Friday, August 22, 2014

First Impressions of PEI...

Now that we are about to leave, I am going to post my first impressions of this beautiful place...
Prince Edward Island.


1)  No matter where you look, there's a farm in the background.


2)  It's a great place for oysters and oyster people, so Greg was happy.


3)  People have a bit of a spring in their steps.



4)  Red is a common theme as is weathered wood.


5)  They make a darn good beer, eh!


Linking to Around Roanoke...A Daily Photo Blog's

Willy Nilly Friday Five!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

One off the Bucket List...

Ever since we moved to New England around 33 years ago and I started seeing the bumper stickers, “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington,” I've wanted to go see what it was all about. Last week I managed to remove that particular item from my Bucket List when Greg, Olive and I drove up to the summit of Mt. Washington in Gorham, New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern US, standing at 6,288 feet and is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.

On the day we left, the weather wasn't the greatest and we were a bit afraid that the Auto Road would be closed. But we shouldn't have been worried. The Auto Road was open and we were in business.


The old Mark Twain saying about the changeable weather in New England is doubly true for Mt. Washington. As we started out, it was sunny enough but the clouds quickly covered the tallest hills masking them completely and then the clouds were gone again.



At the Summit, the fog was really socked in...or was it? Like Twain said, just wait five minutes.




I wasn't the only one who was fascinated by these changes, as you can see.


The wind was another thing! The day we were there, it whipped around from 20 mph to 50 mph, but the highest land wind speed was recorded in Mt. Washington in 1934, when they measured the wind at 231 miles per hour. I'm glad I wasn't there then!


The chains that hold down the roof of the Mt. Washington Stage Office building are reminders of the fierce and changeable weather at the summit.



We looked around for a bit and then started our decent, watching the weather change as we drove down.



In the distance, we could see the ski trails on another mountain, which reminds me that I would really like to go up there in the winter time so I guess, I only half crossed Mt. Washington off my list.


Closer to the bottom of the mountain, we stopped among the thick woods to let our car breaks cool down.


But the best part is that now I won't have to be jealous each time I see a car with one of these.



Monday, August 11, 2014

A Trip to the City…

Last Friday was a beautiful day here in Central Massachusetts…a perfect day to head into the city.
 
Worcester, Massachusetts may not be much of a city by some people’s standards, but right now it is the second largest city by population in New England.  And while it may not be much to look at over all, it has a lot of good things about it, including ten colleges/universities, very good restaurants and a very nice art museum.

Our first stop in Worcester was to Shrewsbury Street and the Flying Rhino restaurant for lunch.  The ambiance and food was good, but it took us three or four times around the block to find a parking spot.   Trouble finding a parking spot makes Worcester feel much bigger than it is.


This Quinoa Salad that Carrie ordered is a WooFood.  WooFoods are marked with the WooFood logo on restaurant menus, "making the healthy (and delicious) choice the easy choice."  I had a WooFood veggie burger and some broccoli slaw.  I say WooHoo for WooFood.


Then we went on to the Worcester Art Museum, known to locals as the WAM.


August is Free at the WAM, so you still have fifteen days to take advantage of that if you are in the area.  The WAM is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  We went primarily to see the Arms and Armor exhibit that came to the WAM after the Higgins Armory Museum closed in December of last year.  The Higgins was one of those places we always meant to go but never got to.  So we were glad to see that some of their collection would be on exhibit at the WAM.  We enjoyed the armor and we did wander around to see a few other things.   I took no photos in the museum, but I took a few out in the Stoddard Garden Court adjacent to the museum.

This is a photo of Worcester's Community Mosaic.


And here is Carrie taking a photo of herself reflected in a sculpture in the Court.  You can also see a little bit of me on the right hand side.  I was wearing a red t-shirt.


Then we walked Evan home since he lives only about five minutes from the museum and we headed back to the country from whence we came.

On our way out of the city, I snapped a photo of Worcester’s famous and somewhat notorious Turtle Boy sculpture, which has its own page on RoadsideAmerica.com.  Enough said about that.



Friday, August 8, 2014

Northern Dreams and other things…

1)  When I think of vacation spots, my mind usually points north.  I know that most people long for sunny Italy and the Caribbean, but I still have Iceland, Alaska and more of Scandinavia on my bucket list.  But I am going to cross off one entry on the old bucket list pretty soon when we journey up to the Canadian Maritimes.


2)  In preparation for this trip, I have started reading Anne of Green Gables.  When I think about it, I’m not sure how that book escaped me in my youth.  But I will get ‘er done before we leave.  I like reading a book set in the place where we are headed.  I read Ivanhoe before we went to Scotland and many Jo Nesbø novels before going to Norway.  I was glad to find out on arriving in both places that the reality is not a lot like the novels.  We saw no knights in Scotland and not a lot of bloody violence and murder in Norway…in fact, we saw no violence at all in Norway.  It may be there lurking under the surface, but the Norway you are seeing today in the pictures I’m posting is the Norway we saw.  Simply Mother Nature at its finest.


3)  I just took one of those Facebook quizzes that tells you what age you are.  Apparently, I’m 22.   That’s a definite LOL!  I may have been 22 once, but I can’t really remember that far back.


4)  Speaking of Facebook, I am going to recommend two photography blogs I’ve found since hanging out there.  The first is from my Flickr/Facebook friend Lydia Martin.  Her blog is BluefoxPhotography Blog.  She is a first rate photographer and a fun person to be virtual friends with.  The other is a blog is called Wolf Shadow Photography and, well, if you go there I think that you will be most pleasantly entertained for a while especially if you are a dog and/or cat lover.


5)  We are having a family get together today.  Heading to Worcester to take advantage of the August is Free promotion at the Worcester Art Museum.  Carrie is motoring out from Northampton and Evan doesn’t work on Fridays in the summer so I figured it would be a good time for Greg and me to reel them in for a day.  I’m looking forward to spending time at the museum with my favorite people.


Linking up with Willy Nilly Friday 5

On Tanya's Around Roanoke...A Daily Photo Blog


Around Roanoke

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wilt, will you meet me among the Queen Anne’s Lace?

We have had a bumper crop of Queen Anne’s Lace this year.  It’s beautiful!  I’m glad it’s a wildflower that people leave alone to let it do its thing.   Around here it has been growing along the berms and in the medians just like it does every summer.  It makes me happy to see it.


I recently came across this poem by Joan Aiken called Midnight Is a Place that has such a wonderful , romantic feel to it  and does justice to the beauty of this ubiquitous wildflower.

Night's winged horses
No one can outpace
But midnight is no moment
Midnight is a place.

Meet me at Midnight,
Among the Queen Anne's Lace
Midnight is not a moment,
Midnight is a place—

When, when shall I meet you
When shall I see your face
For I am living in time at present
But you are living in space.

Time is only a corner
Age is only a fold
A year is merely a penny
Spent from a century's gold.

So meet me, meet me at midnight
(With sixty seconds' grace)
Midnight is not a moment;
Midnight is a place.

Meet me at Midnight,
Among the Queen Anne's Lace
Midnight is not a moment,
Midnight is a place—




But then, maybe the flower is beautiful because it has a beautiful name.  As Jarod Kintz says, “If our destiny stems from our name, then I weep for the flower named Wilt.”



Friday, August 1, 2014

Bear Alert and other things…

1)  We got a phone call early this morning from a neighbor.  I didn’t get to it fast enough and his message went to voice mail.  Of course, my first thoughts are always of some impending disaster or another when we get early (or late) phone calls.  But fortunately, Vic just wanted to tell us that he spied two bear cubs making their way toward our house.  I’m glad he called.  But by the time I got my glasses on and my thoughts together and went downstairs to find my camera, they had skedaddled.  Actually, I think that they came into our yard and made a turn at the stone wall and went to the beach.   They have been spotted swimming out to Blueberry Island on occasion.  So once again I lost my opportunity to snap at them.  When Olive and I went out to get the paper a little later though, I was on alert and had the Nikon with me.  No bears, which I guess is a good thing really.  A pug wouldn’t be much protection for me and I'm not sure what I could do for the pug if we had a close encounter.


2)  I did manage to get a pretty decent shot of a male Cardinal who was hanging around the yard.  We have a nice Cardinal couple who have been hanging out in our crabapple tree.  They are hard to catch though because the minute I go out with my camera, they find they need to go to some other yard or way, way up in a tree.  I got this one through the window.  So there, Mr. Red!  You just try and hide.


3)  Olive, the pug, had her 8 year wellness visit at the vet today and I am happy to say she got a clean bill of health.  She even lost a couple of ounces.  While we were sitting in the waiting room, a woman came in with a Cornish Rex cat.  What a gorgeous creature that is!  And the polar opposite of a pug.  And when we were finished, there was a nice looking tabby waiting to go in.  Cat day at the vets, I guess, except for Olive.  Made me miss my old feline friends.  Olive will spend the rest of the day sleeping and trying to forget the injustice of a trip to the vets.  I’m just glad she’s doing well.


4)  For the last couple of years, Greg and I have made our way down to Griswold, Connecticut to Buttonwood Farm to view the sunflowers.  This year we missed it by a day.  Boo!  When I realized that, I had to bring some sunflowers home from the grocery.  It’s not the same as seeing them en masse in the fields, but it will have to do for this year.


5)  August already!  Are you kidding me???

A sign of the dog days to come??
I'm hooking up today with Tanya's Willy-Nilly Friday 5 
on Around Roanoke, VA...A Daily Photo Blog


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bugs on plants and one good fence…

I was looking around at the photos I’ve taken in the last couple of weeks and found that I have been taking a lot of shots of bugs.  There’s a bear and a bobcat roaming around our neighborhood, but I am only getting bugs.  Oh, well…guess I’m hanging around in the wrong places.  But since that’s what I’ve got, I will post a few bugs today. 
 





One problem with bugs is that they refuse to be fenced in.  Still I want to participate in Good Fences on Theresa’s Run*A*Round Ranch Report so I am also posting one good fence.  This fence is there to keep people from driving into Quaboag Pond in Brookfield, Massachusetts.  It seems to be working for that, but it would do nothing to keep the bugs out or in.