A Quiet Winter

Ah winter. Quiet, rest, hibernation. Those “activities” are generally my over-arching winter goals. Yes, I miss outdoors time and flowers and long hours of light and warm air. But the calming nature of winter, the spare beauty, and the indoor coziness just about make up for it. This particular winter was quite restful for me, as I had to have surgery at the end of January. So I was able to rest and rejuvenate more than usual. I did manage to get out and about a little bit. Here are my favorite shots from this winter.fullsizeoutput_28f1


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Tuesday’s Inspiration: Dulac

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Edmund Dulac, Illustrator  

The Snow Queen and Other Stories from Hans Christian Andersen.

London: Hodder & Stoughton 1911.

Isn’t this illustration just marvelous! I’m so happy I saw it on This Ivy House this snowy and icy morning. It’s been a rough weekend and I haven’t felt well, but it’s amazing what a bit of inspiring art can do to lift the spirits. Edmund Dulac was a French born illustrator who, after giving up law school, lived and studied art in England for most of his life. His modern art nouveau illustrations beautifully bring to life various fairy tales and myths. Through the course of his career, Dulac also worked for magazines and newspapers, designed stamps, and even designed chocolate boxes. Here’s a compilation of his wonderful artwork on WikiArt. Scrolling through I am struck by the color palette he used, his strong attention to detail, and the whimsicality of his work. Looking through these images and learning about this talented artist was the perfect thing for this icy morning.

New Hampshire in Mid-Winter

It’s been an icy, icy world out there lately. December and January seemed especially brutal with days on end of sub-zero temperatures, wind, and a couple of ice storms. On New Years Day, with just 2 degrees on the thermometer, Ethan and I set out for a northern adventure. We just had to get out of the house! And we wanted to see the snowy mountains. We bundled up and hit the road, temperature plummeting the more Northward we drove. fullsizeoutput_2cfa

fullsizeoutput_2cfcWe meandered through small towns, such as Grafton and Warren. We tried to take smaller, back roads as we went. Route 118 from Warren to North Woodstock was particularly scenic. From there, we jumped on highway 93 North so we could go through the Notch. The Notch was socked in with fog it was so cold, but the glimpses we got of the mountains were beautiful.fullsizeoutput_2cf6After a quick stop at the Garnet Hill Outlet in Franconia, we made our way to Sugar Hill for a late lunch at Polly’s Pancake Parlor. Situated on a hill overlooking a gorgeous mountain view, Polly’s has quite the spot. If only the food lived up to the location. I hate doling out bad reviews, but the food just wasn’t that great. But the options were many, so perhaps we just made some bad choices (I had the quiche of the day and Ethan had a reuben as per usual). Their peppermint cappuccino on the other hand- yum, yum.

fullsizeoutput_2cfdAfter our lunch, we went over to Sunset Hill in Sugar Hill to take in the view above. Still a  little foggy, but lovely none the less. We were starting to lose light, so we meandered towards home from there, though we were far from it. We went through some little New Hampshire towns that I had never seen before. Most interestingly, we stumbled upon The Brick Store in Bath which is on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest general store in the country- how cool! It had loads of old character, we had to go in and have a look around. Thankfully, we caught them just before they closed for the day. My favorite thing was the wide front porch with all the rocking chairs. Too bad it was below zero out, it would be fun to sit there and enjoy a treat from the store. fullsizeoutput_2d66

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Other towns of note were Haverhill and Etna. Both new to me, and both very colonial and charming. The moon was rising when we were in Haverhill, so by the time we drove through Etna, it was too dark for photos. Haverhill is along Route 10 in New Hampshire, and Etna is situated atop a hill off a side road- you’ll have to use your GPS to find it, but it’s worth finding- well, hopefully, I did only see it in the dark. fullsizeoutput_2d67fullsizeoutput_2d65Well that was our little mid-winter, sub-zero, just-have-to-get-out-of-the-house adventure! Hopefully we can repeat it in warmer temperatures. There’s a certain rocking chair in Bath calling out to me…

Hancock Through the Seasons

Here are some photographs of Hancock, a gorgeous little New England Village tucked away in Southwestern New Hampshire. I was fortunate enough to work as the Children’s Librarian there for one year, so I enjoyed Hancock through each season.

Spring:

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Flowers sprouting up around town. Budding trees in front of the Hancock Inn. Apple trees with new leaves in the orchard on Norway Hill. Irises on Main Street. Trees in bloom in front of the Hancock Town Library.  Lilac bushes in front of a colonial house.

Summer: img_6197

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Processed with Snapseed.old dublin roadElliot's GardenMy most favorite view off of Old Dublin Road. Flowers at the farmer’s market in the old circular stables. A place of sanctuary at the Harris Center. Giant bubbles from a performance I planned at the end of summer reading.  Scenes from the Tour Hancock Gardens summer garden tour. A walk down the dirt sidewalks of Main Street. Storm clouds approaching Nubanusit Lake. Walking Old Dublin Road. The Elliot’s amazing private garden.

Autumn: img_4153

hancock main streethancock autumnwillard pondHancockInnnorway hillGolden trees on Main Street. Ivy growing up an old colonial house. Norway Pond stillness. Main Street littered with leaves. A walk on an old dirt road. Kayaking on Willard Pond close to sunset. The historic Hancock Inn. The fall colors starting to appear at the apple orchard on Norway Hill.

Winter: 

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hancock winterA snow storm in February blankets an old colonial home. Lilies brighten up the winter day inside Fiddleheads Cafe. The huge tree outside of the library covered in snow. The Hancock Inn and it’s Fox tavern is a cozy place for a winter’s evening meal. Frost patterns inside the library’s windows.

No matter what season you visit Hancock, it is always going to be beautiful.

Winter Scenes

Ahh winter. The most quiet, beautiful, and relaxing of seasons. I love the home time, the hot tea, and the earlier nights. I like to catch up on books and movies I’ve wanted to read and see all year. Though there are not as many adventures or exploration as the other seasons, I’ve still taken my fair share of photos throughout the past snowy month. I wanted to share some favorites here. Cozy up and enjoy the season.img_5219fullsizeoutput_b55

The starkness of the bare branches against the sky is almost just as beautiful as when they are covered with leaves. And can’t you just feel the snow coming in the photo above. That was taken at Gregg Lake in Antrim.

fullsizeoutput_116eI love the silent morning after a fresh snowfall, the sparkles on the ground, and the brilliant winter sunsets. For those of you who are not so keen on winter, pop into your local florist or indoor nursery for a bit of spring. These beauties were at Twelve Pine in Peterborough. Create a bouquet to brighten up your home in winter 🙂

fullsizeoutput_116dimg_6017And for a nice walk in the woods on a bright day, you know, when the temperature creeps up near 40 maybe 🙂 try the Wapack National Forest (Here’s a link to a trail map) for a good walk. Ted’s Trail and Carolyn’s Trail are both very easy nature paths with lovely scenery. Just starting January, and already so much snow and winter weather up here in New England! Let’s make the most of this lovely quiet season.

winter activities in progress

Sometimes it feels like I have too many interests. Too many books to read. Too many projects. But on a snowy afternoon like this, I love having all these little odds and ends to choose from:

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The green scarf is for Ethan. It’s my “sampler” scarf that Tammy at my work is helping me with. She taught me to purl, which has opened up a variety of new patterns and designs for my knitting. The embroidery is a pattern from an old Dutch sampler, I’m doing it in all one color to get the hang of it, but hopefully more colorful embroidery will happen in the future. Although, I’m loving the red on ivory contrast, I can thank @soulemama for her inspiration. Along with all the projects, I am wading through piles of books that I keep compulsively checking out of the library- crewel embroidery, Home Economics (vintage home care- a gift from Morgan), Aesop’s Fables, the Nature Notes and Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, The World of Downton Abbey (season 3 is coming up so soon!!!), the complete poems of e.e. Cummings, and A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar (Library Journal rated it the best historical fiction novel of 2012, so I had to give it a try). Keeping me company amongst all these pursuits is a warm peppermint latte in my favorite mug. Here’s to a snowy Sunday afternoon~ enjoy yours too! x C

my first snow

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Left in the house today by a sore throat and a heavy-headed feeling, I am enjoying just taking in my surroundings. For me, this is the first substantial snow of the winter, as the official first snow came when we were away in St. John. I did some journal writing and finished a small gem of a book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey; hence the picture of the snail shell I’ve held on to for years. Our heater is finally fixed (at just the right time- it wouldn’t be so pleasant sitting here in the cold) but I’m still anxious for our wood stove to be installed at some point next week.
I’m looking forward to an encouraging pioneer meeting this afternoon and then a meal with friends afterwards. I hope I feel a little better after a hot shower. Until then I am content wrapped in a blanket, watching the slowly swirling snow xx C