Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday, with family

post #131
      I want to say, today, Sunday, that since I have been traveling in New England the past week, visiting old friends and seeing family, there has been no stretch of time for working on my blog.  BUT tomorrow I look forward to having a place, a working internet connection and the time to share some spring photos as well as who knows what else from today!  For now, I hope everyone, where ever you are in the world, is having a very good day.      Ann

         Greetings once again from the Bookmill in Montague, Massachusetts!  I am surrounded by a great variety of used books while using their electricity and wifi.  Outside there is a loud waterfall!  I am grateful.  The wonderful motto of this place continues to be "Books You Don't Need in a Place You Can't Find."  Today's photo from here:

          OK, now for some other recent photos.  The first is a Kentucky continuation, one readers of this blog have seen before, "Legacy."  Its early bloomers were once again in fine form:

      I intended to post more spring flowers this week, BUT with piles of snow still around me up here, I am going to save the flowers for next Sunday and do some "couldn't resist" images plus several from the family Easter gathering yesterday, at my cousin's home in Connecticut.

Everyone will just have to believe me that I am not making this up....

The barn rooster and the house are on the way to the Bookmill.  Since in New England March means "mud season," these colors really stand out.

        However, there can be beauty in nature even without the color of leaves.  This photo is the view from a friend's house which is located right on Mascoma Lake in New Hampshire.  I regret missing the shot of the same view early the next morning, with red tinged clouds.  It happened too quickly for me to photograph, so the image is one that got away even though I see it in my head.

      Now for a few images from the Easter gathering.  Relatives from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New York do this annually.  I have never before managed to be up east over Easter, so this year Kentucky was represented as well.  
      I hadn't known my cousin is a collector of Easter items, among other things. That said, she and her sister are artists, and I have always loved their work.  I don't use this blog for family news, so as usual I have chosen from the photos that could be of more general interest. 

        My last photo is of a less than two year old child gathering her eggs during the Easter egg hunt.  I will confess that this child is my dear granddaughter, on her first hunt, one of three kids looking for eggs.  Thank you, cousins, for such a wonderful and delicious day. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

back to where the beavers work

post #130
       Before the recent rains we've been having, I returned to make more photos of beaver activity.  The hike there requires several crossings of the creek.  Less water in the creek means 1) easier crossings! 2) less chance to fall in the creek and get the camera wet! and 3) more time for taking photos!  I ended up leaving the house in the late afternoon, so I didn't make it back home until 8 pm, just before dark.

      First, signs of beaver dining and destruction:

     These stumps seemed like an h'ors d'oeuvre or perhaps a training opportunity.  The close up of the stump tops that follows in the second photo reveals dual spiders...who knew! 



      Another duality seems to be at play here on this log.  I wonder if this could be a his and her munchies bar?  Or a parent/child side by side training effort?  There is so much I don't know.
      Here are two variations on beaver paths to the water, or perhaps a beaver slide is a better word:

     The Wikipedia beaver information says the purpose of these trees which may drown in the water is to create "standing dead wood" which is a necessary food for "a wide range of animals and plants."

  The area these beavers cover has high cliffs, on one side, and many trees left to choose from.


      These last two photos show the last dam of three that I could see on the creek.  The second photo shows a detail from the first -- a very clever severing of the tree trunk, though the tree itself was caught in another tree so it has not yet fallen across the creek.  (I am standing on a hillside; I am not in a tree!)

      There have been some heavy rains since I took these photos a week ago.  And it is raining tonight.  I look forward to another visit there when I can make it.  Beavers work at night, and I do not.  But other years I have seen beavers in nearby lakes, in the daytime, so who knows what is possible if one has ample fits of curiosity!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

mid March snow, rain and deer grazing

post #129- final version posted at 5:45 New York time

        Almost two and a half years of weekly posts, and here I am for another one!  As usual, life happens in-between posts, so today I have decided to touch on this week's variety of happenings. 
       This past week found several close friends and a sister having hospital stays.  One of the friends is the woman whose wash is blowing in the wind.  She says she now thinks of me every time she hangs up the laundry....  Nice!  I am sharing this photo this time as a signal for all these illnesses and repairs to be done with and blown away.  Very far away.
        Our large neighborhood had another passing this week, Burbie Stone, age 92, whose reputation as a hard worker was legendary, on their land and in the garden and with their four children and their families.  We still use several quilts made by her.  She and her husband were married in the house where I now live, in 1939, back when it was owned by her parents.  As of Friday she is buried on the cemetery plot on our land, next to her parents, and I am sharing a photo from yesterday evening, the day after the burial.  I thank Burbie for her many generosities and her inspiring energy and can-do attitude.

        In the new and different department, my friend George Ella Lyon is experiencing an unexpected venue for the distribution of one her books for children,  All the Water in the World, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson (Atheneum, 2011).  A reduced-sized bilingual version is this month's offering in what I would call the industrial-sized boxes of CHEERIOS!  The book inside is featured on the front of its box.  I made a special trip to the supermarket cereal aisle to take a photo with my iPhone.  Her bigger book is better, of course, but nonetheless this is big news....

         Wednesday I was supposed to have my writers group in Lexington, but plans evolved, and I ended up in Louisville, for lunch, where three of us -- half of our full number -- had Jan's homemade soup and shared our words in progress.  Even this photo of Marie's table is a work in progress as shown by having only two soup bowls and not yet the third....

        I did use photography this week to link the local to the global, by honoring my husband, Francis, who had just made a fire in our cook stove, with a photo similar to one in the world news.  Well, sort of similar.  Similar enough.  The photo title is meant to be humorous, not disrespectful...

Papa Francis

       I did find time to continue time spent with my new lens, including a return visit Friday evening to the beavers.  I will share those photos next week.  For now here are some flowers found in our yard, seeds coming from somewhere and landing here, wonderful to see during this chilly wet day in northeastern Kentucky.

      I wish everyone good health, especially, this week.  I have updated my comment format, so I hope it is easier to use.  If you need to sign in, you can always use the "anonymous", and I should be able to respond to the email you use.  Like everything this week, this change is a work in progress, so I thank you for your patience and your support -- Ann

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Departures, Revisits, Arrivals

post #128
        As I wrote in my last post, this week began with the funeral for Defford McDaniel, who died February 27 at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington.  He would have been 56 last Saturday.  
      The week long snow flurries and cold weather continued on this day.  Defford was buried in the McDaniel cemetery behind his home, and his bulldozer was used to carry the coffin up the mountain to the cemetery.  The transfer from hearse to the trailer happened near his house, and I had been asked to take some photos of those moments; almost everyone in the photos is related to Defford.  I am sharing a few of the photos today as a tribute to Defford and all his family. 


the view returning to the valley

       The revisits I refer to in today's post's title are thanks to the addition of a photo team member --  a new lens for my camera!  I had needed this one for ages, and I really needed it Sunday for the funeral but I didn't have it.  So I decided not to put off the purchase any longer and ordered one. 
       Yesterday was warm and dry, so I took the newly arrived lens out for some introductions -- me to it and it to the woods and paths and the barn, all near where I live.  I am not very geeky about my equipment, but it's so nice to have this lens (Canon 24 -105 f/4 L IS USM.)

another belly button

the log bridge, from above

designs inside the newer part of the barn

a corner of the oldest barn, located within the not-as-old barn....

      Two days ago, after visiting Defford's sister, Sandy, I got into my car to leave and just happened to look over at the truck I was parked next to.  I couldn't believe I had almost missed seeing this cat!  Luckily, I had my good camera with me, actually on the seat next to me, and the cat was gracious and/or comfortable enough not to disappear right away.  I didn't entirely notice, so to speak, the word on the tire sidewall until after I had taken the photo.  Now I'd suggest the image says something about arrivals, about getting to a place that feels good and right, about not always knowing where that place might be. 
      I wish everyone safe journeys.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

anniversaries - the tornado and I Love Mountains

post #127
       Nearby West Liberty was horribly hit by tornadoes a year ago this weekend.  Here are six photos by John Flavell from the community commemoration gathering yesterday.  These images appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader today.  The area is still hard at work rebuilding and, I am sure, still trying to find a way to come to terms with such unexpected and severe devastation.  
       I had two posts last March focusing on the tornado.  The first one is here, and the second one here.
       And this just in --  John Flavell has put a 5 minute slide show together called West Liberty, March 2012 -- March 2013.  It is so well done, with all the photos in black and white.  Bravo, John!  And thanks for sending out the link today!

        This year we are having instead day after day of snow flurries.  Here are three recent photos:
from above, the deck near the bird feeder

closer view of multiple bird tracks

snow flakes today, but no deer wandering through

      The other event I want to mention happens yearly, in February, because the problems it addresses are not yet solved.  Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) sponsors I Love Mountains Day at the Capitol in Frankfort, to increase the dialogue on coal mining issues.  And clean water.  And the health of people living near mining sites.  
      Many of us in Kentucky are appalled by mountaintop removal mining and by the control coal has over our politicians.  Obama is blamed and the EPA is disparaged, even though the reality is that much of the "good coal" has already been mined.  There can be death threats to people who speak out!  Yet no one is saying that coal miners are not important.  And jobs are of course tremendously important.  But ruining the water quality and taking away the tops of mountains to make bigger profits at the expense of the mountains and forests, our future and our health doesn't make common sense or any sense at all.  
      I wasn't able to take part in the march this year because I was in England, so here are the links to my posts from last year's march and the 2011 one
      Note: I am once again sharing this favorite photo of mine that I took in 2011.  I still have hopes of identifying the two guys in it.  I would like to get their permission to offer this photo for sale.  Isn't there someone who can help me???

      Next week I hope to honor the memory of Defford Alan McDaniel who died this week, just before his 56th birthday.  He is a member of a family I have known for many, many years, some of whom are our neighbors.   My love goes to each of you.  His passing affects us all.