Monthly Archives: December 2020

Strange Little Ornament

Strange Little Ornament

Strange Little Ornament

This strange little ornament is one of our favorites. I don’t know much about it. It seems to be made of wool and it’s clearly a man riding on an animal. Beyond that it’s all conjecture. Is he riding on a horse? Who can say? Is there some significance to his pointed hat? What about the stripes on the hat and on his other garments? Is he meant to be someone in particular? We have more questions than answers. Nevertheless, he has a certain appeal.

We have many more ornaments than we can possibly display at once. If we had a huge house with four or five large Christmas trees, then perhaps we could use them all. But unless and until that happens, most of them will languish in boxes. But this funny, little man will always find a place on out tree.

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Dried Flowers

Dried Flowers

Dried Flowers

Dorothy brought these dried flowers over a while back and they are lying on top of the large fish tank in the breakfast room. I believe they were her bouquet when she was a bridesmaid in a wedding. There’s something magical about dried flowers. Flowers are, generally speaking, transitory in nature. Their beauty is fleeting, something like a sunset. But a dried flower is a snapshot that lasts, not the same as the flower in all its glory any more than the snapshot is the scene it captures. But they both can evoke a memory or even an emotion. What a wonderful thing.

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Euonymus Berries

Euonymus Berries

Euonymus Berries

I know I posted a photo of these berries in November but that’s all I got today so I’ll have to repeat myself. They’re pretty and always come later in the year than I remember. I really need to prune these bushes heavily and will try to remember to do it early in the spring so that they will still bloom freely. The bees really love the little, sweet smelling flowers and the whole hedge buzzes for a few weeks. Of course these hedges are pretty popular with the birds, as well, both for the berries this time of year and as simple cover. Evergreens are particularly nice for that purpose.

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Middle House

Genna, Liz, Thea, and Dorothy

Genna, Liz, Thea, and Dorothy

We stopped by to bring some things to Dorothy this evening. She and the young women she lives with are self-quarantining because of a possible exposure to Covid (I’m writing this more than two weeks after the fact and they’re all clear). We had stopped at Trader Joe’s but there was a line the length of the building so we didn’t bother with that. We’ll try again when we think it likely to be a little less busy. It was good to see Dorothy, even if we only spoke with her from outside while she stood in the doorway.

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Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Cathy and I went for a walk on the western side of Lake Needwood this afternoon, parking at Needwood Mansion. It’s a trail we haven’t walked on before, although Cathy ran at least one cross country meet here when she was in high school. We saw quite a few eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) and some of them were even close enough that I was able to get a reasonable picture or two. I really would like a longer lens for this sort of thing. Relying on the 100mm lens I have leaves me a little disappointed, but this one is pretty good, if I say so myself.

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Sycamore Tree

Sycamore Tree

Sycamore Tree (Platanus occidentalis)

This American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is in our neighbor’s yard. It’s a bit, healthy tree and in the summer it is often lovely at dusk with the evening sun turning the bright green leaves a wonderful orange-green that’s very hard to describe. In the winter, without its leaves, the beauty of the sycamore is in their bark, which is a lovely white, especially against the blue of a winter sky. They are large trees and generally better suited to parks and open areas but they also make a fine city tree, being quite tolerant in their habits.

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Camellia japonica ‘Hokkaido Red’

Camellia japonica 'Hokkaido Red'

Camellia japonica ‘Hokkaido Red’

This spring I planted three camellias. One was a fall blooming hybrid between C. oleifera and C. hiemalis ‘Showa-no-sakae’ called ‘Winter’s Star’ (see Thursday, October 15, 2020). The other two are spring blooming Camellia japonica varieties. One of them, however, has a bloom that’s opened a bit early. It’s called ‘Hokkaido Red’. My understanding is that it was selected from plants grown from seed collected on the northernmost parts Hokkaido, Japan and grown at the National Arboretum. It’s supposed to be one of the most cold tolerant C. japonica and also blooms prolifically over a long period in the early spring. It’s a relatively slow growing shrub and of course mine was only planted this year, so it will be a while before it’s of any stature. But it looks very promising.

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Mum

Mum

Mum

This mum was part of a bunch of cut flowers that we had on the table at Thanksgiving (you can see it in the photo from Thursday, November 26, 2020). It’s lasted pretty well and is still brightening up the dining room table. I’ve never really been into cut flowers but I have to admit they are a relatively inexpensive way to add a splash of color and cheer to a room. They don’t have to be particularly exotic, either. Mums, after all, are easily grown and not very expensive. So, next time you have a celebratory meal planned (or even on more mundane occasions), buy a small bouquet of flowers, stick them in a vase (or a pitcher, as these are) and put them on the table.

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Painted Box

Painted Box

Painted Box

I don’t really know anything about this painted box. We assume it’s Persian but don’t know if it was bought in Afghanistan or Iran (Cathy’s family lived in both). It has some writing around the top edge (not seen here) and if I can find someone familiar with the languages, perhaps we can get it translated and that will tell us more. It was difficult to get a good picture of this, because it has a high gloss finish and getting a picture with a large area of reflection was tricky. This one turned put pretty well, though.

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Schlumbergera truncata (Thanksgiving Cactus)

Schlumbergera truncata (Thanksgiving Cactus)

Schlumbergera truncata (Thanksgiving Cactus)

This is the second of our Thanksgiving cacti (Schlumbergera truncata) to bloom. The first was mostly white (see Monday, November 23, 2020) and this one, as you can see, is mostly magenta. The third, also magenta, is blooming now, as well. Their flowers are really attractive and I think especially so when shown against a dark background. In this case, the background is the outdoors at night (our kitchen door) with the flower lit by my camera’s flash. S. truncata can be differentiated from the Christmas cactus (S. russelliana) by the pointy ‘teeth’ along the edges of the segments and the fact that the flowers are not symmetrical (the top half is different to the bottom half).

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Another Strange Ornament

Carol Singer

Carol Singer

We don’t remember where this little Christmas ornament came from. Cathy thought it was made by the woman who cleaned her mom’s house for so many years but the things she made were more homespun. This is different. Just about as strange but different. It’s a Christmas caroler and it’s one we put out every year, but we don’t really know much else.

It’s a funny little thing but as one person commented on Instagram in reference to the Strange Little Ornament post (see Tuesday, December 01, 2020), our house “is a haven for strange little things.” I think perhaps she was including us in the “strange little thing” category, but I can’t be sure.

I’ll post a photo of a nativity scene that Margaret’s housekeeper did make in a few days. I think you’ll agree that they, along with this, qualifies as folk art.

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Farm Skyline in Winter

Farm Skyline in Winter

Farm Skyline in Winter

We didn’t have time for a long walk today but wanted to get out for a while. There’s a loop at the Montgomery County Farm Park the goes around this good-sized corn field and we walked around that. It can be entered from a few different places but we came in on the Upper Rock Creek Trail. We saw quite a few birds, including eastern bluebirds, a blue jay, and lots of crows. We also passed a group on horseback (people, not birds). It was cool and pleasant and good to be outdoors.

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Dried Leaves

Dried Leaves

Dried Leaves

Winter is a time of stillness and quiet. In the city, of course, things don’t stop in the winter and the hustle and bustle continues. Even there, however, there are fewer people out and those who are generally keep moving. Even in the country, life goes on, of course. The birds (and every thing that creepeth upon the earth) still have to eat and those that don’t fly south (or those for whom this is south) can be seen in the woods and open areas. But the plants are quiet and still. They are still beautiful, though, especially when seen in silhouette, I think.

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Thea and Dorothy’s Hat

Thea

In fifth grade, Dorothy learned to knit. At the time, she struggled to actually finish anything. She’d get between a half and three quarters of the way done and then she’d pull it apart and start over. I guess I’ve been known to that sort of thing as well, although I’m not generally considered a perfectionist. Anyway, she decided to make a hat for a friend this year as a Christmas present. She stopped by this evening with another friend—Thea—and while she was here she happened to show us the hat.

The hat itself is a bit funny, with a nice shape and a tall peak. They ties a few different things to the end including the small wreath ornament you see here. I specially like the coordination of colors between the wreath and the green yarn that was used in the hat. I got another photo with the wreath turned properly and with Thea’s eye looking through it. Dorothy settled on a tiny little bell as the most appropriate.

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Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Who doesn’t love a sunset? I certainly do. They also come in handy when I haven’t taken any photos and it’s getting dark. I know I’ll have to find something indoors to photograph. But then when there is color in the western sky, it’s such an easy thing to get a picture of that I have to be really busy to pass up the opportunity. They seem to be popular, as well. Response on Instagram (where most people see the pictures posted here) is always strong for sunset pictures. They don’t quite compete with pictures of people, especially people who are popular, but the do a lot better than pictures of things around the house.

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The Year’s First Snow

The Year's First Snow

The Year’s First Snow

We had what the new media breathlessly called “the most significant snow in three years.” Since we haven’t had more than an inch or so in that time, it didn’t take much to make their prediction come true. We got maybe three inches of very wet snow. Not exactly what you’d call a blizzard. We’ve been working from home since March, so it really didn’t affect us at all. We did get a small package delivered that I didn’t find right away because it got covered, but it was in a plastic envelope so that wasn’t a problem. I think the snow was lovely and I’m mostly a winter person, in any case (I didn’t bother putting shoes on to get the mail, for instance).

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A Leaf In The Snow

A Leaf In The Snow

A Leaf In The Snow

As usual when it snows around here, I took pictures of the snow. They really aren’t all that interesting and I know it’s cliche, but there you are.

I did like this leaf, peaking out from the snow, so that’s what you get for today. Not exciting, but again, there you are. I do remember a friend in high school telling me that shadows are blue. You can see that here, in the shade of the house.

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Tiny Nativity

Tiny Nativity

Tiny Nativity

A days ago I posted a picture of a somewhat odd, folk art Christmas carol singing figurine (see Friday, December 11, 2020). In that post I said that I’d post a photo of a nativity scene that Margaret’s housekeeper made for her quite a few years ago. Well, here it is. As you can see, most of the people in the scene are made from peanuts, although one is made differently to the rest. The sheep are made with pumpkin seeds and toothpicks. They look a little like pigs to me, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt, because this is an scene in Bethlehem and pigs would be out of place. The angel (on the left) is a Hershey’s kiss.

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Poinsettia

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

We got this poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) from our next door neighbor and it’s really nice. We have it on our dining room table, except when we take it to the kitchen to be watered. In the past we’ve tried to keep them going from one year to the next and while they aren’t that hard to keep alive, we’ve never had them perform that well in future years. It’s really not worth the trouble, when new plants look so good. As most people know, the red parts are leaves rather than flowers. The actual flowers are quite small and not particularly significant in terms of the ornamental value of the plant. But the leaves really are spectacular.

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Potomac River from Turkey Run Park

Potomac River from Turkey Run Park

Potomac River from Turkey Run Park

As I think I’ve mentioned, we’ve been looking for new trails to walk on lately. What with working from home and not being able to go to church or to visit friends much, we really like getting outdoors. Turkey Run Park, on the George Washington Parkway in northern Virginia is one that I’ve seen signs for over the years but we’ve never actually been there. The walk was about 2 miles in total but felt like more than that. Parts of the trail were a bit muddy and slick and there were a few places where we had to scramble over rocks (scramble may be too strong a term, but you had to watch what you were doing, anyway). There were two places where we had to cross a stream on rocks. And coming from the river back up to the Turkey Run Park parking areas was quite a climb. There are wooden stairs where we made that ascent, which helped quite a bit, but it’s fairly steep. Anyway, we had a nice time being out and seeing the river.

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Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning

I love foggy mornings. I suppose if I had to drive in them I’d like them somewhat less. Otherwise, and definitely from the comfort of my yard, I like them pretty well. This photo was taken looking up the street through the large red oaks that were planted along the road when the neighborhood was first built in the late 1960s. I love the atmospheric feel of trees in fog. We don’t get it a lot but somewhat more in the winter than other times of year. Even then, it generally burns off pretty soon after the sun is up.

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Knicknacks

Knicknacks

Knicknacks

I’m nearing the completian of ten years taking at least one photo every day. As you know if you’ve been following me far any length of time, I started this on January 1, 2011, posting the photos on Facebook. I started this blog with my second year (and have posted some, but not all of that first year’s photos, as well). I’m pretty sure that I will stop taking a photo a day at the end of the year. I’ll still take plenty of pictures but perhaps you won’t be subjected to pictures of knicknacks quite so often.

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Frost on Fern Fronds

Frost on Fern Fronds

Frost on Fern Fronds

It hasn’t realle been that cold yet this winter. We did have snow last week but it was only down into the upper 20s at night. It was chilly this morning and the forecast is for continued cold for a while, with lows around 20°F. Still not frigid, but colder. I took some mail out to the box this morning and noticed the frost on these fern fronds so I got my camera and went out a second time to take a few photos. The frost didn’t last long, melting shortly after the sun hit it. But I wasn’t going to stay out too long, anyway. I was in a t-shirt and barefoot. Bracing.

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Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

I think I mentioned a while back that we put up our Christmas tree earlier this year than normal. We put it up on the weekend after Thanksgiving, which for a lot of folks is traditional. For us, we generally would cut a tree and putting it up that early is asking for a lot of needles to be down by Christmas. For the last three Christmases we’ve used this artificial tree, so that’s really not an issue. The plan is to keep it up a little while longer, but of course, it won’t have the wrapped presents under it after tomorrow.

We may have gotten the tree up early but we didn’t really do as well buying gifts this year as we generally do. There are a lot of packages under the tree but a lot of them are food gifts. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but we generally try to do better. Still, we’re together and looking forward to our two Christmas meals (breakfast and dinner with enough to eat that we won’t be hungry between them). We also plan on having video calls with our two families tomorrow.

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Post Christmas

Post Christmas Gift Wrap

Post Christmas Gift Wrap

At Cathy’s parents house, there was a step down to get to their front door. As packages were unwrapped, the scrunched up paper was thrown into that area. Generally at least one photo would be taken of that pile of paper, often with a child, a dog, or even a parrot hiding in with the papers. We don’t have as good a spot for that and there really wasn’t enough wrapping paper this year to justify trying. Nevertheless, in honor of that tradition, I’m posting this photo of a bag full of balled up wrapping paper. Happy Christmas, everyone.

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C&O Canal

C&O Canal, between Violets Lock to Blockhouse Point

C&O Canal, between Violets Lock to Blockhouse Point

Cathy, Dorothy, and I went to Violet’s Lock on the C&O Canal today and walked south past Blockhouse Point. The river was fairly high and very wild looking. It was fairly cold and there were icicles hanging from the rocks on the other side of the canal. We happened to see two adult bald eagles in a tree about where we turned around and then saw two more eagles—one adult and one juvenile—flying overhead. I took quite a few photos and enjoy this one quite a bit. It was a pretty day and nice to be out, although also nice to get warm again afterwards (not that I wore a heavy coat, mind you).

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Winter

Black-eyed Susan Seeds

Black-eyed Susan Seeds

As we pass through the darkest days of the year, it’s good to remember the brighter times that are coming. In the summer, the yard was filled with colors, green, yellow, pink, red, and purple. In the winter most things are brown or grey. But the cycle repeats. The brown seeds grown into green plants that bloom in all the colors of the rainbow. But even the browns can be pretty. I wondered around the yard this afternoon and took a handful of photos, including this of black-eyed Susan seed heads. In a surprisingly short time, the yard will be in bloom again.

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Genna and Dorothy

Genna and Dorothy

Genna and Dorothy

Dorothy and a few of her friends are flying to Florida to visit another friend for a few days. When they get back they will quarantine together for two weeks. Three of the friends came over this evening to spend the night here so I could take them to the airport early in the morning. While we were all talking I asked if I could take a few photos. This is Genna, one of Dorothy’s housemates and friends. Lydia and Tony also came but didn’t make it in time for the photo.

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Stuff

Stuff

Stuff

This is the top of a small hutch in our dining room. Most of the things on the shelf have appeared on the blog at one time or another but I thought I’d post a photo of the whole collection (or this shelf’s worth, anyway). On the right is a nurse that my grandmother made the clothes for and that was in a store window during the war as part of a display about collecting for the community. In front of her are three matryoshka sets including a traditional one on the left, one with Russian political figures in the middle (that’s Leonid Brezhnev), and a east Asian one on the right. The wine bottle was found in what is now the ghost town where my grandfather was born. Next to that is a figurine that Cathy got from her family of a baby sucking on its thumb.

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Deer In The Yard

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

Cathy called me from the basement this morning as I was finishing up my breakfast. She had looked out the back window and seen these two white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that appear to have spent the night in the pachysandra at the back of our garden. I took a few photos from inside through our not-so-clean windows and then risked opening the kitchen door to see if I could get any without the extra glass in the way. They looked at me as I opened the door and continued as I walked out onto the patio. They didn’t actually get up until I moved out into the lawn and even then they didn’t seem too concerned.

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My 2020 Reading

My 2020 Reading

My 2020 Reading

This year was something of a landmark for me in terms of reading. For a while now I’ve been trying to read some of the books that I should have read in high school or college (or perhaps that I should have been supposed to read, if you follow me). Over the last dozen years or so, I’ve gotten through a significant number, including fiction by Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Dufoe, Hardy, Melville, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and Zola, to name but a few. I’ve read some of the classics, including Greek and Roman historians, playwrights, and philosophers and some significant modern non-fiction, as well. Late last year, though, I decided to step it up a notch. My goal was to read 26 books with some significant number of them being big, important or serious books. As it turns out—and no one is more surprised than I am—I aimed low.

My 2020 Reading

My 2020 Reading

All the books I read this year are pictured here. Some of them are short and very easy to read, but a few of them are what Dorothy and I have taken to calling “Lifetime Achievement Books.” Specifically, the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago (weighing in at a combined 1,818 pages), Moby Dick (‘only’ 459 pages but seriously, get to the whale already!), The History of the Peloponnesian War (574 pages), The Tale of Genji (1,139 pages), and War and Peace (1,136 pages).

In case you cannot make out the titles in the photo, here is the full list of books read in 2020 in the order I read them. Overall, I’ve enjoyed much of what I read. Some were not so much enjoyable as worthwhile. For instance, The Gulag Archipelago is not light or enjoyable, but it’s important. I think it should be required reading. Obviously Jack London, the Narnia books by Lewis, and a few others are on the other end of the difficulty spectrum and provided some needed rest.

  1. Anna Karenin, 1878, by Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910). I actually started this on December 23, 2019, so only a third or so was read this year.
  2. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 1, English translation published in 1974, by Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008), translated by Thomas Whitney.
  3. Brideshead Revisited, 1945, by Evelyn Waugh (October 28, 1903 – April 10, 1966).
  4. Moby Dick, 1851, by Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891).
  5. Silas Marner, 1864, by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans, November 22, 1819 – December 22, 1880).
  6. The Man With The Gash, 1901, short stories by Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916).
  7. In Parenthesis, 1937, by David Jones (November 1, 1895 – October 28, 1974).
  8. Tristram Shandy, between 1759 and 1767, by Laurence Sterne (November 24, 1713 – March 18, 1768).
  9. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, 8th century, translated in 1999, by Seamus Heaney (April 13, 1939 – August 30, 2013).
  10. The Republic, 375 BC, by Plato (c. 425 – c. 347 BC).
  11. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, 1818, by Mary Shelley (August 30, 1797 – February 1, 1851).
  12. Confessions, AD 397, by Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430 AD).
  13. The Jugurthine War, 44 BC, by the Roman historian and politician Sallust (Gaius Sallustius Crispus, 86 – circa 35 BC).
  14. Macbeth, around 1606, by William Shakespeare (c. April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616).
  15. The Tale of Genji, early 11th century, by Lady Murasaki, a Japanese noblewoman and lady-in-waiting who lived from somewhere in the AD 970s to probably around 1030.
  16. Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes, 2014, by Zack Eswine (born 1969).
  17. The Hobbit, 1937, by J. R. R. Tolkien (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973).
  18. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, AD 121, by Suetonius (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, c. AD 69 – sometime after 122).
  19. The Canterbury Tales, between 1387 and 1400, by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340s – October 25, 1400).
  20. The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence (c. 1614 – February 12, 1691), compiled by Father Joseph de Beaufort around 1692.
  21. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, 1647, by John Owen (1616 – August 24, 1683).
  22. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, by Lewis Carroll, a.k.a. C. L. Dodgson (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898).
  23. The Consolation of Philosophy, AD 524, by Boethius (Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, c. AD 477 – 524).
  24. The History, between AD 100 and 110, by Tacitus (c. AD 56 – sometime after 117).
  25. The History of the Kings of Britain, 1136, by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1095 – c. 1155).
  26. Five Dialogues, 5th or 4th centuries, BC, by Plato.
  27. The History of the Peloponnesian War, circa 400 BC, by Thucydides (c. 460 – c. 400 BC), published as The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War War, 1996, by Robert B. Strassler.
  28. The Magician’s Nephew, 1955, by C. S. Lewis (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963).
  29. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 1950, by C. S. Lewis.
  30. The Horse and His Boy, 1954, by C. S. Lewis.
  31. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia, 1951, by C. S. Lewis.
  32. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 1952, by C. S. Lewis.
  33. The Silver Chair, 1953, by C. S. Lewis.
  34. The Last Battle, 1956, by C. S. Lewis.
  35. The Fire Next Time , 1963, by James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987).
  36. Nicomachean Ethics, 4th century BC, by Aristotle (384 – 322 BC).
  37. The Hiding Place, 1971, by Corrie ten Boom (April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983).
  38. Purgatory, 1308, by Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321), translated by Dorothy L. Sayers, (June 13, 1893 – December 17, 1957). I read the first portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Inferno, in late 2015.
  39. War and Peace, 1869, by Leo Tolstoy.
  40. The House of The Seven Gables, 1851, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864).
  41. The Epic of Gilgamesh, possibly 18th century BC.
  42. Paradise, 1321, by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers and Barbara Reynolds (June 13, 1914 – April 29, 2015).
  43. Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece, 1966, by Patrick Leigh Fermor (February 11, 1915 – June 10, 2011).
  44. The Mill on the Floss, 1860, by George Eliot.
  45. King John, 1595, by William Shakespeare.
  46. Lord Jim, 1900, by Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 – August 3, 1924).
  47. Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, 1959, by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
  48. Beat to Quarters, 1937, originally published in England as The Happy Return, by C. S. Forester (August 27, 1899 – April 2, 1966).
  49. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 2, 1974, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
  50. Cybernetics, 1948, by Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964).
  51. The Problem of Pain, 1940, by C. S. Lewis.
  52. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 3, 1974, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
  53. Rumours of War, 2004, by Allan Mallinson (6 February 1949 – ).
  54. The Early History of Rome, 29 to 27 BC, by Livy (59 BC – AD 17). Books 1 through 5 of Livy’s 142 volume History of Rome, which cover the period from the founding of Rome to 386 BC.
  55. The Old Man And The Sea, 1952, by Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961).
  56. Out of Africa, 1937, by Isak Dinesen (a.k.a. Karen Blixen, April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962).
  57. Under The Greenwood Tree, 1872, by Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928).
  58. Crime and Punishment, 1866, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881).
  59. A History of My Times (Hellenica), 4th Century BC, by Xenophon (c. 430 – 354 BC).
  60. Smith of Wooton Manor and Farmer Giles of Ham, published in 1967 and 1949, respectively, by J. R. R. Tolkien.
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Ten Years

Cathy

Cathy

For Christmas, 2010, Cathy gave me a new camera. It was a Canon 60D to replace the 10D that I had been using since 2003. On January 1, 2010 I decided to try my hand at something a co-worker had been doing. It was called Project 365 and the idea was to take at least one photo each day for a year. I posted those photos on Facebook and managed to establish a (very) small but loyal following. At the end of the year I set up this blog and continued taking at least one photo a day. I’ve been doing that for ten years now and I think that’s a pretty good accomplishment.

I have decided that as of today, I will no longer be taking a photo a day. I still expect to take my camera with me when I’m out and I still plan to take pictures, just without the pressure. I figure 3,652 consecutive days and over 180,000 photos is enough. So, some days there will be photos and other days there won’t. To my small but loyal band of followers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all.

The first photo in this project (see Saturday, January 1, 2011) was of Cathy and I thought it appropriate that I end ten years with another of her. Yes, we’ve both aged a bit in ten years, but we’re still here. God bless you all.

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