I went off this morning to the gas station to get some gas for the lawn mower. It was on my to-do list for the last few days. After filling up the can and bringing it home I loaded some into the mower and began mowing the back yard, which really started to need it. I made sure not to touch any of the plantings along the fence lines that ‘D’ helped us put in last fall, and also avoiding a couple of spots that the baby bunnies like to frequent that we’ve seen. I also did my yearly dodging of the random buttercup that seems to grow in the middle of the lawn. After it’s done blooming I’ll mow that down. Yeah, most consider it a weed but for some reason I kind of like the flower so I’ll let it bloom out before running it down. LD also noticed some poison ivy growing on the side of the shed and the side of the sunroom so I went ahead and sprayed some ivy killer on it. It’s already wilting but the direction say to keep up the spray for a few days so I’ll stay on top of that until it’s gone. After that I went down to the local deli and got us a sub for lunch, something we’ve been doing quite a bit more these last few weeks.
I finally got my hammer together and started to build my butterfly house. I was able to finish it within a half hour – it’s basically a closed box with some slits in the front for the butterfly to needle themselves through, and the top rotates so you can get inside the box to put in a banana peel which is supposed to attract them but I’m not sure about doing that because that just screams other unsavory bugs coming around to me. I’ll let LD paint it some bright colors and then we can hang it somewhere!
As you can see from the photo, spring in Boston has begun! It’s actually a wonderful time of year here in the city. I’m totally enjoying the warmer days.
Spent yesterday just taking it easy. After my second shot I didn’t get sick or anything. My arm was a little sore for a few hours, and I felt pretty tired most of the day, but I still grilled and got some stuff done. I’m back to my normal self already.
Here’s some more pix from the Plum Island Reservation outing before me getting the shot.
Going through my camera bag I actually found my old Kindle (third generation). It said the battery was dead so I went to try to charge it up but nothing. I think it might be dead dead. I mean, it is pretty old. The thing won’t even reset. I suppose the battery inside it has completely died but there doesn’t look to be any way to open it easily to get at it. I see there is a way to actually replace the battery (saving this for myself for future reference) but I’d need to buy one and install it and I don’t think it’s probably worth it at this point due to the machine’s age. Perhaps I should just buy a newer version but I actually like the feel of real books.
The electrician came by today and fixed the outside outlet that I noticed had been wonky over the winter. I should now be able to string up the outdoor lights without problem. He’s also the town’s animal control officer and told us a bunch of stories – he meets a lot of crazy characters. While he was there though, we saw two bunnies jumping over each other in the yard and he told us that that is their courtship routine, and that within 30 days they will have babies. No sooner than he said that is when we also saw a littler bunny, possibly Shiloh or one of his siblings. It was like the whole family was out there. Maybe they’ll decide to use the pot again for another bunch of bunnies! I’ll need to mark this one the calendar and make a note. I also saw my first hummingbird come by this afternoon. It flited around the tulips and hanging plants before darting off. Very cool to see, I’ve been trying to attract them for some time.
Earlier in the day I mowed the front lawn and got some stuff out of the basement and into the car to drop off at the DPW for Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Finally trying to get rid of some old minor appliances that have been taking up space in the basement since last winter. I was also going to do the back but the gas was running low. I’ll need to go get some and then complete the back. The electrician/animal control officer also gave us some lowdown about the former sinkhole in the yard which we converted to a nice phlox rock garden. Apparently there must have been a tree there at one time that was taken down before we ever came here. Over time the insects in the ground ate whatever was left under the soil and it just starts to cave in. I learned some new things today. I also was able to finish the book on the theft of the Gardner paintings I started a couple of days ago. All in all, it was a very good read, if slightly outdated. It did make me what to go back there and see the artwork again. The crazy thing about that is that there just seems to not be any real leads. You would think sooner or later some talk about where they are would happen or a crook or someone would want to cash out somehow. Problem being that the works are just too famous. I will admit that out of all the ones that were taken, Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee is easily my personal favorite. It was the artist’s only known seascape scene. I hope it’s not too damaged – it really is a work of art. Oh I almost forgot, we even went to the beach for an hour this morning and saw some guy power paragliding (sort of like these models) right over the dunes!
Finally, for tonight I cooked up a walnut-crusted salmon with a roasted veggie jumble and lemon crème fraiche. It came out pretty good but I think I should have let the zucchini go a little longer in the oven. In the interim I was trying to solve some of the puzzles in Screw Gravity. Just when I think the game was over, there were more puzzles.
This fourth baby bunny stayed under a flowerpot for a couple days after all its siblings left days ago. We decided to name it “Shiloh” because we felt it may be a bit on the shy side. We were hoping it’s mom would appear to help and somehow give it the bravery to go on. We left some lettuce and water out for him the other night. Come the next morning the lettuce had a nibble or two taken out of one if the leaves, but Shiloh was gone. Good luck and be safe little friend.
It would appear 3 of the four bunnies have left as of today. The fourth bunny is still hiding underneath the flowerpot all by itself. I hope its momma comes by to give it a little encouragement. An orange cat showed up and wanted to clamber up to the deck where the bunny was but luckily Carson happened to be keeping watch and started doing this weird scream he does when another cat from the neighborhood comes to close. After hearing that I dashed outside and chased the cat away.
This afternoon I took a quick jaunt down to the supermarket and picked up some flowers for the vase. Something pretty for us to look at, since the flowers I bought a while back finally bit the dust.
I drove down to Lowe’s late this afternoon to pick up my first kit and I was pleasantly surprised about all the stuff I got, including a free plant!
I think I want to watch The Last Lightkeepers documentary on Amazon Prime. This kind of stuff is right up my alley and it looks beautifully shot.
The highlight for today was definitely the scene that greeted me this morning as I literally went out onto the deck in just my underwear to get this shot, as I had just woken up a few minutes before. Can’t believe it but it is true. It’s happened again, second year in a row! This little baby bunny was born in the same flowerpot that maybe it’s mother was born in. It popped out of the nest on its own this morning. Be safe Baby Bunny, have a good life, and don’t forget to come back if you decide to someday have children of your own.
I’ve discovered late this afternoon that there are actually FOUR baby bunnies! One is still hiding in a pot, but the other two or hiding underneath another pot! I also noticed what I think is Mother Bunny hopping around the backyard over by the picnic table.
Well, it happened again. While I was burning some old paperwork in the firepit this morning, a rabbit bravely moved by me and up onto to back deck, Come to find out there appear to be 2 or 3 small bunnies in the pot again, probably birthed a day or two ago. I wonder if the mother of these bunnies is the bunny that was born in the same pot last year? Do they go back to the same places like that? More to come on this development!
Also, has this been the longest month ever? How is it STILL March? Just seems like it’s been going on forever.
I am on fire today getting things done on my list. After cleaning out the firepit and raking up some more leaves(!) what the f is up with oak leaves, they never stop coming! — I went and got the propane tank filled, put together this base for the table umbrella outside that I never realized had more parts for that would make it work but I didn;t know we had so it sat around undone for a couple years. Since the parts were found I was able to put it together and make it work. Looks better than the old one I had been using for the last year (similar to this model, though not exactly). All in preparation for a little outside gettogether later this weekend, being careful as per usual. I filled up the birdfeeder as well as recharging the electric leaf blower. Then I did a plant survey. Still need to plant the dahlia tubers I pulled out last fall.
So far: Things that we have growing and are coming up or already up: foxglove, hyacinth, glory of the snow, snowdrops, crocus, dianthus, tulips, lilacs budding, roses budding, columbine, and some ground covers but I forgot what they’re called (Update: figured it out, Vinca), ivy, azaleas, rhododendron, daffodils. Not up yet are the hydrangeas, clematis, and rose campion, or the lawn buttercups, which could be considered a weed but I kinda like them so I let them bloom and then mow them down once they’re done flowering. At least that’s what I did last year.
Saturday: Front yard work, digging up some of the rocks and repositioning them to better delineate lawn from planting beds. replanting some glory-of-the-snow and snowdrops out in the patio area which we might have obtained a little surreptitiously from our walks on the trails, sitting in the sun, tripping to Wellesley to pick up some stuff, lately getting medium hot regular coffees from me and ice teas for LD from DDs.
Sunday: Cleaning up the sunroom and office upstairs, spring cleaning, got rid of a bunch of old junk. It’s a start. Was a good thing to do on a day that was so rainy outside.
A rabbit has been hanging out in the back deck at night in the dianthus pot again (like last year?) The other night and two nights before that, LD noticed the porch motion sensor light keep going off and she noticed the rabbit in the pot. I just checked it out and there does appear to be the startings of a nest there, twigs on top, fur lining the bottom. I didn’t want to disturb it too much so I didn’t look underneath but there might be future babies there.
A couple of weeks ago I found an audio tape around the house that was labelled “Birthday Party – 7 years old.” So I found an old cassette player and decided to put it in and see what was on it. It was LD singing a song on her 7th birthday party. She was singing about taking movies and photos of her dreams so she could look at them later and play them back to enjoy them again and also about a beautiful brook that she used to visit as a kid. It was so endearing, and I found it really touching. Her aunt who recorded it had amazing foresight to be able to save a memory like this that was all but forgotten. I wish my family had done something like that (we sorta did with the 8mm I suppose). I love the fact that LD was singing about her dreams and wanting to save them for later viewing and sharing in their beauty even at that age. I love this woman.
In the morning as I was deciding whether or not to pull out the grill from the storage shed, I kept hearing these mockingbirds squawking and squawking, which I found interesting. As I was looking around to see where they were I spied a rather large red-tailed hawk hanging in the tree branches above the yard. I watched him as he flew off eventually to a tree a little further away (the next street over actually) where I saw there was another hawk hanging out. I wonder if these two plan to build a nest or something in this area. These must be the hawks that we’ve seen rather frequently as of late. I’ll keep watching to see. I did find a decapitated squirrel in the yard a few days ago which I quietly discarded. I wonder if one of these two might have had something to do with that. Oh, and I did eventually decide to pull out the grill this morning and tested it out by firing up some chicken hotdogs. Back in business on that front. Also pulled out the table umbrella for shade.
Also decided to get in some gardening duties. Busy afternoon! My plan was to rake the ivy area so it’s clear and to lop the rosebushes out front, and to repot the tubers that I stored in the cellar last fall, placing them into their pots. First I lopped off enough of the front of the rosebushes, being extra careful not to touch any of it’s thorns because they are really nasty, and to neaten the front up a bit. Then a headed out back to gather up all the oak leaves from the ivy covered area, using a mixture of leaf blower and my leaf scoops. It’s impossible to get everything but I did get a lot – two bags worth. I noticed a lot of new ivy growth under the leaves which is great. My plan now is, as they head toward to fence, to begin to climb up it and eventually cover it totally. That might take another year or two but my plan so far has been working up to this point. There’s one spot there that seems to always be somewhat bare, I would like to put some sort of garden statue there as a focal point for the eyes. I looked into it a bit last year but I could never decide what would look there, plus it ain’t cheap. Could this fit the bill? Answer: no, I’m just kidding, but I would like to place something there. The only thing I didn’t get around to was replanting the tubers but maybe I’ll tackle that later in the week.
Unboxed and tried out the new vacuum that finally arrived yesterday. Also out together a bunch of new shelving for when we do some spring cleaning in the basement and get rid of some very old shelving and whatever crap is on there that isn’t needed. Think we’re going to finish the night off by ordering pizza and calzones from a somewhat new establishment that opened up down the road a little while back and get ’em delivered while zoning out to old 21 Jump Streets.
Enjoy this picture of a baby blue jay that I noticed and had to capture. I like how this one came out – check out the detail on the little feathers!
Had to take my mom to her dr’s appointment today to see what’s up with her hands at a CHA place in Malden. Basically it sounds like she has carpel tunnel and might most probably need surgery. Anyways, while she was in there I decided to walk around the area outside and came across a really old cemetery. I noticed a stone out front stated that 35 folks buried there fought in the American Revolution. The cemetery must have been there since long before though because I’d seen grave markers of folks who passed look before then. I found one stone marker that stated that the gentleman buried there was 90 years old and dies in 1692. That’s amazing that someone could live that long back then! It also means this guy was born in 1602! Also I noticed one some of the graves that Malden was spelled Mauldon which I also found interesting. Sadly, I could not read many of the stones as the elements had washed away whatever was carved on them. The place also seemed pretty lonely as these people lived so long ago that no body probably ever visits them. Is that what it feels to be mauldin? Well, I did – you know me, history buff and all. Curious about these early settlers of Malden. The rest of the day was just basically running a few errands all around town before finally heading back.
Also watched a documentary about misdemeanors and how it’s a rigged system against black and brown people.
The story behind the photo: Nothing to actually do with this entry! Puffins are my favorite bird. These little guys are so tough and yet so tiny and even though the odds and artic elements are against them, they survive. This is a shot from a few years ago off Eastern Egg Rock.
Inauguration bunny. This bunny showed up in the back yard yesterday during the days proceedings. Never saw this guy before. I like the white fur on its face! Hope he comes around again sometime. What should I name him? Auggie? .
I thought this was still a cool picture so I’m posting it again with some minor different editing from last time, a little more natural. Not been a bit of a whole lot happening over the last couple of days. Took a brief jaunt to a beach yesterday but it was pretty cold so didn’t stay too long. Was basically a potato today and didn’t do a whole lot.
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.
Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love. I know its going to be hard but may you all have a wonderful time this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving Day!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.