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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Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Morning After

Mother had a Night Blooming Cereus which blossomed every summer. The blossoms open at night. You can almost see them move as the petals unfold, and the air is filled with a heavy sweet perfume. Each blossom lasts only one night and closes with daylight as you can see here. This is a bloom from a slip of my mother's plant. I have a few pictures of the open blossom, but they are not very good. We always made an occasion of the event every year. My old plant still blooms, but I'm an early to bed person so I only get to see the morning after these days.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

At The Marsh

A very old photo, taken with my old 35 film camera. When I lived on the shoreline, I walked here every day. You could see a variety of ducks and other birds. It was a great place to wind down from my work day . When I had the Golden, I could let her off lead, which she loved. Always in the water, one day she found an old tennis ball. She made up a game of dropping it in the water, watching it float back in, and then repeating it over and over.
This looks like it might have been a misty day.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This fellow, munching on a peanut, must be a grandfather by now ( or a grandmother). The photo is from a some time ago. I splurge on peanuts and seeds every year. Developers have destroyed some woods near here so foraging for food must be difficult.. Deer are scarcer now, although there were four in the yard one morning this week. They come to see what seeds are left behind. I'm interfering with nature, I suppose, with the extra food I put out. It's a selfish attitude. I guess, since it's no doubt for my own enjoyment. This morning we had fifteen squirrels, mourning doves, juncos, and a cardinal or two. I'm never sure when it's the right time to stop feeding in the spring.
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Sunday, January 4, 2009


The cardinals certainly brighten up a winter day. They like to feed early in the day and you can see them in the late afternoon when the daylight is fading. When you can see them on a sunny afternoon, the males are brilliant. There are a few that live nearby. I think they nest in the cedar near the north side of the house, although I haven't been able to see the nest. Right now there appear to be two pair that come here.

The bluejays are also colorful. They are the pirates of the bird world and will devour as much as they can as fast as they can. I haven't seen any for a week or more. They must have found better rations elsewhere.
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rosa Mundi and the Woodchuck

Rosa Mundi is an old rose, or, I guess you could call it a heritage rose. There are a few plants in the back yard. The flowers are beautiful, white with pink stripes, or the other way around. Our resident woodchuck loves the new green leaves and nearly destroyed the bed. Now, we have two woodchucks, (currently hibernating) probably the older one is a female. Nothing seemed to discourage the creature from eating the foliage. Finally, it found other green stuff, the wild violets, for one., and the roses grew new leaves and blossomed again. It's a battle of wits to keep ahead of our furry friend. I'll try again this summer after she weans her babies, to discourage their residency and move on.

This rose goes back to the 1500s, so I think it is worth an effort to protect it. It's easy to grow and doesn't need a lot of care beyond the critters who try to demolish it.
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