Feb. 25th, 2019 09:46 pm
asakiyume: (cloud snow)
At 6:30, this windstorm knocked out the power, and I freaked out, picturing us without power for days in the well-below-freezing temperatures. The pipes would surely freeze and burst and then cost extravagant amounts to fix, and anyway we wouldn't be able to fix them right away because everyone else's pipes would have burst too, and so the helper-fixer people would be in short supply.

I went to the supermarket to get milk and maybe another candle. In the parking lot, I met Wakanomori, who'd just gotten off the bus; he said the town to the west had power. I knew from the gossip in the supermarket that the town to the east didn't.

"We'll just have to sleep in one huge bundle in the living room under coats and blankets to keep warm," I said as we drove home. Without street lights or house lights, it was deeply dark everywhere.

As we were about to turn in at our driveway, our headlights illuminated a huge and unearthly creature, the color of smoke and about as corporeal, standing where we usually park. It was a deer--standing in the middle of the driveway. It stared at us a moment, then ceded us the parking space and walked away down the slope into our neighbor's backyard accompanied by a friend who'd been standing by our apple tree.

"National Grid estimates the power will be back by 11 pm," the healing angel reported, once we were inside.

"Please let it be so," I prayed.

And a minute later, the lights came on.

I think it was a blessing from the deer.
asakiyume: (cloud snow)

It's snowing at a rate of about three inches an hour--a ruler we have on our porch just topped 14 inches.

Our road isn't plowed yet:

Can you make out the mail truck?

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep

Pickup truck driver clears his windshield

In the time I've taken writing this, it's now at 15 inches.

ETA: 16 inches and still falling:

snow clams

Dec. 30th, 2016 07:15 pm
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

Snow clams burrow into the snow the way other clams burrow in sand, and like other clams, they have air holes.

See them? This would be a good place to dig for snow clams, though they'd probably be tiny.

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

Most think the woman rules the fox, but one wise person perceived in her half-closed eyes and parted lips the face of a sleepwalker, a beast of burden, not a master. This person drove the fox from the woman's shoulders with cinnamon and lye, but freed and wakened the woman walked in circles in the snow, confused, asking, "Where is my friend? I'm cold without my friend," and even led indoors and given food, she soon went out again, but the snow was no longer falling, and by the time the next storm rolled in, the fox had found a new mount--or so I'm told.

asakiyume: (tea time)

I wish it weren't so hard for me to post now. It's as if I've lost the knack. How can something that was once natural become no longer natural? Because that's what it feels like: like there was a fluidity and ease before, and now there's not. I have some theories on the why of this, but they're not very coherent.

Meanwhile, I had photos stored up on my camera. Some evanescent things, like my neighbor's pussy willows, already transitioning from shiny grey buds to delicate, fringed, minute flowers:

And a minor snow (on the day that dumped more of the stuff on Boston), melting away, shielded by the shade of the lattice on our porch:

And I built a cake from pancakes for the tall one, whose birthday was the other day. Here are the pancakes, being made.

I layered them with whipped cream and frozen strawberries**, then covered the whole thing with whipped cream. It formed this impressive hulk:

Cutting into it was fun--there were all these tiny layers, like sedimentary rock, or like something from an actual cake shop (in spite of amateurish exterior). It was pretty good, except for the aftertaste from the strawberries.

**Unfortunately, without noticing, I'd bought "lite" strawberries. I realized this when I took a swipe of the syrup and tasted that unmistakable aftertaste of artificial sweetener. In the past few months I've accidentally bought zero-calorie yogurt and "lite" jam, both times only realizing it when I taste that telltale taste. Behind mango, apricot, and strawberry, there it is. The moral of the story is, be very, very careful about the item you reach for on the shelf.

asakiyume: (cloud snow)
Thank you, everyone, for your good wishes last entry. The healing angel is recovering quite nicely, though still with lingering joint pain. Hope that goes away for him. This week is winter vacation, so that gives him more time to recuperate without missing more school (he's already missed two weeks).

In English he's supposed to be reading The Kite Runner. Although I was pleasantly surprised by his last book, Angela's Ashes, this one is every bit as awesomely depressing as Good-for-You English-class books come. We've been reading it out loud, and to get us through the current chapter (we're still in the very early part of the book), we together created a drinking game--but with the drink being ginger ale.


The check marks represent how many times the thing in question came up (and consequently how many times we took a drink). Hassan is the narrator's childhood playmate and servant, whom the narrator treats rottenly. The narrator's got Big Regret about this as the adult telling the story, but right now we've been working up to whatever Really Terrible thing he's going to do to Hassan. Hence drinking game prompt no. 1: take a drink every time the narrator makes a dark allusion to the thing that made him what he is today.

Drinking game prompt no. 2 and no. 4 are self-explanatory. No. 3 is my shorthand for "disappointment in failing to receive his father's love"--the narrator's father is emotionally distant and not very interested in his son. Drinking game prompt no. 5, Hazaras, means take a drink every time Hazaras, the despised ethnic group that Hassan belongs to, are mentioned.

(In writing this entry I went and looked at a plot summary to see just how bad a thing we're in for. Oh. My. God.)

Let's change the subject. Here is a photo of a fire hydrant with a metal marker on it. It looks sort of like the hydrant is a child holding a balloon. If the snow gets high, the idea is that the metal marker is still visible, so (a) snowplows will be careful and (b) people will dig it out. As you can see, one of the neighbors did indeed dig it out. Thank you, civic-minded neighbor!

For a couple of years, someone or ones went around bending and twisting the markers . . . but that person (or those people) must have lost interest in that very mild form of troublemaking, because there's the marker, tall and straight.

asakiyume: (misty trees)

Here is mist, sifted through a screen:

mist through a screen

And here is mist, unmediated:

mist on the last day of 2015

Today, on the other hand, is bright and sunny. The sun makes the snow sparkle and the crow's wings shine:

asakiyume: (cloud snow)

There's always something to see, if I go for a walk. These were snow waves I saw around 6 pm, after I finished with work.

snow wave

snow wave
asakiyume: (cloud snow)
The other day I made a small footpath to the snowmobile trail. I'm so grateful I did: today, by comparison, I struck out from the street toward another section of snowmobile trail, across open field. It was exhausting, each footstep an effort as it plunged through layers of snow, compacted to different degrees by wind and cold. I made very slow, lurching progress until at last I reached the snowmobile trail--and then I positively floated along.

(I did see these lovely, light foot- and wingprints as I staggered along, though)
two photos )

This got me thinking of our phrase "off the beaten track," and about how hard it is to go off the beaten track. Beaten tracks make things easier. Beaten tracks go where people want to go--that's how beaten tracks get made. But beaten tracks are restrictive, too. ... We know all this. We talk about taking the road less traveled, or striking out on our own--this being metaphor for any number of things in life--and although we acknowledge it can be hard, I think sometimes we fail to acknowledge that it can be killingly hard. Actually-literally, if we're talking about hiking, and devastatingly, if not lethally, when we're talking metaphorically. At least in life one's given the chance to recover.

I'm not saying one shouldn't strike out, off the beaten track--not at all. Not only do I like doing it on trails and things, but I've been thinking about it in terms of bigger things--changing my habits, changing how I think or what I do in situations. That's hard though--habits and patterns of thought are pretty firmly entrenched tracks. So how can I change them? So then I go back to the analogy.

If you're going off the beaten track and trekking across a field of snow, it helps if you have snowshoes--that makes it a lot easier. So: equip yourself. If you're in a snowmobile (snowmobiles make beaten tracks, but they can also go off them--funny!) and you're going off the beaten track (like these teen snowmobilers, who went missing near the hilariously named Devil's Den Road and Black Cat Road--thanks to Liz Hand for that story!) survival training definitely helps.

In other words, just flailing off on your own is going to predispose you to failure more than practice, planning, etc.

Sometimes I tell myself stories when I'm out walking, but sometimes I muse on things, and today I was musing, and behold: the above were my musings.

Here's a pretty scene to drive musings from my, and your, mind:

winter scene

asakiyume: (cloud snow)
The snow's between two and three feet high on the ground, which means it's not easy to walk through without snow pants, which means you're confined to roads. I like walking on the snowmobile trails, but it's a matter of getting there ...

So I shoveled a path--the path I'd normally take--from my neighborhood road to the snowmobile trail.

It is a thing of beauty! Behold, its entrance:

Unfortunately, the snow plow, in widening the road, knocked snow into it...

But I brought my shovel as well as my camera. There. That's better!

following the path my handiwork has carved... )

At last, it meets the snowmobile trail, which looks like a regular highway by comparison:

And now I can walk in the woods without snow pants, AND I can walk into town along the snowmobile path.

asakiyume: (cloud snow)
We know this is a water world, three-fourths covered in water, and we know the waters can drink up more land--rains can cause rivers to lap up flood plains, climate change can make oceans gulp down shores. And in winter, in the north, dry land becomes flooded, and the floodwaters stand. Right now my world is covered in nearly three feet of water--in the form of snow. And Boston is flooded by some six feet and more.

Here are some more photos of the waves....

snow waves

thin ledge of snow

snow curves

asakiyume: (cloud snow)

Here's the toboggan run from two-thirds of the way down, looking up at the top.

And here is the remaining bit, heading into the swamp:

Wakanomori and I went down this lots of times this afternoon. His dream is to have the path lead eventually to the apartments on the other side of the swamp. ... I don't think we can get enough momentum to travel that far, but I like how far we do travel.

asakiyume: (cloud snow)


snow waves

and cliffs

snow cliffs

and ripples

snow ripples

asakiyume: (cloud snow)

I walked along this path and didn't stumble.

asakiyume: (cloud snow)
It's hard to get to now, because the former entryway has been turned into houses, and due to its being swampy, it's pretty much inaccessible except in winter. I found it again yesterday, though:

place I love

The snow is sparkling ♥

And there is hoarfrost growing on top of the snow:

hoarfrost on snow

(Speaking of hoarfrost, here is a leaf with a melting veil of it)

hoarfrost leaf

... goodbye November... hello December

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
snow squall
On the way to my father's there was a snow squall. The trees melted away and the lanes of the highway disappeared.

snow squall

I am so sorry, but it must be said. Here we have a leaning tower of pizza . . . boxes.

pizza boxes

This puddle has the smoothest ice, the best ice. if you run and slide, you can go almost clear across--no friction.

smoothest ice ever

The ice has creatures. . .

an ameba )

And treasures . . .

an embedded bottle )
asakiyume: (cloud snow)
I came across a boy leaning over the edge of a snowy chasm, his chin in the snow and a magnifying glass in his hand, looking at the leaves and feather flowers of hoarfrost and snow...

snow leaves

"They're a little like ferns or the notched needles of certain cypresses," he said, his speech clipped, as if he were very cold--and he ought to have been very cold, lying there in the snow. "They're like them, but much more beautiful. I could look at them forever."

I got down on my knees to look, but he pushed me away. "You're too warm!" he said. "You'll melt them with your breath, if you don't knock them with those clumsy mittens."

I saw his hands were blue and his fingertips practically black, and his thin, sharp nose and the lobes of his ears, too.

"It's not good for you to be so cold," I said.

"It's perfect for me to be so cold," he said. "Perfect. . ." And he moved his magnifying glass over to another fringe of hoarfrost, once again lost in contemplation.

snow leaves

asakiyume: (cloud snow)
I sent this to some friends... it was so beautiful, I thought I'd like to get a print of it for someone special--but the artist tells me a print costs hundreds of dollars. So, let's enjoy them online instead.

From the gallery of James Henkel (, "snow bowl"

[Picture no longer available for viewing, sad to say...]
asakiyume: (cloud snow)
You know those Magic Eye pictures? You look at them with your eyes unfocused, and you see a 3-D image? I remember that used to happen when I lay on my back in our family car, looking up at the dots in the plastic on the ceiling. I'd be staring, and suddenly the dots, instead of seeming to be on a flat surface, would look like they were in a big, 3-D cloud.

That happened with sparkles on the snow this morning. It's so sunny, the sparkles were incredible. Looking at the snow and facing the sun, suddenly it seemed as if I was in a cloud of sparkles--they weren't just on the snow, they were floating in the air above the snow. So pretty! If only one could roll in snow and be that sparkly (which reminds me of a funny userpic I saw--it was the cover from Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince, with the Dark Mark in ghastly green sparkles in the sky, and underneath it said, "come to the dark side--we're sparkly). Later in the walk, where the sun was shining through trees, the sparkles were rainbows--lots of blues and reds, some yellows and greens, all flashing so bright.

And earlier in the walk, in the undiscovered country, all the brushy undergrowthy plants were covered with thick frost, and the sun was shining on that, so that it, too, was sparkling, so all the plants looked like they were made of glass or crystal--must be what people are talking about when they describe fairylands where the trees are made of diamonds.

Out the window: Carolina wren is looking at the bluebird boxes. All the birds doo this all the time--the house sparrows, the nuthatches, the chickadees, the carolina wrens, the titmice (no bluebirds, though...)--but it's winter! Not time to build a nest yet, folks!

soon it will be maple syrup time. I've started saving the milk jugs.

Here is the Magic Eye website. It's easier, though, as they say, to see the images on paper than on a computer screen.:
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
Overnight the rain turned to snow and the wind got wild. This morning, the wind was carrying the snow all across the roads and lawns, blurring the boundaries between them. It was great. At church I watched the snow through the windows--billowing into whole great snow spirits, like in The Snow Queen, or as the ninja girl said, like in the movie Cold Fever. I love those snow spirits.


asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

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