Saturday, February 20, 2016

The 366-day photography challenge: week 29

It was Valentine's Day. It was cold and snowy outside.I was still healing from the sudden attack of influenza. It was to be my last day of my self-imposed quarantine. Fortunately, I was feeling better and my appetite had returned. My sister Diane brought me these carrots. One of them looked like a mutant, and I always photograph mutant carrots. 

The carrot looked much less mutant-like after I cut it up into matchstick sized pieces.

On Monday, I ventured outside for the first time since my visit to the doctor last Wednesday. I saw a cold beauty outside. In this snow pile, I see a lady happily asleep, dreaming of... what?... maybe meeting her true love? Waking her with a kiss? Oh, wait, never mind. That plotline was taken a long time ago. But still, she can be my snowy Sleeping Beauty.

Both the bear and I appreciate a little outdoor time after being cooped up inside for five days.

This is a small piece of town-owned land. The town owns various parcels throughout Grand Island. It places conservation easements on the land so that the land can never be developed. Some of the land is on "paper streets." There are also rights-of-way that are owned by the town. There are dangers on these small pieces of property, however. The dangers include ticks and hidden traps. The town government discussed banning traps on all town-owned land but was unable to come to a consensus.

The town government was able to agree only to ban traps at town parks and trails. Unfortunately, that still puts people's dogs at risk, if they are off leash or if they are on long, expandable leashes.

The benefit of the town owning the land, however, is that the wetlands are preserved in their original condition.

Everything is covered by a layer of snow. Sad to say, it doesn't take long before the snow turns gray and the luster is gone.

Before the snow turns gray, however, it forms a beautiful layer of whiteness on everything. The world glitters and glows and the snow reflects the brilliance of the sun on a bright day.


This is Karen Keefe. She is that rare person described by Wilbur in Charlotte's Webb (by E.B. White). Like Charlotte, Karen is a good writer and a good friend. Karen has been a journalist for a long time and she has been writing a series of articles about the history of Grand Island. The articles offer a fascinating glimpse into Grand Island in the past.

Karen took me to get some help because I was having technical problems with my camera. Larry checked over my camera and had a little fun with it. That is me with the cool hat that Mommy Lois made for me. I am relieved because my camera is functional.

Later on, I play Rummy Jack with my mom. It is a fun game. When I first started playing it, I found it to be challenging because I was never good with math. When I realized that I could build pyramids and focus on color, as well as numbers, I began to enjoy the game. It is a good and relaxing way to spend an evening.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the snowfall was copious.

Most bears hibernate but this one enjoys sitting in snow.

The snow looks like magic on the branches of evergreens.

It clings to the needles and seems to hug them.

The plants that grew in these pots are long gone.

Before the snowplows come, the street is quiet, almost asleep.

It is in the quietness of a snowy day that stories are generated. One of my favorites is "The Snow Queen," by Hans Christian Anderson. It is about a boy named Kay and a girl named Gerda, who were best friends and neighbors. When a lump of ice lodges in Kay's heart, it turns him and his heart cold, able to see only ugliness.

Kay travels north to be with the Snow Queen, whose heart is exceedingly cold. Gerda, whose heart is warm and full of love for her best friend, follows Kay. She is told by the sunshine and the sparrows that her friend is not dead and gone and that she should try to find him. Because her heart is full of love, she would follow him to the ends of the earth if she had to.

Gerda gets much help along the way from flowers and birds. Eventually, she finds her heart's desire. And that's all I will say. If you'd like to read this story, you can find it at: The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen.

On a snowy day, the docks and the river look like this.

Here are the snow-covered docks. They are silent now. No boats, no swimmers, no geese, no ducks. Just the water, the docks, and the sky.

I went with Karen and Betty to the first Lenten luncheon, which was held at Trinity United Methodist Church. 

Despite the seemingly nonstop snowfall, there was a big crowd on hand for the meal and the presentation by Father Tom Roman of St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church.

At Trinity, you can buy handmade goods that come from all over the world.

This is Father Tom. He gave an inspiring talk about faith in oneself, that God made us to be beautiful and to be the best that we could possibly be.

The meal was delicious!

Karen and I went to the Grand Island Memorial Library so that I could pick up a book to read for next Monday's book club meeting (The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure.) While we were there, Anne Slater, the children's librarian, told us about an upcoming performance by Gravitational Bull, a father and son team of jugglers.

Dave and Kyle Fultz practice their jugging in advance of their performance.

Anne Slater introduces the jugglers.

The audience is fascinated by the antics of the father and the son. Dave, the father, said that he used to work in industry but that he tired of all of the downsizing and the abrupt layoffs. When his wife suggested that he make a living doing something that he loved, he decided to try to make his juggling act a full-time career. It has worked out well for him and his son Kyle. Dave said, "I decided at some point that growing up was probably a mistake for me. I thought that I'd be much better suited for playing with stuff and showing off."

What happened to that ball?

The audience gets a chance to participate in the performance, and everyone has fun.

Thursday morning.


Citrus fruit is wonderful in the winter. Here is an arrangement of two types of orange. They look different and they also have a different flavor.

On Friday, Sweet Suzie Bear sits on fresh snow.

Doesn't she look totally cool with her sunglasses?

This is Zoe. Once, a long time ago, I wrote about her and her many meows. She is a very talkative cat. She has a feed-me meow, an open-the-window-so-I-can-sit-on-the windowsill-for-two-seconds meow, a give-me-attention-now meow, a I'm-getting-sick meow, a why-are-humans-so-stupid meow, and many more ways to make commentary. I still haven't figured out why humans are so stupid, so I have yet to answer that meow.

Yesterday, I spent much of the day in the kitchen. I made applesauce and baked cookies. This morning, I took a picture of these lovely and very chocolate cookies (my drug of choice).

Next week:  The adventure continues. There will be another Lenten luncheon, featuring Pastor Sung Ho Lee, who will share a message about fear of the future. And there will be much more! Please keep visiting me, right here, at Alice's Grand Adventures and tell your friends, too. I love my readers!

4 comments:

Hannah Spray said...

You have some really nice shots! I like this project! Maybe I'll have to give something like this a shot. I've started using my fancy camera more regularly, and would love to share some shots. :)

Alice Gerard said...

Hannah, I definitely recommend it. It gives me discipline and it has helped my grow as a photographer, and I would love to see your pictures.

Alana said...

Again, am enjoying your black and white snow photography and wondering why I never use black and white photography in my own experimentation. On the other hand, I hope we don't get any more snow this winter - we may well (in the Southern Tier) set a "least snow in a winter" record.

Alice Gerard said...

Hi Alana,
Here in Grand Island, we did get a lot of snow in a short amount of time. Before that, almost none. Today, it was 55 degrees, and most of the snow melted!

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