Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery

As mentioned in yesterday’s post of Rehoboth Beach, we were here for a funeral. We came out yesterday and went to the viewing and spent the evening with our friend and some other family members and friends. The funeral itself was late this morning and we went from the funeral home to the cemetery, about a half hour away. I’ve been in funeral processions before but this was a bit different, with multiple vehicles with flashing lights zooming ahead to stop traffic at four-way stops and lights and then, after we were past, zooming past again for the next location. Clearly they’ve done this before. The interment was at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear, Delaware. Since Veterans’ Day was last week, there were flags on all the graves. After the short program there, Cathy and I walked around the cemetery briefly and I took a few photographs.

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Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Cathy and I drove out to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware today. It was a nice drive on a fine, fall day. We were going to spend time with our friend, Maureen and her family after the loss of their mother. The funeral will be tomorrow. After we checked into out hotel we took a fairly quick drive to the beach, because it would be a shame to drive that far and not at least see the ocean. We were dressed in our nice clothes for the viewing but we walked out onto the sand and touched the water. Then I took a handful of photos and we were done.

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A Little More Fall Color

C&O Canal, Below Violet's Lock

C&O Canal, Below Violet’s Lock

We went for a longish walk on the C&O Canal today, starting from Riley’s Lock and heading towards Washington. We passed Violet’s Lock and turned around a little past Blockhouse Point. We saw a bald eagle (although I didn’t get a photo), a pair of deer, and lots of vultures. The nicest part of the walk was the fall colors. They are mostly past at this point but there area a few trees, mostly maples, that are still quite spectacular. The sky was the deepest blue and reflected in the still water of the canal, it was really lovely (although you can’t really see it much in this photo.

From there we met Dorothy at Rocklands and helped her set up the flowers for a friend’s wedding reception. We hadn’t really planned on that but it was a nice addition to our outing. I also got a photo of Dorothy wearing Janis’ mink stole and a vintage hat, which was a bonus.

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Loy’s Station Covered Bridge

Loy's Station Covered Bridge

Loy’s Station Covered Bridge

Cathy and I met Dorothy and two of her friends in Pennsylvania today and began the process of replacing the screen on the cabin’s porch. As we were leaving we discovered we had a flat tire. I changed the tire but snapped off one of the lug studs when taking off the old tire (cross threaded lug nut). As with most cars, ours is equipped with one of the stupid, little doughnut type tires designed to save car companies money at the expense of the customer. Consequently, I didn’t want to drive the whole way home on the highway and it took us considerably longer to get home. On the other hand, we did get to drive through this covered bridge. It’s on Old Frederick Road at Loy’s Station crossing Owens Creek in Rocky Ridge, Maryland. It was first built around 1880 and although it’s been modified and rebuilt, the timbers are original.

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Red Maple Leaves

Red Maple Leaves

Red Maple Leaves

The red maple (Acer rubrum) in our back yard is in full fall color mode. Like the wonderful flowers of spring, the glorious colors of autumn are more beautiful for their evanescence. Here today and tomorrow only a memory, they are precious to us. I look forward to autumn and it’s brilliance, which varies from year to year much more than do the blossoms of spring. The colors are intense and they full the woods, much more than the spring blooms. Withing a few days, the leaves will all be gone, onto the ground, brown and brittle, mulch for the lawn. But for a few short days, they sing the glory of creation.

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Halloween

Our Neighbors

Our Neighbors

It’s been a while since we did a lot for Halloween. When Dorothy was little, we’d usually go out with Rick, Melissa, and their two girls in their neighborhood. We haven’t done that since Dorothy was 11. She went out a few times after that when she was in middle school but going out trick-or-treating has been a thing of the past for a while now. When we moved into this neighborhood it wasn’t filled with children. We’d get a handful of groups of slightly older kids, assuming we even bothered to stay home for them. Sometimes we go to one of our parents’ houses and give out candy there, instead.

Our Neighbors

Our Neighbors

Recently, however, the neighborhood, particularly our immediate neighborhood, has turned over and there are a lot of kids. We have really enjoyed having them all around us, although I must admit it sometimes makes me feel a bit old (I suppose that’s mostly because I am old, but whatever). It was clear that there would be more kids out this year and there were. I took a few pictures of the neighbors on both sides of us, all dressed up and ready to go. We’re really fortunate to have such nice neighbors and we love to be able to hear their children playing.

We sat in the driveway and gave out candy to over 50 kids. Next year, assuming it isn’t raining, we’ll probably bring the fire pit around and have that going. One other cool thing was that we had a barred owl (Strix varia) perch in our tree while we were out there.

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Fall Color, Lake Churchill

Fall Color, Lake Churchill

Fall Color, Lake Churchill

We met some friends in Germantown this afternoon and walked with them around Lake Churchill. It was a pretty fall day, a little breezy and with the sun in and out from behind clouds in an otherwise lovely blue sky. The fall color is quite nice and I took a very few photos of trees showing off their finery. For the first part of the walk I mostly talked with Peter and Cathy with Kristen. We talked about the things we’re reading. He’s going through Dante’s Divine Comedy which I finished last year. I’m in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History. We also talked about the books we’ve read recently and what we’re doing to push ourselves to read more. After taking a short break at a bench along the way, we talked more as a group and then visited with them in their home for a little while longer. We really should get together with them more often. It was a lovely afternoon and great to get caught up on each others’ lives.

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RVFD 100th Anniversary

Rockville Volunteer Fire Department, Engine 32

Rockville Volunteer Fire Department, Engine 32

The Rockville Volunteer Fire Department was celebrating their 100th anniversary today. There was a parade of fire and rescue vehicles and then they all gathered in the parking lot in front of the old Carver High School (the George Washington Carver High School and Junior College, 1951-1960, now the administrative offices for the Montgomery County Public Schools). I happened to be near by and decided to stop and take a few photos of fire trucks and other vehicles. This is Rockville’s Engine 32, and 1935 Mack BG-6S, a 350 gallon per minute Pumper with a crew capacity of six. In 1936 it cost $6,692. Another favorite was a 1960 Buick ambulance. Classic. There were also a few very old pieces of equipment, some dating back to the 1890s.

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Millipede

Millipede

Millipede

We went for a walk in the woods towards Lake Frank this evening. I took a few pictures but nothing very special. As we were coming down the old road into the park a family ahead of us had stopped to see this millipede on the pavement. They laughed about the fact that they felt a need to take a picture of it. Obviously I understood completely and after they were gone I got down on the ground to get a few of my own. In the evening light I wasn’t able to get a lot of depth of field so most of them are only partially in focus but this one turned out pretty well. I’m not sure which of the many genera and species of millipede this is.

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Manchester Cedar Swamp

Manchester Cedar Swamp

Manchester Cedar Swamp

Cathy and I drove up to the Manchester Cedar Swamp this morning. I know swamps aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I actually like them quite a bit. This little park, owned by the Nature Conservancy, only had a relatively small area of swamp and stand of eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis). This photo was taken on the edge of the swampy area and features a black gum or tupelo tree (Nyssa sylvatica) estimated at over 450 years old (the large tree on the left). I did take some photos of the cedar trees, but taking photographs of woods it difficult and rarely conveys the feel of a place. It was actually quite lovely. Also, this may be the best time of year to be there, as there were no mosquitos.

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Milford Pumpkin Festival, The Pumpkin Is Lit

Milford Pumpkin Festival, The Pumpkin Is Lit

Milford Pumpkin Festival, The Pumpkin Is Lit

We were heading back from Mount Major this afternoon and Dorothy said we should go to Milford, a quintessential American town. Her friend Megan grew up there and she said it would be a good place to find a nice restaurant for dinner. What none of us knew was that their annual Pumpkin Festival was this weekend. So, roads were blocked and we couldn’t get to the Oval (their triangular town square). Cathy found an article online about it suggesting going to the middle school and taking the shuttle bus, which we did. Not only were we fortunate enough to run into Megan, Jackson, and her parents, but we got to see and experience the lighting of the pumpkin in the upper window of the town hall. What an evening.

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Mount Major, New Hampshire

Mount Major, New Hampshire

Mount Major, New Hampshire

Yesterday’s outing was to a flat location (Plum Island) so we went to the other extreme today. After breakfast we drove up to Mount Major, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. The parking lot was full and overflowing but we were fortunate enough to get there just as someone was pulling out so we got a good parking spot. We went up by the Mt. Major Main Trail (1.4 miles, blue blazes) and then down the Boulder Loop trail (1.5 miles, yellow blazes). It’s a fairly steep climb but we managed it without too much trouble. It was certainly worth the effort. The woods below us were not yet at the peak of their fall color. Nevertheless, the view was terrific. I took a 13 shot panorama looking over the lake, which turned out pretty well. We also took a few of the two of us, including this one (with the camera sitting right down on the rocks).

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Sandpipers

Actitis hypoleucos (Common Sandpiper)

Actitis hypoleucos (Common Sandpiper)

For our first day of bumming around, we headed east to Newburyport, Massachusetts, just across the border from New Hampshire on the south bank of the Merrimack River. We bought lunch at Joppa Fine Foods, where Dorothy worked for the first six months of Covid but sadly didn’t get to meet her boss, who wasn’t there today. Then we drove out onto Plum Island. At our first stop on the island we saw quite a few common sandpipers (Actitis hypoleucos) in the shallows on the inland side of the island. There were also swans, but quite a bit further away. The last time we were on Plum Island it was in the upper 90s and really humid. Today was warm for the first week of October but still considerably nicer than the previous time.

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Coy Pond, Gordon College

Coy Pond, Gordon College

Coy Pond, Gordon College

After driving up to New Hampshire yesterday, we spent most of today at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts. There was an event there we wanted to attend and we had a really nice time visiting with family friends (even though it’s been years for Cathy and I’ve never actually met most of them). After the event, which included a chapel service and lunch, we had a little time before we were meeting other friends for dinner. So, we stopped at Gordon College and walked around Coy Pond. The fall color is not quite at peak yet, but it’s coming and it was already beautiful. Also, we weren’t at home, which was nice. After a lovely dinner with Rob and Iris, we drove back up to our hotel in New Hampshire, looking forward to three days of doing nothing in particular.

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A Quick Visit With Abba and Josh

Abba

Abba

Cathy and I managed to get away for a few days in early October. It had been nearly two years since we were away with the exception of one night away at a family reunion on my side. While that was great fun, it wasn’t the same as getting away for a simple vacation with little to no agenda. Today we drove up to New Hampshire, stopping in Scarsdale to see and take a few photos of a house that was once owned by someone Cathy is fairly certain is in her family tree (a some-number-of-greats uncle). Then we continued to Providence where we visited and had dinner with Abba and Josh. It was a really nice visit, but all too short because we still had nearly 100 miles to go after dinner. But of course I took a few pictures. There is a pretty good one of both Abba and Josh, and another of Cathy with them, but I like this picture best. Abba, wearing a floppy hat that belonged to her Aunt Elisabeth in the 1960s and chilling on the chair and with her feet on the camel saddle foot stool from her grandparents’ house.

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You Are Enogh

You Are Enogh

You Are Enogh

Cathy, Dorothy, and I visited my mom for lunch today. Mom presented Dorothy with a quilt she’s been working on for a while and we all agreed, it’s one of her very best, which is saying something, because she’s made so many that were amazing. After lunch we went for a walk around a pair of ponds and we happened to see this painted stone, which I’m sure was meant to be an encouragement but which we found slightly humorous. I mean, the U is missing, but it’s ‘you’ that is enough. So, maybe it’s meant to be irony. Either way, we laughed.

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Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary)

Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary)

Euptoieta claudia (Variegated Fritillary)

I spent the morning at Rocklands Farm today, taking pictures of some wine-making activities as well as quite a few of Greg’s cattle. I helped him separating the cattle into two groups and then herd one group to the upper end of the pasture. I took quite a few photos of ripe grapes, as well, although the anticipated harvest activities was put off so I didn’t get that. As is common, I also took pictures in Janis’ garden and got this pretty nice photo of a variegated fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) on the zinnias. All in all, it was a lovely morning.

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Melanoplus differentialis (Differential Grasshopper)

Melanoplus differentialis (Differential Grasshopper)

Melanoplus differentialis (Differential Grasshopper)

We had to drive out to Quince Orchard this morning and since we were already out that way we figured we might as well go somewhere and enjoy being outdoors. We continued out Rt. 28 and then turned onto White Ground Road. We stopped at the Boyds Negro School (1896–1936), across from the Edward Taylor Elementary School. Then we stopped again at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and Cemetery. After walking around the cemetery a while, we decided to see what the Hoyles Mill Trail was like from where it meets White Ground Road (just across from the Methodist Church) to Little Seneca Lake in Black Hills Regional Park. It was a nice walk, not at all difficult with both woods and some open country, alongside corn fields (which have been harvested). I saw this grasshopper, a differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis) and was able to get close enough for a pretty good photo.

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Celosia At Sunset

Amaranth

Celosia

We went out to Rocklands this evening and I took a few late-day photos in the garden. I really enjoyed the light and I’m pretty happy with this photo, which I assume is celosia, commonly called woolflowers. Celosia is a genus of plants in the amaranth family. The name is from the Greek word κήλεος (kḗleos), meaning “burning” and refers to the flame-like flower heads. These are growing in Anna’s garden for use in flower arrangements. They certainly are lovely. A little later we met Dorothy and some of her friends and had a nice time eating, drinking, and talking.

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Margaret’s Birthday Dinner

Margaret, Cathy, Ron, and Dorothy

Margaret, Cathy, Ron, and Dorothy

I’m nearly a month behind in my posting but here’s a picture from September 23. For Margaret’s slightly belated birthday dinner I made qaubili pilau and chicken. The chicken was in pretty huge pieces (as you can see on my plate on the right. I made a big batch of pilau which is flavored with a spice mix with equal amounts of the five Cs, which are cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, and coriander plus a half measure of black pepper, and a pinch of saffron for color (and if you have both green and black cardamom, that’s even better, but I only had green). It also has thinly sliced onions and carrots plus golden raisins and my version has barberries, as well, which may not be traditional but it’s a nice addition, I think. Slivered almonds and pistachios finish it off. Anyway, everyone agreed it turned out pretty well. We had a really nice dinner and a good time celebrating Margaret’s birthday.

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