Cider Press Hill

Red Moon

Wednesday, 6:24 pm

By Kate




partly cloudy

Every now and again, I make yet another attempt to capture the moon in a photograph. Most of the time, I wind up with a fuzzy little white blob on a dark background. Tonight...a little more success. I glanced out the window just after dusk and saw that the moon was not only full, but a rather striking orange-red. This pic didn’t turn out too badly, although, in real life, the moon seemed much larger in the sky. The color is true, however. The tree top you see is a weeping cherry tree from my across-the-street neighbor’s front yard.

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It seems appropriate to have a hot looking moon on the evening of what was probably summer’s last dance. We reached the 90s today. From here on, it looks like a steady slide into more seasonal mid to late autumn temperatures.


The Girlz

Sunday, 12:52 pm

By Kate





J called me this morning to say that she was sick, sick, sick. She sounded it. Our trip to the New Hampshire mountains to see the Highland Games sadly had to be postponed until next year. (Feel better J!) Since I was already up at that inhumanely early hour, I decided to do something I haven’t done in a long time—go take pictures.

Taking off with the camera in the seat beside me, I wondered what to take pictures of. Usually, when I’m out and about without my camera, I see a dozen shots I’d like to take. Today, I wanted to manufacture a shot. Doesn’t work that way sometimes. So, I went up the road a couple of miles to the state park. Thought there might be something interesting up there. I didn’t see much besides a parking lot full of SUVs, so I turned down a side road to turn around. And there they were!

COWS! I love cows!

This is a really pretty pastoral scene that one doesn’t often find on the seacoast. The little white specks in the background are cows. Not very many, but more than one counts as cows. I had to go see them.

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I drove up a few hundred feet and parked on the side of the road. These young ladies were mildly curious, especially the one on the left. When I shot this picture, she had already taken the first tentative steps in my direction. But then she stopped and looked away.

I called out to them..."Hi cows. Over here!” They looked in my direction, but didn’t move. Well shoot. I slapped my hand on the hood of my car and called to them again. Something about the sound of my hand slapping metal galvanized them. All three came galloping toward me. Or as close to galloping as a cow can get. They seemed really excited. I thought, “Uh-oh, and here I am without a treat in my pocket!”

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This is a horribly under-exposed photo, but this young lady’s body language makes it my favorite photo. She was so interested and so eager. I walked over to the fence and gave her ears a good scratching and rubbed her nose. She mooed and slobbered all over my pant leg. I think I could have hypnotized her on the spot. Did she ever love having her ears and head scratched.

And here we have an over-exposed photo (I need to get out and practice!) of the same young lady. But I gave it the glam shot treatment. It turned out better. She was such a sweet girl...she deserved the glam treatment.

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This young lady wasn’t too sure about me. I took the photo before we’d been properly introduced. She was giving me the wary eyeball.

I reached out to scratch her ears, but she pulled back out of reach. I bent over and yanked a handful of grass out of the ground, folded it over, and offered it to her. She thought that was nice and politely ate it. Then she let me scratch her ears and decided that was pretty okay with her.

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These are the first cows I’ve touched in several years. It’s oviously been a while, because, at first, I wasn’t sure whether these were fellas or girls. As they got closer I bent down to take a gander and realized they were heifers. They aren’t full-grown yet. The one with the triangle on her forehead was such a personality. She was really fun.


Time capsule

Tuesday, 4:49 pm

By Kate





I was thinking about some photographs that have stood out in my mind, with iconic clarity, over the last six years and it occurred to me that they would make a good time capsule. Consider that these images represent the norm for the kids in the lad’s generation. We talked about that last night. He doesn’t remember what *my* version of normal is like. He had just turned 14 when September 11 occurred. He’s about to turn 20. The photographs mostly speak for themselves without much comment needed. I’m certain there are others that could be added, but these are the ones that have stuck in my mind.

Our savior

Iraqi child screaming afer her parents were blown away at a checkpoint.

Iraq war casualty

Bush humorously looking for WMD in the oval office.

Classy dude

Katrina survivors stuck on a bridge with no rescue in sight

Katrina dead and abandoned

Abu Ghraib

Cheney representing the US at the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Returning home.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center - moldy conditions our soldiers lived in

Walter Reed Army Medical Center - cleaning up previously inhabited room.

Arlington West

Rahm Emanuel’s response to Cheney’s latest claims.

That’s a heck of a legacy for the ole presidential library, isn’t it? And we still have 573 more days to go.


Plant binge

Friday, 8:28 pm

By Kate




clear night

I looked around the house the other day and it occurred to me that I don’t have very many plants. I used to have enough to start a greenhouse, but over the years they suffered from such neglect that they wound up on the compost heap. Somehow or another, other things seemed to be more important. So I guess it’s not such a surprise that plants have suddenly become more attractive, seeing as how my time is more my own that it used to be.

A friend called this afternoon and wondered if I’d like to go shop for plants tonight. Heck yeah! She was more interested in outdoor plants, but we managed to incorporate both interests in one trip. I actually did buy two hanging planters for the front porch, though.

But for my inside plants I started off gently. Just a pretty little golden pothos, a variegated ivy, a globe cactus, and a Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily).

But then I decided to be daring and bought my first ever orchid. It’s supposed to be an easy orchid to grow—a Phalaenopsis. We’ll just have to see how easy it is.

It surely is a pretty thing. I took a photo, but with the flash, the colors aren’t quite true. The colors are a darker lavender than it shows. I’ll try again tomorrow during daylight hours. But still, isn’t it gorgeous? I love my new orchid.

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My little furnace

Tuesday, 11:34 am

By Kate





Since I go on so much about my wood stove, today seemed like a good day for taking a couple of pictures showing why I love it so much. It’s a lot prettier to look at than the hot water baseboards. It keeps my house around 72° and I’m not hyperventilating about the gas bill.

Here we have a stove full of nearly white hot coals. Still throwing off a blast of heat, but it’s time to throw a couple more logs in.

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About three minutes later, we have a cheerful and crackling fire. These three hunks of wood will heat my entire house for about 4 hours. They usually last longer, but it’s only 6°F outside and the wind is still howling fiercely. Brrr!

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Kitty on the roof

Wednesday, 9:46 pm

By Kate





It was Halloween Day, the day I had to go renew my car’s registration. The registry sits on a hill and the parking lot overlooks some unremarkable urban scenery. In a word...ugly. But on that day, a little black cat scampered around chasing a leaf on a roof top next door. I watched for several minutes before he settled down on the roof ridge for a little nap. I called him and he looked over. Just in time to have his photograph taken.

Now, the day was a bit overcast and the photograph turned out rather washed out and blah, the kitty was indistinct. But, nevertheless, I liked it.

I’d forgotten about the photo until cleaning out my camera a little while ago. I opened it up in Photoshop and figured I’d give it the works—see if I could make it look more interesting using a batch of filters and tricks. The kitty is still indistinct, but the chimney kind of fascinates me now.


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Sometimes there’s not that much you can do with a crappy photo, but it’s fun to try.


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