Posts Tagged With: stormy weather

Poem #24

Oh no! no internet

no connectivity

no community

I’m lost without my network

the fragile web strands snapped

leaving me dangling

Photo by Randall Feldhusen

Photo by Randall Feldhusen

Categories: ice storm, postcard poems, scenery | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Poem #10

‘High water’


The creek that rises

unheard in the night

The wave churned on storm winds

undercutting the bluff

The rain filling the basement

until all your life is afloat

The leak in the roof spreading

as the ceiling rots, falls

exposing years of neglect


The soul drowning

no dolphin in sight


Categories: postcard poems, scenery | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poem #3

I was having some difficulty getting started, so what do you talk about in an awkward situation? The weather!


‘after the storm’

The air still heavy

no forgiving cold front

to calm us

Thunder still growling

as it withdraws

The curtains stir…

your hand against my neck

as welcome as the breeze


Categories: postcard poems, scenery | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Poem #2

We are supposed to wait at least 30 days after mailing to share our poems. *sigh* It’s hard to wait!


‘storm coming’


The sodden stagnant air begins to move

leaves turning silver-side

a trace of cool against my neck

The blanket lifted, lofted, blown away

as we jolt and laugh

at the thunder-stroke


Categories: postcard poems, scenery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Snow day

The view from Kestrel Hill today is horizon-to-horizon snow. 18 inches on top of half a foot already on the ground — that’s a whole world of white.

We had a new roof installed last year, a metal roof. You’ll love it, the  builder assured us, no maintenance and the snow just slides right off! And just as promised, for the several moderate snows we’ve had, the roof clears itself quite efficiently.

Well, this was the first heavy snowfall of the season. And it was impressive, all right: a full rolling broadside as the entire front thundered down. Maybe too impressive! The sleeping cat shot off my shoulder and into the basement. As for me, every time it happens I have to laugh, it’s so exhilarating.

One small problem. I hope no one’s standing on the stoop next time it cuts loose!

Is this the year our reprehensible shed will finally collapse? (One can only hope!)


Since I wasn’t going anywhere anyway, I worked at my Great Backyard Bird Count. I had lots of help:


Lots of couples out for lunch, including the Cardinals.



House Finches…



… and Purple Finches. You wouldn’t believe how many years it took me to tell them apart.



40 or more Robins in the sumac grove.



Two Song Sparrows have stuck it out all season. Angry Birds, anyone?



As well as two Carolina Wrens.

I don’t know how we’ll scale those mountains to keep the feeders full, but I’d hate to disappoint the patrons.






Categories: Bird photos, Feeder birds, GBBC, Usual suspects | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Oh, Botheration (Pond), 7/6/13



Time for a shameful confession: despite living near Albany for 23 years now, I’ve rarely gone to the Adirondacks. Don’t really know why not, but it’s left me with some serious lacunae in my state birds.

Last weekend’s trip was to the southern ‘Dacks, near Gore Mountain. As we gradually ascended Barton Mines Road to the trailhead, driving conditions quickly became worse. Torrential rains a week before had closed the road for several days and despite a quick patch job, the shoulders still were undercut in places. A thick layer of sand from the garnet mines at the top of the hill covered the blacktop until it was like walking on a steep beach.

From the trailhead we first walked uphill to the gates of the mine, hearing the expected woodland singers: Black-throated Blue and Green Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, vociferous Winter Wrens, and a cooperative Hermit Thrush perched in the open on a power line. Several carloads of unauthorized overnight partiers snuck out before the  mine officially opened for the day.

Back downhill a ways, and we entered the woods to be stopped almost immediately. Balm of Gilead Brook had briefly turned into Category VI whitewater and torn out the crossing and underlying culvert.

About 3' down to the top of the culvert. On the near side, the creek is about 4' wide.

About 3′ down to the top of the culvert. On the near side, the creek is about 4′ wide.

After bushwhacking downstream a ways, we crossed mostly dryfooted on wobbly rocks, but that didn’t last long. The trip description warned of wet conditions and ankle deep mud, and we weren’t disappointed. It was hard to hear birds at times over the squoosh and plop, and boots were double-knotted to keep them from being sucked off. And the blackflies! I begin to remember why I avoid this part of the state in the summer… Fortunately my old reliable kept me mostly bite-free.

But all the bugs means all the birds, of course. Mostly we heard them sing, but patience did yield good looks at several warbler species. Canada and Magnolia Warblers look similar at a fast foliage-blocked glance, both with bright yellow breast and black necklace. Black-and-white Warblers squeaked out their little call while foraging head-first down a tree like a Nuthatch. In the distance three different thrushes sang, Hermit, Wood, and Swainson’s.

Woodpecker of the day honors went to Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. If you’d ever like to be surrounded by Sapsuckers, just do a passable Barred Owl call. They hate Barred Owls, will come from a mile away to jeer and wicka-wicka at their enemy.

After a mile and a half of squishing and scrambling over/under trees blown down in the storm, we arrived at the Vly. (That’s another of New York’s borrowed Dutchy words, meaning a marsh or wetland.) Usually a good spot for flycatchers, it was quiet there and the sky was clouding over.

The Vly

The Vly

The log bridge on the creek running out of the Vly had been torn from its bank and rested on the far side, pointing downstream. Again we forded and forged on. The sky darkened — a few drops fell — decision time. The forecast had been for afternoon rain. Hike on another 1 1/4 mile in the high humidity to Botheration Pond? Or turn around and slowly bird our way back?

We wimped out. Back across the creek and past the Vly, through the ferns and sphagnum, and (of course) the sun came back out and a breeze lightened the air. We were rewarded by a pair of Nashville Warblers, subtle-colored and lively-voiced, and a real Barred Owl in the distance. A Northern Parula, audible but invisible, lurked in the highest canopy. Across the first ford, not so dry-footed this time, and out on the road to see two male Blackburnian Warblers flashing their fire throats  in a territorial squabble.

Back down at the Hudson six Broad-winged Hawks, some in appallingly bad plumage, circled in a mini-kettle, a sign that for them summer was already growing short. A lone Common Raven hopped along the riverbank.

So, I survived my first real hike in the Adirondack Mountains. Believe me, I’m not laughing at the bug-netting-suit people any more. If the trail hadn’t been over-my-shoes wet, if it hadn’t been so humid, I would have enjoyed it purely as a walk. Given those drawbacks, the birds still made it worthwhile. I guess I’ll have to gird up my courage and head further north if I want to add  the real boreal specialties to my life list– Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker… The things we do for our passion!

29 species, 2 new for the year.

Categories: Field trip, scenery | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Impressive cloudage

Parts of Massachusetts were ravaged yesterday by tornadoes, not something we expect here on the western edge of New England. We didn’t see a drop of rain from the storms, but we could see the trailing edge of the storm moving off to the southeast. Behind it was a beautiful cold wind, a blessed relief after the 95°F and 70° dewpoint we had been suffering through. I didn’t have my camera with me when the cloud was most impressive, but it looked like this.

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When I first saw the cloud, about 15 minutes before I took these pictures, the cumulonimbus cloud at the center was huge, puffy, and blindingly white. Its head rose far into the anvil cloud at the top though I wasn’t at a good angle to see it doming over the top. Bulbous grey mammutus clouds hung pendulously from the high platform and the whole thing was ringed by a miles-wide circular cloudbank. I never saw such an amazing, frightening sight before, and given the damage and loss of life in Springfield and other towns, I hope I never do again.

Incredible footage of the tornado crossing the Connecticut River. At about 00:35, the storm begins to draw in and up the water it’s crossing. It looks like something out of the Old Testament.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 1 Comment

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