Monday, December 27, 2010

Dig Out Your Snow Boots...

...then proceed to dig out everything else, because that right there is Fort Fiona, and the little kitter inside needs water and food and, after last night's howling winds, probably a lot of reassurance.

I will need boots. And perhaps, a plow.

I don't think there's a newspaper on that driveway, anyway, so let's not even consider shoveling that.

Almost there, honey. It'll just be another, um, half-hour or so.

I asked if she'd be going out today; she couldn't shake her head "no" fast enough. Okay, hon, I'll crack the ice on your water dish and warm up some Fancy go on back to sleep...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Dog Won't Hunt

He won't come when you call, either, but isn't he delightful? Sniffin' the breeze.
We were out near the beach today to look at my brother's new place. Leaving, we drove down a particular street to see a house under construction, and wound up going in the wrong direction. Serendipitously, the wrong turn revealed an ice cream place that had just been recommended to us, so we stopped and got a couple of cones and walked around the neighborhoood, where we stumbled upon this handsome guy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Weekend

Weather by Disney: sunny and warm, clear blue skies all weekend. Saturday took us out to Montauk to celebrate the Marks patriarch's 80th birthday: huzzah! Lots of wonderful people, lots of good stories. A few of the grandsons dashed off a tune to mark the occasion. Click and watch!

Sunday morning, the vibe continued with more picture-perfect weather, so I took my bike out to the park. Leaving my house with the bike is quite a production, as I have to prop open the storm door, open the inside door, wrestle the bike down the five steps without it getting away from me, kickstand it, go back and lock the inside door, unprop and close the storm door, adjust my helmet, and get on the dang bike. It's a spectacle, I tell ya. So Sunday morning as I completed this routine, a neighbor walking by with his dog stopped to compliment me on the front yard, which is not-a-lawn. He introduced himself as Doug, and said that someday soon -"not today, and not tomorrow, but someday soon"- he'd like to come by and hear how I put it together. I thought that was very nice. A nice neighbor, and he likes my garden! Although I thought it was strange that he didn't introduce his dog. Or is it strange that I would expect him to introduce his dog?

Later in the day, we gathered at the Newmans' for Mike's 18th birthday. Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, where did the time go?

Only the tiki guitar god knows.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dog Days of Summer Can Be Fun

...if you're hanging at the beach with these guys, that is. I posted this on my Facebook page, but had to add it here as well for my non-FB buds. For more about the group that trained the goggies, check out this article.
(Did you watch the video?? C'mon, you gotta watch the video. Click on the first link. That's it! Good dog!) If the link doesn't work, go to YouTube and search for "Dog Party On The Beach;" it should be the first vid to come up, from Tallahassee Pet Connect.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Graduation Weekend!

Two great nephews, two great futures in the works: Michael (in red) graduated from South on Friday, and Devon (in blue) received his diploma from Oceanside on Sunday. Both earned extra points for remaining very handsome in wilting heat while encased in flowing polyester robes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thereby Hangs A...

Life isn't all lounging-on-the-warm-rocks for these guys. Clearly, they have their misadventures.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Did You Know?

The middle of the ocean hosts an unobstructed one of these every day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Count Your Change

Always one to spot money-in-the-street, the DH was surprised to see a handful of change discarded in a planter on the St. George dock last week in Bermuda. It turned out to be demonetized British currency.
This penny's worth only that, and only in Bermuda, but it reminded me of a recent entry in Futility Closet:

"On April 12, 2006, numismatist Scott A. Travers bought a pretzel in Times Square and paid for it partly with a 1914 penny worth $350.

In the same week he spent a 1908 penny worth $200 and a 1909 one worth more than $1,000. “I’m planting a seed,” he told the New York Times, “and I hope that a new generation of people will come to appreciate the history that coins represent.”

In the weeks that followed, seven people came forward claiming to have found the $1,000 penny. “The coins were real, but none of them was mine,” Travers said.

In January 2009, the New York Daily News reported that all three of Travers’ coins were still unclaimed. That doesn’t mean they’re still circulating — but they might be."

Friday, June 18, 2010

DeBaun Is DeGone

It was just about two years ago that Camp DeBaun, an Oceanside day camp, closed its doors after 58 years of family ownership. There's no reason I should be nostalgic about it; I never went to camp there, nor even knew anybody who had. Still, I had occasion to drive past it quite often, and the shady plot of colorful, well-kept buildings was a landmark. Plenty of other folks remember it quite fondly, (it has a Facebook page, naturally) and I hope they took all the pictures they needed to before yesterday, which is when I snapped this one. You can just about see the camp name on the blue building to the right. I saw the big earth-movers as I drove past on my way to the nursery, pulling up great chunks of brush like awkward dinosaurs. It does seem a shame that so many fine old trees have to come down in order to make way for....what? A 24-hour, 60,000-square-foot supermarket, apparently. Oh, good. Because the other three supermarkets within a half-mile radius are, like, a half-mile away.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


We're back, after only a week. That doesn't seem long enough, does it?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Always A Trip, This Flower

All of a sudden, three foxglove plants sprang up not far from where I planted one four years ago. Volunteers!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How Quiet?

"Library quiet?"
I'd guess the retailer wants to emphasize how very quiet this unit is, and perhaps where they come from, libraries are very quiet. All I can say to them is: welcome to New York City. How can I help you?....(louder)I said,
How can I help you?
I'm also intrigued by the "stainless steel flavorizer bars" noted on the grill to the left.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Old Faithfuls

We have lots of different kinds of daylilies around here, thanks to the DH's old hobby, but over the years and the moving them around, I really don't know which one's which anymore. Anyhow, this is the first one blooming, and doesn't it cheer the joint up?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This vine hides in the dogwood tree; you have to work to see the blooms.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finally! Something Pretty

Enough with the brown insects, empty nests, and grey sweaters. I'm tired of them too. Let's look at a flower every day instead, shall we? Here's what's blooming at the moment: this sweet pink tuft-flower-thing, whose proper name I've lost around here someplace.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Angry Insects

The DH spotted this on his way to get the paper. This formation went for six feet. Zillions of ants look to be having a gigantic, panicky fire drill, or some sort of evacuation procedure. "Everybody out! Mill around!!" But more likely it was something like a big pesticide application driving them out from underground.

This little guy has HAD it with me chasing him all over the table with the macro on, and he's turned to fight, belligerently putting up his two wee front legs like a boxer. Cracked me up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gone Baby Gone

In fact, they've been gone for days and days now, I've just been neglectful. Having resolved this year not to bother them five times a day like last year, the time just flew (ha ha) by, and I never saw even one of the three leave the nest like last year. I don't see them around the way I saw the juvies last year being fed on the ground, and then gradually on branches higher and higher up until their flight skills improved. Hope the new guys are making out okay, wherever they are.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In The Dressing Room

I haven't come across this before. Is it softer than grownup camel-hair? Are we running out of angora? Is this from farm-raised camels? What if I took the sweater home and it spit at my other sweaters, could I return it? Too many questions. I put it back.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Birds Update

I promised to leave them in peace this year, but I had to take one little peek to see if....yes! There was successful hatching! There were four eggs, and I can pick out just three heads here, but we'll see. I won't try for another shot for at least a week. It's harder to get the camera in the tree this year, because the nest is in the exact same place as last year, but the tree's branches have grown a few inches longer, making it harder to get the camera close. I don't want to risk rocking the cradle. Imagine the karmic toll that would be taken if I knocked a nest of baby birds out of a tree for the sake of a blog post...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This'll Do

A day of beautiful weather here on the island shaped like a fishie.
Our good friend Al Fresco arrived for his annual four-to-five-month visit this morning, when the DH and I took advantage of the perfect weather to reinstall the gazebo canopy for its third season. Here, Queen Fiona inspects the Restoration Of The Summer Palace. That's what I'm calling it now. I never liked the word "gazebo" very much, and it's not exactly a, "The Summer Palace" it is. Queen Fi is very much looking forward to lazy, shady mornings spent lounging in a chair. She loves the thing.
It didn't take long to get the roof on, so while I put the curtains up, DH had time to dig out the big gnarly roots of the evergreen shrubs I cut down last week, and then mow our remaining area-rug-sized scrap of lawn. Then, we did a little outdoor reading to make it official: summer's here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Silent Disapproval

Unlike the loudmouth avian tribe mentioned yesterday, these guys don't vocalize at all, at least as far as I can tell. But I'm pretty sure they're unhappy that I cut down two big old worn-out junipers in the side garden, as it gives them a little less cover. Don't feel too sorry for them, they still have ninety percent of the front yard, and a fair-sized bit of the backyard too. When I walk to the mailbox it disturbs their sunbathing and sends them skittering in all directions, like I'm Godzilla and they're a herd of tiny dinosaurs. So funny.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Small Body, Big Mouth

Such a racket this little guy can make. The melodious chirping and long, pretty warblings of courting season have given way to loud, repetitious squawking intended to assert authority and drive away competitors. A handful of these house sparrows, three or four starlings, and my robin couple all have been flying-and-crying, swooping-and-whooping all over the place today, letting everybody know whose territory is whose. This loud posturing is necessary, I guess, because they've all got to live within sight of each others' nests, inner suburbia being as crowded as it is, and trees being as scarce as they are around here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother Goose

We met this big momma at Mill Pond early yesterday morning. She's got a brood of seven to keep track of. Click the link to watch the littlies scurry under her wing. So cute. Happy Mother's Day, and remember to check your shoes after leaving the park...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Other Nests in the Neighborhood

Kenny spotted this nest in Hendrickson Park. Not difficult to do, as it's out in plain sight, and marked with a red flag, so someone's watching it. It's a duck nest, according to our friend who saw a white duck sitting on it one day. In trying to find out what the red flag means, I came across this interesting article. That gives me an idea...

Friday, May 7, 2010

This Year's Clutch

Here they are, looking exactly like last year's photo.
I want to leave them in peace this year, so that's the only close-up I'm going to take. Otherwise, I'll just be observing them with binoculars from behind a lilac bush about 23 feet away. And unfortunately, that's just too far away for my zoom to pick out the nest, which is quite thoroughly hidden from almost every other vantage point.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Construction

So that census report I just sent back is already outdated; I think last year's robin couple has come back to stay with us again this year. It might be a different pair, but the new nest has been constructed in the exact same location on the same branch of the spruce. (I removed the old nest last year after it was abandoned.) It's currently empty, and not quite as impossibly-neat-looking as a robin nest usually is, though it's a tightly-woven little thing. No sign of the contractor.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On Pushing Through, and Coming Back

I didn't clear away the oak leaves last fall, but that didn't stop the tulips. All over the bed, they just keep unfurling, ever so slowly, and go not around the obstacle but straight through. The force is with them, the one that through the green fuse drives the flower.
(Oh look it up; you're in front of the internet anyway...)
The lizards have woken up and started to scamper, everything's coming up green, and crowds of robins are urging me to "cheer up! cheer up!" as they search for real estate to settle down on. I tell ya, it's like a Hallmark card at times.
Things have been quiet here since the end of the summer, when a spanner was thrown in the works, and I've spent the last six months being inspected, resected and injected. It's not quite over, but it will be soon, and trust me, when it is, we'll be getting back up to speed here. For what that's worth.
In the meantime, here's a snowdrop in the Clark Botanic Garden, on the first full day of spring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

How's My Hair?

The music of chainsaws fills the air every day now, and will for some time to come.
It was a week ago already, that mighty wind on Saturday. It took down half a dozen 30- to 40-foot evergreens around the block, but spared us any harm. A gigantic branch from a neighbor's tree broke off and fell onto our garage roof, but remained supported by a lower limb, so the roof was undamaged. Our good ol' brother-in-law Newman came over with a power tool; he and Ken climbed onto the garage roof, and I stayed inside and kept them from falling off by concentrating very, very hard. I did not take pictures of that. We did lose a piece of downspout,(I think) and/or a length of leader pipe from the gutters. Something unexciting like that.
Elsewhere, just across the street and down the block, there was much more damage:

I think contractors and landscapers will have a very good season this year.