'scene' along the way, dogs, fun, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip

Pups in the air…

Pups in the air is a group that puts on shows with their amazing frisbee-catching dogs. They were entertaining the crowd at the Quechee balloon festival, along with musical performers, helping to fill the 12 hour gap between balloon launches.  First up was this 11 year old border collie.  It’s amazing how focused these dogs were on their handlers.  I’m not sure they even knew the crowd was there.  All they wanted was to catch that frisbee.pupsintheair4Pupsintheair5

Must you be a black and white border collie to belong to this group?  Nope.  There was this little Jack Russel terrier too.  She was a mighty fast dog.jackrussel

This youthful black and white border collie was only one year old, but his enthusiasm and energy showed.pupsintheair6dogcatch1.jpg06_15_19dogcatch

I’ve had dogs all my life, but only one of them would focus in on you and try with all his might to figure out what it was that you wanted him to do.  That was Tag, a mutt of indeterminate breeding but a herding dog in there somewhere.  I was quite young and enjoyed teaching him to do tricks, hitch him to wagons, fun stuff for me and I think he liked it too.  The neighbors hired me to train their dog to do tricks also, but that dog was supremely uninterested in learning anything, at least from me.  Tag used to jump through the hula hoop for me but after a little of that I thought it would be more exciting if I could figure out how to make it a flaming hoop for him to jump through.  The problem was that I could never figure out how I would hold the flaming hoop for him to jump through.  I’m thinking that that was a good thing for both of us…

a second look, adventure, bucket list, Camping, Just do it, leap of faith, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Campgrounds…

There I was, beating myself up for not being more settled into the camper since I’ve been here a week already.  Here being the Pastures in Orford, NH.  Then I realized that today is only my 4th full day here so maybe I’m not doing so badly after all.  Especially since I pushed the button on the coffee pot and ran out to drive myself to the bathrooms in the pouring rain and didn’t have electricity when I got back.  Note to self; don’t run the new ceramic heater and the coffee pot at the same time.  And then I threw the first switch of my life and I’m back in business. Not doing badly at all.

I’m happy with the place but I confess to having nothing to compare it too since I’m a first timer at everything about camping.  I’m actually tickled with the bath/shower room, which has been recently redone.  It’s chilly out and it’s not heated, there is a screen door only, so whatever temperature it is out is what temperature it is in.  Even that hasn’t been a problem.  And I am at the mercy of whatever is available as bathroom facilities go so this will be a big thing for me going forward.  And the fact that I don’t have a plan past the end of the month is a concern, but it’s not enough to keep me home looking for options either.  Not when I could be out looking at the scenery and taking pictures.  Except it’s pouring out and has been all night, so hooray for wifi. Here are the bathroom facilities, with a nearby playground and fenced pool beyond.  6_04_19amenities

Not too long ago I was on a trip to a covered bridge here in NH, and the GPS kept wanting me to take a right onto a tiny dirt road, which I (fortunately) was too chicken to actually do.  They were hunting trails from the 1800s and led nowhere, according to a local.  So as I drove here and was down to my last 20 miles or so I started to see similar looking dirt roads but with signs announcing campgrounds, and an arrow pointing down the road.  I began to panic and wondered what I’d do if I finally got here and that’s what the entrance looked like.  But I needn’t have worried.  This place was welcoming right from go.6_04_19pasturesentrance6_04_19redhouse6_04_19redhousegardenI love this little red house that is a rental that belongs to the campground owners also. My girlfriend has been on the look out for a nice little house and I think this one fits the bill, except it’s an hour from where she wants to be.  6_04_19canoes6_04_19redboat6_04_19bridge16_04_19bridge2There are a couple of docks on the grounds since we are right on the Connecticut river.  That’s Vermont on the far side.  If you cross the bridge you are in another state.  And back and forth multiple times a day.

My friend and I were finding pictures of pop up campers all redecorated, ‘glamped up’, so to speak.  I haven’t even gotten my awning up yet, and to be honest I’m glad about that because the wind has been kicking up every night, with and without rain.  I feel snug in this little space though, well snug with the new little electric heater.  We determined that the on board heater uses my propane so it was a good investment.  And I can use the propane while the coffee pot is on.  Charley would be proud.  I think camping suits me, even in the rain…

friends, fun, live and learn, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Prom season…

I wish I’d gone to the two proms I just went to in the opposite order, because I learned a few things this last Saturday.  My friend’s granddaughter had arranged to have photos taken as a group with some of her friends, and that sounded like fun.  My friend had informed me that I was invited to take photos at this event also.  But at the last minute we discovered that one of the families had hired a professional photographer to do the shoot, and it was mentioned that he’d have equipment, meaning lights and such.  This news had me wondering if we’d be welcome to take our own photos, and I was immediately intimidated, but off we went to a nearby mansion where the photos would be taken on the grounds.

I needn’t have worried.  The photographer showed up in his shorts, with just his hand held camera, and immediately began to banter with the kids and loosen them up.  It was determined that they were a group of friends with only one couple among them, and he began marching them around the grounds of this old mansion and posing them with lots of humor.  I found his choices of backgrounds to be interesting, and there were lots of shots where he had them all posed but looking to the side at him, so I couldn’t get his same angle and I’m looking forward to seeing his shots.  Of course we were all taking photos at the same time, and he’d tell the kids to just look at him, and after his shots he’d tell them to stay put to give us all a chance at it.  It was such fun.

And this tiny little NH town goes the extra mile for these kids. They were all assembled   at a back parking lot at the venue where they were all having dinner and the prom itself, and they were announced by name, and then each couple or group of friends, would come walking down the driveway approach to cheers from what appeared to be the entire town.  What a fun tradition.  But while we were all waiting for the main event what did we hear but an ice cream truck!  Soon I saw little kids with ice cream and I was thinking that it was terrible to have that distraction when the event we were all waiting for would begin in just a few minutes.  But as the truck came into view I realized that these were prom goers manning the truck, and tossing ice cream into the crowd!  What an entrance!  A little slice of small town living in NH…

05-19-Kin'sprom05-19-Kin'sprom205-19-Kin'sprom305-19-Kin'sprom405-19-Kin'sprom505-19-Kin'sprom605-19-Kin'sprom705-19-Kin'sprom805-19-Kin'sprom905-19-Kin'sprom1005-19-Kin'sprom1105-19-Kin'sprom1205-19-Kin'sprom1305-19-Kin'sprom1405-19-Kin'sprom1505-19-Kin'sprom16And here you have the soon to be crowned Prince and Princess of the prom!

family, kids, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, silliness, simple things, travel

The adventure begins…

First stop was with my cousin in Charleston, an easy 7 hour drive from home.  It was foggy for the first few hours, I may have to rethink leaving at 4 AM because those hours were stressful.  But I got there early with lots of time to visit, and take in the wild life in the area.  And there was plenty of wildlife!05-07-19Maireadclose05-07-19maireadclose2

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05-07-19partyAnd an 11 and 4 year olds birthday party.  What’s a visit without a little cake and ice cream?  Such a fun day!

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, Osprey, perseverance, photography, sunset

Big birds…

That’s what tonight’s photo shoot was supposed to be about.  Big birds like this…04-11-19bigbirdshoot2

We were on a beach near the airport, and the planes were supposed to be coming towards us to land.  An entirely different perspective.  And we were shooting at sunset so some color in the sky behind them would have been nice.  There were plenty of planes, but they were taking off with the wind, and we couldn’t see where the planes coming in were landing.  But it was okay since birds of a different sort kind of stole the show.04-11-19bigbirdshoot104-11-19bigbirdfeature2Wait, is that an osprey?  Oh, let me zoom…04-11-19bigbirdosprey1And the prettiest shore bird, a willet I think.  I saw another one of the photographers concentrating on him, and later on he said that he thought he caught  this guy with a tiny little crab in his mouth.  I hope his patience paid off for him.04-11-19bigbirdwillet

I took 675 photos, and I have to say I love the new camera and lens.  We were panning, so all my photos were taken hand held, and zoomed to the fullest, so I assumed that I was getting blurry shots, but hoped for a few that I liked.  Well, my shots weren’t blurry at all.  Oh, and the new lens goes from close up to pretty great zoom, like this.04-11-19bigbirdflower

I have so many more photos to go through, but tomorrow morning is another shoot so I need to go to bed.  I have to get up early…

finding my way, healing, home, life goes on, memories, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, solitude

My first place…

The first thing Charley and I bought together was a ridiculously expensive stained glass window.  It was in an antique shop in Old Ellicott City, MD, and the blue pieces of glass were/are original to the window. Maybe the rest of the pieces were missing or broken.  But at any we loved it, and it signaled that we were going forward together. That was close to 40 years ago now, and it’s moved with us since then, so it has hung in various spots over the years.  But mostly it was in the upstairs window of the den of the house we lived in for over 30 years.  Many more years in that one house than I lived in my hometown, which was a stunning realization when it hit me.  Yet I left that house behind without looking back, but I’ve never been able to leave my hometown behind.  I’ve lived a lot of places in my life, but none of them have been ‘home’ to me, despite my penchant for fixing them up.  I had considered selling it, the stained glass window I mean, but I knew that I’d never get the crazy price we paid for it.  And during the time it hung in that upstairs window, the one with a window seat below it, our cat, Hobo, used to reach up and dig his claws into the window frame for a nice stretch.  And so they remain there, his claw marks forever part of our history.  So I fix up my place and make it all cozy for myself.  This is the equivalent of my first apartment, the first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  In a place I never expected to be.  You don’t usually furnish your first place with a lifetime’s worth of treasures.  Treasures that hold memories, and bring them to life when you look at them.  My ‘first’ place may be my last place, and it may just be home…