Not your typical evening in the neighborhood

This is not something you see every day.

Yesterday evening, after dinner, we had a little excitement across the street from us.  Horses, a hot air balloon that appeared to be stuck in the trees… it was not at all a typical scene in our neighborhood.  We do see horses, and hot air balloons.  It’s just that we don’t usually see them at the same time, in the neighbor’s yard.

Read the rest of this entry »

111: Ye Olde Archives

Interesting numbers here today. I’m on day 111 of my outdoor challenge on 01-11-11.  It’s a binary code day.

It is also another of those days when my outdoor adventures were taken up with running errands and doing chores (shoveling snow, feeding the birds, hauling stuff around).  Even if I had gone for my usual walk around the pond, I would not have taken the camera with me.  I overexposed my hands (particularly my right hand, especially my right thumb) to the cold yesterday morning while taking pictures of the frost.  It’s no big deal but I’m trying to keep my hands warm for a few days.

M and I did go cross-country skiing late yesterday.  We went north to the Chapin Forest Reservation where they have groomed trails for cross-country skiing.  It was fun.  It was also more work than I expected it to be.  I’m not sure why other than being out for twice as long as usual.

I’ve been going through Ye Olde Archives to pull out some photos for a couple of projects I’m working on.  Since I have no new photos to bring to you today, I thought I’d put up a few of my old favorites.

(Wild horse of Assateague Island.)

M and I went to Assateague Island in Maryland back in February of 2007 while off on our sabbatical adventures.  I was hoping we’d see at least one wild horse while we were there.  We were very lucky.  We saw several, including some babies.  I took a lot of different shots of the horses.  The one above is my favorite because of the textures.  It’s been edited in Photoshop but I lost track of what I did.

(Strolling through the gardens.)

I took this colorful photo at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania sometime in April of 2008.  It was pure luck, coming around the corner to this scene and being quick enough with the camera to capture it.

(Garden weeds.)

This was my first Fun with Photoshop photo.  A friend made a video with instructions on how to do selective coloring.  She explained it all so well that even I could do it.  lol!  Those familiar with my garden and my lazy gardening techniques know that I often have some beautiful weeds growing amongst the vegetables.  Sometimes they are so pretty I don’t want to pull them.  I am becoming more aggressive and ruthless about the weeding each year as I’ve learned that when the pretty weeds go to seed, it means more of them the next year.  This beautiful little flower (and spot of clover) were growing in the asparagus bed in August of 2008.

(Above and below.)

I took this photo of three leaves here at Breezy Acres during the autumn of 2008.  I like the crispness of the newly fallen leaf above the ghost-like appearance of the two leaves under the water.

(Framed in the woods.)

The above shot was taken at Holden Arboretum this past fall.  That’s my favorite hiking partner with his signature red day-pack.  It’s one of my favorites precisely because it includes my favorite hiking partner.  I usually take at least one shot of M with the red day-pack while we’re out on a hike and it’s now become a sort of signature for me, at least in terms of my hiking photos.

(I’m not looking at you.)

I can’t finish this up without a couple of photos of my favorite subjects.  My granddaughters, of course.  This is Miss Maddy, determined not to look at me.

(Playing in puddles.)

And finally, a photo of Miss Emma, playing in the rain.  I had a difficult time picking out photos of the girls as every photograph I have of them is a favorite just because they are in them.  I decided on the moodier pics for no particular reason.

I just glanced out the window.  Looks like the predicted snow storm has arrived.  The snow is coming down fast and steady.  The birds are congregating in large numbers at the feeders, trying to fatten up before they get snowed in.  Reminds me of the rush at the grocery store for milk and bread.  They were almost out of skim milk at the grocery store where I shopped today.  I guess people were out early stocking up for this storm.  Or there’s a shortage of skim milk.

Thanks for joining me today.  I will probably have more snow photos for you tomorrow.  Hopefully my fingertips will be feeling much better by then so I can get out with the camera again.  If not that, at least go skiing in the fresh snow.

Faces from the County Fair (Part Two)

(Miss Maddy on an antique tractor.)

My favorite faces at the county fair were those of my granddaughters, Emma and Maddy.  Maddy really liked the tractor she’s sitting on in the above photo.  Her father tried moving her to other tractors but she kept wanting to come back to this one.

Almost all of the pigs were sleeping when we passed through the swine barn.  It made me wonder how much time they usually spend sleeping.

Many of the sheep were already shorn, but there was this one…

Looks like it could use a haircut.

I think one of Emma’s favorites involved the horses being put through their paces by the young girls.  I gather Emma has had a few riding lessons.

(Emma watching the horses.)

(Trotting towards the camera.)

The alpacas cracked me up.  I’d like to learn about raising alpacas.  They seem like interesting animals.

Look Up: Cody’s Ribbons

I took this photo at the Portage County Randolph Fair last summer (August 2009) while looking up at all the ribbons.  You can see a bit of Cody in the background (look to the right and you’ll see his ear).  Cody had quite a collection of ribbons, some hanging above those shown.

Sunday Signage

(060:  Club sign and reflections.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’ve been busy, busy, busy, but thought I better stop in to solve the mystery of the fireworks photo from yesterday’s post.  The smoke in the original photo looks a lot like a flag to me.  The stream of light to the left is the flagpole.  But that’s me.  Apparently you all see many other things.

Yesterday was a full day.  It started with a good Muscle Max workout in the morning and just kept going until I fell into bed exhausted sometime around midnight.

When the weather starts to warm up here in the Bogs and spring is truly here, it seems like a long wait for the strawberries at Hilgerts to come in.  Perhaps it feels that way because of the long winters.  We’re all craving something fresh and sweet and locally grown.  Then, what seems like all of a sudden, the strawberries are ripe and ready for picking.  We fill up on the wonderful, sweet, deliciousness of the strawberries for a few weeks and then, what seems like all of a sudden, the raspberries and peas are ready for picking.  The process continues throughout the summer and into the fall, usually ending with apples and cabbages.

I bring this up because yesterday was the official start of canning and freezing season for me.  I picked up a peck of wax (yellow) beans at Hilgerts yesterday.  I was prepping, blanching, bagging, and freezing beans until about 9:3o last night.

(Wax beans.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The beans are gorgeous this year.  They were just picked, and nice and tender.  I hadn’t originally planned to have beans for dinner last night, but decided they were so good that we should eat some while they were still fresh.  We made up a big pot of new potatoes (also purchased at Hilgerts), ham, and beans.  Delicious.  I hope to get back to Hilgerts tomorrow to pick up some more beans.  Maybe green beans this time.  Or more wax beans if they still look this good.  The broccoli should be coming in soon.  You probably won’t hear much from me when that happens.  I’ll have 17 lbs. of the stuff to blanch and freeze.  It usually takes me about 2 days to get it all done.

This morning M and I took a walk as part of my plan to get in shape for all the hiking we plan to do when we go to Colorado.  I invited M along for the company.  He’s my favorite walking and hiking partner.  We walked 2 miles.  Not a lot, but today was a rest (or easy) day for me in terms of my exercise schedule.

(View of the pond from the road.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It was a nice morning for a walk.  There was a little more traffic than I was expecting.  I guess we must have been out during the time when most people are on their way to church.

When we returned home the plan was to do a little yoga, cook breakfast, and get on with our day.  At the end of the yoga workout M remembered that the Budweiser Clydesdales were going to be parading down one of the streets in Akron as part of the Italian Festival that’s going on there this weekend.  (I’m not sure what link there is — if any — between an Italian Festival and Clydesdales other than the selling of Budweiser beer at the festival.)

I turned off the stove and off we went to Akron.

(The Clydesdales.   Photo © 2009 by Robin)

We did get to see the Clydesdales, but not as scheduled.  Or someone posted the schedule (and the route) incorrectly.  The local newspaper had it wrong.  It was an hour later and they paraded a little further up the street, right in the middle of the Italian Festival with the food and drink vendors crowding both sides of the street.  Pretty poorly planned if you ask me.  The poor horses were crowded in between all the people trying to see them as well as the vendors.  It made it difficult for anyone trying to see the horses as well.  I hope the person in charge of that poor planning took note so they can do a better job next time.

(One unhappy horse.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Breakfast for us, as it turns out, was a big salad and a bowl of pasta.  M had the cheese ravioli with pesto and I had farfelle with brown butter and basil sauce that also included sundried tomatoes and prosciutto.  Yummy.  The garlic bread was not so yummy.  It was burnt and hard and dry.  I was hungry enough to eat it anyway.  I was happy to see they had some real Italian food at this festival.  In years past it looked like all they had was the usual carnival food, Italian sausage sandwiches with onions and peppers being the only nod to Italian food in the line-up.

And now I’m off to shower (finally!) and blanch some more veggies.  After that it will probably be time to start dinner.  I’m making a spicy cauliflower and potato curry tonight.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.