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April 11, 2016


Yes, I knew I had a l m o s t become a Quebecoise when I opted for three years of grad school in Florida, only to find myself in an absolute limbo of winterlessness. The guy who cut my hair told rapturously about going north to Atlanta once and seeing daffodils for the first time! People there hide indoors in the summer heat, and become gregarious in February and March. Summer stretches so long that September ski vacations are scheduled (or were, before climate change began wreaking its havoc on what used to be 'normal'). And my academic time clock associated "back to school" with the crisp crunch of frost on fallen leaves... so it took quite a while for me to get in gear that first semester.

I hope you lift your net of words and pictures Beth to capture the rambunctiousness of our insanely short Spring... coming soon...

Wonderful photos Beth, you capture the spare, bony, minimal, ascetic beauty of wintry days. As you know, it's not a season I feel kinship with, having grown up mainly in warmer climes - apart from winters in New York City which were anything but warm! But I can certainly appreciate what you write about winter beauty. You always find the evocative and thoughtful words. I've said this often before but I'll repeat again: I wish you'd put a book together of your posts/essays about places, Montreal of course included.

yup, same here. though my frogs are awake in the pond and start talking whenever it is warmish. It's been a weird winter here, seems like climate change will bring us short yucky winters. Warm until January, then 2 months of snow, rain and ice. Then a long wet spring in March and April. The first winter we lived here in NH in 1977 or so we had snow up to our knees and loved it.

I love these photos. It's been a tardy spring here as well, and some of those early magnolia buds have browned in the cold. But at least we've had more of a start. It looks to be warming up in the upcoming days, both here and up north. It will be all the more joyous when it arrives!

De-saturated beauty -- what a perfect phrase. Your photographs are beautiful. The Berkshires have a similar muted quality at this season -- as in November, indeed -- and I always appreciate the reminder to find the beauty in that muted palette too.

(Though for now, hello from the west coast where it is green!)

If you think spring is late here, many decades ago I chose (in Northern Ontario) May 1 for my wedding day. Photos showed the wedding guests chilling bottles of wine in snowbanks.

There is one day in Montréal-I suspect tomorrow-when everyone casts off winter coats; teenagers wear shorts, dogs smile, and the terrasses brim with mass spring giddiness.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.