A Word A Week Challenge: Atmospheric

Skinnywench over at A Word in Your Ear has issued this week’s “Word a Week Challenge“, wherein she picks a word from the dictionary at random and opens her page to fellow bloggers. I often lurk and don’t often participate, but this week the challenge is “Atmospheric” and as I am feeling moody…it’s a natural fit. Getting started.

I snapped this during a beautiful night along Penns Creek. It was the 4th of July, and we’d gone to New Berlin to watch the fireworks.

Along the river in New Berlin, July 4 2013.

Along the river in New Berlin, July 4 2013.

Central PA has its charms, for sure.

Fog rolled off of Buffalo Creek and right into my yard this summer. It was fantastic.

Kind of home-town creepy.

Kind of home-town creepy.

And then there’s sunrise at Belhurst Castle. I apparently rely heavily (but not only) on trees to help set the mood.

Gloom, schmoom. Atmospheric shots can be uplifting, too.

Gloom, schmoom. Atmospheric shots can be uplifting, too.

As nice as uplifting is, the gnarly shots are often more thought-provoking. The following (treeless) picture was taken behind an abandoned mill in Cowan, PA, and I’ve come to think it is atmospheric in the same way Mad Max is atmospheric.

Get your leathers and feathers ready. We're going Road Warrior!

Get your leathers and feathers ready, folks. We’re going Road Warrior!

And finally, crazy psycho clouds over Lake Champlain, as seen from an uncomfortably exposed balcony in Burlington VT. Wherein the atmosphere literally sets the atmosphere.

And that atmosphere is: Don'tPanicDon'tPanicDon'tPanic...

And that atmosphere is: Don’tPanicDon’tPanicDon’tPanic…

Check out the rest of the participants in Skinnywench’s challenge over at A Word in Your Ear. Thanks for stopping by!

Travel Theme: Sky

Ailsa’s got her travel theme on at Where’s My Backpack?, and thankfully, it doesn’t have anything to do with stuffing oneself silly with turkey and mashed potatoes.

…mmmm…mashed potatoes…

Anyway. The theme this week at Ailsa’s joint is sky.  Big sky, open sky, cloudy sky, blue sky.  As you’ll see, I tend to like sky with water.  Whatever works.  And so.  With no further ado, I give you…sky.

This first picture was taken as the sun was starting to set and finally dipping below the clouds, from a hotel room looking over Seneca Lake toward the city of Geneva, NY.  I always thought the colors in this photo were vaguely ethereal, and I don’t know why but I’m totally amused by the wind turbines in the background.

Hello, pastel sunset.

Hello, pastel sunset.

The next picture was taken much closer to (my) home.  Like, in my home town.  Like, I rode my bike here to take this picture.  If you’re going to find a place full of bucolic splendor and fat, chuggy clouds, so you can catch your breath, this is the place.

Behold the mighty Susquehanna.

Behold the mighty Susquehanna River.

Gary, Indiana, presents travelers driving along Route 90 with kind of a depressing, totally industrial landscape.  The black cloud in the sky to the left of the photo just lingered…and lingered…and never dispersed.  It kind of freaked me out.

There's almost no room for sky here.

There’s almost no room for sky here.

The next photo was taken during a crazy-windy day at Grand Marais along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  I like that the clouds here look like waves, almost.  As it is on the ground, so it goes in the sky, too.

Water, water everywhere.

Water, water everywhere.

And finally, this picture was taken in Burlington, VT, while the weather on Lake Champlain was experiencing a totally split personality.  You’ll see.

Even the Lake Champlain monster stayed under cover.

Even the Lake Champlain monster stayed under cover.

What sky shots do you have?

Enjoy the travel theme!  See you ’round Ailsa’s place.

A Frosty Morning in Vermont

George and I recently celebrated our 9th anniversary.  I just looked it up; the 9th anniversary traditionally is the “pottery” anniversary, updated in modern times to the “leather” anniversary, kinky tarts that we’ve become.  Rather than leather it out, we decided to take a fabulous long weekend at The Essex, a spa/culinary resort about 20 minutes outside of Burlington, VT.  Yes, this was our ultimate destination when we decided to detour over to Syracuse for our night of fun-filled musical tomfoolery.

There will be more about all of this later.

What’s important here is, I’ve apparently developed an internal timer that won’t let me sleep when we’re away, if I need to catch a sunrise on my camera.  On the one hand, that’s cool.  On the other hand…

We were up while the moon was still out.

We were up while the moon was still out.

…it’s not like I hate to sleep.  It just seems that way, most of the time.

Anyway.  It was cold that morning!  Colder than I have yet to experience at home, since winter’s just getting her chill on in central PA.  I stepped outside and I realized…ohhhhh…the world is shimmering and crunchy.

Bluebells in the morning frost.

Bluebells in the morning frost.

It’s not a bad way to wake up, if you can’t help but find yourself wide awake at 6:30AM on your last morning of vacation.  Anyway, let’s get right into this.

The grounds at the Essex have a lot going on.  They’ve got manicured lawns and secluded tennis courts, raised produce beds for their kitchens and things like hammocks and gazebos for hanging out in on days warmer than the one in which I was running around outside. Surrounding that are some pretty thick woods and a steep ravine or two.  We made a right turn, started our way around the building and…

Pretty, right?

Pretty, right?

I have no idea what kind of plant this is.  Suggest away!

I played with the black and white on this a little, since this picture didn’t have a lot of color to worry about to begin with.  It was still pre-dawn and the branches of this whatsitsface plant were thick with frost.

The noble..errr...frosty chickenfoot plant.

The noble..errr…frosty chickenfoot plant.

Fine.  If I’m going to be out in the world menacing nature with my camera, I suppose the least I can do is learn the names of various flora and fauna (though I’m pretty good with the fauna, I must protest).  I will, some day.  But it is not this day.

We walked back towards where the sun was starting to peek through: see gnarly woods and steep ravines.  I was in no mood for climbing, not before coffee, mmm mmmm, no way.  So.

This was about as close to a clearing as I could get.

This was about as close to a clearing as I could get.

You're getting warmer...

You’re getting warmer…

I mean seriously. It's practically like time-lapse photography.

I mean seriously. It’s practically like time-lapse photography.

We wandered back behind the tennis courts like a couple of bad kids in high school.  Only I didn’t care quite as much about the sumac trees back then.

Awww, he didn't have to go with me. <3

Awww, he didn’t have to go with me. ❤

And on our way back across the lawn, encountered a frosty rose:

"Nice Martian seed", said a friend of mine. Pah!

“Nice Martian seed”, said a friend of mine. Pah!

A cluster of grapes that had come on hard times:


Is it too late to turn this into ice wine?

And the remnants of a misspent evening.

I hope you're drinking white.

I hope you’re drinking white.

Ground cherries!

I couldn't help myself. I tried one.  Even frozen, it was delicious.

I couldn’t help myself. I tried one. Even frozen, it was delicious.

I kind of obsessed over this spigot.

I spent way too much time hanging around this spigot. But it's so cute!

I spent way too much time hanging around this spigot. But it’s so cute!

Photographed what may become Christmas cards from me and George.

Quelle rustic!

Quelle rustic!

And called it a day when we made our way back around to the front of the hotel and smelled bacon coming from the kitchens.

Soup's on! Figuratively speaking, that is.

YES! Soup’s on! Figuratively speaking, that is.

Stay warm, everyone.  And go to Vermont.  It’s extraordinary.  Just, you know.  Pack gloves and extra socks.

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