Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving day. May you spend it with friends and loved ones and may you find you have many, many things to be thankful for.

This old Norman Rockwell illustration made me chuckle. Did they really do that to people who ate too much?
I'm taking a few days off to enjoy some family time. Be back Monday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

From PC's to birdbaths;)

My photo PC has been in the shop all week. I just about maxed out the old 80 gigabyte hard drive in less than a year. It's getting an upgrade to a 500 gigabyte hard drive. That should give me some space for storing pictures (for a while anyway;).

These are some photos I had on a flash drive and decided to post. Mushrooms have nothing to do with my PC--just some interesting ones I found the other day while doing yard work. They like soil high in organic content, so if you have mushrooms (or any soil fungus), it's a pretty good sign your soil is healthy;)

Rambling disjointedly onto another topic.

I'm taking my concrete birdbath in for the winter. If it stays outside through many freezes and thaws, it will almost certainly crack. I'll replace it with a heated one so the birds can get water when everything is frozen and there is no snow cover.

I saw this photo on the Duncraft site. The cost is something like $30o. I love this birdbath! It looks like stone but is some kind of resin compound. Anyway, I thought maybe this winter I'd try making something similar from hypertufa. Anybody that works with tufa, please let me ask you some questions. Perhaps we can do a blog tutorial about tufa projects.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More tribute to autumn (Part II)

P. D. James said, "It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life."

I know I'm guilty of looking back on events through a romantic, rose colored haze. When I remember the autumn just passed, I will think about the crisp air, the gentle warmth of the sun, and incredible color everywhere. I will remember the last tomatoes and the first sweet apples, the pungent scent of leaf smoke and the impossible colors of an autumn sunrise. I will relive the cautious hopefulness I felt when we elected a new president, and enjoy the remaining days left to my much beloved old cat, Voodoo.

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
with the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; There thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my Fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruit and flowers.
~ William Blake

The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn...spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end...earth scents and the sky winds and all the magic of the countryside which is ordained for the healing of the soul.
~ Monica Baldwin

Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?
~ Hal Borland

I'm glad I prepared this post a few days ahead. My 'photography' computer is going into intensive care tomorrow. Not sure when I'll have it back.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you

I would like to express my heartfelt thank you to all American veterans and the men and women serving in Americas Armed Forces.

Look around you, everything you see is due to a great extent to the Americans who have fought and sometimes died for our great country.

And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
And I don't want to die for you,
But if dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.
I'm an American soldier.

When liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right,
I'm out here on the front lines, so sleep in peace tonight.
I'm an American Soldier

~Toby Kieth/Chuck Cannon

Photos by Norman Rockwell, one of the greatest chroniclers of life in America.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

To linger just a bit longer (Part I)

Our glorious Indian summer ended Thursday. Harsh winds ripped the gold and scarlet leaves from the trees and left skeletons silhouetted against gray skies. A chill rain adds to the gloom.

I shouldn't complain, it could have been snow. For the next several days (or maybe weeks) I will be huddled inside wrapped in knitted sweaters and furry cats. I will watch the birds and read my friend's blogs and wait to see what winter brings.

But first I want to time travel back a few weeks and relive a bit of autumn's blazing color.

I am rich today with autumn's gold,
All that my covetous hands can hold;
Frost-painted leaves and goldenrod,
A goldfinch on a milkweed pod,
Huge golden pumpkins in the field
With heaps of corn from a bounteous yield,
Golden apples heavy on the trees
Rivaling those of Hesperides,
Golden rays of balmy sunshine spread
Over all like butter on warm bread;
And the harvest moon will this night unfold
The streams running full of molten gold.
Oh, who could find a dearth of bliss
With autumn glory such as this!
~ Gladys Harp

From my favorite poem by RobertFrost. I always picture his wood in autumn with fallen leaves mostly covering the paths.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

Maybe, if we are very lucky, we will have another spell of good weather before winter sets in to stay. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tribute to Autumn's Beauty

In the autumn, we are gifted with amazing splendor before nature plunges us into the bitter grayness of a long winter. Autumn is the time of abundance and beauty.

I plan to enjoy every moment of Indian Summer with my camera.

The hazy, cloudless skies of Indian Summer. Leaves scurrying down the street before the wind.

The cold shiver from an arctic blast. Indian Summer. The last warmth of the sun.

Chilly mornings and glorious warm afternoons.The Harvest Moon. The Hunter's Moon.

The Rainy Season. Dry corn stalks clattering in the wind.

The touch of frost on grass and window pane. The smell of burning leaves.

- Keith C. Heidorn