Monthly Archives: October 2021

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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