Thursday, September 18, 2014

From the air

This past Tuesday marked the 1-year anniversary of my husband’s death. I started thinking about it a couple of months ago and decided to get out of town and away for a few days. I was going back and forth as to where to go when out of the blue, my friend Sherrie called.

Sherrie’s husband, Warren, was our best and dearest friend. He died in March of last year and my husband followed him in September. I couldn’t think of a better person to spend some time with and after I hung up from her, I went online and booked a ticket. This was a huge deal for me because I can count the number of times I have flown on one hand. And I hadn’t been on a plane since 2006. I am not a flyer.

 

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My flight left on Saturday at 6:15 in the morning from Philadelphia. There’s Center City as the sky begins to lighten.

 

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I thought the views from the windows were incredible and spent much of the time looking at the passing sights.

 

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Above the clouds now, at around 30,000 feet and watching the sun come up.

 

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I realized on this flight that I had never flown with my husband. He preferred driving and when we visited our friends, Warren & Sherrie (usually about once a year), we would drive. It was a looooong way to go, but always interesting.

 

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The clouds from above are just so incredible.

My visit was just what I needed, and for me, the highlight of the trip was watching an old movie we had all made while on vacation in Cape Hatteras in October of 1990. We were so young and our children ranged from toddlers to age 9. And I sat on Sherrie’s couch with her eldest daughter and we laughed and cried as we watched our husbands, our children, and ourselves in our youth. It was perfect.

 

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Flying back into Philadelphia at sunset, after a good time spent away.

I always think that I’ll try to post more often. But I do what I can. Until next time, then ~

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday glorious Sunday

Note: This was written yesterday and I’d forgotten to post it.

I was finally able to turn off the AC units today after having them on for an entire week – something I had not yet done this summer. This summer has been the most pleasant as far as weather goes. But the past week was humid and hot.

Today, it was absolutely lovely.

 

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Morning glories greeted me on the back patio

on this beautiful Sunday morning in Maryland.

 

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I took George for a walk around the property and brought the camera along.

I haven’t been walking nearly enough lately.

 

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When my son got home from his shift, we cleared away the branches that had come down in the two storms that came through this week.

George wanted us to toss him sticks.

 

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Miss Blackie relaxing on the back patio this afternoon. I never call her by her name, preferring to call her something completely embarrassing (to me). Of course, now you’ll want to know what it is. Well, I’ll tell you because it’s silly and I don’t really care anyway. It’s Girlie B’Gurlie.

It’s what I call her when I want her to come inside. B’Gurlie! C’mon Girlie Girlie girl.

My efforts at calling her in are usually futile.

Imagine that.

 

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It used to be so difficult for me to tell the difference between the downy woodpecker (above) and the hairy woodpecker. The look almost exactly the same. The hairy is a little bigger, so when they’re together it’s easy to tell them apart. But when they’re alone, it’s the bill that gives them away.

The downy’s bill is noticeably shorter than the width of its head. Can you see it?

Another giveaway is the outer tail feathers. The hairy’s are pure white while the downy’s will sport a dark spot here and there. There’s a spot on the one above.

My husband would be proud of me. He was always the birder in our family and he loved when I began to take an interest in it.

 

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This is a white-breasted nuthatch. It gets its name from the way it ‘hatches’ nuts, jamming them into the tree bark and then whacking them with their powerful bill to get at the seed. They move quickly, and seem to almost walk down the trunks of trees.

And that’s your lesson for today.

Hopefully I’ll be back later this week. Be prepared for a pop quiz.

Kidding ~

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

I could have been a sailor; could have been a cook

Those lyrics are from an old Nick Drake song that I was listening to while editing one of the photos on this post. Actually, I was listening to much of the Garden State soundtrack which also includes an old tune from Simon & Garfunkle that I love. 

Yesterday I found some volunteer morning glories growing up one of the old bushes on the property. Long-time readers of this blog may remember that my husband would plant morning glories and moonflowers every year along one side of the garden fence line. My husband was the gardener here, not me. And although I know a little about vegetable gardening, and have had them in the past, I just don’t have the time for it right now. So no garden this year. No garden last year either.

But it sure was a nice surprise to see those morning glories yesterday evening . . .

 

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It was growing dusk, but I upped the ISO and managed to capture a couple of pretty images.

 

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I love when they look like this.

 

 

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And climbing vines.

 

 

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And a little hummer thrown in for good measure.

 

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That’s all I’ve got for today, folks.

I’ll try and post something else on the weekend ~

Hope you enjoy yours!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Just keep me where the light is

I am sitting here in my air-conditioned living room on this soggy, fog-enshrouded Labor Day morning. I’ve just returned home after spending a quiet weekend with friends in NJ and George and I left this morning, like we often do, before anyone was awake.  (I like to leave early and get ahead of the traffic. And I always leave a nice note.)

It was not foggy in Jersey this morning, but it sure was in Maryland and Delaware. A storm had come through last night and we watched it from the screened porch. It was beautiful and eventually the hard rain turned into a soft patter. And the lightning continued.

Driving home this morning, I could see how far the rain had spread. My driveway was saturated, but luckily no big branches were down. After I unpacked, I made some coffee and took a cup outside with me. I filled the feeders, brought out my camera and took these photos you see here.

 

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I was trying for hummingbirds but when the Mourning Doves arrived, I adjusted the camera settings and turned my lens to them.

Doves tend to mate for life, and I always see them in pairs. They can live for a long time and I read once that the oldest known Mourning Dove was over 31 years old.

 

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They make a whistling sound when they take off and they didn’t stay on the tree for very long. But I was glad to have them stop by to welcome me home.

I missed being here.

School got off to a good start last week, I believe, and I’m looking forward to the year. But it’s just a little sad to say goodbye to summertime.

Just a little, mind you.

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The post title was taken from lyrics to John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ which I listened to at one point while driving home this morning.

To read more about Mourning Doves, visit {here}.

And thank you, as ever, for stopping by. It’s always nice have visitors ~