Wishing for Weather – I Said Rain – not Snow!

Towards the end of our stay in Arizona, I saw a TV commercial that made me long for a rainy day. An off road vehicle was driving up a winding mountain road. A light rain was falling. I remembered how fresh the air could feel and how wonderful the forest could smell after a rain!  In contrast, Phoenix Arizona was dry desert heat that could possibly fry an egg on the hood of the neighbour’s car.

gnarled trees blue sky

A few days later, we were on our way back to Alberta. Our first stop was the Grand Canyon. We arrived late in the afternoon, and spent several hours walking along the rim taking pictures.

storm clouds

Dark clouds to both the east and west hinted that a storm was brewing. My rainy day was very near!

I woke the next morning (my birthday) to a steady drizzle. I marveled that The Car Guy was able to deliver such a great present on my birthday. As we drove back to the Grand Canyon, I got whiffs of fresh air and fragrant forest.

We parked the car, put on rain coats, and walked quickly over to the rim.  Surprise! The Canyon was, for all intents and purposes, gone… I was really glad I had got my vista pictures the previous day.

snow blizzard

There was no reason to stay at the Canyon, so we drove east along the rim road. The rain turned to snow. As we dropped in elevation, the snow became rain. Eventually the rain stopped for a while – then we drove through a heavy hail storm. Apparently my birthday present was a gift of all the weather I had NOT had in Arizona for several months!

snow pink flower

The QuipperyDays later in Alberta, we were greeted with an early blooming season thanks to a warm, dry spring. I threw caution to the wind, and did a rain dance…  We got snow.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Wish.

A rainy day – do you carry an umbrella? Do you put up the hood of your rain jacket? Do you just get wet, because, after all, rain won’t make you melt into the puddle.

Weather – Pondering Alberta’s Four Seasons

I’m in Arizona this morning. It is springtime here and the first blooms have appeared on a few bushes. By this evening I will be back in Alberta. It has been a mild winter, but if anything in my yard has been fooled into thinking it is spring, it is sadly mistaken!

I’ve chosen the Mountain Ash tree at The Red House to show you the seasons in Alberta – which are summed up as follows:

In Canada we have: Six months of winter, and six months of poor sledding. These can be broken down into: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction season. To be more specific, the four seasons are: June, July, August and Winter.
– Author Unknown –

Here are the photos and quotes that explain the seasons:


Mountain Ash – late spring

The principal function of March is to use up the winter weather that wouldn’t fit into February.
– Doug Larson –


Mountain Ash – Late Summer

Summers always fly – winters walk.
– Charles M. Schulz –


Mountain Ash – Fall Colors

Autumn is a season followed immediately by looking forward to spring.
– Doug Larson –


Mountain Ash – Early Winter

The problem with winter sports is that – follow me closely here – they generally take place in winter.
– Dave Barry –

What season are you enjoying (or not enjoying) right now? Do you have a favourite season?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Seasons.

Hail Stones

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Hail stones in spruce tree – ‘Hail Alley’, Alberta, Canada.

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Hail stones, July 2016 – not quite as big as the golf ball.

– Hail Alley, or Hailstorm Alley, is a corridor that stretches across west-central Alberta. It reaches as far north as Lacombe and as far south as High River.
– The City of Calgary is regarded as the hailstorm capital of Canada, with more than half of the country’s severe weather insurance claims ‘hailing’ from here (according to Western Direct Insurance.)

Snow in September – Responding to Adversity

Snow in September – once the shock and sadness wore off, I  took my camera outside to see if there was an upside to this! There is also an Adversity Story to tell.

You’d like to eat on the patio? How about this nice table for four. So peaceful and quiet you can hear a pin drop. No mosquitoes.  No chance you will get a sunburn.

You think it is a bit, well, white out?

Here – some greenery… and pinkery too.
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I got a phone call from a friend today. She wanted The Car Guy’s advice about how to deal with a dangerous snow laden tree branch that was hanging over her power line.

She had phoned her hubby first (he’s out of town) and told him she wanted to knock some snow off the branch with a broom or something, and maybe even remove the branch, but she didn’t want to become an electrocution statistic.

Her husband’s response to her story was not very helpful – that is why she called the The Car Guy. The Car Guy gave her a list of actions she could take, and asked her to phone him back later so he knew she had survived the procedure.

He also offered to do the job for her. But my friend is a ‘do it myself’ person, so she proceeded to turn off the power at the pole, knock a bunch of snow off the tree branches, remove the most offensive branch and get the power turned back on.

But that was the easy part. She also had to spray WD40 on the lock on the box that housed the power switch; then use bolt cutters to cut off the lock because it still wouldn’t work; employ miscellaneous tools to straighten the thingamagig that got twisted when she cut off the lock; and clean up the pot of dirt that got smashed on the floor when she was rummaging through the garage trying to find one of the six or seven tools she needed to get the job done.

When she finally phoned us to confirm the task was successfully completed, she said, “If I had a blog, this would sure be one of the stories I would tell!”  I smiled, and thought that she would probably have to edit out a few expletives before her grandchildren could read her “Overcoming Adversity” story.

At the end of my adversity story about Hail, I said “Do you ever ask yourself why you live where you do? What roots keep you tethered to a place that seems so determined to make you want to leave it!?”

One answer is – family and friends keep us here. But it is also the adversity that makes us stay.  Each time we face another weather challenge, and we are wildly or moderately or slightly successful at coping, we are re-energized.

By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity.
Another man’s, I mean.
– Mark Twain –

The flower I captured is a Hollyhock. I take good care of my hollyhocks, yet they struggle to survive and usually flower just before the first snow takes them out of the game. My ‘do it myself’ friend was the source for these hollyhocks. She ignores hers, and they grow like weeds at her place. I guess Hollyhocks thrive on adversity too.