"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “winter

Happy Place: Weekly Photo Challenge

Krista Stevens at WordPress challenged bloggers this week with this prompt “Have you ever felt like the world was being a bit too rowdy? Where things and people were pushing in, crowding out your quiet thoughts — the ones that need time and space to surface?”     Yes, Krista, yes. 

My number one Happy Place cuddling a grandchild in my arms, getting them to smile or the growing up grandchildren sitting next to me on the couch, reading a book or playing a game.  Laughing with grandchildren is the best.

And there’s the knitting I go to-another happy place- a form of meditation, the repetition-  but this post shows my kitchen where I can ward off winter chills (or autumn chills) and feel all is right in the world.  (Even if it’s not.)

——————————–resposted from original December 2011———————-

First Day of Winter Still Life in My Kitchen

Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.

You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees.  The shortest day of light.  Winter officially here.

Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon.  It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.

Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene

Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.

A faithful  blog reader in Virgina, C, (and  best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was  J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year.  The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.

I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered.  Finding the joy of winter.  My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it.  i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street.  I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.

Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.

Tulips in the Sun

Last week I borrowed Erika’s pink tulips in Ohio and put the vase outside in the snow to photograph the contrast.

Perhaps you saw that post.

My sister is the one who said, “Buy Spring flowers like the Germans did when you lived in Germany” and I took her advice.

This morning I went to the market to get some fresh produce and a bunch of tulips was 4.99 which I thought was well worth it. They’re from Virginia.

What a different feeling a bouquet of Spring tulips can bring to your spirit.

“We lost an hour of winter”, Mary told me when we set the clocks forward.

This afternoon the sun came in through the dining room window but it didn’t hit the table so I put the vase on the floor to catch the light.

Hope for Imminent Spring could be another title.


p.s. My sister wrote an early email after she saw the Tulips in the Sun post to ask me   “did you remember to put the 3 pennies in the water?  It make the tulips last longer. Hint from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.”

Tulips in the sun

and Happy Monday Birthday to my dear friend V. xxoo

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them – Guest Poet Timons Esaias- Originally Posted 2-19-2010

First posted in February 2010 and again in 2013.  Thanks Timons Esaias Guest Poet

Sidewalk Shoveled

Tim’s Poem Came to Mind as I Admired the Concrete First Time in Two Weeks – Photographed Feb 2010

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

Originally there were eleven Commandments

Moses, perhaps confused by the unfamiliar

snow, ice, and sidewalk,

botched one, and left it out.

But Buddha said that though Life is Pain,

falling on ice is gratuitous pain

and those who cause it, by neglect,

should never escape the Wheel of Rebirth;

and Lao-Tzu agreed, for those who will not

clear the path will never find the Way.

Zoroaster, in the endless war of light

against ice, demanded diligence;

claimed that those who surrender

the public way to the Enemy

have empty souls,

can scarcely be regarded as human.

The Prophet, regarding sidewalks and snow,

is silent; but his sura

Sand Drifting Against the Caravanserai Gate

is thought to apply. The condemnation there

is brutal and eternal.

Plato counted safe sidewalks as fundamental

to the ideal Republic, noting that those remiss

in this clear duty lacked all character;

and his pupil – perceptive, immortal Aristotle-

further declared, famously, that

lack of character

is destiny.

-Timons Esaias
Timons Esaias is a writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His short stories, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in fourteen languages. He has had over a hundred poems in print, including Spanish, Swedish and Chinese translations, in such markets as 5AM, Bathtub Gin, Main Street Rag, Willard & Maple, Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball and many others. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the Asimov’s Readers Award. His poetry chapbook, The Influence of Pigeons on Architecture, sold out two editions. He is Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. Program. This poem was originally published in hotmetalpoets.com when it existed.
This entry was posted on February 19, 2010. It was filed under poetry, Things in the Snow and was tagged with city scene, HIghland Park, photo of the day, photography, Pittsburgh, Poem, poet, poetry, shovel, sidewalk, snow, Timons Esaias, urban scene, winter scene.

16 responses

Too deep for me.

February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am Edit

Toni Kichi
Makes me happy that our sidewalks are clear and clean – thanks to Mike!! I couldn’t handle all those punishments! Seems like an almost normal day today!! Thanks for starting it with something special!!! Did Bill mean the snow was too deep – or the poem??!! Either way, I agree! My mind is mush (like this snow will soon be) — been in the house too long!!!

February 19, 2010 at 8:42 am Edit

All tis is great Ruth. It is like your photos and words are a diary of living through these snowy days.

February 19, 2010 at 9:12 am Edit

Too wonderful for … words?? :-) Changes my attitude on shoveling, altho I am already somewhat aware that I smile and feel satisfaction when I get to the concrete! A bit anxious now, tho, about the snow still on the bushes, bending branches low over the sidewalk leading to my caravanserai gate ……! :-)

February 19, 2010 at 9:52 am Edit

Arlene Weiner
There is a special place in hell
where, frozen in ice, only his rear
exposed to Satan’s teeth, he’ll dwell
whose sidewalk’s untouched while his driveway’s clear.

February 19, 2010 at 10:50 am Edit

joseph k
that is one great photo

February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm Edit

Bonnie Imhoff
I know the snow is a pain, but it is beautiful. I enjoy the pic very much.

Hidden Picture in the School Parking Lot Pile of Asphalt

The result of an enthusiastic snow plower.

A pile of asphalt chunks by where I parked.

I photographed it as I was getting ready to head home this afternoon

Can you find the “puppy”? and the “smiling face”?  

Puppy Hidden picture

Like a sculpture garden as I made my way into school this morning

Cinderblock in the Snow

Cinderblock in the snow

and how the school looked through my impressionistic windshield-

on my way home

Impressionistic windshield

Snowstorm Softens Skyline Edges in 2015 and in 2010

Self-assignment:  Return to the same place and take another photograph.

Did you ever see two photographs where you are to spot the differences?

IMG_7578Photographed February 2015

img_8139Photographed December 2010 Where the Rivers Meet   (note the Christmas Tree at the Point)

Repeating Like Groundhog’s Day – Still Winter

Talking about weather and the impact on our lives has taken a prominent role this season.

We’ve had enough of winter here and we’re not Boston. I see their photos of piles of snow to the rooftops. Ugh.

Not sure how they can stand it. What will happen when it all melts?

Dangerous driving, slick roads, walking warily. Ice you can’t see.

Grateful for a furnace and power.  Everything seems more of an effort.

This post is not intended to be a whine or a rant, just the facts.winter scenes Ohio (1)

Tulips in the Snow


After breakfast in Ohio. The hope of an imminent Spring.
Thought the tulips would help counteract the snowy landscape this morning.
A single petal fell off and froze quickly.


We’re Really Going to Appreciate the Arrival of Spring This Year

Here is Long Tail the feral cat in the garage.  You may know the story about Ann next door who was in her nineties and passed and we caught two of the four young cats she’d collected and had them neutered and vaccinated and released.  How they survive the sub zero temps is astounding. Steve feeds them and made a shelter.

winter scenes Pittsburgh 2

winter scenes Pittsburgh 1the garage floor cause the door is open.  Great snow dusting on old leaves for texture.

Winter Sun and Shadow at School

As I arrived, I noticed sunlight.

It’s been pretty gray around here.  Twenty four days until Spring.


Winter City


Just the tips of the top of the PPG building, reminded me of a sandcastle at the beach.



And up over the hill, the rest of the skyline.

You can see the barge lane in the middle of the icy Monongahela River. Don’t let the blue sky fool you, it was really cold.


A panorama taken with the Sony Mirrorless camera. First time I used this feature.



This was actually the first shot Monday afternoon as I pulled out of the school lot.

First time the sun had shown itself in awhile.


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