Weird, Wild Winter


This winter has been fairly mild, but if weather can be called bipolar, then that’s what we have. Last week we had temperatures of almost 70 degrees and within two days the temperatures were back down in the 30s, with tremendous wind gusts. Is it summer? Winter? Noooo …. it’s all-seasons-in-one. These meteorological mood swings are hard enough on people, but the spring flowering trees and bulbs don’t know whether to bloom or not, and this wreaks havoc on the cherry blossoms.

Nevertheless, it’s “crocus watch” season here. Sooner or later those cheerful little flowers are going to appear. I never see them coming. I look and look for their green leaves amongst the leaf litter, but I just don’t see it. And then, one day when the sun is out — Presto! It’s a crocus. I swear they pop out of the ground overnight! So, I’ve been keeping an eye out but it’s too early. This lovely purple and white crocus photo is from a few years ago and I’ve doctored it with Topaz Impressions filter and added some texture.

In other photography news, I’ve just bought a light tent and two LED tabletop lamps to do some still-life photography. The tent is much bigger than I thought it would be and frankly, the thing is big enough I could crawl into it. I’ve ironed the nylon backdrops but they’re still a bit creased, so I will deal with that when the time comes. This is where controlling aperture is a good thing — and that’s something phone cameras don’t allow you to do.

I’m assembling other things for the still-life photo shoots, too, such as art papers for backgrounds and an assortment of tools and clips for holding the papers in place. The lamps came with yellow and blue filters, but I’ve also ordered a swatch book of filter gels and hope they can be cut to fit the lamps. Stay tuned for more posts on photography in the near future.


Thursday Writing Prompt No. 111

Interior of trolley at the Baltimore Trolley Museum.

Interior of trolley at the Baltimore Trolley Museum.

Welcome to this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt. I resisted the impulse to post a snow picture because I think more than a few of us are sick of the cold weather. But what would happen if we were permanently stuck with this weather? Suppose you lived on a planet where this is the way it is all the time. Winter isn’t just coming; it’s here. And it’s here to stay.

Write a short description of a planet where this weather pattern is the norm. Assuming the inhabitants have similar needs to us as far as their needs for air, water, food, and warmth, what adaptations would they have made to deal with their planet’s climate? Do they have something like cars, or do they use sleds? Flying machines? Are they that advanced?