Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Panda" aka "Special K"

Panda came to the vet's office where I was working. He was a homeless six week old kitty. I called this cat Special Kitty. He had a great personality even at that age. In the 70s, it was a general rule not to spay and neuter until the dog or cat was at least five months old. This led to unwanted litters. My boss thought that kittens and pups could be spayed or neutered as early as six weeks. So he took in unwanted kittens (usually females) to spay and place out in homes where we could keep track of the results of this early surgery. Panda was one of the few males he castrated. The boss's daughter saw this little cat and adopted him, giving him his new name. He had a great life with her, and became a great hunter of mice and, sorry to say, birds. He did not show negative effects of his early neutering, except that he was a rather small fellow with an almost "kittenish" look.
This snapshot showed him in his stalking pose. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter's First Snow

Not quite winter by the calendar, but this is what we see from the back step. It's not an unusual snowfall, but, it seems, the weathermen (and women) work themselves into a frenzy. They're out with measuring sticks for hourly reports on the depth. They stand by highways commenting on the traffic or lack thereof and reporting on fender-benders as if they were catastrophes of enormous proportions. People rush to the store for bread and milk when, in all probability, the roads will be open in a matter of an hour or so. Why not just stop and see the beauty of it all?
This isn't a photo that will bring back a memory, but I couldn't resist taking it, even though I have a dozen like it from past years.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Stone Wall

When I moved in to the house on Jordan Cove, half the back yard was overrun with bittersweet. It took a backhoe to rip it out. Under all those vines was an old stone wall. I think this is what they called a "rubble" wall, but I'm not sure of that. I love yellow flowers and there were a lot of Black-eyed Susans along the side of the lane leading to the house. I kept gathering seeds and scattering them along the wall. Eventually, they took hold and apparently liked being there. In a year, they blossomed and I got this snapshot. I don't know if they are still there, or if the bittersweet came back. That's bittersweet you can see just the other side of the stones. It took some effort to get grass growing here because it was a constant battle to keep it from sprouting up in my newly claimed lawn.

There is a wonderful web site by a very talented photographer. It is StoneWallJack.com. He has beautiful photographs of New England stone walls. A cousin told me about this fellow's work and I take a look every so often.
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Praise The Lord Service

This photo is from a few years ago, on the way to Cape Cod. There was a smaller sign telling the time that He would be pumping gas for you.
I don't think this business was there very long, because I wanted to take a better picture on a later trip, and it had closed.
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Waterfront, Cape Cod

This is an old photo taken with my old 35 film camera. It was a cloudy day in late September. This might have been in the late 60s. I always loved the Cape in the fall back then. In the 60s and 70s,most vacationers had gone and the town was all but deserted. Shops were closing for the season and you could stock up on sweatshirts for $5 each, among other things. Restaurants were still open and you could have a lovely and quiet dinner. Nowadays, the season extends well into the fall. A main attraction is the National Seashore which is one of my favorite places in the world. I do miss it.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I was born here in this house in an upstairs bedroom. The farm was owned by my mother's parents, both emigrated from England with their families to work at factory jobs until they were able to buy this property. This photo is from the early 1900s, taken by my mother.

My paternal grandmother attended my birth as mid-wife. As a child I was told that I was born on my Aunt Mary's pillow. The property is still in the family, belonging now to a cousin. This photo was taken by my mother who, as a teen-ager, was given a Kodak Brownie box camera as a birthday present. I think that in those days that camera cost less than five dollars. She recorded life on the farm. Original photos were kept and we have returned them to the farm in the care of our cousin. He will pass them on to one of his sons, we hope. The home has been improved, of course, over the years, now having the name of "Brookside Farm", I think.

The town, like so many, is no longer a farming community, although farms still exist there. It has become a rather up-scale place to live.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back Yard, First Snow

No matter how old I get, I will always love the first snow of winter. Before the sun melts the snow or a breeze shakes the snow off the trees and bushes, everything is transformed from bleak browns and greys. By midwinter, we are counting the weeks til spring. Before too long on this day, three years ago, I had cleared a path around the yard for the dog. She loved the snow, but didn't like to get her feet wet.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008


Rosie was a dog of uncertain age. Found wandering the streets of our town, she was picked up by the dog warden and taken to the pound. The Humane Society had ceased taking strays, but she was given a reprieve by an H.S. worker and brought to their shelter. We were looking for a bit older dog, so when she sat and "smiled" at me, she seemed right for us.We were told she was four years old, but when we got to know her, it was obvious that she was older, maybe eight. She was so well mannered that it seemed unlikely that she was a run-away or just discarded. She was a homebody but loved to go for a ride. She loved snow and cool weather, liked to go for walks, but preferred sidewalks to woods and hated to get her feet wet. She was brushed daily and was often complimented on how beautiful she was. She died of a stroke a year ago. We think she was a teen-ager. We often speculated on her previous owners and wonder how they didn't make an effort to find her.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008


On the bank of the cove where I lived, were bittersweet vines. They were very invasive because birds scattered seeds and they would take root where ever they landed. Of course, the birds loved the berries, especially this mockingbird that enjoyed the feast every year. He rewarded us with his song.
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Sunset at Harkness Park

This shot was taken in the spring of 1988. Sunsets were always beautiful here. The clouds were just right that evening and I was not the only one trying to capture the scene. This was taken with my old 35 film camera.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Maine's Rocky Coast

We took a trip to Maine in September 1997. The weather was beautiful with bright warm sun and cool breezes. All went well til we decided to go on a whale watch. Rough seas kept most of the boats from going out except one, a catamaran. We were told it was a very steady boat and would be quite comfortable. I don't usually get seasick, but this "steady" boat did me in that day. We did see whales, anyway. I do enjoy Maine and have been there a few times, once even seeing a wild moose. One winter, a lifetime ago, two friends and I took a trip to Maine in a "new" used car. We broke down on the road at night and were rescued by a pleasant fellow in a semi. He got us to an inn in Old Town, where we learned he had a reputation for dangerous driving and was known as "Suicide Bill". It was Dec 30th and no way to get the car repaired til after New Years Day. We spent New Years Eve at the inn where the main attraction was a stripper. I was asked to be coat check person and made forty dollars in tips! The next day the stripper came with us on a shopping trip so she could shop for her kids.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We used to see more deer before the developers started building. I watched a young buck one year as he grew his antlers, He was with a couple of young does. Then, he disappeared and I never did see him again. I used to walk very early in the morning, with a flashlight to get me through the woods where there often were deer browsing. They are so curious. I could shine my flashlight at them and they would stand still as I approached them. I did not get too close, it's not a Disney world out there. These two does were part of a herd from one of the last open spaces left in the area.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Late Summer

This photo is from a few years ago, taken at the town park. The town leased part of the park to a summer theatre. There was a barn theatre and large house where the actors ,etc., stayed. For a few years, there was also a theatre of the deaf. There was a large field that was used for recreation. At times, you could see the actors in the middle of that field rehearsing their lines, sometimes in a very loud voice. Lots of goldenrod around the edge of the field which attracted the Monarch butterflies. There were crabapple trees and beach roses that had large rosehips in the fall. A path took you to the dunes and a great beach. It was crowded in summer, but a great place to walk, take the dog, fly kites, or fish in off season. Sometimes, (not often), you could see submarines traveling up to the Groton sub base. Our dog was a Golden Retriever and you could not keep her out of the water, resulting in a wet and sandy car on the way home.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Red !

We hired a painter to paint the house. He was a good worker and did a great job with lots of prep work. He asked what color to put on the hatchway. It had been a barn red, which I suggested would be my choice. Maybe he doesn't know "barn red", but this is what he did. It's a shiny, bright, red and can be seen from a great distance. It grows on you!
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Sunday, November 9, 2008


The little Sumac had its moment of glory before it was cut down. The farmer repaired the barn boards and it had to go. It was the only Sumac in the area and not a beauty by any means, until a sunny day in autumn, when splayed out against the old wood, I couldn't pass it by without taking a photo. I had hoped it would re-generate, but it didn't.
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Saturday, November 8, 2008


Taken a few years ago, this is the Pilgrim Monument at sundown from North Truro, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Icy Morning

Some years ago, after a freezing rain, I went out with my camera before dawn. Everything had a coating of ice. The sun came up and there were hundreds of rainbows on the bushes. I snapped away, thinking what great photos I had. Of course, the rainbows didn't show up in the pictures. What I did end up with was this one of the sun behind the ice covered trees. When the sun rose, it all melted very fast.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Cute critters! They come for the seeds I put out for the squirrels. Today one climbed into the small red maple and scavenged for maple seeds still clinging to the branches. We have red squirrels, too, but the grey squirrels chase them so we don't see them very often.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

First Light

Sometimes, at first light, fog covers the field.
As the day lightens, it rises. I like this photo of the old shed.
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Last of the Autumn Colors

After he cuts his hay, the farmer reseeds for next years crop. The new grass is like a green carpet. This view is from the field where I walk, to another field across the road. It is now a heavily traveled road, narrow and winding. Drivers speed through here during commuter times.
Trees lining these fields are mostly "Swamp Maples" and put on a good show in the fall.
A couple of years ago, the farmer went around the perimeter of the property and cut down a lot of nice young trees, including a big beautiful white birch and several cedars.There appeared to be no reason to destroy them because they did not shade his crop nor did it widen the area. He had a "field day" with his chainsaw. In very early spring, deer come to munch on the grass here. I thought they only ate brush, etc.. Once there were a dozen.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Morning Walk

I took my early morning walk in the woods today. There is a hill behind the house to get to the trail, so the sun doesn't reach the back yard right away. I walked through the woods and around the hayfield and started back along the edge of the trees. Suddenly, the sun rose over the horizon and through the trees. It created a wonderful glow as it lit up the golden beech leaves through the grayness of the now bare oaks. I could not do it justice in this photo, but it will remind me of my morning walk. It's November now. Autumn never lasts long enough for me. I love everything about it. The colors, crisp air, warm sun, leaves to shuffle through. I was an October baby so maybe that's why.
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Saturday, November 1, 2008


At the Seaport Museum, there is an old whaling ship, the Morgan, that has been restored and is open to the public. The Seaport is a popular tourist spot. It is a village replicating the historical era of whaling ships. Lots to see here. I used to bring visitors here when they spent time at my house. It is in Mystic, Connecticut. There is an aquarium in Mystic, too. They had beluga whales and dolphins, etc..I think they had a walrus, too. I took this photo on my last visit to the museum a few years ago.
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Joe Pye Weed in Bloom

At the state park in Waterford, CT. where I used to live there is a short nature trail. In the summer, "Joe Pye Weed" in bloom lines the entrance. You can see deer here, if you're lucky. Once a partridge rushed her chicks off the path into the brush as I walked. The path takes you down to Long Island Sound where there are egrets fishing. There are nesting platforms for Ospreys. Some years, there are not very many nesting however. You can usually see herons, too. This water is the entrance to the Thames River and to New London Harbor (here Thames is pronounced just as it is written and not the English, "Tems"). It's a popular park in summer and peaceful and quiet off season. I used to come here after work to unwind. I miss it.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Old Harbor Station, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

This is the old life saving station. It was originally in Chatham and moved, by barge, across to the tip of Cape Cod. I was able to see the restoration progress when I vacationed on the Cape every fall. It is finished now and opened to the public. The Life-Saving Service started with the Massachusetts Humane Society in 1786. The lives they saved were those of seamen on shipwrecks off the Northeast Coast. It has a fascinating history,
A book on this has been written by Richard G. Ryder and published by Ram Island Press.
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Curing Tobacco

At the end of October, the tobacco is ready to be taken down. A crew of workers remove the leaves from the stems and bale them up. If they are lucky, the weather is mild. Sometimes, it is very cold and no heat is available. A lot of the crew come from Jamaica. They come up to do farm work, harvesting apples, and working in tobacco, etc.. They have their own farms at home, I think. I often see them in town, sending money by wire or money order back home.
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