“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.” ~Junot Diaz
Oh man, it snowed a lot yesterday. There’s almost three feet of the white stuff out there! It only took two hours to shovel out, and that was with help from a neighbor who came over with snowblower. He took care of a portion of our sidewalk that was…well…the manmade snowdrift between property lines was almost as tall as me! (Thank you for saving us from another hour of shoveling, Ed!!!!!) We returned the favor by helping our other neighbors shovel, and digging and pushing out a town services pickup truck that got stuck in the street.
This storm was also the first one in 13 years I got to be home for. Working in local TV news, I always stayed overnight during storms and pulled long shifts with everyone else. While it was fun to help tell the story of the storm, hang out with coworkers at the fancy hotel in-between shifts, and earn some overtime pay, being home was really nice as well! A hot, homemade breakfast on a snowy day does not suck. We had a box of King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free pancake mix in the pantry, which was perfect.
One part of working during snow storms I always enjoyed was the walk between the hotel and the station. No matter how horrible the winds and snow were, I always had fun tromping through unplowed streets and sidewalks. So I went snowshoeing yesterday morning during the storm!
The walk was beautiful. A few people were out shoveling and walking around, but otherwise the neighborhood was really quiet and peaceful. I went to a park and took a few photos before the winds picked back up and it was time to get back inside.
Sloooowly catching up on blog posts! More about that “time-when-I-dropped-everything-and-ran-away-across-the-pond-for-six-days”! I’m not going to bore you with photos of the changing of the guard ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace – I’m sure you’ve seen photos of the London guards before. And I couldn’t take photos inside many of the museums I visited. (The National Portrait Gallery, The Tate Modern, The British Museum…) But if you’re ever in London, you have to go to The British Library! I’m a total literature/history/music geek, so I spent a few hours drooling over Jane Austin’s writing desk, the original copy of Handel’s “Messiah”, Beatles lyrics scribbled on scrap paper, and The Magna Carta, to name a few. It’s absolutely incredible to be surrounded by such history.
We also took in a view of the city on the London Eye.
And saw some really entertaining street performers.
And ate some ice cream. 🙂 Melissa and I never saw a shell-like ice cream “cone”.
And we visited Westminster Abbey. Photography is prohibited in most areas of the abbey, so I can’t share too much of my visit. But the abbey is stunning, and much larger than what I imagined. I had no idea that behind the alter we’ve all seen on television, there’s a huge section where kings and queens are entombed. Again, the history geek in me completely freaked out! Kings, queens, writers like Tennyson and Charles Dickens, and scientist Issac Newton are buried in the abbey.
And then – please don’t be too jealous 😉 – we spent a day at Harry Potter Studios London. It’s not an amusement park – it’s the actual sound stages that the movie was filmed on. And it totally honors all the people who worked behind the scenes to make the magic happen for all of us, which makes this television director very happy. 🙂 The amount of detail that went into every single aspect of the film series is astounding. I think I photographed every inch of the place!
Eventually, it was time to return to reality. I’ve been wanting to visit London since high school, and now it’s finally checked off my list. I have no idea where my next travel adventure will take me, but it will probably be somewhere here at home. A cab driver laughed at me about visiting London before seeing the Grand Canyon… She has a very good point. 🙂
So after a weekend of this – 50-70 mile an hour winds and two feet of snow:
And working this:
I needed a little bit of this:
After being cooped up inside at the TV station for two days, getting back outside was pretty exciting. Fresh air! Snow! Blue sky! Cute farm animals! (Except for the pig. The pig is not cute, and smells really bad.) Then there was this little face:
And this little guy, who was running all around the place:
Yes, it’s only February 11th. But as the rain falls outside, and the beautiful snow fall turns into disgusting slush and ice, baby farm animals are a sure sign that spring is right around the corner…right?!?!?!
It finally snowed! Last year, we had a trace amount of it. My snow shovel was never used. I think I wore my winter boots once, and never wore my down coat because it was never cold enough. Living in New England, that was downright SCARY. We’re used to wearing 18 layers at this time of year.
The city was silent when I got out of work last night. Very few people were out, and no one was on the road – I love how peaceful the city is during snow storms. Likewise, I love the country the morning after a storm.
I don’t live in the country, but the Middlesex Fells Reservation is a little taste of New Hampshire right outside of Boston. It’s a place of peace and serenity – even with the sound of highway traffic in the background, I love hiking and biking though there.
There’s only about five inches of snow on the ground, but it’s just enough. And it’s the kind that clings to everything, transforming the woods into a winter wonderland.
Not too many people were out. I pulled over in one section and discovered these animal tracks – there weren’t any human footprints around, so they’re from a deer, coyote, or something. Any animal track experts out there? I’m curious! 🙂
It’s beautiful. Serene. Calm. Peaceful. Quiet. The only sounds were birds chirping, and the occasional branch snapping under the weight of the snow. This was much needed after weeks of holiday craziness. A fresh blanket of snow to start 2013. Renewal. Happy New Year!
Fall roared into New England over the past week – like a flick of a switch, we went from 85+ degree, super humid weather to days that start in the 50’s and climb into cool, crisp autumn afternoons. Beach days turned into apple picking days overnight. I don’t know where summer went. All I know is that I’ve been incredibly busy balancing my full-time job with all the photography work I’ve been up to. I’m so incredibly grateful to the photographers who asked me to assist them on weddings over the past few weeks, and to the food photography clients I’ve been working for.
After a 15-day long work stretch between my full-time job and photography work, I was excited to take a much needed break yesterday. It was a perfect fall day, and Jeff and I headed to New Hampshire for his race car ride along experience I bought for him last Christmas. After that, we tried to find a place for lunch, but stumbled across a fair at Canterbury Shaker Village instead.
It was a photographer’s playground! Since Canterbury Shaker Village is a museum, they do not allow photography inside the buildings, which is really unfortunate. Not only was it incredibly interesting to see how a community was totally self sufficient, but the preservation efforts by the staff and volunteers is just incredible. Type presses, glass jars for medicine as well as canning, ovens, furniture, woodworking…
Food and craft vendors were set up on the village green. Jeff and I spent a good amount of time talking to Daryl from Red Fox Farm about his products and canning process. His canned garlic scapes were sooooo delicious, and Daryl suggested pairing them with smoked salmon. I’m looking forward to trying it out and photographing the dish!
With plenty of time left in the day (ahh, the benefits of waking up early!), we decided to go apple picking. We ended up nearby at Meadow Ledge Farm.
We picked a lot of cortland and macintosh apples… I don’t know what we’re going to do with all of these! Jeff’s planning on canning a bunch of them, but I’m thinking something baked… What’s your favorite apple recipe?
Oh, the best part of apple picking? Hot apple cider donuts!!!
It may feel like fall, but I’m not quite ready for these:
Maybe next time! There’s plenty of time for pumpkins. I’m still mourning summer. 😉