Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Strikes Back

The Mid-week Stroll

Wednesday was a cool but sunny day with only the occasional breeze out of the north.  The forecast was for rainy weather, so Caro and I thought to take advantage of the nice weather.  We hoped to follow up on the nice experience that Ric and I had had the week before. 

We strolled through the front gardens back to the Sasebo Japanese Garden.  As is so often the case, it was empty.  We enjoyed the koi, the winter views of the garden without the foliage that screened them in summer.

We took a brief stroll past the screwbean mesquite.  Eventually, we got back to the Vitex Plaza and watched the wood ducks.  The tame ones came right up to us while we were on the lower steps. 

Snow in the Garden

Thursday the predicted storm rolled in and by Friday morning we had 3" of snow on the ground.  More than we had expected, we saw that Ric was e-mailing us early about going to the garden for snowy photographs.  By the time I'd shoveled the drive and called him, he had left for the gardens. 

As it turns out, the entire city was on 2-hour delay, including the gardens.  Ric had been turned away by locked gates.  We caught up with him at 11:00 and the three of us headed back. 

We had the garden to ourselves.  The paths were largely clear and for the the next 2½ hours we enjoyed the winter scenery, photographing with abandon.  Every view was fresh and new.  Crocus poking out from the snow, dark Vitex branches topped with snow, bamboo tunnels frosted white, Japanese lanterns covered with 3" of frosting, roadrunners in the snow.  We got to leave the first footprints in the virgin snow as we got farther back. 

While Ric and Caro took standard photos, I was able to capture photo spheres of the garden and connect them into a constellation.  We stopped at the farmhouse to enjoy some hot tea from my thermos before feeding the ducks at the pond.  Ric and Caro came away with some great wood duck shots. 

The Winter Wool Festival

The snow resumed on Friday night.  By Saturday morning we had 6" and it was looking grim for my volunteer work at the Winter Wool Festival.  Indeed, soon there was an e-mail and then the follow-up phone call--the BioPark was closed (along with most of the city).  Within two days the snow was gone (except the piles I shoveled off the driveway).  The Festival has been rescheduled for this Saturday, so stay tuned for that. 


Another storm brought a brief nighttime rain shower followed by what was to be a cold and party cloudy day.  We picked up Ric and headed for the Crest.  There the wind was biting and the clouds stayed in place all day.  But we had a grand time snowshoeing over to High Finance (closed on Tuesdays) and then back through the woods, which were mercifully protected from the wind. 

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