Tag Archives: winter

warmth.

Standard

after yet another unique and powerful winter storm

with lots and lots and lots of

heavy, wet, beautiful, pure white snow

i woke up early to a power outage

spending my morning in the library

with coffee, power bars, and locals

powering up, reading, talking, and writing

watching as a lovely grandmother

kneels down to her young grandson’s level

as she very patiently and quietly

teaches him and then lets him

check out each of his very own books

one by one

gently guiding him as he goes

only when he needs it

 when he proudly finishes his work

he loads each into his own little backpack

she helps him

put on each woolen mitten and zips up his coat

he holds onto her leg as she slowly stands

 they very naturally cradle their hands together

as they make their way out of the library

 back out into the world with beautiful white snow

what a simple yet powerful act of love

that warms me

more than this comfortable and welcoming building ever will

it’s always the people within who do that.

“if a family has an old person in it, it possesses a jewel.”

-chinese proverb

undecided.

Standard

march arrives and mother nature sits undecided

 

 

“the seasons change their manner,

as the year had found some months asleep and leapt them over.”

-william shakespeare

 

 

 

ann arbor, mi, usa – march 2023 – mlive photo credit

thunder ice.

Standard

*the thunder ice cometh. 

 

“thou art all ice. thy kindness freezes.”

-william shakespeare

 

*Yes, Thunder Ice is a real thing. 

Thundersnow is so last year.

This week in the U.S. there have been a few reports of “thunder ice” or “thunder-freezing rain.” It’s basically a thunderstorm during freezing rain or sleet.

“It’s not something we see very often, but it does happen from time to time and that’s what we experienced across the country,” said Chris Bowman, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “It’s fairly unusual,” he said. “You get pretty heavy rainfall rates and obviously with temperatures below freezing it happens.”

How does all of this happen? Convection — upward motion of air — helps produce thunderstorms. But it’s fairly rare to have convection within a winter storm. Thunder and lightning are much more common in warm-season thunderstorms. When there’s strong enough convection, along with plenty of moisture available, a winter storm can produce thundersnow. And when there’s a layer of warm air above a colder surface layer, freezing rain and sleet falls while the thunder is booming – thunder ice. 

*yoopers.

Standard
I
It took a month to make some of the incredible snow sculptures that were part of the annual Michigan Technological University Winter Carnival. Phi Kappa Tau extended its winning streak to five years with a huge rendition of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. (Photo: Daniel Staelgraeve | Michigan Technological University)
what you do in the winter (and sometimes in may),
when you go to college in the upper peninsula of michigan
* yooper – a native or inhabitant of the upper peninsula of michigan
 “i wrote, and sometimes, when i was stuck, i hit the road.
i ate pasties in the upper peninsula and hush puppies in cairo.
i did my best not to write about any place i had not been.”
– neil gaiman

naliqqaittuq.

Standard

snow day yesterday at last

 a really good day to stay home from school

Inuit in Canada’s North have their own unique names for the months of the year. Aseena Mablick, an announcer for CBC Nunavut’s Inuktitut-language radio program Tausunni, has been collecting information on the names of the months in Inuktitut for years.

Mablick says one of the reasons she’s sharing this now is to “keep the language.”The names in Inuktitut are interconnected with the environment and wildlife surrounding the Inuit in Canada’s North.”It’s a truthful and honest calendar for people who are living over here, everyday, like us,” she says. “We just follow mother nature’s ways for naming the calendar.”

Each region in Nunavut has its own unique names for the calendar, and Mablick shared with us just two of the regions she’s looked into — Baffin region (also known as the Qikiqtaaluk Region) and Nunavik (northern Quebec).

January In Nunavik, January is “Naliqqaittuq”, literally meaning “nobody’s able to compete with it,” says Mablick. “It has to do with the coldest weather in that month.”

January is called “Qaummagiaq” in the Baffin region. It means “bright day coming back.”

meanwhile in ann arbor…

==

credits: cbc news (north), aseena mablick, deadline detroit

partly cloudies.

Standard

when walking by the river

 

“today is one of those excellent january partly cloudies

in which light chooses an unexpected part of the landscape to trick out in gilt,

and then the shadow sweeps it away.

you know you’re alive. you take huge steps,

trying to feel the planet’s roundness arc between your feet.”

-annie dillard

 

 

huron river, argo park, ann arbor, mi, usa – january 2023

in the dark of december.

Standard

 

“i heard a bird sing in the dark of december.

a magical thing.

and sweet to remember.

we are nearer to spring than we were in september.

i heard a bird sing in the dark of december.”

 -oliver herford

 

art credit: “Winter Moon”, photograph by Ginette Brosseau
This dark winter landscape photo was taken not far from her home
along the shores of the St. Lawrence river in Quebec.

essence of life.

Standard

 picture from a past solstice celebration

every year

one of my favorite things to teach and share with my class

is the story and traditions of the winter solstice

i get to play the sun

the children play the tilting earth and the seasons

who spin and dance and throw snow

as the season changes

the sun stays in the middle

offering extra light

to the other side of the earth now tilting toward it

knowing it will always return to them

even as our days grow shorter

they quietly rest on the ground

waiting, waiting

only to emerge

when the time is right

  happy to dance once more

in the light of the warm spring sun.

*notes: here is my recipe for the winter solstice, and many thanks to all for your low-tech special effects support of this performance: torn paper snowflakes made by the children, many smiles, a bit of dizziness, a sun doing an interpretive dance, a person to turn off and on the classroom lights at just the right moment, a flashlight, a yellow paper sun, a dj to play the music (‘carol of the bells’ by george winston, and ‘here comes the sun’ by the beatles) at just the right time, and a class full of kinder/whirling twirling planets throwing snow, lying down, and awakening as emerging new life in the spring when the sun returns. somehow it all falls into place, each year a bit differently, as is the way of the world. 

“spiritually, life is a festival, a celebration. joy is the essence of life.”

-agnivesh