Cape Cod's been in the news a lot in the past few weeks. With the sad losses of Eunice and Teddy Kennedy, and the visit of President Obama and family, we've seen familiar scenes on the nightly news, and an increase in end-of-summer tourists and visitors. And there've been a couple of storms that looked threatening but in the end didn't amount to much. Today Hurricane Danny brought a whole lot of rain and wind, lots of flooding, and we even lost power for a couple of hours. A good excuse to light some candles and do a little reading.
For those of you who may not get regular updates from the Leonard branch of the family at Halcyon Farm New York, Fransje and Aunt June sent a link to some amazing photos of the farm/bed and breakfast, taken by their guest and photographer Walter Paul Berbirian. We're so often there at Thanksgiving time that we miss the summer lushness of house, gardens, and fields. Really spectacular - makes me want to drive out there and share a glass of iced tea on the porch. We miss them all, and are thrilled that we'll be seeing them next week when they come east for a visit. Can't wait!
I have new-found respect for the patience of nature photographers. I took this photo standing in the hot sun at Taylor Bray Farm in Yarmouth. The swallows were flying at the speed of light in and out of the lower level of this old barn, and I thought it would be easy to capture a shot of them as they whizzed back and forth to feed their babies. After about 10 minutes and 30 or so shots I gave up, hot, tired, and disappointed. But when I got home and looked through the pictures, I realized I'd gotten one good photo after all.
Patience is a virtue. Have it if you can. I'm working on it.
What do you do when you're obsessed with taking photographs but frustrated with the limitations of your camera? Well, you feel guilty for a while (after all, you've only had your camera for 6 months).....and then you throw caution to the wind and upgrade. It helps to find a brand-new-in-box camera on craigslist for $100 less than in stores. Nothing like a bargain to assuage guilt. And nothing like a great new camera to make you know that you made the right choice. Here are some of my favorite new photos.
I've been taking a series of photos of the "hidden Sturgis Library," partly for fun and partly to highlight our interesting building as we embark on a building preservation project. For those of you who haven't already heard it a zillion times, the Sturgis Library is the oldest library building in the country -- the original portion was built as a meetinghouse in 1644. You can see the photos here.
As recently as this morning, a beautiful juniper tree was growing behind the garage.
Did I say beautiful? Well, lets say it wore a deceptive facade of greenery, but the entire interior was brown and dead. But it was definitely still growing. In fact, it seemed to be trying to slowly consume the garage altogether. Could the rest of the house be far behind?
Today was a perfect clear blue Cape Cod day -- one of the first non-muggy days we've had in weeks. Perfect for taking down trees. Brud came by with his chainsaw and ended up taking down and chopping up four overgrown trees and shrubs in all. A mighty day's work, and much appreciated.
First, to roust Hannah out of bed -- here she is (recently turned brunette) with her dad
One final look at the beast
The murder weapon
The first cut is the deepest
Artful oil can
The remains of the neighboring shrub (it has joined the juniper in the big forest in the sky)
Now I can fix the garage window that's been broken for 5 years!
Anyone need some juniper firewood? Free to the first taker. Don't all rush over at once!
With all the rain and muggy weather this spring and summer, it's gearing up to be a banner year for mushrooms and assorted fungi (or is it funguses?). The last year I remember it being so mushroom-crazy is about 10 years ago, when Nick and Hannah were little and we lived in Middleboro. I remember walking in the woods behind our house with the kids and Grandma, and counting dozens of different varieties in all colors, shapes, sizes, some of them rather...um...interesting. Imagine the glee of two kids describing what each one looked like, and their funny Grandma egging them on all the way.
This year we have an explosion of Indian Pipe, or Ghost Plant around our house. We're in a very shady spot surrounded by woods, and the white plants are emerging from the leaf bed. This morning I counted over 60 little clusters of pipes in just a small area, with more ready to emerge any day.