Stay Wild, Friends

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Mini horses by the stream.

Feeling a bit accomplished today. Last night I created a list of everything that I wanted to get through today and I’m pleased to say that I accomplished most of them. I watered the trees (and discovered that the two out front that we placed lights on are white spruce trees), went for a lunch time walk, took a trip to the ATM, did a load of laundry, watched a couple of early season 1 episodes of Hunter (those are so ridiculous and don’t follow the next 6 seasons – they changed it up after season 1, and after watching some of these I’d say that was a very smart move).

I also wanted to grill some burgers today so I did that just a little after 1 pm, when the sun was sparking and it felt the warmest of the entire day.

One thing that I forgot about doing all these lights is when one goes out. I needed to replace a couple already for the icicle lights in the sunroom but now I noticed tonight one of the reindeer is totally out, which is weird because he was totally fine last night. Guess I’ll try to take a alook at it tomorrow.

I got LD’s 8mm from the basement that must have been her dad’s or grandfather’s up and running and we watched some of whatever the heck was on those reels. All still in working condition and with the original box! We got to see her dad when he was 12 swimming in Florida with his family before there was an Interstate at a place called Cypress Gardens and her mom with a big bouffant hairdo with her dad years later for their prom! LD appreciated me figuring it out and working the machine. 🙂 I was happy to do it, I’ve been getting into old tech lately.

Hanging with Tucker

Everyday Life, Goat Love, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
City boy meets country.

Started the day off with cooking some sides to go with our early turkey preps. I prepared the squashes, apples, and parsnips for roasting and baking. The apples were for the apple crisp desert. After that was done we headed to Home Depot to pick up some more knobs for the cabinets and some xmas icicle lights which we plan on putting up later in the week.

After that we did some sanctuary time where Tucker came over to me and we got to bond a little bit. LD hung with a cat that just wouldn’t leaver her side and the goats, as per usual. We also picked up some new calendars while we were there sales of them help support the animals, a yearly thing we’ve been doing since they started it in 2018.

Finished off the evening doing a Zoom gathering with the nephews and niece and made gratitude turkeys, a craft where you cut out shapes and form a turkey. On the feathers you write something you are grateful for. That was fun and actually went pretty well. After that I cooked up some shrimp before it went bad to use in a scampi for tonight (don’t worry – not done with the turkey dishes just yet) and just relaxed into Sunday night.

Here’s some more pictures from the weekend:

“The Year’s Last Loveliest Smile”

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A lone heron sits watch between the autumn trees.

You never know what you’re going to find, or what’s going to find you. After going to Wellesley to pick up some things, we ended up taking a side street that paralleled a waterway. LD headed down the street which ended basically in someone’s driveway, but as we turned around she caught sight of this heron just hanging around. So I jumped out and took a few snaps, and this is what we saw. Must be pretty nice to live at a location where scenes like this are basically at the end of your driveway! On the way back we also discovered a forest in Natick and went for a hike where we saw some majestic pine trees and a nesting swan couple. The pine trees made us think of what our little guy we planted could turn into someday decades from now, quite impressive to be sure. We also collected some leaves from the ground because for some reason these looked like some of the biggest maple leaves we have ever seen, and they were this cool green and yellow color. We’re flattening them out now. We were also feeling pretty accomplished after climbing up a somewhat large hill but the view looking down from above was worth it. We never knew a place of this majesty is just a block from a Route 9 intersection. Going to have to go back there and explore it some more in the future. Also there was hardly anyone there today which was also nice.

Planting Trees and Advertising

Everyday Life, Memories, Wildlife

Upon further review, our impulse buy yesterday ended up being an Eastern White Pine. They can grow up to 140 feet tall and can grow up to 2′ a year, but I don’t care – it’s ours now and I like the little bugger, just have to figure out where we’re going to put him. Also going to try to get some tulip bulbs in along with some holly shrubs and some items we didn’t get around to last time. Luckily our friend came by, with the sourwood trees in tow, and helped us out plant them and the pine tree! Raked up some more leaves today, including out front by the sewer drain – don’t need any surprise floods coming by due to blockages. Better safe than sorry. We ended the evening by the fire and with a BBQ.

The author with a donkey - happy days.
Just a pair of donkeys.

I got an email last night from the calendar people that chose one of my photos for their product and they want to take a photo of me with the calendar open to my featured month. These photos will be used to advertise. So I told them let’s do it on Monday. I’ve confirmed the appointment for the photo shoot tomorrow afternoon, so this’ll be interesting. More details as they develop!

My sister’s dad passed away last night so she was heading up to Maine in the early hours of this morning. I was young when my mom got divorced from him and I never really saw him all that much, in a situation similar to my own father. But my sister did so I feel bad for her right now.

Horses Make a Landscape Look Beautiful

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
The author with a horse named Belle
Hanging with Belle.

Finished splitting up various Hosta and Hyacinth and Chives species and planting them all around the perimeter. Looked more into the storing of the tubers I removed yesterday, will probably split them up more and plant those around in the spring.

Took a break midday and visited the sanctuary. Sadly no news on Blossom, might have to assume the worst at this point. Sad. On a happier note, I got to hang with Belle a little bit. “Belle is a fourteen year old Hafflinger horse. The first four years of her life she worked as a plow horse in the Pennsylvania farm country. She was worked hard and because she was so young she developed tendon issues in her fetlocks and was sent to a slaughter house. Belle was then saved by a 14 year old young man who eventually out grew her. Belle has had nine homes in her 14 years of life. She is a very sweet horse and a beautiful addition to the herd.” She’s really a beautiful horse. So smart too.

A large and liquid eye… the swirl of dust around pounding hooves… these, then, are the images that move us.

Earlier this morning I updated the iPad is iPadOS 14.2. Supposedly a bunch more emojis and some bug fixes. I generally use my Android phone which is still sadly rocking Android 6 (they’re on 11 now, I really need that new phone) and runs slow as molasses. The other day I visited my nearest carrier location but they didn’t have the phone I wanted in stock. Could do it online but I’d prefer not to. Well, I still have some time.

Finishing the day off by making dinner consisting of some shrimp rolls, watching a Hunter episode, and watchinh election results.

Chickens on the Fence

Everyday Life, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Just some chickens sitting on a fence. No Big deal.
Just some chickens sitting on a fence. No Big deal.

Today would be what I would call a somewhat uneventful day. I did put together a rack of shelving in the basement next to the freezer for supplies and washed the yoga mats. I sat outside and burned some firewood for about an hour in the last afternoon and cooked up some steak for dinner. Searched for some jobs but no luck thus far. That’s about it.

Whaleship Days

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
The author sitting aboard the whaleship.
My Whaleship Days

A while back I got into learning about the history of whaling and whalemen and the crazy tough lives they had to lead. You can get a part of it by reading Moby Dick but what really got me into it was learning about the whaleship Essex from In the Heart of the Sea which was sunk by a whale and was probably the inspiration for Melville to write his novel. That book was amazing, I should reread it actually. Don’t see the film, I heard it sucked. You can actually also read the original account of what happened from the first mate himself who was there.

Anyways, the point being that I have no idea how these guys did this. Imagine getting into a little rowboat and harpooning this giant creature, who would them take off at full throttle and take your boat for a ride, not to mention the real possibility of it’s tons of weight smashing down on you or drowning, eventually pulling it back to the main ship, peeling off its pieces and burning them in pots for hours in totally unsafe conditions. Many of them lost toes while doing this btw. But then on quiet days, the amazing artwork that a lot of them drew on the whale’s teeth, called scrimshaw. Really intricate amazing work on many of them. Plus just being away from home for months and years and a time (only had wind power back then – you had to sail to Portugal to get around South America to the Pacific) , not knowing if it’d be your last trip. And if you did make it back, unless you were an owner of the ship or captain, you got paid peanuts. It was ahard life for sure.

But then oil was discovered in the ground in Pennsylvania and hunting whales for oil wasn’t needed anymore – good for the whales as their population was decimating. I do find them to be fascinating creatures as well, I believe they are really quite intelligent. There’s a lot we still don’t know about them. They could smarter than us for all I know, their brains are definitely bigger than ours.

Silent is the Hunter

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A Red-tailed Hawk silently hunts it’s prey.

The story behind the photo: I came upon this red-tailed hawk while walking around a wooded area in the town of Wellesley a little while back. He only stayed for a little while, but long enough so I could get a few shots of him, this one being one of the better ones. Completely random, I suppose that’s how most birding is. This guy seems laser focused on something although I couldn’t tell what.

Make Life Worthwhile and Smile

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A seal smiles while basking on a rock.
A seal smiles while basking on a rock.

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.”

Charlie Chaplin

Been doing some rearranging in the house today. LD’s office is temporarily going to be in the sun room which is a big improvement. Also looked at some ovens today because it’s getting to be time to replace the one that’s there as it’s quickly running out of its useful lifespan and it’s time for an upgrade. One that would match the decor better would also be a nice improvement to the kitchen. Still trying to get the right match (dimensions, etc.) Not easy to get just the right combination of factors all lined up! Would’ve maybe liked to get one on the tax-free weekend but it isn’t happening. It’s got to be right so there looks to be more looking around for the time being. Anyways, the new setup in the sun room is a reason to smile.

I’ve also been following the Tufts Covid dashboard. Interesting.

Gametime: SokoDroid has been keeping me busy lately.

Tonight’s movie watch was Lymelife. Kind of a strange movie, but we kind of dug it! I’m giving it a recommendation if you haven’t seen it.

Summer’s Ending on the Horizon

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A silhouetted dowitcher looks to the waves at sunset in Chatham, MA.
A silhouetted dowitcher looks to the waves at sunset in Chatham, MA.

The story behind the photo: This was taken a few weeks ago down at Hardings Beach in Chatham as the sun was setting. A dowitcher kept running back and forth into and from the surf. I was really trying to capture the movement of the waves, their undulating flow was hypnotic to me in a sense that night.

Got my RealID coming finally. This time I made sure to have all my ducks in a row by having more documents than were needed, just in case. Had to wait over an hour in line because one of the machines apparently broke down, so that sucked (going to a AAA location is still better than the RMV in my opinion), but finally getting the thing is good. Glad that’s over with. Now I’ll be able to enter federal buildings as well as get on a airplane after Sept. 2021, not that I plan on ever possibly doing those things, but good to have just in case. Naturally you have to wear your mask and be socially distant as you wait your turn. I wear glasses when I drive so I had to take the eye test (which is really easy – basically just tests to make sure you’re not blind IMO) but they ask if you wear your glasses while driving which means it needs to be checked. (So I thought to myself, if I didn’t wear glasses I wouldn’t need an eye test? And wouldn’t that actually be worse?)

I took two pictures. I didn’t like how the first one came out and the 2nd one wasn’t too swift either but everyone knows that nobody looks good in these ID photos. Why is that?

Egret Love

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife

Thanks local news network for featuring another one of my shots!

Spent the day in the ‘Ville. Had to help my mom bring her two cats to the vet to get their nails cut. These cats have extra digits so it’s a little tricky to cut them plus they are beasts (though lovable and kind – scroll down a ways to see my Insta post of them last week) so it’s easier to have them do it. Worked out cause while there the cell phone provider we use turned us off but it was their mistake so we had to go straighten that out too. Also got a bunch of little things done too so it was a good visit.

Egret Duo and Little Library

Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Two Egrets

Here’s a picture of two egrets from the other day. I took a lot of shots but here’s one for now.

Here I am visiting a little library on the Lexington/Lincoln line. We happened to be in the area this afternoon to visit an acquaintance for a quick socially distant get together and decided to check this out on the way back. What’s neat about this one is the cat is supposedly animated when you open and close the doors. It didn’t happen for me but maybe it needs to be dark out or something. Anyways, this place was cool because it looked like they also had this killer tree house and erecting another building on the property to match the current house. You have to see it in person to really appreciate it.

Puffin Love

Everyday Life, General Website, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A puffin soars over the water.
Puffin fly!

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”

The Puffin is by far my favorite bird. I just find them fascinating. They are so small and they live in such a harsh environment for most of their lives up in the cold arctic waters. Little fighters.

Just updated the site to the latest version of the software. Most of the changes won’t be noticeable to viewers except one. Images will now wait to load until they’re just about to scroll into view. The technical term is ‘lazy loading.’ Seems legit so far, if anything seems wonky please let me know.

Song Sparrow Sings of Love

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Image of a sparrow perched on a branch surrounded by greenery. The photo is copyrighted 2020 by Mark Bethoney Photography.
Song Sparrow I believe. Fort Hill, Eastham, MA

Saw this little guy on a hike a couple of weeks ago and he was singing up a storm. Seemed pretty friendly too! I think it’s a Song Sparrow. Did you know that they learn to sing by imitating their fathers? And that by the time a young male is a few months old, will have formed the basis for his own courtship tune? I believe that is what I was hearing from this little guy!

Image of Charred Tomato and Ricotta, with roasted walnuts, some minced herbs, and topped with a balsamic glaze, all resting on top of toasted sourdough bread.

This morning I went ahead and cooked up a new dish for us to have a little brunch: Charred Tomato and Ricotta, with roasted walnuts, some minced herbs, and topped with a balsamic glaze, all resting on top of toasted sourdough bread. Have to say, it wasn’t bad!

I’m currently reading Motherless Brooklyn. Come to find out LD had it on her bookshelf from way back! I really like it. It’s different then the movie in so far as I love the way it delves into the mind of the main character and his Tourette’s Syndrome. Also the time period is the 1980s whereas the movie is the 1950s. Also, I’ve yet to see the Power Broker in the novel. Perhaps that was only in the movie? Either way, this book is really great, two thumbs up from me. The movie could never solve the most common problem with any adaptation: The internal cannot be made external.

Powerful Ladies

Everyday Life, Gardening, General Website, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A painted lady butterfly probing some white flowers.
Painted Lady decides to visit

Just spent the morning with a hatchet hewing down all the fallen tree limbs and bagged them up for disposal tomorrow. Good little workout! (must have been how Carrie Nation felt back in the day – the inspiration for this blog name!) I’m not against alcohol (in moderation of course), I had just happened to be reading a biography of the woman at the time I decided to start the website and I couldn’t think of any other name at the time. Plus the thought of a bible-thumping, 6 foot tall old lady all dressed in black coming in with a hatchet smashing things must have been quite a sight. Anyways everything’s back to the way it was pre-storm.

Pineapple Coolers

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Baby seal testing the waters, Chatham, MA

Still in a Cape Cod mood so tonight I’m brewing up some Pineapple Coolers. I think the little guy above might approve. Here’s the recipe:

  • 4 cups Pineapple Chunks, chilled
  • 1.5 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup rum

Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more ice for thicker frozen cocktail. More mixture into glasses and garnish with a pineapple round, lime wedge, and sprig of mint.

We got a lot of things today! Got rid of a lot of old books that were on the bookcase in the den and deposited them in a couple of Little Libraries about town, moved the new freezer into the unfinished part of the basement (after cleaning it up and making some room/neater) and other miscellaneous things. Planning to cook some steaks on the grill for tonight’s dinner after which I will imbibe on the Pineapple Coolers.

Gracie At It Again

Everyday Life, Gardening, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Follow the path.

Well, while bringing some groceries in the house this morning, I happened to notice Gracie (the Goddess of the Garden) with a bunch of straw in her mouth out front by the mailbox. You know what that means! Looks like little Gracie might be having some more ‘lil bunz‘! It appears this time she seems to be hanging underneath the lilac bushes out front – not as accessible a spot to watch as the flowerpot on the back deck.

In celebration I decided to add Lil Bunz to the store.

Mom and Cub

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Seal Mother with her cub.

A mother’s love is instinctual, unconditional, and forever.

The story behind the photo: Not sure if I ever posted this one before from a time I explored Monomoy Island off the coast of Chatham. Got really lucky to catch this scene! As the boat neared the spit I happened the catch this instant of a mom and her cub sharing a moment. It didn’t last long for sure. Just after this all these other seals showed up and alit on the spit as well and I’ve uploaded that picture previously. I actually have a lot of pics from that day, but this has to be one of the best, to my mind. I wish I had had a better camera when I took this but it still came out pretty good. Apparently foggy cloudy days might be the best time to see them? I don’t remember if the tide was coming in or out but as I recall this was quite a ways out from shore. I should see if I can dig out the GPS data I took that day.

It was very hot today, the car thermometer read 105 degrees at one point when I needed to run an errand this afternoon. Later in the evening, I spent a good 30-45 minutes watering all the various plants outside in the garden. Keeping up this stuff is a lot of work, but I find it rewarding.

Lil’ Buns

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Baby Bunny on the deck.

This is one of the baby bunnies that were born on the back deck in a flowerpot of Dianthus. I’ve currently nicknamed this little guy ‘Lil Buns’ but maybe Diane or Diana would be a better name? Open to suggestions! We were pleased that we were able to get to see him/her. We’ve had baby bunnies in the yard before but never so close and in a flowerpot on the back deck of all places!

Every so often Mom would come up and rearrange her fur in the pot and it was then that I knew we had something special happening. It’s mother, who’ve we named Gracie (full name – Gracie, the Goddess of the Garden. Source: Ladydoc), was seen hanging around the lawn as well. This little creature is sooo cute and I’m so glad that Gracie felt so safe as to give birth to it in our flowerpots. Luckily it can actually hide under the pots that are on coasters and I assume Gracie comes up to feed it occasionally.

Waders Next Time

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Paine’s Creek, Brewster, MA

Time to give an update since the last entry. After the hike over at Kent’s Point we hit a couple of little libraries in the area but I still came up empty on any good books that I might want to read. Will keep trying though – usually get some good stuff down here. Hit the Hole-In-One for lunch and chocolate glazed donuts.

Later in the afternoon we went down to the pool and cooled off a bit with a little dip. During this time we learned back at home that the baby bunnies (of which there appear to be two) are hopping around on the back deck and hiding under pots! I hope we’ll get a chance to see them before they take off but if not, I hope they lead a safe and productive life. Figures they would pick this week to decide to get out of their mother’s home and explore!

We decided to head down to Paine’s Creek for tonight’s sunset shots. It’s actually one of my favorite places to shoot down here – I’ve gotten lots of great shots from here over the years and every sunset is completely different. All the times I’ve been here though I had never been when it was low tide (go figure). So I was able to get some interesting shots further out into the bay than I normally do. So I walked out there quite a ways to get some shots, including the one above, which I think came out okay. I should have paid a little more attention to my surroundings however because when I turned to head back, some of the water had come in and I needed to wade through the water to get back to the parking lot, so my sneakers and pant legs were soaked and caked in some mud. Hopefully those will dry out by tomorrow. Finished with a quick takeout dinner of fish tacos from a place called Guapo’s.

Every day so far down here we’ve been able to fill up pretty well, considering in the weird times we’re currently living through. Tomorrow morning I think we’re going to try to hike over at a place called Mill’s Pond.

Cape Cod Life

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Seals off the coast of Chatham, now available for purchase!

I’ve been getting some love on my seal pictures on the Cape Cod Photography page from folks so I decided to put one up for purchase. Nice thing I like about this particular shot is the little baby in the background center. I’d like to get out to this spot again someday. On this particular day I shot this, all the planets aligned and the seals all wanted to rest and came up on this spit that was exposed from being underwater. The weather this particular day was cloudy with a chance of rain and a little windy. Maybe that’s a good time to go see them?

I am currently on the Cape now. It’s definitely different than other times though – wearing the mask, being socially distant. it’s just so weird. More later…

Bunny Baby Progress

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Wildlife
Baby bunny peeking through the mother’s fur nest in the pot on the deck

One thing before I left was taking this picture of the baby bunny (there’s at least one in there!) peeking through the fur that it’s mother had placed on top of it to hide it and keep it warm. I’m hoping to document the entire early life of these guys with luck.

The bunny, or bunnies, are underneath this clump of fur in the corner of the flowerpot on the deck. Very exciting!