first nor’easter of the season

3.12.23 ~ Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

How very strange to go through December, January and February without a single nor’easter! And to finally get one in March. Who knows? This may be the last one I had a chance to anticipate before the move. I’ve always enjoyed the drama and excitement these storms bring with them.

A Nor’easter is a storm along the East Coast of North America, so called because the winds over the coastal area are typically from the northeast. These storms may occur at any time of year but are most frequent and most violent between September and April. … Nor’easters usually develop in the latitudes between Georgia and New Jersey, within 100 miles east or west of the East Coast. These storms progress generally northeastward and typically attain maximum intensity near New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. They nearly always bring precipitation in the form of heavy rain or snow, as well as winds of gale force, rough seas, and, occasionally, coastal flooding to the affected regions.
~ National Weather Service website

the Canada goose couple, back to claim their nesting island in the pond

We took a nice long walk at the nature center the day before this nor’easter arrived. So delighted to see mama and papa goose swimming around the pond together. We first saw mama sitting on her island nest on the last day of March last spring. We kept checking back and got to see her little goslings exploring the world near the end of April. Maybe we’ll get to do it again this year.

reindeer lichen clinging to branches reaching out over the pond
catkins and reindeer lichen

Our ancestors spoke to storms with magical words, prayed to them, cursed them, and danced for them, dancing to the very edge of what is alien and powerful — the cold power of ocean currents, chaotic winds beyond control and understanding. We may have lost the dances, but we carry with us a need to approach the power of the universe, if only to touch it and race away.
~ Kathleen Dean Moore
(Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World)

daffodils across the street
back in the woods

But, as it turned out, there wasn’t much to get excited about this time — for us. It started raining Monday afternoon and rained and rained. The wind blew and blew. Tuesday evening there were a few snowflakes in the mix but nothing to stick. We didn’t even get the coating to 3 inches of snow predicted for the coastline here. But I see things are much different inland…

26 thoughts on “first nor’easter of the season”

    1. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten snow like your 13 inches! But it’s still very windy here, too.

  1. Those daffodils are gorgeous, Barbara! But I can’t help being glad for you that Mother Nature was blessedly kind! Rain, of course, can be a complete mess, but at least you’re not having to shovel heavy, wet snow!

    1. Daffodils are such sunny bonnets! 🙂 You know, when I was younger and before Tim retired, one of my great pleasures in life was getting up early in the morning after a snowstorm, shoveling out and starting the car before he had to leave for work. I enjoyed breathing in the cool air and stretching my muscles. It was very meditative. But now that the cold gets to me I’m kind of glad I don’t have to do that anymore!

    1. The lack of snow was very disappointing, but, not having to shovel around the car and off the balcony was secretly a relief!

  2. How nice to have the storm be less dramatic than you thought it would be. So many nice hints of Spring in your photos. What a lovely walk.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I was kind of hoping for one last nor’easter to remember New England by, but it wasn’t to be. So onto to the gifts of springtime!

    1. I remember being in Norway in May and it still felt like winter most of the time. There were people on vacation carrying skis on the train ride across the Hardangervidda!

  3. I especially enjoyed the”back in the woods” tree trunk. It reminded me of a birds feet clawing into the ground.

    I have been secretly hoping that you would move to where your daughter and grandchildren live! I held myself back because I didn’t want to influence such an important and tremendous move. It is very challenging at our age and the older we get it seems undoable. Possibly will miss the snow occasionally. I can really relate to the change of feeling colder as I have aged.

    Now that I’ve been diagnosed with congestive heart disease: I’m in stage four and stage five is hospice/ death. I do not fear death.. It’s been three months since the ambulance and 12 days in ICU. It was 36 days before I felt confident that I could take care of her and myself. She has been home for less than a week and she is waiting patiently for a walk on the bay. I’m no longer using a walker to support myself from falling. I understand that the fatigue and congestive heart fluid will continue as my heart cannot pump the fluid so it goes to the feet first swelling and works it’s way up my body as well as leaving a large amount in my lungs which is what causes the difficulties to breathe. This repeats the rest of my living days. My lifestyle has changed in a moments notice, but I determined to make the best of what little time I have left. So bay walk is on my short to be soon list for my Yorkers and me!

    Note I have a new email address… P.S. I’m glad that you remembered me.

    1. Correction! Yorkiw has been home twenty days!! Overdue for that bay walk. I’ve been so sick that it’s disorienting. I spoke with one of my neighbors this morning who helped a few days at the beginning with laundry and she told me that I wasn’t able to remember how to do things such as how my washing machine, microwave and stove worked. At the time frame I was so fatigued that’s I was grateful to make it from my bed to the bathroom to potty. I thought I had permanent memory loss of important life skills.

      I remember at the hospital requesting Morphine because the pain was unbearable. A psychiatrist over video interviewed me to determine the request and he approved Morphine. I don’t know how much or how often it was administered. Mostly the hospital was a trauma terrifying experience. But I do remember the first time the Morphine was like a rainbow of swirling colors coming out of a Jeanie’s lamp! Quickly sleeping and out of pain! Have you or any of your readers experienced Morphine?

      I will never call an ambulance again! My lessons have been learned. It’s not a place for a delicate person as I am. I have no interest to live to a hundred like so many people. I’ve had a good life, long enough to be happy with all I have enjoyed and contributed to society.

      1. It is pretty amazing how well trees can wrap their roots around big rocks. I’m sorry to take so long to respond to your comments, TD, we’ve been so busy interviewing real estate agents and starting to pack and making decisions about what to take and what to sell or donate… As you say, this is challenging at our age and emotionally exhausting. But the goal is worth the effort.

        That must have been difficult not having Yorkie around because you couldn’t care for her yet, and I’m glad the two of you are finally reunited. I’m sorry to hear that your prognosis isn’t that hopeful but I admire your determination to make the best of it. Quality of life is more important to me than quantity or length of it and it sounds like your life has been well lived. I’m looking forward to hearing about your bay walk with Yorkie when it happens!

        You’ve endured a lot of pain and suffering in the past months and it makes sense to let nature take its course when the time comes. My father was of the same mindset in his last months and I think I will feel the same when my time comes. His realistic approach the end of his life taught me many things. He had had too many ambulance rides to the hospital for broken bones and finally for a blood clot in his lung. When the doctor told us he was too frail to be successfully treated we brought him home and he died peacefully in his sleep a couple of months later.

        Yes, I have had morphine once, back in November 2019 when I wound up in the emergency department with acute ischemic colitis. It relieved the pain but I don’t remember any visual effects. I probably wasn’t given as much as you needed for your pain.

        Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, TD. Of course I missed you!

        1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply! Although I don’t know you well, I did think that you would understand it all. I’m glad that you did!

  4. Glad it missed you, Barbara! We had brief flurries way down our way, mostly rain, but the worse was the sustaining winds 25+mph that made our mid-30’s much colder feeling. Almost brutal, lol, we forgot what a cold winter felt like. I hope that was the last of winter! So nice to see your Canada Geese back, isn’t it amazing how they return to their ‘spot’ each year too? 🙂 Love that reindeer lichen, I’ve got to look into it further. I think we have it hear or something like it. Got me wondering now! 😉

    1. Those nor’easters bring their own special kind of raw and bitter winds and coastal flooding. A little dose of winter is a good reminder to feel grateful for the spring weather we’ll soon enjoy! 🙂 I was wondering how early we would see the Canada goose couple because last year she was already sitting on her nest when we discovered her at the end of March. According to Wikipedia, reindeer lichen “grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. Found primarily in areas of alpine tundra, it is extremely cold-hardy.”

  5. I really enjoyed this celebration of the nor’easters, Barbara. Having grown up in the midwest, and spending most of my adulthood in California, I only heard about nor’easters but never really knew much about them. I liked both the explanation from the National Weather Service, and KDM’s quote, as well as your appreciation for them. Wonderful photos, too. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Jet. It’s interesting the broad range of climates and weather patterns we have in this country. It sounds like you folks on the west coast are experiencing your own onslaught of severe storms, albeit with different features. I hope you and Athena are okay. Now I wonder what storms will be like in North Carolina…

  6. I enjoyed your walk at the Nature Center and recognized its name right away as the place you saw Mama and Papa Goose and awaited the arrival of the goslings – this was the same time as I awaited the goslings from Mama Goose at Heritage Park. They are a fine-looking pair. Look at all the color you have there Barbara and this is likely about 10 days ago (as I’m perpetually behind and I think that nor’easter hit last Tuesday). No color here at all. The Daffodils and the moss seems brighter than usual. Well it is good you missed the nor’easter’s big show as you’re busy planning for your next phase of life, so it is just as well you didn’t have to deal with it – there may be more Winter out there for a Winter swan song for you and Tim before you exit Connecticut. We are having rain morph into snow Friday into Saturday. Sigh.

    1. I hope we’ll have time to check on mama and papa goose as the days go by… It’s supposed to rain (with possibly a little sleet mixed in) this weekend so we’re going to keep on packing. Yesterday it was foggy and misty all day long. There are so many places I want to visit one last time before we leave…

      1. Do you have a definite departure date then Barbara? Winter lingering on will complicate making a last visit to each of your favorite places. I hope it warms up a little for you. We have similar ugly weather coming tonight and Saturday – rain/fog/wintry precip and very high winds from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday then on Monday, more wintry precip. I saw “my” Mama goose sitting on the eggs at Heritage Park on April 2nd last year then they hatched and I got two sets of photos of the goslings a week apart to use for a Mother’s Day post, so I will be on the lookout in the next few weeks down at Council Point Park as well. For all the goslings I see at Council Point Park, I’ve never seen a goose sitting on a nest and we usually have 3-4 families each year.

        1. No definite departure date, it depends on when we close on the condo. We plan to list it in May so we hope it will sell soon after that. There’s a housing shortage in our area because Electric Boat got more submarine contracts and is hiring even more workers. I hope that works to our advantage for a quick sale. I think we will be able to see mama goose a few times before we go, if we can take a break from packing long enough to get out there. Good luck finding a goose sitting on her nest this year!

          1. You lucked out then picking a good time to sell – I wish you luck and hopefully one last time at your favorite haunts. I will go next Sunday to Heritage Park – they have an Easter egg hunt and Easter Bunny festivities next Saturday. Can’t believe Easter is nearly around the corner!

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