Monday, December 31, 2018

The Last Day of 2018

Now that I am retired and the dog has died, I don't often see sunrises. This morning I woke up early and went upstairs to see the moonlight reflected on the icy pond, and then was treated to brilliant reds and oranges in the east. A great way to start the last day of 2018.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

Actually, a flock of Bohemian Waxwings sounds like a lot of twittering in the trees.  But I had never seen one before today, so it was grand to hear them.

Walked along the trail in the Low Plain Area and saw nothing of interest.  The birds were in a flock of about 70 on the Colby-Sawyer college campus.  There were feasting on crab apples while the students were mostly oblivious.

Bohemian Waxwing and Crab Apples.

The trail at Low Plain

Nobody in the swamp

Nothing along the Pine Hill ski trail except for a Minnie Moose trail marker
Bright yellow tail on this guy

Whatever gets the food into the crop.

You don't see only one waxwing.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Counting Birds Without Birds

Today is the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in the Sunapee area of New Hampshire - without birds. Having expended all their energy last year on a bumper crop of seeds, there are no cones now. And that wet snow storm in November has all of the weed seeds deep under a solid mass of ice. So the birds have all left to find food.  But it was a good day to explore the Low Plain area.
The Lookout

By the bridge

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


I fill my feeders with seeds, which attract small birds, and chipmunks, and squirrels, and turkeys, and deer, which attract foxes, and hawks, and coyotes.

Today a red-shouldered hawk took care of one of the squirrels.


I don't always get to spend my time in New Hampshire, but when I am in Connecticut there are plenty of beautiful places to roam.

Here is the Farmington River in Collinsville.  There are hooded mergansers out there.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Or When the woods stop by...

That beautiful snow last night didn't stop.  Nor did the crack / crash of the tree branches that sent us home from our walk.

All night there was a constant crashing in the woods - and occasionally on my roof - of branches that couldn't withstand the weight of the heavy snow.

Then around 3am there was a flash and a bang, and the power went out.  This morning I drove around Wilmot Flat and had to turn back 4 times because of wires or trees in the road.  The local power company did an amazing job and our power was back by late afternoon.  We spent the day reading by the wood stove.  Love wood stoves.  Heat and hot water for tea no matter what happens outside.
No more drifting in my kayak until next spring
This happened just after my neighbor move his car

Pines are built to shed snow, but eventually the weight gets too much
Things that go bump in the middle of the night - on the roof

I'm learning to not love old pine trees

Monday, November 26, 2018

Stopping by woods...

Today's nasty drizzle has changed to a beautiful snowstorm after dark. Heavy, wet flakes covering everything very quickly. We went for a walk along the road to town. The trees frosted, no sound at all except for our footsteps - and an occasional tree off in the woods dropping a branch. We heard three trees falling in about 20 minutes. Somewhat disconcerting.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Stark Beauty

When I spent a January week in Iceland I was struck by the simple, stark beauty of the country.  The quiet, the black and white landscape, the brilliant light (yes, even in Iceland in January) reflected off the snow, the fresh air, all were a wonderful cure for the hassle of daily life.  And yes, coming inside to warmth afterwards was good also.

Yesterday we drove up to our home in Wilmot Flat, NH and I was stuck by the similarities.  Clean, fresh air, the white of the snow and ice, the black of the water, the green of the pines and firs.  Breathing deeply and slowly.

Almost frozen over.  

A small stream running into the pond

Warmth inside!
 The almost full moon on the snow was bright enough to see by, and we went for a walk.  My camera was not at the right setting to capture the moon-shadows on the snow.

Our neighbor's house

Walking into town

Moon over the barn

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Bog in November

The Philbrick-Cricenti Bog in New London, NH is famous among botanists for the wide variety of rare plants, from several varieties of orchids to carnivorous pitcher plants.  I get out there often, but have not been there in November until now.  Amazing colors.

Highbush blueberry

More blueberry

Bog Rosemary, Andromeda polifolia

Cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon

More bunchberry, with yummy goldthread

Larches lose all their needles every year

Pitcher plant

lots of pitcher plants in the sphagnum and cranberry plants

Pitcher plant