The past three weeks we’ve had a Friday snowfall, and each one has been different.  One was wet and sloppy, one was a dusting of dry snow, and another was driven from the north.  This one painted the trees on one side only, outlining them from the wind direction.  Birch and aspen that are generally white had an extra coating of brighter white on the north.  With a cloudy sky overhead, this color photograph became a black and white scene without any alterations.  Each of these snows have been short-lived as they’ve been followed by warmer temperatures and sometimes rain.  But as the months progress, we know there will soon be the snow that stays and is increased with each storm – all the way until next spring.

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I sat on the opposite side of the lake watching the shoreline come alive in the sunshine.  The clouds had lingered throughout the day, but an hour before sunset they parted giving the light a truly golden color.  And as the clouds parted, the lake calmed to a sheet of glass; everything on the shoreline was reflected in the mirror-like water.  It was a magical few minutes, long enough to absorb the colors of a brilliant fall evening and to wish the season would linger much longer before we head into winter.

While we were in Brooklyn, New York we wandered through Fort Greene Park.  The park was first designated over 170 years ago at the suggestion  of Walt Whitman.  The history of the site dates back to the Revolutionary War when the British held thousands of captives in prison ships in the nearby bay of the East River.  Over 11,500 people died from overcrowding, starvation, disease, and bad water while on the ships.  The remains of many of these martyrs are entombed in a crypt within Fort Greene Park.  Also here is the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument to these people.  I was drawn to this door at the base of the monument.  It’s weathered look, it’s textures, it ornaments and details all caught my eye.  As I studied it closer with my camera I looked through the column and caught the sunlight illuminating the window of the door on the other side.  It was eerie and beautiful all at the same time, much like the history behind this site.

A whirlwind weekend in NYC, all thanks to a Christmas present of tickets to see the Broadway production of “Hamilton” at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.  The show surpassed my expectations, as did the entire weekend.  Unbeknownst to us, our hotel was located in the heart of one of the largest festivals – the 91st annual Feast of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, Italy.  We had the smells, sounds, and tastes of Italy all outside our doorstep in the heart of Little Italy.  We took in many of the standard sites in the City, but also included some unique items.  An AIA architectural cruise around Manhattan Island gave a new perspective of the buildings and the history of the area; a trip to the Tenement Museum and to the Transit Museum helped give additional historical perspective; a meander through a huge street fair in Brooklyn was filled with wonderful food and beverages.  But amidst all the hustle and bustle of crowds and noise, we found a reverent quiet at the 911 Memorial and One World Trade Center.  It was a hot evening as the sun was setting, but the light illuminated the surrounding buildings with a distinctive glow.  The importance of this place and the glowing colors seemed to create a hush causing everyone to pause, reflect, and remember.

We’re languishing still in winter – short days, colder than normal temperatures, gray skies, brown ground.  This beautiful splash of purple iris caught my eye at the store last week.  Flowers! Color! Spring! – all in one compact bouquet.  It was an instant “shot” of what I needed.  The promise of spring is still ahead; yes, there will be blue skies, sunshine, the scents of spring, and the colors of flowers –  somewhere ahead of the snow expected later today.

snow-sculptures_winter-carnival_15600-staatsAfter a week of gloomy, dreary skies a beautiful blue appeared today to help Saint Paul celebrate it’s Winter Carnival.  With temps in the 20’s, hundreds of people were dressed warmly, soaking up the Vitamin D, and enjoying the snow sculptures that were completed for the carnival.  Perhaps because we’re all longing for warmer climates, this sculpture titled “Under A Rest,” received the Peoples Choice Award.  Complete with cacti and little gophers popping up from the ground, the cowboy seemed quite content to take a long winter’s nap in his frozen state.

autumn-sunrise-como-park_14461-staatsOur fall temperatures have continued, and last Friday dawned with a noticeable crispness in the air.  The wind was still at this early hour, and the sun was just starting to reflect off the clouds above as it made its way over the horizon.  At Como Park I was able to find a perfect spot to take in the sunrise.  A small pond on the golf course captured the reflection of the clouds above, and the silhouettes of the trees.  Some trees still have their leaves while others have lost them to the autumn winds, and the grasses are in full bloom – their swan song before winter moves in.  This season seems to be the shortest one, no matter how hard we try to hold onto the fall colors.