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.

Big Boy

No, this not a restaurant review.  The big boy that I’m talking about is a spotted fawn.  He is very large for his age, and so I’m saying he’s a young buck.

Sylvia and I have been watching him and his mother this year.  We would see them regularly as the sun was starting to set.  They would come out from cover and graze on our lawn or in the small hay field beyond.  I posted pix of them on the eighth of this month.

For the last week, I’ve seen Big Boy wandering around here during the day.  He has been alone and looking lost.  We think he has been orphaned.

Friday afternoon, I stepped out the back door to go to the mailbox.  There he was standing by the propane tank looking at me.  I froze.  We just looked at each other.  A few minutes later, I spoke softly to him.  He did not reply.  I walked several steps down the driveway.  He took a couple of steps toward the barn.  I continued to walk down the drive.  He ignored me and walked on past the barn.  I thought he was gone for the day.

Later, I came into the office and looked out the window.  There he was napping next to the driveway.

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It had been a chilly day and I think he wanted the shelter of the tank, the warmth of the asphalt and the softness of the grass.  He had a nice nap.

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I really wanted to follow his example and have a comfy snooze myself.

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I called Sylvia in to take a look at the sleepy fellow.  Then she called me to supper.  After clean up and doing the dishes, it was time to check on Big Boy again.  He was awake.

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He watched us watching him, but did not react.  A later look revealed that he had moved on with his business.  Whatever that may be.

Busy As . . .

You know the expression . . .  As summer transitions into autumn, the bees are busy.  This time of year, you’ll find them on the seedum.

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The are harvesting those last loads nectar before the season ends.

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No time to play.  Must seize the day.  Carpe diem.

Meanwhile, out at the barn.  Another creature is looking for a different kind of meal.

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This is the largest mantis that I have seen.  I frequently find these on the seedum, but not this day.

At Times

I was glancing through my archive of unused photos when I found this sequence of images that I had capture over the course of a single day.  It started in the morning.  These grow near our back door, which is the main entrance to this house.

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In the afternoon, I saw a spider securing its prey.  It was a large spider, its body being as large as my thumbnail.

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That evening, Sylvia went into the office to read emails and play a game or two.  It is relaxing and the way she frequently unwinds after a busy day.

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Another day came to a peaceful end.

Still Producing

While most of the garden is shutting down, the jalapeños are still producing fruit.

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I saw on Facebook that we had to buy jalapeños from the store to have poppers last year.  Not so this year.  I already have some hanging from string as they dry.

Unfortunately, there will be no parsnip harvest this year.  Sylvia planted them . . . twice.  Neither time did the seeds germinate.  Our freezer is nearly empty of parsnips.  We’ll miss them.  Butternut squash, even though we have a few dozen, doesn’t make up for that loss.

Dream-like

It was late in the afternoon.  Evening was coming on.  Out over the nearby woods, fog began to form as the moist air began to cool.

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Soon the sun was going down, the breeze stopped blowing, the earth was still.  It was like a dream in orange.

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I sat in my recliner and relaxed . . .  Later I opened one eye and peeked out.  It was like the foggy dream in orange was continuing.

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No drugs involved and no brain cells were injured in this process.

Garden Slowing

Much to Sylvia’s delight, garden output is slowing.  Most of the zucchini and tomatoes are in their final stages of production.  Everything has done so well except for parsnips and carrots.  Neither germinated at the first planting.  (Perhaps we got some bad seed?)  Carrots did germinate at second planting, but are not yet ready for harvest.  Sad to say, no parsnips for this year.

Our garden looked like this last week:

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Compare that to a year earlier:

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Special Day

It was 55 years ago today that Sylvia and I made our vows to one another.  In some ways it seems a lifetime ago, and in others like it seems like it was only yesterday.

We are enjoying a quiet day.  This evening we’ll go to our favorite restaurant and have a scrumptious dinner.

Flighty Fawn

As sunset approached, I looked out the dining room window and saw them grazing on the grass.  With camera in hand, I captured an image.

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Something over my way made the young one curious.  He approached the house.

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Hey!  You at the window, is that a camera in your hand?  I’m out of here!

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It’s amazing to me how fast this guy can run.  Mom has seen it before, and it’s no big deal to her.

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She continued her grass-grazing activities while continuing to be alert to her surroundings.

From the Assignment Desk

It’s that time of year.  The days are getting shorter.  The days (and nights) are cooler.  Old man grasshopper.  Is enjoying life.

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This old man is enjoying life as well.  The warmth of the sun and the cool of the evening bring joy to each day.

Each new day brings another story and a new delight.  My assignment is to discover and enjoy.

High on a Faraway Hill

It was over 40 years ago.  I was working at HCJB installing an FM transmitter on an Andean mountain that overlooks Quito, Ecuador.  A friend capture this image on our lunch break.

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I was standing about 6 miles south of the equator.  Yes, that is my insulated winter coat from Michigan.  At 13,000 feet above sea level, the air is chilly even that close to the equator.

On the left side of the picture, you can see the soccer stadium and the boulevard that runs to it.  I was there at a game once with a press pass and a camera.  The professional photographers gave me the stink eye as I watched the game with them from the sidelines.  They did not understand why I stood behind and slightly to the side of the goal.  From their angle they could capture all the action on the field, but that was not my interest.  My assignment was to capture the goalie as he failed.  The Quito team attacked the goal and my shot caught the ball entering the goal, passing just out of the goalie’s diving reach.  Assignment completed!  I returned the camera and film to the publicity department.  They were pleased with the photo and used it in a publication.