Sunday, July 30, 2006

Simple Vistas

Maybe George and I are getting old. We really enjoy all the birds and critters than come to our yard each day. This morning we had a bonanza. A wild turkey mom and her four babies visited our driveway to eat some sunflower seeds. George even was able to go out a throw a few more seeds to them without the mother running away. The little ones took a dive over the driveway wall in fear, but soon they hopped back and joined mom. Then they laid down flat on the driveway in the sun and rested while mom played look-out.

As we were enjoying the turkeys, we looked over to see a cottontail bunny came into the center of the yard to munch on the grass. I said to George that it looked like Mr. Roger's Neighborhood here this morning.

We feed the birds and have several feeders and two large birdbaths where we keep fresh water. We don't see anything really rare, but we really enjoy it when we see the mother nuthatch feeding the little ones, or the four teenage boy cardinals that regularly visit with their parents, or the multitude of beautiful yellow and black goldfinches that feed on the thistle in the high feeder in the middle of the yard. We feed a variety of sparrows, crows, grackles, bluejays, etc. We have a welcoming, ecologically-friendly back yard I guess. We lately have seen a couple of young (rather plain) brown cowbird youngun's, who we think were raised by doves, since they hang out together, and cowbirds often lay their eggs in other bird's nests. The doves congregate under the waterers and preen and coo. The cowbirds act like interlopers who are trying not to be noticed.

Seeing our green lawnchairs facing the garden, I said to George yesterday, "This looks like we need to get a life!"

Well, maybe we are getting old, but...I'll take it.
Have a great day.

A bunny that came to visit today. It was just like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in our backyard this morning! Posted by Picasa

A mother turkey and four littles one. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Niagara Falls. Our last night of our vacation. Posted by Picasa

Summer beauties Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Being back from vacation means you have a nice Weight Watcher lunch like this! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg, New Hampshire Posted by Picasa

Beaver Brook Waterfall on our way to the cabin Posted by Picasa

A female red-breasted merganzer, not nearly so lush and bright as the one we saw, but with the same determined expression! Posted by Picasa

Journaling my vacation

On July 8th, George and I left for the cabin in the Northwoods of New Hampshire. Before we even arrived at the cabin, we had seen a fox, lots of hawks, and a mother loon with her baby in the bay. The drive up there goes through the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the whole drive only takes six hours...the way we do it. I stopped off at the Outlet Mall and bought a new pair of Bass "vacation" flipflops. Yay! That evening was the first of six nights that we went looking for moose along the stretch of road between the cabin and Canada. We saw moose on all but the last night. There was a full moon on July 11th, which was also my birthday, and it was beautiful as the large golden moon rose slowly over the lake and the dark trees. That night I woke up at midnight and stepped onto the screened in porch and saw the moon reflecting over the lake, and I don't think I've ever seen a lovelier sight. The area is so peaceful it is very rejuvenating and inspiring.

The first day of our vacation we spent a lot of time loafing, unpacking, and most of the day was spent reading magazines and books. I always catch up on my New Yorkers and Vogues at the cabin. I found a Readers Digest collection of abridged books at the cabin, and read that too! It is fun sometimes to NOT read what you've planned to read! Sleeping at the cabin is wonderful, and the cool night air flows through the screens, and the night sounds are relaxing and peaceful. The second day we saw something truly amazing.

We were sitting in our camp chairs by the water's edge, with fishing poles and books in hand. This is your "casual" fishing, when you are really there for the relaxation more than the fish. Some people come with the intent and desire for catching fish, and some people come with the desire for relaxation...and that is us! There is another camp nearby, and I heard two dogs barking, and a splash in the water off the next dock. I didn't think much of it at the time, and just glanced over to see what I thought were a few ducks diving in to get away from the dogs.

What was actually happening was that a red-breasted merganzer, a duck that looks a lot like a loon but has a beautiful rust-colored crest on the back of her head. This bird was a LOT more colorful than any pictures I have seen, and of course that day, we did not have a camera handy. As I watched, I saw what I thought were about 8 ducklings, then 12, and then, in true amazement, I starting counting. This beautiful lady merganzer had 25!!!babies swimming along behind her. Later George said that she was doing "daycare", and it is true. Red-breasted merganzers actually take two broods into their nest, if another female leaves her nest. They share! Those 25 little ducklings following the mother quietly along ahead of us, across our line of sight, and to the other side of the lake to our right. We never saw them again. I quickly named her "Mrs. Mergansteiner", and we talked about her and her brood many times during the vacation.

The rest of the week was punctuated by lots of bird and moose sightings, and we enjoyed watching for the wild things wherever we went. Loons are our specialty, and we spent a lot of the time we were on the boat watching loons. Fishing was rather low on our list of priorities I'm afraid. George took a suet feeder and hung it in the huge pine by the cabin, and we enjoyed the upside-down antics of the red breasted nuthatches. He also left nuts out on the big rock, and on our steps, which were shared by the chipmunks and the crows.

We actually caught two fish. George caught a tiny small one, and threw it back quickly, and one day when he left to go to the cabin for a few minutes, I actually caught a 15" lake salmon. It was a beautiful fish, and by gently bringing it in, I was able to let it fall off the hook before it was hurt. I had a great time telling George my fish story when we got back.

After six relaxing days at the cabin, the next leg of our trip took us to Washington DC. It was hot in Boston the day we left, and I packed quickly and we got out of here, electing to stay a night in a motel rather than put up with the heat and humidity that was home. We love Michael and Michelle's new house, and enjoyed our visit with them. What a place! The nicest house I have ever seen! Since it was a weekday, they both had to go to work, so I stayed home in luxurious comfort one whole day while George went off to the Smithsonian air museum at Dulles. I needed a break, and I got it. Lovely.

From there we drove to Parkersburg, WV, and went to the Fenton Glass Factory. We spent a happy two hours there, going through the huge tent sale items, and also inside the gift shop. The factory had closed early because of the heat, so there was no factory tour that day. We have been there twice before, so it was not a great loss, although it is always fun to see them blowing the hot glass into such beautiful items. We bought five or six beautiful items, including a lily white glass basket and a black painted vase. George always picks lovely things too, and then we show each other what we bought when we get home. These new beauties are in the glass case in the livingroom that is the Fenton collection.

I loved Columbus and Dayton. We stayed at Microtel motels on this trip for the first time and I found them inexpensive, efficient, and very clean and quiet. In Dayton we stayed at a Comfort Inn with all the trimmings, and had a beautiful large room. We had great luck with motel rooms on this trip and had no complaints at all. The Air Force Museum is a wonder. After we had been there for a half hour, we went to see an IMAX movie called The History of Flight, and both of us had tears in our eyes afterward. We were just so darned happy to be there! I can't begin to even talk about all the wonderful things we saw there. I loved the IMAX movies, and both of us really enjoyed the awesome stories and the airplanes that bring to mind the bravery and professionalism on the part of soldiers and pilots in the wars: World War I & II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. What an amazing collection of airplanes, and of course, George knows as much about all of them as any guide, so I learned a lot. I have announced that we have to go back next year, because we hardly touched the surface of all that is there to see. Incredible! I walked until my legs would hardly go any more, and I had to ditch the sandals for a pair of good Nike walking shoes. This museum is housed in four huge hangars, and is very hard on the feet!

We enjoyed our long drive, but were happy to be home. We had four days where we drove 400+ miles (or about eight to ten hours) and that is enough sitting in a car for anybody. We ate our share of ice cream and fast food, and are ready for some healthy home cooking! I even had buffalo wings one night for dinner. Egad!

Home at last, we have our memories of a great two-part vacation, a challenge met (actually getting to Dayton and to the Museum has been a life-long goal for George), and a lot of really happy days!

Have a good day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Airplanes everywhere! Posted by Picasa

George and I drove to Dayton Ohio to visit the Air Force Museum. A wonderful trip to a wonderful place! Posted by Picasa

So many beautiful airplanes! This is a P-26A Peashooter. Posted by Picasa

Me, standing in front of an early bi-plane Posted by Picasa

A beautiful outdoor park at the museum Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 23, 2006


We are home from our vacation trip to Dayton, Ohio to see the Air Force Museum. I will be writing a journal of my whole trip, and can't wait to share the high points. George and I had a great time, but we thought that another night in a motel might kill us. We enjoyed the museum, loved Columbus and Dayton, and saw Niagara Falls on the way back. After yet another nine hour drive, we are home...and happy for it!

More later.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Loon watching Posted by Picasa

More loon watching Posted by Picasa

A few vacation photos

We just got home yesterday from a week at the cabin in northern New Hampshire. We had a great time. The pictures don't do it justice, because we don't spend a lot of time taking pictures. We did a lot of very fun things. Both George and I caught a fish. I caught mine off the dock, and George wasn't there to see it, because he had left for the cabin for a few minutes. I caught a lovely 15" lake salmon, that was pretty as can be. I knew I had a smallish fish on the line, and tried to be very gentle, just pulling him in slowly so I could unhook him. He was beautiful and sleek and fell off the hook himself just at the last minute, so that was great.

We did a lot of loon watching, especially a loon family that hangs out in a bay near the road. We also saw lots of moose, including one in broad daylight standing in swampy water. Of course, we didn't have the camera ready. We took trips into town, did a little shopping, a little fishing, a lot of sight seeing, some cooking, a lot of reading, a lot of rummy-playing, a little too much ice-cream eating at our lodge Moose Alley Ice Cream Shop, and just had a very lovely relaxing week in a beautiful spot. Here's the pics.

The loon family we spent so much time viewing through binoculars and trying to take pictures of. That baby loon is just incredibly cute! Posted by Picasa

My fishing outfit Posted by Picasa

Mr. Moose Posted by Picasa

George Posted by Picasa

The afghan I finished while I was there. It is Michael's Christmas present that I hadn't finished in time. But now it is ALL done! Posted by Picasa

Indian Stream: A beautiful river for flyfishing Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Gone Fishing! See you all on July 25th! Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006

A little "bouquet" of pansies that decided to grow by our front walk. I enjoy them every day many times!

Bright little unplanned bouquet by our front walk. Posted by Picasa

Voluteers Posted by Picasa

Happy 4th of July

This is a long weekend, that leads to a long vacation. We are going to Portsmouth today to do some shopping at four bead stores, and to visit friends for dinner. I am searching the house for a box of afghan squares that I made two years ago and need to stitch together to give to Michael and Michelle. Lost. I know they are here somewhere!

About two years ago, I switched my main hobby from knitting to beading. I have a lot of bins and boxes of beautiful yarn that I bought when I lived in New Hampshire. After I return from vacation on July 24th, I am going to put some of this yarn up for sale on Ebay. I suppose if I switch my hobby to model airplanes in the next life, I will have a lot of beads to put up for sale. But I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Today I make a couple of special orders, find the box of yarn, organize some more packing for the trip to the cabin, eat some watermelon and enjoy the great outdoors!

Have a lovely day.