No Snow For You!

Recently an article in the Burlington Free Press noted how “northern New England’s ski industry is viewing the upcoming season with optimism.” I guess they are looking more at weather as a determining factor to their success than at the “economy.” But the weather is looking a little warm lately. Often ski resorts try to open by Thanksgiving. That ain’t happenin’ round here. Apparently the latest first measurable snowfall in Burlington is December 7th. That was back in 1937. We may just set a new record this year. Whoo-hoo with no exclamation marks.

In the past century there have been only three years when the first measurable snow came in December (1915, 1937, 1948). Make that four by including 2009. We have certainly had rain lately. There is more snow falling on this blog than on Hinesburg. Ah well. It has made for some pleasurable running, and my son played outside all day today without worrying his mother about frostbite. Everything has a silver lining, eh?

Nonetheless, it would be good to see some snow. If it is going to be cold, it might as well be cold enough for snow. And if it’s cold enough for snow we might as well have snow. When the sky hints of snow the children are ready to bust out the sleds. Easy there, children. The ground needs to freeze for any snow to stick around. And it looks like that might not happen for a while. Keep those sleds in the garage, kids. Get out the bikes.

Tomorrow I plan to head out for a longish run, maybe eleven miles if I feel up to it again. It will be warm enough to run without a hat. Without gloves. With some skinny little layers. I certainly won’t be worrying about frostbite. And the soft ground is better for my body, what with all the steps that happen in eleven miles and all that.  Making lemonade, that’s what I’m doing. I know there are plenty of curmudgeons out there who love it when the weather is mild. To them I say, Florida awaits. December is here. Let it snow.

The weather gods, however, have not received the proper sacrifice yet. They wait for it, telling us with relish, “No snow for you!” Yes ma’am. I’ll be slaughtering a lamb some time this weekend.

Photo Deconstruction

I let my son handle the camera for the first time yesterday.  He has seen me use it, and his sister.  He has see lots of photos.  So he has a basic understanding of what to do and of what makes a good photo.  But could he take a good one?  His sister has managed to take some winners.  So I had high hopes. Here is his very first one, and what I make of it:

The Boy's First Go at the Camera

The Boy's First Go at the Camera

First, notice that he did his best to aim at what he identifies as me.  He did cut off the top of my head.  Well, OK, he pretty much beheaded me.  But he is not tall.  He is a kid.  He looks at my torso more than at my face anyway.  So I think he was going for what he wanted to capture.

Notice as well the framing.  He didn’t place me in the center of the frame. I am off to the side.  In this way, he is able to include some of the background to give the subject some context. Smart kid, that.  The mail waiting to go out, the uncapped water bottle, the clock on the wall–all are clues to what this scene is about.

Notice as well the dorky sweater.  It was cold in the morning and I tossed that thick baby on to keep from getting chilled.  But by taking the photo when I am wearing it he will have some fuel to rib his old man down the road.  “Look at that dorky sweater!” he will proclaim.  “You were/are so uncool.”

You may be able to tell as well that the focus is soft.  He was going for a warm look.  As I said, it was cool in the house, so the slightly less than sharp focus lends a somewhat homey quality, makes it feel warmer.

So he got it all right.  He took a video later in the day, when his sister got off the bus.  That was a hoot.  He’s got potential.  Do we have a filmmaker in the future?  Or a photojournalist? Or maybe just someone who knows how use a camera?  Time will tell, eh?