backyard visitors, birds, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Hummingbirds…

My first photography instruction was on photographing birds.  Alice, the teacher, said that if you just stake out a spot and stay still the birds will eventually not mind you being there and go about their business.  Sure enough, that’s what happened that day.  And it happened in Kathy’s yard yesterday when I staked out her hummingbird feeder to see if I could get a good picture.  Those little birds are fast, and at first they would zoom away as soon as I clicked the shutter.  Maybe they got extra hungry, but eventually they stuck around long enough for me to at least try to capture them.  It wasn’t easy.  I’d try to blame the camera for not being able to shoot more exposures per second, or the tripod for not being sturdy enough, or even the birds for their frantic ways, but I have to admit that it was me.  But the beauty of this open-ended trip is that there is always tomorrow…7-12hummer17-12hummer27-12hummer37-12hummer47-12hummer5

adventure, backyard visitors, friends, fun, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Friday the 13th…

It started innocently enough, with a call from Kathy’s daughter.  She proposed a photo op at The Weirs, and she wanted to pick us up in her convertible for the ride.  As Kathy and I were trying to load all our camera equipment, as well as ourselves, into the car she likened us to Thelma and Louise.  But we were off, and though the sunset wasn’t much to speak of the area was good for night photography.  We wandered and took pictures, a fun time.  It was on the way home that Friday the 13th asserted itself.  That’s when Kathy’s granddaughter called to warn her mother to be careful when she came home because ‘there’s a bear in the garage and he won’t leave’.  I assumed it was a joke, but we soon figured out that it wasn’t.  The bear had been there a while and nothing Kathy’s son-in-law had done, including shooting the gun a couple of times, had budged the bear.  As would have been the case in any good horror movie, Jen’s cell phone was dead, so she dropped us off and headed for home with the vague plan to blast the horn as she drove up the driveway in her little convertible and made a mad dash into the house.  So if bears vs. alligators is the question, I’m pretty sure my answer would be neither.  And yes, she got home safe.  But the Fish and Game people said that until the bear attacks a big-ish animal, rather than only having killed the neighbor’s chickens, they can’t do a thing.  Hmm, suddenly the idea of running into a bear while camping in New Hampshire doesn’t sound as far-fetched…

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'scene' along the way, friends, fun, gardens, growing old, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

On the loose…

In our travels yesterday we came upon a lovely red covered bridge.  We stopped for photos, as we are prone to do.  As we took pictures it took me a minute to realize that there was a waterfall of sorts.  Man made, but falling water is always pretty. 7-12taftsville

What was surprising was that after we hiked Quechee Gorge, and found ourselves too late for lunch and too early for dinner everywhere, we headed to Simon Pearce to look at the beautiful glass creations, but also in search of food.  What we found was another covered bridge, we were thrilled to drive over it.  Then we parked to see the shop and discovered a lovely scene of still water.  Very peaceful.  I noticed the house and said it would be a nice picture, and then didn’t take one.  Lucky for me Kathy did take a photo, and she shares well with others.  She did a great job on this one.7-12bridge7-12bridge27-12bridge37-12Kathy'shouse

We went to Woodstock, VT also.  Just drove through but stopped at the Woodstock Inn to take a picture and pretend we were fancy enough to stay there.  Just two old friends on the loose…7-12woodstockinn

 

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Quechee Gorge…

Sometimes the Gods are just with you.  Like today with the perfect weather to hike down to the bottom of the Quechee Gorge in VT.  Down was fine, up was tougher, but the flip flops might have had something to do with that.  We were sitting on a bench catching our breath on the way up when a hiker our age was heading down.  I offered to move over so he could join us on the bench but he declined, but he told us that in Greece we say______, and he rattled off a phrase.  “It means Old age shits,”  he said.  We agreed.  Then we rewarded ourselves with molasses ginger snap ice cream cones, and sang to Kathy’s Simon and Garfunkel tapes all the way home…

 Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
Silently sharing the same fears

We didn’t even cry…

 

 
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a second look, home, life goes on, memories, photography, road trip, travel

Signs of Baltimore…

There is nothing that says Baltimore to me more than the Domino Sugar sign that used to stand by itself in the skyline.  The Domino Sugar factory sits toward the end of a peninsula known as Locust Point, which juts into the Baltimore harbor and culminates in the Fort McHenry National Park.  ‘The Point’ was also home to Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, something called Indiana Grain, and other manufacturing plants, due to it’s rail and shipping access.  Baltimore was a blue collar town that has undergone gentrification, as is the case for many East Coast cities.  The main street of the Point area is Fort Avenue, and that’s where our dental office was located, and where we spent 26 years working and enjoying the people of the neighborhood.  The immediate area was surrounded by streets of modest rowhouses, built in the 1880s, that housed generations of people who worked in the neighborhood businesses.  It was the city, and I was leery when Charley wanted to practice there, but he raved about the area, and everything he said about it proved to be true.  There was a corner store across from the office, and when I was in that store I found myself amazed that the other people there were greeting each other by name and asking about each other’s families. I soon concluded that this neighborhood had a lot in common with Mayberry.  The last three years we worked there we also lived upstairs from the office, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed walking out the front door onto a busy city street.  To me it was unique, if I hadn’t lived there I would never had imagined how much of a neighborhood could exist in a big city.

But even as we started our practice the old timers were lamenting how much the neighborhood was changing as new people came in and fixed up.  That should have been good news to a business owner, but Charley saw himself as on old-school ‘Baltimoron’, and those old timers were the people he was there to treat.  It was a good life.

I said that the Domino Sugar sign stood along in the sky, and it did.  But most of the old businesses are gone now, replaced by more lucrative condos and townhouses.  Maybe at a different angle the Domino sign would stand out more, and of course it does when it’s lit at night, but I thought it looked a little sad and lost in the new buildings that now surround it in this picture….