Last Year

I looked back a year ago to see what I was posting on this blog.  That’s when I discovered this post.  Here again for your enjoyment:

from 11/20/2014

Tuesday evening just after sunset, I saw a sun dog (also called a parhelion, meaning “beside the sun”). Unlike a rainbow they appear in the sky near the sun — usually about 22 degrees from it and at the same altitude. This phenomenon is caused by ice crystals high in cirrus clouds that refract sunlight and, like tiny prisms, break the light up into colors. Red is closest to the sun, blue and violet are away from the sun. The colors are not clearly defined, nor are they vivid.

Tuesday evening after sunset

Here’s a closer look:

A sun dog at day's end

Just seeing tiny bit of color in the sky made me feel better.  Then the snow came.

It reminds me of the story of the calm old man.  When asked how he could remain so laid back despite the trials and tribulations that beset him, he answered, “I just think of my favorite Bible verse.”

“What’s that,” he was asked.

He responded, “It came to pass.”  He went on to explain that it didn’t come to stay.

Keep Looking

Sunday morning, the sun is bright and the sky is clear.  Early-morning gunfire had announced the opening of deer season with firearms.  No, there was not a single deer in sight.  What would you expect?

Less than a week earlier, we had watched a four-point buck cross our lawn, turn and go back.  That was nice.  We don’t see many with antlers.  Most of those boys are very shy.

As I looked at the “woods,” I saw an interesting anachronism.  Maybe you’d call it a reverse anachronism.


Can you see the cross roads in this jungle?  Me neither.

Icy Blasts


Wednesday was a “get outside in work in your shirtsleeves” kind of day.  So that’s what Sylvia and I did.  We got a lot accomplished.

Then came Thursday, and with it came cold, rain and wind.  Heavy winds shook the corners of the house.  It was a day to curl up in a comfy chair with a good book.

In the past, we have purchased Thai soup.  It comes with all the dry ingredients in packets.  These are placed in a plastic soup bowl with a fistful of rice noodles.  I saved nutrition labels from a couple of these and noted the ingredients.  (Do you ever do that?)

We then reverse engineered the soup.  Our goal was something hot and spicy and a bit more to our liking.

Thursday for lunch, Sylvia made the first try.  It was great!  She had fried some bacon for the baked beans we would have that evening.  After pouring out the leftover fat, she poured water into the pan.  Into that went, onion, finely minced celery with leaves and carrot (pre-cooked in microwave).  Bits of bacon pieces went back into the soup pot, followed by curry powder and cumin to season.  She used very fine rice noodles, which she boiled and rinsed with cool water.  After the noodles went in the soup and came up to temperature, we ate it.  Every bit of it!

That evening, the baked beans were delightful.  That, however, is another story.  Perhaps for another day.

As October Ended

I had planned on sharing this image with you at the end of October.  That was overtaken by unfortunate events.

I stepped out the back door, camera in hand.  I wanted to capture an image of the autumnal evening, which was dominated by a cloud-obscured moon.  The mood was fitting for the season.


It felt good to step back inside.  There I was safe from the sights and sounds.  Safe from things that go “BUMP” in the night.

Time to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.

More Woes


This is the second day that I have been unable to post from my main computer.  I gave up and logged in from Linux machine.  Hey!  This works.


Our pea plants are still blooming.  Okay,  I recently reported that.  The good news is that they are setting pods.


Here are two pods.  Is there still time for peas to form inside those pods?  That’s what I’ll be waiting to discover.  I’ll let you know.

More Good News

Visited my urologist yesterday.  Recent lab test shows that after two years, I’m still cancer free.  We’ll have to continue monitoring the situation.

Also visited the chiropactor after returning home.  After an adjustment.  The severe back pain I had from deck work (lots of stooping and bending) is now gone.

They need to find a cure for arthritis.  Is that too much to ask?

Color Tour pt2

Yesterday, I promised to show you more of my color tour taken on the front deck of our house.  The rest of the shots are not as dramatic as the one I showed you Wednesday.


We are not at the peak of color yet.


I’m seeing a lot more orange and less red than in past years.


I’d like to show you this image in 3-D.  It’s a great view with binoculars, which help emphasize that 3-D effect.  Have you ever tried that?


This branch is within arm’s reach from the deck.  Those are leaves on the tree (not the ground).  Not so rich with color, but I liked what the light was doing.  I especially like that “stand-up” leaf.  I’m thinking that some of you could come up with a good caption for this one.

I thought that this had completed my color tour.  I secured the tripod and headed for the warm house.  Then I saw something more.  Come back tomorrow and see what captured my attention.

Keeping Warm

I looked out my office window.  That’s when I saw her in the driveway.  I think she was catching some rays.  The asphalt makes a nice solar heat collector and the air was cool.

I went out to her with camera in hand.  She was patient as she posed for me.


I tried to get a low-angle view.  My efforts failed to capture a usable image.


I was hoping to get an image like the one above, which I captured six years ago.  It didn’t work for me this time.

I’m not sure why these two mantises look so different.  I tried to find some info online, but nothing helpful found.  Not that it much matters to me.  I’m more interested etymology than entomology.

Color Me This

Yesterday, our friend, Sharkey, posted some fall foliage colors on her blog.  The images are delightful.  Our secondary road is enough south of her that we are a few days behind in the color tour.

Nevertheless, it sent me to the front deck this morning.  That’s where I get a view of some of the first trees in the neighborhood to go through the transformation.  Here’s the wide view:


Neighbor, Bob, Cut hay last week and Sylvia power washed the decks.  Their combine actions seemed to bring on rain.  It’s finally dry again.  Hay can dry and, if this weather holds, we can seal the decks.  Back to the color.


It’s not much, but it’s the best we can do for now.  It’s scenes like these that bring joy and contentment to those that live in this house.


To my eye, that red on the left looked brighter.  Oh well . . .

Yesterday’s Sighting

Last evening, as I was getting supper ready, my eye caught sight of the red-tail hawk sitting on a power pole.  He’s been a regular visitor recently.  This time, he looked especially great in the fading light.

I went to a window and slowly lifted the blinds.  My plan was to go for the camera next.  However, as I finished lifting those blinds, he dove from the pole toward the ground.  Prey?  He was half way to earth when the strangest thing happened.  He seemed to split in two with one side going right and the other left.  Yes, it was a pair of red tails.  From my vantage point they appeared as one until they split apart.

The hawks turned to fly in the same direction, side-by-side.  I wish you could have seen it too.

Fall Has Fallen

It happened as we slept last night.  The declination of the sun was 0 degrees latitude as it hung directly over Earth’s equator.  This marked the autumnal equinox and the beginning of [astronomical] fall.

Sylvia has harvested over 30 pounds of potatoes and there are more in the ground.  We are still harvesting green beans.  It has been a strange year.  We were harvesting peas well into August and we’ve never done that before.

Meanwhile near our back door our old friend thrives.


Peppermint is a long-time tradition in Sylvia’s family.  Her mother’s parents and maternal grandparents were pioneers in mint cultivation in Clinton County, Michigan.  For that reason, we’ve always grown some close to our back door.  It’s nice to pick a leaf and chew on it.  It smells good to just crush a leaf for that fabulous fragrance.  Or crush it into your tea cup for a refreshing flavorful sip of brew.