“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

Gregory Peck



I had to laugh as I captured this shot of a neighbor’s mailbox on my street last week.  As I thought about the old phrase “neither rain, nor sleet nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”  I realized that perhaps things are not as they once were.  Our one day storm, which delivered 5″ of snow and ice, prevented us from getting mail for 4 days. Our airport, much to the dismay of our many holiday visitors, was closed for 5. (I can hear the midwesterners and Canadians out there chuckling as they read along!)



“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

T.S. Eliot

One of my favorite phrases is “making lemonade from lemons”. As I reconnected with friends following our relatively short-lived break from reality, I enjoyed hearing about their adventures and activities while house-bound. One of us took the opportunity to clean out her attic and ended up reliving fond memories with each box she opened 😀.  Nearly everyone took advantage of the time to read a good book or two including yours truly. As there was no way to get to the store, we laughed as a group at how each of us managed to make meals from what we had on hand.



“Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance.”

Rodney A. Winters

Personally, I took advantage of the opportunity to try out my XT-2 on some scenes that (fortunately) only appear once or twice each decade here in the south. While it was extremely cold for the south, once the storm ended the sun shone brilliantly and the world around us was absolutely pristine.  I bundled up with hat, scarf, gloves, boots and my “puffy jacket”  (which I’d bought for our holiday trip north), and headed out to explore.



“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.”

Emory Austin

There was beauty at every turn and before long I was pocketing my hat and gloves and enjoying the crisp, cold air. My Fuji did not disappoint and I enjoyed being able to walk as far as I wanted while carrying it without back pain or stress on my neck.  I returned home energized and happy to have experienced the ice and snow before it melted. Little did I know there would be another 4 or 5 days before our roads would be passable and our plants would finally be free of the freeze.



“A journey, I reflected, is of no merit unless it has tested you.”

Tahir Shah

Speaking of plants, for the most part they came through with flying colors. The few that were hard-hit were those that are not native to our environment. It was an excellent testament to the efforts of our Nature Conservancy – who several years ago spearheaded a successful campaign to educate homeowners about the importance of using native plants in our landscaping.

All in all, the residents, our non-winterized homes and our flora and fauna weathered the weather quite well.  This week we returned to milder temperatures (at least for a while), green fairways and navigable roads.  We leave the week with a new appreciation for our mild winters and a new empathy for our friends in the north.


WPC: Weathered




















  1. My son had an enjoyable time in North Carolina as well (not)!! He grew up in North Dakota and, like me, have all but forgotten really cold. I won’t bore you with the temperatures here in Arizona. >grin<
    About the only good thing about cold is the opportunity to take some very special photos, of which your photos here certainly qualify. I suspect you're already seeing warmer temperatures again.

  2. gorgeous shots Tina….boy viewing them i really can’t believe that all happened…was truly BIZARRE!! most of us left the north to avoid all of that…let’s hope is not the future norm….great details👍

  3. Tina, I’m a strong advocate of native plants and creating wildlife habitats. For years as a backyard steward for the local nature society, I helped home owners design their gardens, including rain gardens.

  4. Magical photos Tina and I’m so pleased your plants survived. I don’t think we will ever have a weather event like that here, but who knows these days what to expect. You certainly made the most of it with the photo op. I remember a while back our train system was stopped because rain somehow!!! filtered into the new trains they had just commissioned

  5. Hey! You jumped the gun on my upcoming post in a couple days which will be entitled “Icicles Etc”! We had a similar icy-rain experience around New Years day. Wonderful images and quotes (as usual!)

    • LOL – sadly I had two things I really needed (very unusual for me!) and neither of them showed up. in fact, I’m still waiting for them! Re the lens, I only have the kit lens which is a Fujifilm 18-55. Definitely planning to invest is something soon but wanted to make sure the camera was a keeper first. And it surely is!

  6. 🙂 Dear Tina,
    great pictures!
    I wouldn’t mind being snowed-in (is that the correct expression?) for a couple of days and I’m sure I wouldn’t get bored!
    Then I’d finally have the time to clear out some stuff and to sit down and read.
    Have a very HAPPY weekend.
    Claudia 🙂

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  8. as I read your post I wondered about the enivronmental impact this storm might have had – and then you wrapped up this post by addressing it – 🙂
    and three cheers for planting native – it makes it easier – sometimes cheaper – and now we see another example of storm withstanding.
    The foraging recipes and book times sounds fun and really like the ice shots too – oh and we did not get mail for a few days too – yeah – their old slogan does not apply.

    • Thanks for stopping by Yvette – Yes the native plants were definite winners in this one! On an unrelated subject, a skeleton key is so-called because of its very basic, fundamental stripped-of-any-adornment shape, hence the “skeleton” of a key. 😀

      • 🙂
        and thank you very much for the info on the key – I will add that to the discussion I am having with Ken on the topic as we were wondering

  9. So glad that you managed to weather the storm and also get out to take some wonderful photos for us to share. There is something so magical about seeing the landscape around you changed by a snowfall and/or ice. The stillness it brings, the silence. And the chance to see extraordinary things. As a child and even 30-40 years ago, where I lived the winters were often cold and snowy; not so nowadays so when this weather event happens it is good to take advantage of it. (And yes, here too a small snowfall wreaks havoc on the transport links). Pleased to know most of the plants survived 🙂

  10. I love your attitude to this snow adventure you were presented. As usual, the quotes and photos are terrific. I am envious–not of the cold and five-day break–but of the chance to photograph such wonderful atypical views. Today is my birthday, and I see your post as a great little gift!

  11. Pretty, Tina! Here is something I just read in a book called “Landmarks”: “Ammil is a Devon term for the fine film of silver ice that coats leaves, twigs and grass when freeze follows that, a beautifully exact word for a phenomenon I have several times seen but never before been able to name.” Now we can call it by name.

  12. Glad to read that you and the plants weathered the winter onslaught. You got some great (and hopefully mostly unusual) photos to make it even better. Really makes you appreciate what you have, doesn’t it? I’m headed for a parental visit to Arizona in a few days and looking forward not only to the visit, but to the warm weather and desert surroundings.


  13. I would imagine it’s very difficult getting around in snow and ice in the south. Not having that type of weather often, most likely the correct snow equipment is scarce and people are not used to getting around in it. We got between 12-16 inches of snow last week, depending how close to the ocean you were, in NJ. My development did not get mail for nearly one week. Even though this area of the country is more prepared for that type of weather, it still is not easy to get around in it. Looking forward to spring in a big way. Thanks for sharing! I loved your photographs!!!

    • Thanks so much DD. I’m originally from northern NJ so have WAY too much snow experience!! Surprised at your mail issue though – I can remember getting mail in the worst of blizzards “back in the day”. As you say though, we were much better prepared in those days.


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  15. Tina, you always come up with the very best responses to the prompts! Not only are you imaginative in your interpretation, but the images are just so incredible. I’m always in awe. This winter has been as nutty as the rest of the seasons recently, hasn’t it? We are cold here in Texas, which is so unusual, and the whole country seems to be seeing extremes and outlier weather behavior so much more often. Scary … but you have taken the mess and turned it into a thing of beauty!

  16. Wonderful pictures made for the theme Tina! I love the quotes and really enjoy your writing. It also makes me think about how different our seasons are and how we experience them.

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