Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Early Saturday morning, when I took Benny for his walk around the pond, the temperature was an uncomfortable -16C (3F) with a windchill of -26C (-14F). Needless to say, neither one of us wanted to be out there for very long and there wasn't a single thing that caught my eye which I thought worth photographing.

Walking later in the day is different though. Temperatures rise to a balmy -6C (21F) and the sun's rays are warm and inviting. That's when Frank and I wander around the nearby paths with our favourite accessory. No, I mean aside from Benny. On cold days like this, we usually fill a small flask with a mixture of potables. This time it was coffee-flavoured Bolivar combined with Fireball Whiskey - a strong cinnamon liqueur. I've decided to name this concoction Boliball. Have a sip to warm yourself, and join us on our walk around the park.

Every spring, a small stream of melted snow forms along this mini valley which used to attract ducks, until coyotes began to wander through the park some years ago. The water is usually long gone by summer unless we have a particularly heavy rain. Here you can see that the thaw from warmer weather of ten days ago has recently refrozen.

The recent thaw also revealed a small thatch of moss growing at the base of this tree. It looks like spring. Birds sing, and so it sounds like spring. But the icy fingers that snapped this photo tell me that it still feels like the depths of winter. Let's have another sip and keep on moving.

That's ice all along the pathway, making this part of the walk a bit tricky. Luckily, the recent thaw melted the icy portion which covered the slope to the left. Up until then, there was always the risk that sliding off in that direction could result in a close encounter with the lake below.

Glancing down that slope, you can see a small cuff of ice formed around the base of one of the trees.

Enjoy another sip while we take a closer look at it.

As the sun begins to set, its gilded rays bathe everything in gold. If it wasn't so cold, I'd suggest we have a seat on this bench, but I know you'll want to move on.

Golden sunshine shines like a beacon on the water, and creates a metallic sheen upon the hilly shore.

Frank's shadow shimmers below, as his hand appears to be outlined in glowing sunshine. He was quite happy to pose like this long after I took this shot. Perhaps Frank has had a few too many sips...

These last two mystery images were taken indoors. Do you know what they are? I'll have the answers for you in a few days.

Mystery image #1.

Mystery image #2.


scarlethue said...

Oh oh, I know I know! A watch and a compact florescent bulb. Really like the bulb picture, by the way, the vibrant color and shape of the spiral are really interesting there.

In college I took a couple art classes, and in a drawing class we had an assignment to pick something pedestrian (for instance, I picked a toenail clipper), focus really closely on it, and draw part of it. It was supposed to help us focus on shape, lines, and shading rather than on drawing a whole object. Your pictures remind me of that. It's like a new way of seeing. :)

Heather said...

A watch bezel and an energy efficient light bulb. :)

Lovely photography as always.

ds said...

The top of a wristwatch and a curly lightbulb (the new, energy-efficient kind)!
Gorgeous photos, as always--but way too cold out there for me, boliball or no boliball.

Frank Baron said...

Terrific shot of the bench! Love the flare of the glare. :)

Too bad about that chunky guy blocking the sun on that other shot though...can't have everything I suppose....

skywind said...

Really cold weather. Carefully cold. :)

Reb said...

Love the close up of the ice cuff on the tree. I am going with the majority here and saying watch and light bulb.

Anonymous said...

You call -6C "balmy?" oh dear, i'm glad i live in California, it's right out dangerous there on that walking path with all that ice!

Zuzana said...

Aw, is it really that cold??? -26C, that is something I have not experienced since I was a child, living in the mountains. What I remember from that time was temps at -30C, even during daylight hours, but so wind-still, that the chill-factor was obsolete. Here in Denmark we are barely at -5C, but the wind is so strong at times and it is very humid, making the it feel MUCH colder.

Your pictures are as always very lovely. I guessed the wristwatch, but not the bulb.;) It looked like something edible to me.:P But judging from the other comments, I was wrong.;))

Anonymous said...

#2 is clearly a lightbulb, and I love the way you photographed it! #1 had me puzzled... but of course when others gave their guesses, it was obvious. (a "duh" moment for me)

That pathway looks awfully slick!
My favorites this time were the ice cuff and the tree trunk with moss. This time of year is tricky: today we are as cold here as you were the day you took these pictures, but by Saturday it will be 65-F. The bulb flowers aren't quite sure whether to pop up through the soil or not!

Country Girl said...

Oh, I love taking walks from the comfort of my couch. I'm sipping on some delicious coffee but am now thinking of adding a little something to it. Well, I'd better not. (Yet).
We have a snow day today! It's still coming down and we already have 6 inches. We rarely get this much snow in Maryland anymore.
Your photos are awesome, as always. I'm glad you stopped and zoomed in on that ice surrounding the little tree. I would have done the same thing.
Don't know what the first photo is but the second looks like one of those new energy saving lightbulbs. We've got them all over the place here.

Hilary said...

I loved your pics, and got them right away, but I see I wasn't alone.
Your walk sounds fun.....I would be hammered if I did tolerance.
How do you dare to walk on that icy path??? You are brave.

lime said...

1 is a winding stem on a watch and 2 is one of those new low energy bulbs.

the thaw is deceptive isn't it? we finally had almost all the snow melt away and now we are getting more as it blusters and blows.

HanamiGallery said...

it looked like a nice day outside despite how cold it was! spring is definitely on the way and i can not wait for it!

Shammickite said...

Yes, I agree with your assessment of the cold weather... always good to have a little "extra warmth" available in the flask on those frigid walks by the pond. I see previous commenters have solved the two puzzle pics but let it be known that I was going to say a watch bezel and a curly light bulb!!! I was in B'ville yesterday visiting YoungerSon and preggyDIL.... it was cold there too!

Louise said...

Your commentary made me laugh!

I really love the photo with the ice at the base of the tree, as well as both of the mystery ones.

My guesses are: #1--pocket watch, #2--door knob???

Jinksy said...

I think the sapling in the water was wearing a ballet tutu, ready to dance in the arms of Spring! x

Pat - Arkansas said...

I enjoyed my walk with you, but I'm freezing, and I have no Boliball! Wonderful photos, Hilary. You had a steady hand; Frank must have consumed most of the potables. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

The ice covered hillside was just beautiful. Lovely pics as usual and so thoughtful of you to provide refreshment on the walk.

I'll agree that mystery #1 is a wind-up watch.
As for #2, I don't know. Just to be different I'll say it's one of those twirly honey spoons.

Mental P Mama said...

I had fun on our walk. But now I feel tipsy.

Daryl said...

#1 is watch stem on wrist. #2 is one of those energy saving lightbulbs

Love all the park pix but especially the bench

Anonymous said...

LOVE the photo of Frank and Benny! Very cool shot.
I have no idea on those mystery shots.

It is amazing to watch the seasons change through your eyes.. I very much enjoy the way you take us through the season of your life.

Suldog said...

I was going to say the first was a roller on a vacuum cleaner, but the "watch" answer sounds right to me.

I love the shots, as usual. Something special about sunlight on a cold day. Very nice.

Cheffie-Mom said...

The shadow shot is great. The sun helps make beautiful photos. (: And I'm guessing the first mystery shot is a watch, the second, ummmmm.....

HeatherPride said...

A watch and a lightbulb? Cool pictures - I especially love the little nest of green moss amid all the brown. I saw a robin here the other day and I'm SOOOO ready for spring!!

Andrea said...

I was out in that cold too! And it was uncomfortable...although Sophie just seemed to barrel right through it! I agree with the guesses that are here on the last two images...great shots!! :)

blunoz said...

I figured out the watch, but not the fluorescent bulb.

Nancy said...

A watch with the little "turnie thing" for #1 and a florescent bulb for #2. And I knew it before reading the first response! :-)

I love your ideas about the little sips - on our next outing I'm going to bring a little something along for the cold. Great combinations.

sunday q said...

i love your blog...avid follower, you inspire me!! your pics truly move me!! please follow my blog...

Dave said...

I enjoyed our walk and sips from your flask Hilary. It made the walk in the cold worthwhile... - Dave

Dave said...

P.S. Haven't a clue what your objects are. - Dave

Anonymous said...

I am sitting at my desk, the room temp is mid 70s, and I am feeling the cold from our walk. Beautiful photos. You do catch what needs to be seen and felt. Thank you.

the Bag Lady said...

Watch and lightbulb - those were my picks before I read the comments. Sounds like I'm in the majority.

Great photos as always, Hilary! Now I'm going to go find some "potables"!!

Tired Dad said...

A close up of a wristwatch, and a tight shot of a CFL bulb :) We had a chilly weekend here as well, but nothing like yours. Thanks for the pictures!

Hilary said...

Well the watch and lightbulb were far too easy. I'll have to make it more difficult the next time I try this. :) Thanks for the kind words about the photos, Scarlethue. Much appreciated. What you described sure does sound like the artist's version of macro photography. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• You got it, Heather. And thanks kindly for the thoughtful comment. :)

• Right answers, DS. It was way too cold out, but really the Boliball helps considerably. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks muchly, Frank. I love the chunky guy - he's cute, fun, great company on walks and has a goofy sense of humour. And I like the guy holding his leash too. ;)

• Yes, Skywind.. very carefully cold! :) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Reb. I'm glad you liked that pic. And yes, majority rules here for those pics. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Jeannette, I may have been just a teensy bit facetious about our weather being balmy but that path truly is tricky to navigate. Luckily it's only a short section of it and not the full path. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Protege, yes - the wind is the worst part of the winter. An otherwise bearable day can feel brutal with strong winds. I'll be glad when this season is done. I could easily believe that the light bulb photo was some sort of whipped creamy dessert.. or a candy of some sort too. That's probably just wishful thinking. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, KC. I'd love to know how you do that 65F recovery after a bitter cold snap trick please! We're supposed to have above-freezing temperatures by the end of the week. We can hope. Thanks for stopping by and playing along. :)

• Thanks for sharing your cup of coffee with me, Kate. I'm sure you could let me convince you to add a wee bit of something to it. I saw your snow photos and they're lovely. Personally, I've had enough of the white stuff, but I'm glad it makes you happy. :) Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Hilary but I think you answered your own question as to how we navigate the icy pathways... we were hammered at the time. I guess that some of those nips weren't so tiny. ;) Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks for playing, Lime. You're correct of course. And yes, the thaw is very deceptive. There's little snow to be found but it's incredibly cold. I'd rather have it the other way around.. snowy but mild. But I don't usually get my way. By the way, your knee comment over at Sully's blog totally cracked me up. Thanks for that laugh. :)

• I hear you, HG. I'm every bit as anxious for spring as you are. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Shammie, clearly you know how to fortify yourself on a winter's walk. ;) It's probably even colder in B'ville than it is here, since it's closer to the lake. I'm about to find out first-hand tomorrow. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Fess up, Louise. You were laughing because you were accepting those sips, now weren't you? ;) Thanks for the kind words. You were half right on the guesses. The second one was a light bulb. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• And that's why you're the poet, Jinsky. You just breathed new life into that photo. Thank you. :)

• Pat, the next time you come walking with us, YOU get to hold the flask. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk in spite of the cold. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Leah. I was certain somebody might think it was a honey spoon, so I'm glad you didn't disappoint me. I'm glad you liked the photos. As always, your kind words are always very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, MPM but that just adds to part two of the walk's activities - Blogger-Tipping! Thanks for joining us. :)

• That's my personal favourite too, Daryl - along with tipsy Frank. Thanks for stopping by and playing along. :)

• What a sweet thing to say, MT. I'm thrilled to have you along for the journey. Thanks so much for your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Sully. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• You guessed right, Cheffie. And the other answer is in the comments above. Thanks so much for the always-kind comments. :)

• Thanks, Heather. I'm so with you about spring-readiness. We've been seeing robins for about a month now, which I find perplexing, since it's been so cold. I can't ever recall seeing them before late March. Hopefully they know something that we don't. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Andrea. I hope you and Sophie keep warm out there on the trails. Thanks for kind words. :)

• Thanks for playing along, Kevin. :)

• Thanks L of L. I'm glad I inspired you to develop a drinking habit.. I mean to enjoy something to sip on when out in the cold. ;) Thanks for playing along.. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Sunday Q. Very much appreciated. I'll pop over to your blog sometime after I'm done replying to comments. Thanks for the invite, and for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Dave. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk and the sippers. Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Sizzie. I appreciate your kind words, but I'm envious of your warm temperatures. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Baggie. I appreciate your playing along. I'm especially glad that you're off to enjoy some portable potables. ;)

• Thanks for playing along, Tired Dad. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

Sandra said...

I got the light bulb, but I didn't get the watch until I read scarlethue's comment. I love pictures that aren't clear what they are -- always fun to guess!

photowannabe said...

My goodness that's too cold for me. thanks for you sacrifice to the cause and taking such beautiful pictures. the icy path looks a bit scary to me.
I always enjoy coming here and seeing what you have to post.

steviewren said...

I'm cold just looking at your need to come alone on the walk...I might freeze! Keep walking or you might freeze too!

Indrani said...

Oooh! I am late!
Mystery image 1 was easy but couldn't make out the second image.
You are going to post more difficult mystery images? I wonder what they will be?!

SandyCarlson said...

Such a beautiful, balmy (!!!) walk! Great shots. I love the mushroom-like ice on the slender tree.

Beautiful spring light, too!

G said...

Wonderful pics... as a fellow resident of SW ontario, I can imagine how good your boliboll must have been during that cold walk. As for the mystery pics, I'm guessing a watch and a low-energy light bulb.

Melissa said...

That's funny, I got the watch right away, and then I thought "compact flourescent" but then I rejected that. None of ours are that pretty. So...???

And I LOVE the idea of taking the portable potable along on the walk. I think I'll incorporate that into my treadmill routine. Bound to help....

carmilevy said...

While driving the munchkins to school this morning, I noticed how the really cold, really dry air had painted the landscape in a muted tone. The frost from overnight had settled onto the grass as the humidity and temperature dropped, leaving an almost greyish tinge to the day - this despite the fact that the sun was shining brilliantly.

So cool that you saw a similar effect in your own photos.

Tabor said...

I have been away...obviously for quite a while! I didn't even try to guess.

Dianne said...

I'm terrible at guessing - I thought they were both earrings lol

I love the photo of the ice clinging to the tree in the water - looked a bit like a magical footprint

and Benny looks like he's sniffing at Frank's shadow :)

Does Benny carry a flask as well? ;)

Jo said...

That cuff of ice is incredibly beautiful!

Image No. 1 is a watch fob?

Image No. 2 -- newfangled light bulb?

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

My guess would be a CFL as well. These were lovely Hilary, I love the thought of Benny frolicking in the cold!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

My guess would be a CFL as well. These were lovely Hilary, I love the thought of Benny frolicking in the cold!

Russell said...

Here it is Thursday afternoon and I am just seeing your nice post! I liked the image of the bench the best. All the photographs were quite good, but that bench looks most inviting.

Take care and thanks for letting us walk along with you and Frank and Benny!

Hilary said...

* Thanks very much, Sandra. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'll have the full photos of those two images up soon. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

* Thanks kindly, Sue. The path was a bit tricky to navigate but not too bad. Thanks for the kind words. :)

* All thawed out now, Steviewren. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Never too late, Indrani. I'm glad you stopped by. I wonder what they'll be too. Right now I haven't anything in mind.. but soon! :)

* Thanks kindly, Sandy. I'm glad you liked the shots. Your kind comments are always very much appreciated. :)

* Thanks very much BPG. Your guesses were quite right. I understand we're to get warmer weather over the next few days. We'll be switching over from Boliball to Mojitos before you know it. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thank you, Melissa. I'll bet your treadmill workouts are going to get a lot more interesting from now on. ;) Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. :)

* Thanks, Carmi. I've seen that look a lot this very long, very cold winter. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before we see shades of green in our respective landscapes. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

* Dianne, I'm thinking that when you dress up, you wear some very flamboyant earrings. ;) Thanks for your kind words about the photo. Yes he does carry his own flask.. filled with Bour-Ben, of course. ;)

* Glad you see you here now, Tabor. Thanks for dropping by. :)

* You got them right, Jo. Thanks for playing along. And thanks for your kind words. :)

* Spamity-spam!

* Thanks very much, MG. He does have his fun in the cold.. and the warmth.. and doing just about anything. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks always for joining us, Russell. I'm glad you came along and I appreciate your kind words. :)

Woman in a Window said...

Well, i know the mystery images but then I'm so so late. That shot of Frank lifting his arm though, it is another moment that is mighty fine.

Susan English Mason said...

These shots are all great and I especially liked the ones of the ice ring on the bottom of the branch. My favorite was the photo of Frank and Benny with the light shining in around the edges.

white crow said...

i want to eat this bulb, looks DELICIOUS!!!

Hilary said...

• Thanks very kindly, WIAW. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Susan. I kind of like that one myself - particularly the subject matter. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• More power to you, White Crow. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)