Winter Happening

As crazy as the rest of 2020, winter at the end of the year was happening slowly, in cold starts followed by fits of warm weather. Above, the colors of winter rolled in over Camel’s Hump, north-central Vermont’s local mountain. Below, the wintry look of Dec. 23 followed by the unwintry look of Dec. 26, after a day of fifty-degree weather and rain. Snow due tonight and tomorrow will change things.

Posted in Camels Hump, Vermont, Winter Tagged , , |

Stick Season

Stick Season: the interlude in Vermont between autumn and winter, when there are no leaves and no snow. But there are long, long shadows, peace, and a sense of anticipation for the next seasonal act. Above: East Montpelier. Below: North Branch of the Winooski River and elsewhere in Montpelier. Click here for a gallery of Stick Season shadows and people.

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Vermont Votes

Despite an early-season snowfall that iced up the backroads, despite COVID, and despite (or because of) Donald Trump, central Vermonters in Calais, East Montpelier and Montpelier pulled on their snow boots and made it to the polls yesterday. The bluest of the blue states set a record for voter turnout and remained blue, but also kind of blue about how much of the rest of the country voted… Above, a voter leaves the newly refurbished Calais Town Hall in Gospel Hollow. Below, East Montpelier, Calais and Montpelier.

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Lost Nation Roll

Clear and cool today for the first cross country ski race in the season of COVID, the New England Nordic Ski Association’s Lost Nation Roll at Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center. There was Lysol to disinfect the roller skis, which were shared; interval starts; masks everywhere; no spectators; smooth skiing on the new asphalt track; and no crashes in the race.  Roller skis are the training and racing method of choice before snow arrives. Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins, below, won the women’s 5.6-k event. Above, Katharine Ogden of Stratton Mountain’s SMST2, takes the main downhill. For those unfamiliar with roller skis, they have no brakes, go fast and require a lot of skill to use. In this case, all the roller skis were the same brand with the same wheels and bearings to be sure the skiers are evenly matched. Although racers did not wear masks to race, most had them around their necks for quick use, and they were required everywhere else.

Click here for a gallery.

Posted in Craftsbury Outdoor Center, roller skiing Tagged , |

Sudden Peak

Maybe because of the drought, peak fall foliage in Vermont has come early this year. It’s spectacular, but the dry, brittle leaves are coming down fast. These are from Albany and Craftsbury, in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

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Not too Late to Paddle

We’ve had some frosty nights, followed by summer-like weather, so the water temperature in Lake Champlain has plummeted into the low 60s, but it’s still paddling season.

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Apple Time

Apple time at Burtt’s pick-your-own orchard, Cabot VT. Burtt’s plants the trees in intensive rows, supported by cables, more like a vineyard than a traditional orchard, so the trees are closer together, the apples easier to harvest. Definitely doesn’t look like an old-time orchard with trees, pruned to be low and to gather the sun, dotting a hillside.


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About two miles up the road, there’s a big hayfield that offers one of the best views in central Vermont. It was saved from development by the farm family that owned it, working in conjunction with local conservationists. It looks out on a big sky and the ridges of the main Green Mountains and the Worcester Range. Last week, it was the best place around here to see the comet NEOWISE, on its trip around the sun. I don’t have the experience of people who photograph the sky and stars regularly, but I was able to photograph NEOWISE from a tiny tripod on top of a car roof. The comet is fading as it moves away from us. So long, NEOWISE, until something like 8820. If you know Vermont mountains, you’ll recognize Camels Hump barely squeezing in on the far left of the top photo.

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Down But Not Out

All was going well in the summer of COVID, but then I fell off a bridge on my mountain bike back on June 23, dislocating the heck out of my foot and breaking my ankle. It’s all back together again, but this is the view I’ve been limited to for the past three weeks. Getting more mobile now, but I’m going to be on crutches for another month and not too likely to be posting many photos for a while, unless I go into the archives. I’ll be back. If you can stand looking at the x-ray, it’s on Instagram: @lazenbyphoto.

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Light on the Lake

Lake Champlain never disappoints, whatever its mood. These are from Burlington’s waterfront a few days before I broke my ankle.

Posted in Lake Champlain, summer, sunsets, Vermont Tagged , , , |