'scene' along the way, adventure, Camping, friends, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Four thousand feet up…

Among the camping stories I’ve heard is one that’s easier to imagine after riding the tram up to the top of Canon mountain the other day.  In the story my friend was called to school for a conference, seemed the teacher thought his son was telling tall tales.  In the story they were hiking and it was so cold and windy as they attempted to cross the peak that the adults linked arms with each other, forming a circle with the littlest kid in the middle, and then had to take one united step at a time to reach the shelter of the tree line on the other side.  I imagine the teacher was quite surprised to hear that that was a true story, and my friend never got called to school again.

I thought how nice it would be for him to look out at the view from the top, the view he’d hiked to see so many times in his life.  A view I had only seen once before, and hadn’t climbed a mountain to see it either.  But it was so cold and windy that I was only outside long enough for a couple of pictures and we rode the tram back down again.  Back down to the perfectly sunny and warm day that had inspired the trip in the first place.  I guess it was just the facts of life, mountain style.CanonmtpanoCanontram

'scene' along the way, birds, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, road trip, silliness, simple things, sky, travel, weather


We took a little drive to Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday, and because I had to look up how to spell that I now know that it’s 21 miles long and varies from one to 9 miles wide.  We parked at the town pier in Meredith and were soon clicking away.  It was a gorgeous day, and fun, after we recovered from our initial trauma.  A hotel with gorgeous flowers had caught out eye first, and there were swans in the water there also. So we walked that way, dodging a gauntlet of Canada geese, and as we got closer I saw that one of the swans was caught on fishing line, a common problem for the birds in Florida, and I was getting upset. I was wondering who to inform about this while my friend walked closer to the second swan, and then informed me that they were not real swans.  Nope, fake swans and the fishing line was actually anchoring them down.  Kathy was hoping I wouldn’t mention this, but how could I resist?  Maybe her daughters won’t read this…

MeredithfirstsceneMeredithgeese2Meredithhotel2Meredithswan2MeredithparkIt promised to be a fun afternoon…

bugs, dragonflies, flowers, fun, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, road trip, simple things, travel, weather

Sunflower daze…

My husband called it the ‘6 Ps’.  Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.  Not very eloquent but he made his point.  Yesterday our planned trip to Coppal Farm for the Sunflower Festival turned out to have been perfectly planned.  Or we were just lucky.  I wondered ahead of time how many pictures I’d get out of a trip to see just a single type of flower.  Only it turned out that there is more than one kind of sunflower.AugNHpalesunflowerAugNHredsunflowerAugNHsunflower1AugNHsunflower5

But the vast fields of sunflowers at Coppal Farm were the traditional variety that comes to mind at the mention of the word sunflower.  Except for one little face in the crowd.AugNHwhere'sWaldo

The farm itself was picture-worthy also.AugNHcoppalfarmAugNHcoppalfarm2AugNHpowerlinesAugNHsunflower4AugNHsunflower3AugNHsunflower2

Honestly, I don’t set out to take pictures of bugs, it just happens.  There were two varieties of black dragonflies at the pond next to the sunflower field.  They are so different from the blue ones I so commonly see that I was determined to get a decent picture.  But not to worry, the blue ones were there too.AugNHdragonfly1AugNHdragonfly2AugNHdragonfly3

'scene' along the way, bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, fun, gardens, kids, life goes on, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, travel, weather

Kids Day…

It did occur to me that going to a venue such as the Heritage Museum and Gardens might not be the best choice for a weekend visit.  But it was supposed to be such a nice day, and I hadn’t been out for several days before, so even realizing that it was ‘kids day’ didn’t stop me.  Kids got in free on Saturday, and lots of activities were set up for them to enjoy while they were there.  Maybe everyone had as much trouble with the maps as I did, because yes, we entered together, but as I walked the paths I had no problem seeing the gorgeous landscapes and taking pictures without lots of people in the shots.  And I started taking pictures before I had even bought my ticket.  I was attracted to the flowers, but as I looked more closely at the flowers it was the bees that caught my attention, and then the butterflies, and even a little moth. HPpinkflowerbeeHPblackbutterflyHPblueflowerbeeHPorangeflowermothHPearlybee

It was the carousel that I had spotted on the map that I had set out to see.  But there were numerous paths intersecting each other, and signs pointing this way and that way, enough so that I kept getting distracted.  Almost right away I heard a waterfall off to my right.  I attempted several pictures but quickly realized that there was a lily pond at the bottom, and yes, there were paths to go there.  So I set off down the hill to take pictures, hoping there would be dragonflies.  And yes, there were dragonflies, but I got ridiculously excited to see the little turtles on the lily pads.  When some kids showed up I think I totally forgot that I’m not a kid and got excited to point out the turtles.  That got the kids excited, and they all were standing precariously close to the rock edge of the pond, switching positions, trying to see.  And when I spotted a frog on a lily pad the excitement level went up a bit more.  Now they were quite excited to be pointing out things to me, and for several moments I was that five-year-old self I’ve been looking for.  Then I noticed one of the moms standing beside me and I had to apologize since they were probably wishing the kids were watching a little more calmly.  She said it was fine.  I thought it was fun.  ‘Kids day’, in more ways than one.HPwaterfall.jpgHPturtleHPdragonflyHPfrog2HP2turtles


'scene' along the way, boats, bugs, flowers, go with the flow, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Along the canal…

“Maybe you’ll see a big boat”, I said to myself as I headed to the canal again.  After several days of rain, and more than one tornado, it promised to be a sunny day with temperatures in the 70s, and the need to be outside was irresistible.  My knowledge of boats is rather limited, I can identify sail boats and speed boats, and sail boats are the prettier of the two.  But speed boats was what we had the most of.  And they were speeding, looking as if it was a race, and the little blue boat was in the lead, but not for long.Buzzard'sBayspeedy2Buzzard'sBayspeedersBuzzard'sBayblueboatBuzzard'sBaycatchingupThe wake that they created caused waves that caught these people off guard.  I had been watching them plucking things from among the rocks at the edge and collecting them in their bucket.  Mussels was the consensus of the people I spoke with as we enjoyed the day. Buzzard'sBaycanalpeopleFat dragonflies were zooming past me also, teasing me because they weren’t landing anywhere to give me a photo op.  I took a ridiculous number of photos just into the air in hopes that burst mode would give me an image, it didn’t.  But they did get me to pay attention to the hillside behind me with its flowers.Buzzard'sBayphotobombBuzzard'sBayseedy2Then I got interested in a little bird in the small tree right at the roadway.  It was singing it’s heart out but I had to hunt to spot it.  Merlin suggested several types of sparrow, but I decided that it was a Song Sparrow, for obvious reasons.Buzzard'sBaysparrowI spent a good bit of time looking for this bird, and taking photos, and when I finally thought to look back at the canal and see if anything was going on I got a surprise.  This was what was going on…Buzzard'sBaysbigboatBuzzard'sBaysbigboat2Buzzard'sBaybigboat3Yes, of course it made it under the bridge, but I still had to watch and see for myself, in case it didn’t.  Nothing much seemed to be going on after that, and after taking a few more flower shots, including a butt shot for a friend of mine, it was time to move on.Buzzard'sBaybutt

'scene' along the way, a second look, bucket list, Just do it, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Quaint Nantucket…

The quaintness factor of Nantucket became apparent even as our ship docked at Straight Wharf.  All the buildings have cedar shingles, weathered to a soft gray, and trimmed in historical colors only.  The window boxes are filled to overflowing with flowers in a riot of colors.  Former fishing shacks (each valued at over $1M) greet you as you dock, and on the dock they are  repurposed to be shops, with their colorful wares spilling out the doors.  So colorful that I didn’t realize the sky had clouded over while I was taking pictures.  And lots of places to eat, the smells were heavenly.  Quaintness2 QuaintnesswindowboxQuaintnesswhichway2QuaintnessshopsQuaintness4Quaintness5

After a mug of delicious chowder I headed out to take the bus tour of the island.  The driver was a wealth of information about the history of the island.  So much so that my mind is boggled to remember it all.  First of all, turn left at this sign to find the tour.  And if you find it then by all means take it.QuaintnesssignOn the tour you will pass a shop with interesting panes in the windows.  The remnants of glass blowing produces these spirals of thick glass which I had never seen before.  I was reduced to shooting pictures through the window of the bus, switching from side to side, and that’s obvious in some of these photos.  I’m glad there were empty seats so I could do that without driving anyone nuts.  The driver pointed out the oldest house in Nantucket, purchased as a wedding gift to Jethro Coffin and his bride in 1686.  And he mentioned that Benjamin Franklin’s mother was born on Nantucket.  The Old Mill is still in operation, so when you pass by it you never know which direction the sails will be facing.  The cap turns so that they can be faced to the wind in order to operate.  They can also be covered in canvas also, to aide in their operation.QuaintnesswindowpanesQuaintnessoldesthouseQuaintnessgristmillBut all of that information was a bonus to me.   The entire reason I wanted to take the bus tour was to see another lighthouse.  There are three on the island, but the last one is only accessible with a 4-wheeled drive vehicle or from the water.  So the Sankaty Head Light was my grand finale of the day.  The driver said that the light blinks faithfully every 7 1/2 seconds, but he admitted that they had turned it off once but he didn’t know that, and he confidently told that tour group to watch for it but it didn’t happen.  He thoughtfully stopped the bus and let me off to get some pictures, but I made sure he wasn’t going to take off again in 7 1/2 seconds.  He promised he wouldn’t.QaintnesssankatylightfarQaintnessSankatyheadlight

I confess that I photoshopped a golfer out of this shot.  He was in ALL my lighthouse shots.  Even the distant shot.  Go ahead and check if you like.  The beach erosion on the far side of the island is taking a toll.  Million dollar houses are now perilously close to toppling into the water.  Concerned citizens funded the relocation of the lighthouse 400 feet further from the water, and it was determined that they would have lost the lighthouse if they had waited another year.  There are also many perils for ships off of the coast right there.  The Andrea Doria and the Swedish ship Stockholm crashed 45 miles off the coast.  Fog was the culprit in that wreck.  But many ships met their end there, and the wreckage lies on the bottom along the coast.  Or in the Shipwreck and Whaling Museum.  For 150 years Nantucket was the whaling capital of the world.  Yes, this sleepy little town has seen it’s share of history.

Nantucket was quickly lost in the fog as we pulled out of the harbor heading back to Hyannis.  The fog got heavier and the ship was rocking in the waves.  My last photo op of the day was supposed to be sunset from the water, and that would have been nice, but all in all I’m not complaining…Qaintnesssgoodbye