My 2022 Reading

My 2022 Reading

My 2022 Reading

As I finished my reading last year, I had a fairly substantial stack of 27 books waiting for me to read in 2022. That included a few larger works, such as General Sherman’s Memoirs, Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, and a book of poetry and prose by John Milton (including Paradise Lost), and the other two volumes of the extant works by Livy (The War with Hannibal and Rome and the Mediterranean. I also hoped to read six or so more plays by Shakespeare in the process of reading all 39 of them.

The year turned out differently to what I had hoped and there was a time I didn’t think I’d get through as many as 45 books. The middle of the year, in particular, was a difficult time and reading became much more difficult. Nevertheless, I managed to read at least some every day, averaging a little short of 48 pages a day. I got through the 27 books and ended up reading a total of 57 books in all. As usual, the list of books is below. This year’s reading only included four books by currently living authors, all written in this century. At the other end of the age spectrum, nine were written in the years B.C. The 19th century provided the largest number of books this year, at 16, followed by the 20th century (8 books) and 16th (7 books, all plays by Shakespeare). You can sort the table by the order read (the default), title, author, and date written by clicking on the headings.

The Books

The Books

As I finish writing this on January second, I have already begun my 2023 reading with the second volume—Their Finest Hour—of Winston Churchill’s six volume history of the Second World War. I read volume one—The Gathering Storm—in 2017 and I hope to get through all the rest this year, a total of more than 4,000 pages. Including the five by Churchill, there are 39 books on my to-read shelf, including a few long books, such as Plutarch’s Lives and Vanity Fair.

In case you are interested, here are links to my 2021 Reading and my 2020 Reading.


Order   
Read   
Title Author Date    Notes
1 A Laodicean Hardy, Thomas (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928) 1881 Subtitled, “A Story of To-day.”
2 Aku-Aku Heyerdahl, Thor (October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002) 1957 Subtitled, “The Secret of Easter Island.” This chronicles excavations and other archaelogy on Easter Island by the author and his team in the 1950s. Very interesting reading.
3 Evenor MacDonald, George (December 10, 1824 – September 18, 1905) 1867, 1871, and 1875 A collection of three short stories: The Wise Woman (1875); The Carasoyn (1871); and The Golden Key (1867); with an introduction by Lin Carter titled “The Dubious Land.”
4 Piers the Ploughman Langland, William (circa 1332 – circa 1386) circa 1370 An allegorical narrative poem written in a Middle English sometime in the late 14th century.
5 Memoirs Sherman, William Tecumseh (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) Second Edition, published 1886, (first edition was published in 1885) Not surprisingly, the bulk of this deals with the years 1861 through 1865 and Sherman’s campaigns of the U. S. Civil War. This includes—among others—Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta campaign and of course the March to the Sea.
6 The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning Magnusson, Margareta (born December 31, circa 1935) 2018 Subtitled, “How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.” This book is not as depressing as the title may sound and considerably less depressing than dealing with someone elses ‘stuff’ (for lack of a better term).
7 The Comedy of Errors Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) circa 1594 A short farcical comedy. There are two sets of identical twins who are repeatedly mistaken, one for the other.
8 The War With Hannibal Livy (Titus Livius, 59 B.C. – A.D. 17) circa 27 B.C. Livy’s History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita Libri) contained 142 books, of which 35 are extant. This third volume contains books 21 through 30, covering the the Second Punic War, from 218 to 202 B.C.
9 Reflections On The Psalms Lewis, C. S. (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963) 1959 As the title suggests, these are reflections rather than any sort of thorough study of the Psalms. I found it wonderfully written and helped me to look at these poems in a new way. I highly recommend this short book to anyone interested in the subject.
10 Euripides II Euripides (circa 480 – circa 406 B.C.) 440 through 412 B.C. The second of three volumes of plays by Euripides and volume six in the Modern Library’s The Complete Greek Tragedies. The first four plays are set in the aftermath of the Trojan War. The fifth with the son of Xuthus by Apollo and the progenitor of the Ionian people. The sixth is an event during the Trojan War, and the last with war between descendants of Oedipus. The seven plays are:

  • Helen (412 B.C.)
  • Hecuba (424 B.C.)
  • Andromache (425 B.C.)
  • The Trojan Women (415 B.C.)
  • Ion (413 B.C.)
  • Rhesus (probably before 440 B.C.)
  • The Suppliant Women (423 B.C.).
11 The Possessed Dostoevsky, Fyodor (November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881) 1872 Originally titled Demons (Бѣсы), this is a somewhat complicated story dealing with Dostoevsky’s views on nihilism and the social and political situation in 19th century Russia. It’s the fourth book by Dostoevsky I’ve read and is considered among his four masterworks. I need to read The Idiot to complete those four.
12 Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Metaxas, Eric (born June 27, 1963) 2010 A wonderfully written biography of a most remarkable man, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945). I’ve only read one of his works, The Cost of Discipleship, first published as Nachfolge (Discipleship) in 1937. I need to read that again and have also added two others to my ‘to read’ list: Life Together, completed in 1938 and Ethics, incomplete on his death and edited and published by his closest friend, Eberhard Bethge (August 28, 1909 – March 18, 2000).
13 Julius Caesar Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) 1599 One of the most well known of Shakespeare’s plays, giving us such lines as “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.”, “those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me”, “Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war”, “This was the most unkindest cut of all,” and of course “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”
14 Chronicles Of The Crusades Villehardouin, Geoffrey of (c. 1150 – c. 1213) and Joinville, Jean de (c. 1 May 1224 – 24 December 1317) early 14th century This volume is comprised of translations of two works: The Conquest of Constantinople, by Geoffrey of Villehardouin (c. 1150 – c. 1213) and The Life of Saint Louis, circa 1309, by Jean de Joinville.
15 Cheese & Dairy Lamb, Steven 2018 River Cottage Handbook No. 16, this deals with cheese making, although I didn’t learn as much from it as I might have liked. It’s a nice book but not really enough to feel confident actually trying make anything but the very simplest cheeses. It’s also geared towards the English market, where double cream is an actual thing.
16 Measure for Measure Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) 1604 Not one of Shakespeare’s better known plays, it deals with morality and power. I actually enjoyed it.
17 The Woodlanders Hardy, Thomas (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928) 1887 I made the mistake of reading the introduction to this book, which had spoilers in it. Particulary with Hardy, not knowing how the story will end is a big part of their appeal. Hardy doesn’t always end a story the way you might want. But they have considerable verisimilitude. I think I liked the ending much more than the author of the introduction.
18 Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth Gerstner, John H. (November 22, 1914 – March 24, 1996) 1991 (but third edition, 2009) This is a strongly worded polemic against dispensationalism. Although it touches briefly on eschatology, it is more focused on soteriology.
19 Timaeus and Critias Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 B.C.) circa 360 B.C. Timaeus is mostly a long monologue given by the Timaeus of Locri, speculating on the nature of the physical world, discussing the four elements and their shapes: earth (cube), fire (tetrahedron), air (octahedron), and water (icosahedron). Critias tells the story of Atlantis, its attempt to conquer Athens.
20 Henry V Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) circa 1599 A good story. The two most memorable parts or two monologues given by Henry. The first is in Act 3, Scene 1, beginning with “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.” The second in Act 4, Scene 3, the ‘Saint Crispin’s day’ speach, with that well known phrase, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”
21 Euripides III Euripides (circa 480 – circa 406 B.C.) 413 through 406 B.C. The last of three volumes of plays by Euripides and volume seven in the Modern Library’s The Complete Greek Tragedies. The five plays in this volume are:

  • Orestes (408 B.C.)
  • Iphigenia In Aulis (406 B.C.)
  • Electra (413 B.C.)
  • The Phoenician Women (between 411 and 409 B.C.)
  • The Bacchae (406 B.C.)
22 The Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster Assembly, 1646 1646–7 This publication also includes the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism and is published by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
23 Two On A Tower Hardy, Thomas (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928) 1882 Thomas Hardy’s categorized his novels into three groups: Novels of Character and Environment, Romances and Fantasies, and Novels of Ingenuity. I’ve read, eight of the ten in the first category and one of the three in the third. This book is the first I’ve read in the second (of which there are five). It definitely did not end the way I would have expected. But it’s a good read.
24 An Augustine Reader Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430) A.D. 427 Edited by John J. O’Meara (18 February 1915 – 12 February 2003) and published in 1973. Included in this edition are:

  • Soliloquies, Book 1, A.D. 386–387
  • Letters (correspondence with St. Jerome), A.D. 394–418
  • Confessions, Books 7, 8 (Manichaeism and Neoplatonism) and 11 (Creation and Time), A.D. 397–400
  • On Baptism, Book 1 (against the Donatists), A.D. 401
  • Sermon on Psalm 22, A.D. 407
  • On the Trinity, Books 2 and 8, A.D. 399–419
  • City of God, Books 5 and 22, A.D. 413–427
  • The Grace of Christ and Original Sin, Book 2 (against the Pelagians), A.D> 418
  • Christian Instruction, Book 4, A.D. 396–426
25 The Pursuit of God Tozer, Aiden Wilson (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963) 1948 I was warned before reading this that Tozer would likely make me feel inadequate. I can see where that attitude comes from but I actually liked this little book quite a bit. It put me in mind of Brother Lawrence and I found it more an encouragement to be better than I am.
26 Protagoras Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 B.C.) circa 390 B.C. The book I have contains both Protagoras and Meno. However, because I read Meno as recently as 2020, I didn’t read it again this time. Protagoras deals with the question “Can virtue be taught?”
27 Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) circa 1595 This is definitely one of Shakespeare’s best know works so there were no surprises. Spoiler alert, it ends sadly.
28 Rome and the Mediterranean Livy (Titus Livius, 59 B.C. – A.D. 17) circa 27 B.C. This fourth and final volume of Livy’s History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita Libri) contains books 31 through 45, covering the the Second Macedonian War, the War with Antiochus, and the Third Macedonian War. Books 46 through 142 are, sadly, lost.
29 The Birthmark and Other Stories Hawthorne, Nathaniel (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) 1832–1852
  • Young Goodman Brown (1835)
  • The Minister’s Black Veil (1836)
  • Feathertop: A Moralized Legend (1852)
  • Wakefield (1835)
  • The Ambitious Guest (1835)
  • The Wives of the Dead (1832)
  • The Birthmark (1843)
  • Roger Malvin’s Burial (1832)
  • My Kinsman, Major Molineux (1832)
30 Second Treatise of Government Locke, John (August, 29 1632 – October, 28 1704) 1689 Locke writes about the state of nature, conquest and slavery, property, representative government, and the right of revolution.
31 Robinson Crusoe Dufoe, Daniel (circa 1660 – April 24, 1731) 1719 Another novel that everyone knows but not everyone has actually read. As usual, there’s quite a bit more to book than the simple story that everyone knows. Well written and very engaging.
32 The Erotic Poems Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso, March 20, 43 B.C. – A.D. 17 or 18) Between 16 B.C. and A.D. 8 The book contains The Amores, 16 B.C., The Art of Love, circa A.D. 2, Cures for Love, circa A.D. 2, and On Facial Treatment for Ladies, between 1 B.C. and A.D. 8.
33 The Celestial Railroad and Other Stories Hawthorn, Nathaniel (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) 1834–1851 This book turns out to include all but one (Feathertop) of the short stories that were in The Birthmark and Other Stories with the addition of the following:

  • The Gray Champion (1835)
  • The Maypole of Merry Mount (1836)
  • The Great Carbuncle (1837)
  • Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment (1837)
  • Lady Eleanore’s Mantle (1838)
  • Egotism, or, The Bosom Serpent (1834)
  • The Celestial Railroad (1843)
  • Rappaccini’s Daughter (1844)
  • The Snow Image: A Childish Miracle (1851)
  • Ethan Brand (1851)
34 The Hand of Ethelberta Hardy, Thomas (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928) 1876 The fourth Hardy book this year. Not a well known work, I don’t think, but I found it wonderfull well written and a very good story.
35 Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche, Friedrich (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) 1883 This is a work of philosophical fiction, dealing with ideas about the Übermensch, the death of God, the will to power, and eternal recurrence.
36 The Ra Expiditions Heyerdahl, Thor (October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002) 1972 Heyerdahl chronicles the planning, building, and sailing of two rafts made of papyrus from the west coast of Africa across the Atlantic Ocean.
37 Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Milton Milton, John (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674) 1673 This book includes the 300+ page Paradise Lost (1667) and the much shorter Paradise Regained (1671), which are the principle reasons I bought and read it. I found a few of the sonnets lovely, which was a nice bonus. The prose, for the most part, was quite dry and with a few exceptions, not something I’d recommend.
38 The Dhammapada Gautama, Siddhārtha (a.k.a. the Buddha, 6th or 5th century B.C.) 6th or 5th century B.C. A collection of 423 aphorisms grouped into 26 chapters, attributed to the Buddha. The title can be translated as The Path of Truth.
39 Ship of the Line Forester, C. S. (August 27, 1899 – April 2, 1966) 1938 This is the second book published in the Hornblower series but is the seventh in terms of the story timeline.
40 Pensées Pascal, Blaise (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) 1662 The Pensées (i.e. “Thoughts”) is a collection of fragments by the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer, and Catholic theologian.
41 The Blithedale Romance Hawthorne, Nathaniel (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) 1852 An interesting romance by Hawthorn.
42 The Histories Polybius (circa 200 – circa 118 B.C.) Mid to late 2nd century B.C. There were originally 40 volumes in this work. The translation by Robin Waterfield has the first five, which exist in their entirety, and the existing portions of volumes six and twelve. After a summary of the first war between Rome and Carthage (the First Punic War) and a corresponding summary of the situation in Illeria, Macedonia, and Greece, he begins his history proper. He discusses the causes and first three years of the Second Punic War (a.k.a. the ‘Hannibalic War’) and then the occurrences in Greece, Asia Minor, Persia, and Egypt during the same three years.
43 Desperate Remedies Hardy, Thomas (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928) 1871 One of Hardy’s so-called ‘Novels of Ingenuity’, this was his first published novel.
44a The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche, Friedrich (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) 1872 This is the first of two works in a single book. Nietzsche discusses, as the title suggests, the development and subsequent changes to the art of tragedy. I can’t say I followed his argument well enough to explain it to anyone else, but I found it interesting.
44b The Genealogy of Morals Nietzsche, Friedrich (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) 1887 This is the second work by Nietzsche in this book. He discusses
45 Flying Colours Forester, C. S. (August 27, 1899 – April 2, 1966) 1938 This is the third book published in the Hornblower series but is the eighth in terms of the story timeline.
46 Faust Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (August 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832) 1829 in it’s final form This is a play, mostly written in rhymed verse, giving his version of a classic German legend based on the historical Johann Georg Faust (circa 1480–1540).
47 The Trumpet-Major Hardy, Thomas (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928) 1880 Another romance by Hardy. He is among my favorite authors and I’m working on getting through all of his works.
48 If Ye Shall Ask… Chambers, Oswald (July 24, 1874 – November 15, 1917) 1915 A collection of talks on prayer given by Chambers between 1911 and 1915 at Bible Training College in Clapham Common, Greater London. It was published in 1938.
49 Beowolf Unknown author, translated by Tolkien, J. R. R. (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) 8th century This modern English prose translation of Beowulf was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien (November 21, 1924 – January 16, 2020) and published in 2014. In addition to the translation of Beowulf this volume contains Sellig Spell, Tolkien’s own retelling of the story of Beowulf, and two versions of Tolkien’s The Lay of Beowulf
50 On The Incarnation Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–298 – May 2, 373) before A.D. 319 This is a theological meditation on the divine Word made flesh. Athanasius aims to provide “an elementary instruction and an outline of the faith in Christ and his divine manifestation to us.”
51 The Rise of Silas Lapham Howells, William Dean (March 1, 1837 – May 11, 1920) 1885 This is a realist novel by William Dean Howells, nicknamed “The Dean of American Letters.” It tells the riches to rags story of Silas Lapham who nevertheless rises from moral ambiguity to clarity.
52 Gentle and Lowly Ortland, Dane This is a lovely book that provides a good reminder of who God is. I don’t often recommend what I sometimes refer to as “Christian Self-Help Books” but this is worth reading.
53 The Works of Virgil Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, October 15, 70 B.C. – September 21, 19 B.C.) between 29 and 19 B.C. This book, with translations by J. W. Mackail, contains The Aeneid, Eclogues, and Georgics all in prose. I read them back in 2010, but thought it was time to go through them again.
54 Love’s Labor’s Lost Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) circa 1598 An early comedy by Shakespeare dealing with the relations between men and women.
55 Candide Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet, November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778) 1759 I’m not sure what to make of this. It’s a fairly easy read and moves quickly along, but everything is so exagerated that it’s hard to really take it seriously in terms of social or philosophical criticism.
56 A Midsomer Night’s Dream Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) circa 1595 or 1596 A classic by Shakespeare, this is a fun play and more fun for my having seen in performed a few years ago so I knew the story pretty well ahead of time.
57 As You Like It Shakespeare, William (circa April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) 1599 A final Shakespeare play to finish out the year, this has some of the best “banter” of the Bard’s plays as well as a happy ending. Highly recommended.

Note about dates: Not all dates—either publication dates or birth/death dates for authors—are known with any certainty and some of them are not much more than educated guesses. If the work or collection of works was written over a period of years, sorting by date will use the latest relevant date. Also, I only label dates with B.C. or A.D. if they are earlier than A.D. 1000. All unlabeled dates are A.D.

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View of Venice (Detail)

View of Venice (Detail)

View of Venice (Detail)

Dorothy and I went to the National Gallery of Art today. We’ve been enough ties we generally know our way around but there are always small changes to what’s on display. This year’s big surprise was a woodcut that represents a view of Venice. I took a few detail shots but somehow managed to miss getting an overall shot but there’s a very good image on Wikipedia. The sign for this work read as follows:

Jacopo de’ Barbari
Venetian, (c. 1460/1470 – 1516)

View of Venice
1500
woodcut on six sheets of laid paper

National Gallery of Art, Rosenwald Collection

View of Venice was unprecedented in scale and ambition. To make his drawings, Jacopo de’ Barbari relied upon the work of surveyors, who likely took sightings from bell towers across Venice. They borrowed tools from other trades: compasses and astrolabes were used for navigation, and instructions for measuring angles and distances existed in treatises on gunnery. De’ Barbari’s genius lay in being able to integrate these views to form both an overview perspective and a city map. Master woodcarvers then used his drawings to create blocks for printing. The project took three years to complete.

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Freezer Thaw

Freezer, Pre-Thaw

Freezer, Pre-Thaw

Freezer, Post-Thaw

Freezer, Post-Thaw

The freezer that we have in our garage has been frosting up slowly over the years and I’ve been meaning to empty it and get it cleaned up. Recently, the door didn’t get shut properly, partly because of that same ice buildup, and the inside became even more choked with ice. Two days ago I emptied it into two coolers (it’s below freezing outside so I wasn’t worried about losing my food) and moved the freezer out of the garage onto the driveway. I put pans of boiling water in it, replacing them as they cooled, until all the ice was gone. As you can see from the before and after photos, that did the job quite nicely.

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Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

I went out to visit Dorothy today and help her a little with some brush clearing that she’s doing. I cut some small trees and helped her pull out some greenbrier (Smilax species). My back was bothering me a bit so I took a few breaks and on one of those I took three photos of this northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos). They are quite gregarious birds and not nearly as shy as many other birds, which makes them a little easier to photograph. Nevertheless, I think I could do better than this with a little more patience and possibly a more comfortable position for my camera.

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Another Christmas

Kaien, Eloise, and Silas

Kaien, Eloise, and Silas

After this morning’s breakfast and Christmas celebration with Margaret, we came home for a little while and then went to Dot’s for our second Christmas celebration, with the other side of the family. There were more people at this one, including these three lovely children (Dot’s great grandchildren), Kaien, Eloise, and Silas (from left to right). Although they were a little rowdy, they were not overly so, and a good time was had by all. We changed our menu from our traditional enchiladas and this year we had a taco bar as well as some baked salmon. That makes it easy for each person to customize the meal to their own preferences and dietary restrictions. We are very glad to have our family and enjoyed being with everyone on this special day.

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Christmas with Margaret

Christmas with Margaret

Christmas with Margaret

We had Christmas breakfast with Margaret today. Last night after we got home from the Christmas Eve service I made a quiche. This morning we took that, as well as croissants, orange juice, sparkling cider, and a few other things to Margaret’s room. We put a recording of a fireplace on her television and hung the stockings from the dresser, with presents laid out under them. It was a very festive and enjoyable time. David and Darius called shortly after this photo was taken and then after we ate, we opened presents.

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Christmas Eve Service

Singing By Candlelight

Singing By Candlelight

We went to the Christmas Eve service at Fourth this evening, opting for the 7:00 PM service instead of staying up for 11:00 PM as we did last year. It was a good service with good songs to sing and of course a message on the Christmas story. We are all so familiar with the story that it’s easy to take it for granted. But when the story was recorded, it was really not what you’d have expected. That is, it’s not your typical birth-of-a-king story. In fact, most of the story of the life of Jesus is different to what you might expect. We forget that because it’s so familiar. To me, this lends credence to the story rather than the opposite. If someone were simply making up a story, this is not what they’d come up with. It’s one of the reasons I believe it really happened this way.

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Santa’s Visit

Santa and Margaret

Santa and Margaret

We were visiting Margaret today when Santa came to her building. At first she didn’t want her picture taken but eventually she decided it would be alright. There was Christmas music being played on the piano in the living room while residents took their turns with Santa (and his dog, Mrs. Paws). After Santa left, presumably to visit the other buildings, the music continued and the residents enjoyed singing along. I also got some nice photos of Wil in his Naughty/Nice Christmas sweater.

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Beef, Kangaroo, and Camel

Beef, Kangaroo, and Camel

Beef, Kangaroo, and Camel

When we were in Lititz, Pennsylvania for a wedding in June (see Friday, June 3, 2022) we went into a little shop called The Savory Gourmet. I bought two one-pound packages of frozen meat. One was kangaroo, the other was camel. They had more, but I thought that was enough for my first try. They’ve been in the freezer since then, waiting for an opportunity to give them a go. I thawed them yesterday and this evening I made three small burgers, one each of beef, kangaroo, and camel, accompanied by onions and oyster mushrooms. The kangaroo is definitely the gamiest of the three and I loved the flovor but it also had an unpleasant grittiness to it. There seemed to be small pieces of gristle that hardened up when cooked. The camel was easily my favorite of the three and I’d be happy to do that again. On the other hand, there are more meats to try, so who know what I’ll get the next time I’m there.

The Savory Gourmet (https://www.savorygourmetlititz.com/)

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Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

We went to Great Falls today and walked downstream on the towpath. We went out to the overlook and enjoyed the roaring water, which was considerably higher than the last time we were at the river. I got a few photos of two immature bald eagles flying overhead. Then further along the towpath we got a really nice view of this great blue heron (Ardea herodias) in the canal. There was, apparently, another down at wide-water, but we decided we had walked far enough and headed back. This one was catching what appear to be crayfish or some other sort of fresh water crustacean. He (or she) didn’t seem to mind the attention from the shore and let a lot of folks get photos.

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Wild Turkeys in Rockville

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys

I went to the office a little early this morning. When I got there, there was a car partially pulled into a parking space, which I thought was a little odd. I parked and then went to get my camera bag from my trunk. The car pulled out and was about to leave when the driver stopped and told me there were a pair of wild turkeys just into the woods. I got my long lens and, as quietly as I could, headed into the woods. They were a little shy of my presence and I wasn’t able to get close to them, but I got two photos that at least show that they are, indeed, turkeys. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen wild turkeys in Montgomery County. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually seen them in Rockville. This isn’t really a good photo, but it’s all I was able to get through the underbrush. I circled around to get them from the other side, but they were gone before I could get there.

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Live Nativity

Live Nativity

Live Nativity

I’ve posted photos a few times from the worship night’s that Dorothy organizes. This week we had a live nativity. No farm animals this time, but everyone was encouraged to come dressed as someone from the nativity story. Amanda read the story and when your character was introduced, you went up to the manger to play your role. Between the readings, we sang Christmas songs that celebrated the part of the story just read. This is the band, who lead the singing. From left to right, Andrew, Dorothy, Adam, Michael, and Greg. I think it was safe to say a good time was had by all.

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Suzanne’s Birthday Dinner

Mike, Krystal, Cathy, Suzanne, Chrissy, and Pam

Mike, Krystal, Cathy, Suzanne, Chrissy, and Pam

We had a wonderful dinner and Mike and Krystal’s house this evening, celebrating our friend Suzanne’s recent birthday. Krystal and Mike always deliver a wonderful meal and tonight was no exception, with individual-size beef Wellingtons being (in my humble opinion) the star of the show. But, also as usual, the food was incidental to the company, which was terrific. We had a great time of laughter and stories. We’re so fortunate to have these wonderful people as our friends.

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George, Carmela, and Chester

George, Carmela, and Chester

George, Carmela, and Chester

Iris and Seth hosted us for Thanksgiving this year and also cooked the turkey. George and Carmela drove down and arrived at around 1:00 PM. We had a lovely time visiting and of course eating. We had taken a good group photo at the beach and we decided that trying to get a good group photo today was not going to happen. Nevertheless, I took a good collection of photos of the festivities. I’m happy with this one of George and Carmela with their dog, Chester.

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Ampersandwich

Ampersandwich

Ampersandwich

After yesterday’s wedding and a good night’s sleep, we headed back towards the airport this morning. Our flight was not until mid-afternoon, however, so we had a bit of time to do some things. We went to the Bass Pro Shop just off of Interstate 20, east of Birmingham because Dorothy had asked for a Carhart jacket for Christmas. After driving into downtown Birmingham, we started to look for a place to have lunch. We got ourselves relatively near the airport and then Dorothy found this place, called Ampersandwich at 4124 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222. If you’re looking for a good sandwich from friendly folks, this is a good choice and if we ever find ourselves in the neighborhood again, we’d revisit them. Tell them Henry sent you. It won’t get you any better service. There’s no chance they’ll know who I am. But it might be a good for a laugh.

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Patrick and Karlee

Patrick and Karlee

Patrick and Karlee

As mentioned in the previous two posts, Cathy, Dorothy, and I are in Alabama for Karlee and Patrick’s wedding. The weather was a bit cooler than expected, even for this time of year, but they went ahead with their outdoor ceremony (under a pavilion roof but without walls). They provided hand warmers for anyone who needed them. With my suit coat, I was fine, although the girls were a bit chilly. After the service and before they came into the reception I was able to take a few photos of the bride and groom. So, may I present to you the happy couple.

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Noccalula Falls

Noccalula Falls, Gadsden, Alabama

Noccalula Falls, Gadsden, Alabama

After flying to Birmingham, Alabama yesterday and then driving to Gadsden, we had a good night’s sleep and then went out for the morning, doing a little sightseeing before this afternoon’s wedding. We found our way to Noccalula Falls Park. Most of the photographs you see of the falls are taken during a time of year with more water in Black Creek and are much more impressive. Nevertheless, it’s a very pretty place. From the path along the south side of the creek you can see the campground in the north side. We didn’t stay too long, because at that point we needed to get back to the hotel and get dressed for the wedding.

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Karlee and Dorothy

Karlee and Dorothy

Karlee and Dorothy

We flew down to Birmingham Alabama this afternoon and the drove a little way to the rehearsal dinner for our dear friend, Karlee. We were a bit late due to flight schedule changes but there was still food available to us in the buffet. I took quite a few photos including a bunch of Karlee and Patrick with various friends. Although Cathy and I had met Patrick once, Dorothy had not before today. This was one of the last photos of the evening of Karlee and Dorothy.

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Camellia ‘Winter’s Star’

Camellia ‘Winter's Star’

Camellia ‘Winter’s Star’

I love camellias of all types and although they are still not very large, I have six in the ground and one more ready to be planted. One that I planted in April, 2020, is a hybrid called ‘Winter’s Star’ that was developed by Dr. William Ackerman and introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum in 1991. This is similar to the Camellia sasanqua ‘Cleopatra’ that my dad had, and which survived better than most in very cold winters. This one is a cross between Camellia oleifera ‘Lu Shan Snow’ (for its cold hardiness) and Camellia hiemalis ‘Showa-no-sakae’ (for its flower form) and is considered to be hardier still. Native from North India to China and Japan south to Northern Indonesia, Java and Sumatra, many are not reliably hardy this far north. Anything that blooms this nicely the second week of November is a winner in my book.

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Spider, Flower, and Bird

Araneus marmoreus (Marbled Orbweaver)

Araneus marmoreus (Marbled Orbweaver)

Tricyrtis (Toad Lily)

Tricyrtis (Toad Lily)

Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird)

Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird)

After church today we went to the Agricultural History Farm Park for a little while. It was a beautiful fall day and a great day to be outdoors. We didn’t really feel like taking a long walk, though. We started, as we so often do, by walking around the shade garden next to (and part of) the fenced Master Gardeners demonstration garden. This spider, a marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) was there, sitting in the middle of her web (I don’t actually know this is a female). I know not everyone is enamoured of spiders but you have to admit, this little creature is quite beautiful in its own way.

For those of you who prefer flowers or birds to spiders, I’m posting two more photos. In the shade garden not far from the spider was the toad lily (Tricyrtis) seen in the second photograph. I’m a big fan of anything blooming in November, but I’ve never had much success getting this to grow in our garden. Seeing it here made me want to try once more, because it’s really very lovely.

We walked around the demonstration garden and I took a few more photographs there. Then Cathy walked over towards the barn and house and I moved the car there. I sat under a tree and took a few photos of birds and the third photo here—an eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis)—is the best (I think) of those. Even with my long lens zoomed all the way out I had to crop this photo a bit. I’m hoping to do better but thought I’d share this one now, anyway.

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