04 December 2014

December is bittersweet

Not much natural color left at this point in the season, and some of what remains is also invasive, an example here grasping around the branches of the tree that it's occupying.

08 October 2014

Fall color in microcosm

People travel regionally and from far away to see and photograph fall foliage colors in New England, and it's always a season and opportunity that I look forward to.  I'm used to thinking of the variety mostly at the level of trees or between leaves within a tree, though, which made me find the set of colors within this single hobblebush leaf particularly striking.  My wife thought that it looked like a miniature patchwork quilt.

09 August 2014

I hadn't known that dragonflies appear to have cartoon-like faces

... but today I discovered that they can.  Hat tip to the subject for perching long enough for me to be able to capture the image.

12 July 2014

Back on a saddle, again; revisiting the Nashua River trail

I've enjoyed cycling for many years, though not as a group activity or at a competitive level.  I'm perhaps the perfect candidate for rail trails, as they're smooth, generally flat, and sometimes scenic.  My cycling routine got interrupted last summer; since then, I've been out and about on foot regularly, often for photography, but I'd been uncertain about how I'd do back on the pedals.  This morning, I decided to try, revisiting one of my favorites, the Nashua River Rail Trail, starting northward from Groton, Massachusetts.

A beautiful clear day; the path leads into nicely shaded woods.

It's almost 9AM in Pepperell, about halfway along the route.

According to the marker, it would have been 108 miles to Portland, Maine by way of the tracks that aren't there any more.

Most bike paths don't offer the small geographic thrill of crossing a state line, but this one does.  There's just over another mile of trail after this welcome to the City of Nashua, New Hampshire, ending at a parking area.

It would have been 39 miles to Worcester, Massachusetts from this point, which is the same marker as seen before, but viewed from the other direction.

The Nashua River is dammed (that's dammed with an "m") just beyond this point.  The trail has many more water views enroute, like this one.

Back to the starting point, just over 18 miles roundtrip.

Not especially quickly, but that wasn't the point.  It was good to ride again.  I'll be back.

11 July 2014

Nice story, particularly the last line

As often, I liked this story from The Register - particularly the last line.

18 June 2014

Less being more

We've been sifting and organizing large numbers and volumes of items that we've accumulated over the years.  It's a satisfying process, and it's definitely becoming easier to find things when they're desired. Among other discoveries, we've come across various caches of things that we've collected in a piecemeal fashion, anticipating that they'd be useful or needed sooner or later or when we couldn't find them at an early glance. A representative list of some things that we may never again need to purchase within our lifetimes follows:

Scotch tape
Insect repellents
CD-R media
Paper clips
I'd say batteries, but they expire and leak. 

Looking these over, I see how the need for many of them has diminished along with the use and posting of paper, but it's still nice to be able to do that conveniently and effectively when the occasion calls for it.

02 March 2014

Winter chores and rewards

Lots of snow in New England this season. No massive storms, but lots of cold and a number of accumulations in the 6-12" range.  I took this picture a couple of weeks ago after a round of re-clearing a few paths, including this one leading to a pair of bird feeders. There's been melting and settling since, but the snowpack depth at the time was about two feet, which seems substantial but nothing compared to colonial times when (if I recall cited reports correctly, and they weren't exaggerated) settlers sometimes needed to tunnel to their farms' outbuildings in the winter.
We've been rewarded for our feeder maintenance through the season by a variety of small woodpeckers and, in recent weeks, by many bluebirds like this one.
Nice visitors!

19 January 2014

Please Don't Feed the Dinosaurs!

Window view this morning. I think the turkeys look positively prehistoric.  It's notable that the small cardinal is the only bird getting at feeder seed directly, while the larger beasts below are exploring for leftovers in the snow.  I wouldn't think that the thin, light feeder hanger would be much of a match for turkey power applied effectively, but strategy doesn't seem like their strongest point.

05 January 2014

Tantalizingly reparseable news headline for today

From NYT: Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants; serious issues, but it's hard to avoid envisioning large suction apparatus.