About Chuck

I am retired after a career in electronics and in publishing. Today, my wife of 50+ years, Sylvia, and I live in a house on a hill beside a dirt road in rural west Michigan. We enjoy living in this country environment where livestock and wild life out number the human population.

Out on the Lawn

“Roses are red,
Violet are purple . . .”

How does the rest of that verse go? Maybe, “Everyone knows I love maple syruple.” Can anyone lend a line?

I’ve been watching for them. Sunday I found them.

There were lots of these little beauties

There were lots of these little beauties dancing upon the greensward

My searching eyes were rewarded with the sight of these violets. Does anyone out there remember the old-time radio program “Mr Keene, Tracer of Lost Persons?” His theme song was, “Someday I’ll Find You.” Next on my “To Find” list are the grape hyacinths that grow on the lawn.

Sylvia Update

Sylvia continues to do well. The broken wrist is doing fine as it heals. She only suffers from the restrictions that are imposed on her activities. I’m having to learn to get out of her way and let her do what she wants to do.

Together, we’ve worked out how to do some tasks that neither one of us can do alone. We usually ending up smiling and laughing . . . a lot.

With her dad this week, she has planned well and had meals for a week all set to go when she left here. That woman is amazing. :awe:

Looking Up

It was shortly after 6 PM Wednesday evening, and I was driving home.  I looked toward the east and saw a vapor trail.  That is not at all unusual.  However, this one seemed to end at some scattered clouds where it became a bare space cutting through those clouds.  I found myself praying that it would last long enough for me to capture the image.  Fortunately, it did.

The eastern sky was interesting to me

The eastern sky was interesting to me

From behind the barn, where I took the shot above, I walked toward our back door.  The color and texture of the sky seemed to be begging me to “take my picture.”

It is skies like this that make me love my Michigan home

It is skies like this that make me love my Michigan home

I captured the above image while facing north-northwest.  Notice how much lighter the sky on the left.  The sun is over in that direction.


Finally, I pointed the camera northwest and zoomed in a bit tighter.  The shot overlaps the previous image.  It was those wispy clouds that pleased my eye.

We are now in my favorite part of spring.  It’s warm enough to go outside without a jacket, but the grass doesn’t need cutting.  :yea:  Yet.


I had looked and looked for our last remaining crocus to appear.  It was beginning to look like our friend had gone the way of the others.  What a sad feeling that is.

Sylvia went for a walk around the yard the other day.  When she came in, she reported that our crocus had put in a late appearance.  With camera in hand, I went out to see.

At last!

At last!

Worth waiting for, don’t you think?

A short distance away, I encountered these little beauties growing on the lawn.


I don’t know their name, but they are a welcome splash of color amid the grass.  Perhaps Sharkbytes will know what they are.  Can you help me?

Ladies of the Night

Last night was beautiful.  The weather was warm and the sky was clear.  I looked up at Venus as she made her way toward the western horizon.  She had sisters with her–the ones that we call the Pleiades.  With camera on tripod, I used a 30-second exposure to capture the scene.

Venus and the Pleiades

Venus and the Pleiades

At first glance, I saw only six of the seven (Pleiades) sisters. Celaeno, the dimmest of the lot is there midway between Taugeta and Electra on the right.  (See it here.)

You may detect some motion in the photo.  There was some.  During the thirty seconds that the shutter was open, the camera moved over eight miles.  (An angular rotation of 450 seconds of arc)

As I was completing my shoot, other ladies of the night passed by not forty feet from me.  They were the female deer that we see regularly.  It was the little bit extra.  Like whipped cream atop your hot chocolate.

My mind was on another lady.  Not a lady of the night, but a lady at all times.  I’m talking about my lovely bride, Sylvia.  I went back in the house, put the camera on my desk and took a seat beside my wife.  We spent the next hour talking about the day and about a hundred other things.  On that high note, I ended my day.


Now that’s what I’ve been waiting for.


The bee was enjoying the day as much as I was.


And what a beautiful day it was . . . and is.

The frost has gone out of our [dirt] road.  The result is holes big enough to bury medium-sized critters.  Nobody speeds along our road these days.

I went out this morning in the rain.  I had to drive on the paved road just a mile from here.  The travels lanes, have sunk over time so that today rain will fill the depressions, creating miles-long puddles–four of them all parallel.  That’s not problem out here in the country where we just drive with two tires on the center line in such conditions.

On Schedule

Spring Begins

Winter bows to spring,
Grass changes from brown to green
Soon the earth will warm.

Last evening looking out my office window

Last evening looking out my office window

There is a fourth critter (rabbit) in the left foreground.  It was dusk when I shot this and it was handheld, thus the less than sharp image.

Spring Develops

Slowly days lengthen,
Warm gentle rain falls down,
Earth awakes to life.

Almost Daffy Time

Daffodils will soon open

Daffodils will soon open

Rain and warmer weather dominates the forecast.  I do believe that is Spring in the air.

It won't be long now

It won’t be long now

I keep my eyes open for the signs.  Lately, I’ve been rewarded.

Sylvia Update

It was a week ago today that Sylvia had a mishap on roller skates.  Since I brought her home from the ER, she has had her arm in a plaster splint–they tell us it is not a cast.  I haven’t bothered to research that one.  A sling helps her support the arm, and when she sits a pillow provides a handy support.

She is not in pain.  What she suffers from most is frustration at the limitations that are imposed upon her.

We’ve made arrangements for some help with some of the household chores.  (I was having trouble keeping up with them.)  That is working out very well.

Sylvia visits our primary care physician tomorrow.  Perhaps we’ll learn more then.

Spring Has Sprung

Hey Lin, my snowdrops are finally up.  I must confess that I suffer from envy every spring when you post pictures of your snowdrops weeks before mine blossom.

Bug's eye view.

Bug’s eye view.

They waited long enough to appear this year.  Unfortunately, looks like the last crocus that we had didn’t make it through the winter.

Next on the schedule are the daffodils.  Buds are forming and much promise is given.

Alien Invaders?


This is what my eye saw shortly after midnight on March 31.  The silvery streaks are ice on apple branches and the golden spheres are caused by sodium light shining through the raindrops on my office window.

This is what the camera saw:


Perhaps it is just as well that cameras don’t have creative imaginations.  What do you think about that?