Thursday, July 30, 2009

Signing Off

I am signing off temporarily and hope to get back with more photos soon.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Black and White

The aftermath of my friend's yard sale. These chairs didn't sell. She left them out on the lawn and a neighbor added a lamp. They gradually deteriorated.
Shortly after this picture, she disposed of them. I think her neighbors were grateful.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Black and White Challenge

This is one of my favorite b&w photos. An old tobacco shed on a hazy spring morning. I'm trying to enter the challenge on Musings from the Texas Hill Country. The internet is refusing to cooperate with me.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Making Hay

The local farmer has started haying. His hay wagon goes by the house full to the top. I love to watch the process. After cutting and when it's dry, he uses a tedder to put the hay into rows. Then, in one operation, the tractor passes over the rows with a baler and it all goes into the wagon, ready for sale. I used to watch my grandfather haying when I was a kid. He had his team of horses that he used to cut, rake, and pile it into rows. They had tractors, but he did his share of the work with his horses. I remember their names "Maggie" and "Nellie". The hay was picked up by men throwing forkfuls up onto the wagon, drawn by a tractor. After that, it had to be put into the hay mow, again by the forkful. It was hot, sweaty, dirty work.

I walked by the back lot on Sunday. There was a pretty good breeze. Looking down on the yet to be cut field, the wind blowing waves over the hay, you could imagine that you were looking at a green beach with the tide coming in.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kodak Brownie No.2

This was Mother's camera, given to her, I think, in 1910. She was 16 years old. She began to record life on the farm. All pictures and negatives were carefully saved. She continued taking photos until Kodak stopped producing film in that size. A roll had eight pictures. The negative size was maybe 2 3/4 inches by 41/2. I guess most pictures were printed as contact prints. My sister's and my childhoods are all there. Our hair styles changed as we got older. My sister never cut her hair and still hasn't to this day. I was given what was called a "shingle" which was not a pretty style. Here we are in, ( I guess I'm dating myself here), 1930 and 1931. Picture taking rules for us were: Sunny days only. Stand facing the camera and looking into the sun. Smile. My sister and I fought constantly but you'd never know it. We usually stood holding hands. The farm photos have been passed on, along with the camera to a cousin still living on the farm.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Uninvited Guest

He (or she) came in the late afternoon. We often see raccoons, but they are usually not this bold. It let me get quite close and at one point, it started walking toward me. I think this fellow is one of the locals that are fed regularly by at least two neighbors. Probably grew up eating dinner next door. I'm not sure why people like to feed raccoons, I suppose for the same reason that I feed squirrels. Wanting to discourage him, I tried spraying him with the hose. He climbed to the very top of a tree and waited til I went away, came down, and continued foraging. I'm not too happy to see this creature since it does not seem to be afraid of us. Rabies is a serious problem. This guy looked healthy enough, but I prefer he stay away from me and I will stay away from him. I did get a lot of photos, but not any really good ones.
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Back Lot

Through the gate and up the hill through the wooded area and you will come to the back lot. After my climb, I need to stop and catch my breath so I stop here by the hayfield. The hay is lush and bright green from all the rain this spring. Sometimes there are deer browsing along the edge. Once I saw a doe and her fawn nibbling the brush. One spring we saw a dozen deer in the field, grazing on the new grass. There is usually a hawks nest there across the field. They sit and wait for some poor critter. You can watch them soaring overhead . If you cross over to the other side, there is a pond that is covered with waterlillies with yellow blossoms. You can hear bullfrogs there and see the Painted Turtles that have climbed out on a tree that has fallen into the water. I"ve seen a few kinds of herons here.
On this side, developers have started building. I turn back into the woods and
continue my walk. The woods are not spectacular, some part of it used to be a
tobacco field. It is now owned by a local land trust so at least this area won't
be disturbed, but it is being disturbed, after all, by a youngster on a dirt bike.

He does "wheelies" on the walking path, managing to dig up roots and making ruts.
My little camera can do panoramas but I have never successfully done a
good one. This is my latest attempt. I"ll keep working on it.
I tried to correct the spacing of these lines, but nothing works! Darn!
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

On the Path

I took a walk this morning. Not a big deal, but I haven't been walking for months. This little bush was in full bloom. It's a common one, but I'm not sure of its' name, possibly "Shadblow"? There was no sun so the photo reflects that. The hayfield is lush and green thanks to our rainy spring. Sunday mornings are quiet back in the woods. On week days you can hear the distant motors and overhead jets. There are wheel marks in the path made by a dirt bike. That insures that the wild turkeys and the herd of deer won't be around.
I see that I haven't posted anything for a month. Hope to not do that again.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Park

I got to thinking about Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT the other day. It always felt like "my" park. It is well maintained by the state, some of the workers living on the property. At some point quite a few years ago, during a fiscal crisis, the then governor (Lowell Weiker) shut it down, saying it was used only by a few locals. Apparently, he had never been there on a Sunday when the large parking lots were so full that people were parking on the grass. Large groups of folks came early to lay claim to one of the many picnic tables. Kids everywhere. Music from every direction. Sunshine and sea breezes! It was (and still is) a perfect spot for kite flying. A huge number of fantastic kites are usually in the air . This was the summer "cottage" (in the Newport tradition) of the Harkness family. It was used on week-ends and summers only. The stone mansion has been restored and is open on week-ends. The state rents it out for weddings. There is an outdoor chapel of sorts for ceremonies. Although the gardens had been neglected, they have been restored and there is also a cutting garden. The last time I was there, the greenhouses were in ruins. There is a nesting area for the terns that is closed in spring. If you're lucky, you might see an osprey nesting on one of the platforms. It was a few minutes from my home when I lived in Waterford, so I went there winter and summer, took my walk around the perimeter, with a short rest to contemplate the water. Well, I do believe I'll take a drive down there soon!
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Friday, April 3, 2009


Is the plural croci?? Not too much green around here, yet. The grey lawn seem to go along with grey days. We have had some nice sunny days and the sun came out long enough to get this shot yesterday. Crocus come up all over. My sister says the squirrels dig them up and rebury them in another spot. The long shaggy grass is left over from last fall when I should have done one last mowing. I think crocus are the bravest of the early spring blossoms. Our resident woodchuck, called Mildred, is out every day, inspecting the rosa mundi bed to get the first green leaf buds. Of course, it may not be the same chuck every year or even a female, but they're all Mildreds to me.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

The National Seashore

This photo is from a trip to the National Seashore in 1990. The quote is from the National
Parks web site. The windswept grass and the dunes are what you find on the north shore. To the left is the restored life saving station that I posted about last year. The park is a very popular tourist destination. A great place for families with kids. School tours come here in early September. Golden agers come on bus tours. Guess you could say there's something for everyone. I first visited in the 60s, before the park was established. We came in late September when the breeze was cool and the sun warm. Shops in town were closing and you could find sales on just about everything. Restaurants were not crowded and were glad to have your business. A few places that the locals frequented stayed open all year. The Portugese bakery made the best sweetbread ever. We walked and biked and generally enjoyed the best part of the year. I don't go up there anymore. Too much has changed, including me.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009


I had great plans to print out old negatives when I got the new printer. It seems that a lot of them have faded to the point that they are unusable. I did this one of an old dory on exhibit at the National Seashore . I was going to delete it, but got fascinated by its' strangeness. My original thought for this blog has been regular postings, but I have lost enthusiasm and energy, or,rather, that energy has been taken by medical problems that I hope to get under control soon.

The National Seashore is a favorite place of mine. It was the first landing of the Pilgrims before they moved on to Plymouth. I have walked all the trails many times and bicycled them, too. I believe President Kennedy gets credit for establishing it. He saved it from commercial development, if I have my facts right. Best time for visiting is when kids are back in school (unless, of course, you have kids in which case it's a wonderful trip for them). There is a roped trail for the blind with braille signs and
plants to identify by smell and texture. There are historical places such as the site of the
spring where the Pilgrims got fresh water. If you are lucky, you can see whales off
the ocean side, but you might need binoculars. Visit, if you can.
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Whole Different World

"Under The Welkin" is one of my favorite blogs. I look in every once in a while. The location is a farm in Australia. They have just come through a very dry summer and headed into Fall. Lots of interesting pictures and observations on the farm life there. This is photo from this blog. Apparently this farm is in an isolated area. This shot is an Emu at the watering trough for their cattle.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This a photo from 1931 of my sister and myself, taken by our mother with her Brownie box camera. I have no actual memory of this day. Hat, scarves and mittens were all handmade, I'm sure. I think this was when we lived in Hamden, Massachusetts. I am including this as a farewell to winter. We had one last(?) snowfall last week which was actually quite deep. I call it a 60 dollar storm since that is what our snowplow man charged to clear the driveway. At any rate within 48 hours, it had all melted. Everyone is weary of the cold and, I'm sure, willing to forgo any more snow til next winter. As for me, I'm going to see if I can see any crocus poking through.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Her call name was "Truro". An odd name for a dog, I think. It's a name associated with Nova Scotia, Cape Cod, Mass., and(in Rhode Island), the oldest synagogue in the U.S.. Her registered name was fancier, Cloverdale's something or other. She was an energetic puppy, given to chewing almost anything. I soon learned to patch walls, since one of her favorite things was to lick and chew holes in the walls and the corner trim by the kitchen door. On one of her first outings to the beach she was just a couple months old, she picked up and carried an empty beer bottle. She was the sweetest dog I ever knew and probably the smartest. I inherited her, sad to say and also glad to say. She was alone on my working days, except for the cat Petey, but I don't think she developed any kind of relationship with that cat. After work, we would take long walks. Part of our route had a stone wall which she would jump on top of and walk whole length of it. Don't know how she decided to do that. Once out of puppyhood,( it was a long one), she settled down, her chewing days were over except for a Nylabone or two. She had a great personality which I think shows in this photo. Going through some old negatives, I found this one. She was a dog you never forget.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Green-up Time!

We'll soon be easing into spring. We've been having rain and mixed precipitation for a couple of days with daytime temps above freezing. Those piles of snow that were so beautiful are now a gritty, muddy heap. There are more wintry days ahead, I know, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the first green will be the ferns. I found this old slide and was able to print it out. I think I should not have sharpened the picture so much. The flocks of birds that spent so much time in the back yard are going about their little lives elsewhere. They show up now and then. The cardinals still come at dusk. I won't put my winter coat and boots away!.
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Desktop Photo

I keep this picture as my desktop now that we are in winter. Next summer, I'll put up a snow scene. This is from a couple of years ago, and, looking at the slant of the shadows, it was a sunny, warm afternoon. The shed is not yet filled with drying tobacco. There used to be a few tobacco farmers in the area and now it's just one. The woods where I walk was once tobacco fields,and it is now grown over with pine, beech and oak. The few cedars are struggling to survive the deer foraging in deep winter. There isn't much for them this year with another poor acorn crop.

I checked into Google Maps the other day and was able to find this old shed on their satellite map. It has a new metal roof that shows up nicely. I could trace my walking route from our house, through the woods, around the hay field and home, on their map. Hope to get back to this spot on a nice summer day, soon.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What??? Another Deer Picture?

This blog certainly didn't start out to be devoted to deer, but here is another picture. It seems we are visited regularly by what is now a herd of them. We had yet another snowfall yesterday and, when I went out to do my bird seed duty this morning, the whole back yard had deer prints. This was taken from the bathroom window on Sunday. When I opened the window, this doe perked up her ears and posed for the shot. After a series of bad days, these creatures are providing us with a bright spot. Hurry up, Spring!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kite Flying at the Beach

More snow last night and then again this morning. Now it has turned to freezing rain.I found this slide from the late 70s and was able to print it up. This was taken in the fall of my friend flying a kite at Waterford Beach. It's a favorite spot of mine and my favorite time of year and after today's weather, how I wish I were there! Beyond the rocks there on the right is New London's Ocean Beach Park. The water is Long Island Sound...There used to be an amusement park at Ocean Beach but it is no more. Sometimes, you could see a submarine making it's way up the sound on its' way to the Sub Base at Groton. Ferries cross from New London to Fisher's Island, Block Island, and Long Island.
I really miss this place.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


A peaceful Sunday, but, strangely, there were few birds feeding. Then we discovered why. There, at the lower end of the back yard, was a hawk feeding on his (her?) Sunday dinner. I later found out it was feeding on one of the Mourning Doves from a large flock that we see every day. I couldn't tell what kind of hawk, since it was sitting in a tangle of vines. I"m no good at hawk identification, anyway. My "good" camera was without batteries, so I used the point-and-shoot. I was too far away to get a good shot, so this is not a good picture at all. I later thought, from looking at the photos, that it was maybe a Sharp Shinned Hawk. We keep an eye out for the feral cats that the neighbors feed, but it looks like now we'll have to watch the tree tops for this fellow. There is a pair that nest over in the trees at the edge of the hay field. I know they have to eat, I just wish they'd do it away from my yard.
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Icy Morning

It was an especially cold morning today. Zero degrees (that's Farenheit) on my sister's weather station at 5 a.m. and dropping to 2 below before the sun rose over the hill behind the house. We've been spared more snow this past week, but more predicted later this week. I took this picture a few years ago after a freezing rain. Everything had what I estimated to be a quarter inch of ice. Nature's icy decoration, and prettier than store-bought Christmas trimmings.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Hens and Chickens"

Mother had a large variety of these succulents. I took some of the "chicks" down to the cove where I lived. They must have liked it there because they thrived. I don't know if they are still there. Mother's little rock garden is still here, but I don't think there as many different ones there. This photo is from an old Ektachrome slide.
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer

"Reservations? What reservations? I'm just here for the buffet!"
She came at mid-day and polished off the bird seed, which I replenished. And then she returned for dessert. She looks remarkably well fed. Probably making the rounds of the neighbor's feeders.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009


I call this deer Lucy. This shot is from last year. She has a deformed front leg that doesn't seem to hold her back. I used to see her now and then and hope that she would be all right. These days, with the temperatures down in the single numbers, it has to be rough going for all creatures. I saw deer prints in the snow this morning and and thought about Lucy. I knew deer had come in the back yard to find whatever seeds the birds have left. Actually, we did not have as many birds as usual yesterday, so they might have had more to eat than they usually find. The temperature is expected to stay very cold for the next few days, with more snow on the way.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rose Hips

The all-in-one printer that I had been coveting went on sale this week . I got it yesterday. The reason I wanted it was the ability to print slides and negatives of which I have three ring binders full. They date back to the 80s and almost all of the Ektachrome slides have never been printed out.
I was pleased with this one of rose hips taken at our town beach. Folks gathered them for making rose hip jelly.
And this shot takes me to fall trips to Cape Cod. We drove by a roadside stand on the way, where you could buy all sorts of home made jams and jellies. It was run by a little old lady whose name might have been Victoria, although that might not be right. My favorite was her rose hip jelly and then her ginger pear. She would remark on the traffic going by and wonder where they were all going, just to get there and turn back. Finally, on one trip, the stand was no longer there. And I never found another source of rose hip jelly.
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