‘Tis the Season, Pt 4


The Galilean couple inquires about a room at an Inn.  Once again they are told that there is no room, and “No, we don’t know where you can find a room.”  Bethlehem is filled with descendants of David who have come here to register for the Roman census.

Again the innkeeper speaks, “Your wife looks very pregnant and very tired.  Perhaps we can find a little space . . .”

‘Tis the Season, Pt 3


The couple approaches Bethlehem.  Will they find an Inn?  The little town is very crowded with pilgrims coming to register for the census.

The contented cow waits in the manger, chewing her cud.  She had no idea what was coming her way.

‘Tis the Season, Pt 2


Joseph and Mary are on their way to Bethlehem.  It about here I’d like to have action figures so that Mary could ride on the donkey.  Joseph could also lead the way.  Alas, their poses are immutable–one of the joys of ceramic.

Sorry, this is a day late.

‘Tis the Season, Pt 1

Recently, my friend, Lin, asked me to post pix of my dynamic manger scene display.  I promised to do that.  It seems only fair as many of her friends wait eagerly to see her Christmas display and where will the pope and the hooker be this year.

Using figures that Sylvia’s mother made for us, I set up the scene as it might have been and follow the story as it may have developed.

This year, the story begins with the engaged couple, Joseph and Mary at home.  This was before the Roman the census that required men to return to their ancestral homes to register for that census.

Thus we see the pair before their journey.


The contented cow awaits at the manger, which will become the focus of the story.

Subsequent posts will follow Joseph and Mary on their journey.

What Do You Do When the Weather Is Blah?

I try to capture that BLAH feeling in a photo.  Like this:


That sums up the way I’ve been feeling lately on the physical level.

But look there is light and it illuminates the sky . . . and the earth.  That’s not gloom you see.  That is hope.  Shining hope that makes things bright in the night.

Observing the Observer Observe

I was in the basement when I saw the monster on the patio door.  I tried some shots from inside, but they didn’t work.

With jacket and cap on and camera in hand, I walked around to the basement door.  There was the monster.  Carefully I lined up a shot and captured this image.


Later, back in the office, I realized that I had gotten into the shot.  Now we can observe the photographer as he lines up this shot of the pious insect.

I’ve thought quite a bit about this little slice of life and what it has to say to me.  I’ll not share that with you, because your experience is different.  However, you might ask yourself, “Who is observing me?  What do those watchful eyes see?”


I Spy in the Sky with My Little Eye

It had been a rainy day. The sun was hanging above the western horizon when I noticed a strange phenomenon.  With camera in hand, I opened a window so there would be no distortion.  This is what the camera and my eye saw.


It looks like there is moisture on the lens, but that’s not the case.  My eyes saw the same scene.  Can anyone explain this for me?


I recently bought a tablet to replace a dying laptop computer.  The apps that are available for it are amazing.  One is a tracker for the International Space Station (ISS).  The app tracks and displays the ISS position on a world map.  It also shows live video from the HD camera (usually of the clouds and earth below) or the SD camera (usually of the space station).


By using that app, Sylvia and I have for the last two nights watched the ISS shortly after our sunset as it flew across the sky.  (That is not my pic.)

With 7×50 binoculars, we were able to see the station and especially the large solar panels.  It was great having two consecutive nights with good viewing conditions.


Unfortunately, when I aimed those binoculars at Saturn, it didn’t work so well.  Most of that is shaky hands.  (Objects tend to “dance” around the field of view.)  I’m going to get out the heavy duty tripod and the 11×80 binoculars for another try on the next night with good viewing.


Posted in sky

Visited by Transients–They’re Underfoot and Over Head

I was headed down the driveway when I spotted this monster crossing our lawn.  I stopped the car, picked up a weapon (my camera) and went to investigate.  Soon I was eye-to-eye with the beast.


I’m not going to mess with this one.  Would you?

I retreated.  And got a better look.


The turtle left, but perhaps blessed us in passing.  A few days later we received two and a half inches of rain and that brown lawn is once again a luscious green.

I saw that turtle in the morning.  Later that afternoon.  I met a painted turtle on the driveway as I was walking back from the mailbox.  Unfortunately, I had no camera with me.

As we are officially in autumn, the birds are beginning to flock together.  Perhaps they are getting ready for their annual southward migration.  As they pass by, my big antenna seems to be a favorite place to get a bit of rest.


They all came at once.  Soon they were all gone.

I enjoyed their visit.

Open and Shut

I heard someone say recently, “It was an open and shut case.”  That started me thinking about what that means.  I suppose it’s a matter of they open the question, the answer is obvious and so the matter is shut (closed).

Later, I was in the flower garden and saw “open and shut” illustrated.  I smiled when I saw it.  Perhaps you will too.


The rose is open.  This late blossom is as beautiful as the first ones, which came in the spring.


This Queen Ann’s lace blossom is shut.  (I zoomed in to capture the spider webs that decorate this clump.)  Inside that “fist” the seeds are ripening, protected by the surrounding plant.

The call to lunch has just gone out.  Time to wrap this up for now.

Autumnal Gold

We’re a couple days past Labor Day.  For most Michiganians, That means summer is over.  Astronomically speaking, we have a couple of weeks left, but the air is cool and it’s time to wear a jacket when you go outside.

I’ve always liked this time of year.  The earth is still warm–though the air is cool and fresh.  Since my last post, I celebrated another birthday.  Later this week, Sylvia and I will celebrate another anniversary.  What’s not to like?

Step out the door, and find Stella’s gold.


If that’s too “gold” for you, let’s add some orange and red.


Now bring in the full orchestra (of colors).


Perhaps this last picture captures the way I feel today.  Blue.  How can that be with all the motives for joy?

Tonight, we’ll meet with Sylvia’s sibling to celebrate 100th anniversary of her father’s birth.  It had been a long tradition to gather to celebrate with him.  So we’ll do it on this milestone–even though he won’t be physically present.  Also.

Last evening, I learned that my good friend, Cliff, (age 55) has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  I can only pray for him, his wife and two grown children.