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!

Return of the Ospreys

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
osprey nest
osprey nest

The story behind the photo: I really like this one. Reminds me I need to get back into birding more. Anyways, we had taken a boat cruise around the harbor in one of the Cape towns last year, I think it might have been in Dennis or somewhere around there. And we just happened to pass by this osprey nest. Thankfully I had the foresight to bring my complement of lenses so I switched to one where I could get a closer shot of them. I actually have a bunch of different shots from this but I felt this was one of the better ones. I remember having to try to brace myself as the boat kept wobbling over the waves. I assume they were waiting for their parent although they looked like they were just about ready to head out on their own. The fact that their eyes are still brown rather than yellow also signifies them as juveniles. I like how the two on the right appear to looking directly at me.

If I was this guy, I’d be a little nervous.

They would also leave the nest every so often, maybe just getting the feel of flight. This guy up above decided to perch right next to this gull, who doesn’t seem that concerned, although I think I might be if I were him. They do prefer to eat fish rather than birds but if it got hungry enough…

Swimming in Buzzards Bay

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife

Thanks to the Guidebook of Cape Cod for featuring one of my photos!

I am one hurting puppy today. Spent the day down in Fairhaven again at the Ladydoc’s friend’s beach house. We swam in the bay – it was somewhat choppy today – the waves actually seemed pretty tall at some points, but it’s so much fun to jump over the waves – plus since it’s a private area nobody else was there – it was pretty amazing. There are rocks there toward the shore though so you have to be careful at high tide. I did scrape my legs a little bit, the front of my left knee, and the back of my right knee, but not really all that bad. Hard to believe we were out there for an hour and a half! After we came in we saw that two guys in a canoe had capsized so everyone got help and called the authorities but they were alright. Really not the place for a canoe. A lot of folks kayak there, which seems a more appropriate vessel, especially for the way the wind was churning up the waves today. Hopefully a lesson was learned. It’s usually pretty calm but I guess the remnants of Fay passing through might have stirred it up a bit more than usual. Then I dried in the sun, and now I feel like a tired potato. Really spent, but feels good in way. Plus it’s much cooler and more bearable there then up here in the heat of the valley where temperatures reached 90 degrees.

We also spent a little time visiting a shop there that sells these Adirondack chairs, really nice ones, made out of composite. Bit on the expensive side, but they last forever. Seems to be in these days with everyone being home now I guess.

The Plot Thickens

Everyday Life, Memories, Wildlife
Eastham again.

The story behind the photo: As sunset was approaching, we were driving around Eastham looking for some other viewing places of the bay that were less crowded and came upon some residential area, driving down some quiet local roads. Reaching the end of one of the terminals we encountered this location. So I got out and snapped a few and there it is. It was nice that nobody happened to be there at this particular time. I remember how quiet it was. Perhaps folks who live here were having dinner in their homes at the time. I think we’ll try to get back to this location again.

It would appear that this rabbit that keeps coming on the deck may have something on her mind rather than just checking out what plants are up there. When I look into the dianthus pot there appears to a dug hole. Cut to this morning and I noticed the hold had some fur placed in it. Cut to a few hours later today and now I notice some twigs on top of the fur. Could this bunny actually think about putting some little bunnies in there? Hell of a place for such a thing, with us coming in and out all the time. Still, I am curious to see how this pans out – maybe it’ll be nothing, perhaps a decoy nest possibly – but what if it becomes something?

Today’s movie watch is Doctor Sleep – the sequel to The Shining. I don’t feel it was good as the Shining (but how could it be). Totally different – more like a bunch of vampires type of movie. Not bad in the least, just different and that’s how you have to view it I feel. If you think it’s going to be like The Shining you’ll be disappointed. I especially liked the scene in the Overlook where Dan meets his father who is now the bartender and the conversation that ensues (they couldn’t get Jack apparently so they tried to do it with a sort of lookalike which was cheesy to me), but overall it’s just a different kind of film. Not what I was expecting.

The hummingbird came by again! But once again, only stayed for a second so I couldn’t observe it in detail in time. It’s so weird seeing this thing, the way it moves, hover and fly sort of robotically – up, down, side to side, that it takes time for my mind to process what the hell it is. And by the time you figure it out, it takes off.

Hike and a Return Visitor

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Pets, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Gazebo, Plum Island MA

Today – woke up late changing plans for the day somewhat. Took a drive over to Winslow to drop off some food for the animals, had intention to pick up a “grill box” that a restaurant is doing a few towns over from there. They put it all together and you place and cook it on your own backyard grill. Unfortunately we discovered too late in time to order so it’ll have to wait for another time to try it out. Instead went for a 1.5 mile hike through one of the town’s trails.

Looks like that bunny is coming around again! Carson just watches!

Tonight’s movie watch was Can’t Buy Me Love from 1987 starring Patrick Dempsey. I was saddened to learn that the lead actress in the film had died about 5 years ago from a drug overdose. I really liked her character in the film – I know the role is not the person, but still, it saddened me.

Mother Seal

Cape Cod, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Mother seal with baby (re-edit).

Went down to Earth-1 today. While I was there there was another downpour, whereby the neighborhood lost power for about an hour and a half, and then the hot water heater pilot went out. But everything’s good now.

I edited my photo of seal mama and baby to give it a different kind of look from the original. Made the greens and blues a little more pronounced.

Grace

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Wildlife
Grace, the Goddess of the Garden

Here we have Grace (an eastern cottontail rabbit that’s been hanging around – LD named her, I think it’s a her anyway) getting ready to eat some clover flowers. This particular bunny (a youngster we believe) spends all day in the yard and seems rather friendly and not so scared of people, as long as they don’t get too too close.

I placed the hummingbird feeder back out which had been gathering dust for a year or two now. I also moved it from it’s previous location. It was closer to the patio but I’ve now moved it into the back garden area where it’s more “secluded” and surrounded by natural nectar producing plants. I did this to make them feel safer and should provide me with a better view of actually seeing them. I remember earlier in the year just sitting on the back deck and this thing hovered in front of me with a buzzing sound. It took me a moment to register that it was a hummingbird in front of me! Of course, by the time I realized that, it took off – but it is pretty wild how they fly and hover and move in such varied ways, for a bird. So hopefully, I’ll get to see some more often.

Rando thoughts: Found an old copy of my Watchmen graphic novel from the ’80s. Think I’ll reread that. Setting up a new microwave. Got a simple outdoor inflatable pool yesterday, probably set that up this weekend. Still working on assembling the sideboard – it’s more complicated than I thought, with it’s Ikea-like directions and many parts. Hitting Home Depot to get a new hose and maybe some grilling accouterments, Speaking of grilling, I grilled last night and we ate by the firepit – I’ve become rather adept at it now – I actually prefer the hickory smell rather than the actual fire itself, although there is something meditative about just watching it burn – plus the smoke keeps the bugs away.

I spent the afternoon mowing the lawns, I like to keep it looking pretty, or at least, neat. Went to Volante’s this afternoon and ended up picking up a dwarf rose of sharon and a foxglove, which I planted in the patio area. Then hit another place down the road for a couple of hanging plants also for the patio area. Holy shit, gardening is a lot of work!

Tonight’s movie watch was Crash. Interesting flick – lots of well known actors too.

Intruder Alert!

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Intruder Alert!

I woke up this morning and discovered this little guy causing a little ruckus up on the deck where it doesn’t belong. Don’t worry – I only photographed him and then he scurried out of their on his own. He did appear to take down one of the Borages we had planted in there though. After that I decided to watch a movie I had recorded last night titled Alita: Battle Angel. This effects were good but the story didn’t make that much sense. They all seem to want to get to this city in the sky but they never explain why. I guess it’s based on a manga which probably has more story and it’s set up for sequels but they’ll probably never get made. Kinda cool how they made her eyes like all anime.

Went down to Home Depot in the afternoon to get some more dirt, firewood, and some pots. The dirt was for another raised bed where we plan to transplant the squash and pumpkin seedlings which are starting to outgrow their little containers.

Tonight’s movie watch was the 1st two episodes of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story. It’s actually pretty good.