Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 12, 2010

Of Kings and Queens

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:08 am
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Well, that’s what monarchs are, right, kings and queens?  I took some pictures of the “king” or “queen” of the butterflies the other day – I say this because I have no idea whether it was a girl or a boy (although I did witness what I assume was some butterfly hanky-panky going on, I assume there was actually one of each.  I don’t think you are interested in the picture of that!  Maybe you are?) Anyway…
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I am just loving the butterfly bushes this summer for all the opportunities it has presented me.

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This one was actually taken on the near-by rasberry bush.  I just love those polka-dotted bodies!

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I’d never noticed those furry, fluffy backs before.  It reminded me of a phrase my daughters have been repeating ad infinitum since they saw “Despicable Me” this summer:

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Thank you, your majesty, for having this little photo session with me!

Oh and one more shot of a very sweet monarch that I couldn’t help but share:
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(Sarah, Halloween 2003, 6 years old)

August 10, 2010

A Walk in the Woods, and Down Memory Lane

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:05 pm
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After reading two of  Kathy’s recent posts, I decided it was time to try a little different walk with the dogs.  As I’ve mentioned before, I usually walk around local sidewalks.  I worry about picking up after the dogs and running into aggressive dogs, often untended in their yards.  I wanted to take a walk like we used to when we were kids, in the woods along the huge, high voltage powerlines and fire roads.  There was something fascinating about the sizzling of those lines in the quiet of the woods when I was a kid.  Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty much a townie so I headed out today not really knowing where I was going, but not really caring; I have decent sense of direction here in town and wasn’t worried about getting lost.  I did, however, lament that I’d forgotten my camera.  Exploring a different walk and I left it at home!  What kind of photographer/blogger am I?  (I’ll share some oldies but goodies with you today to make up for it!)

When we were kids, Jennifer, Renae and I often wandered the many paths into the woods around the street where we grew up.

(L to R: Karen, Renae, Jennifer circa 1986)

A farmer owned lands on one side of the street, behind all the houses.  Further down the road, close to Renae’s house, was the entrance to the powerlines.  I loved walking those paths listening to the crackle high above.  If you walked the powerline paths long enough, you came out to another farmer’s lands, not far from where I live today.

(Farm house close to where I walked today)

  A good portion of those lands, like so many farmers’ lands in this town, have been sold to developers building houses and condos.  Despite the hum of construction equipment, Daphne, Teddy and I carefully strode past the machinery in search of the powerline paths.  We walked past the cornfields that were still there, and at the top of the hill, the fireroads were still there as well.  I hesitated, deciding which direction to turn.  To the left would surely bring me close to the paths of my childhood.  I decided against that direction for fear that Daphne would decide she’d had enough somewhere along the way and I’d be too far from home to attempt to carry a 65 pound dog home.  I could continue, straight and over the hill.  If memory serves, it would eventually come to a wide clearing and another path back into the paths of my youth. I chose to turn to the right; although I’d never been that way before, I was certain I’d eventually arrive at a point I’d recognize that wasn’t too far from home.  I happily followed the crackle and hum of the powerlines and saw many interesting plants and wished I had my camera. (I’m thinking I need to go back, Rebel in hand).  A fierce thunderstorm rained down the night before, and the dogs happily plunged through each puddle along the way as I gingerly picked my way along side them, trying hard not to dirty up these:

Daphne and Teddy seemed especially enthralled with this new walk.  Their noses happily took in every new smell on the woodsy path.  Dragonflies the size of small helicopters buzzed up in front of us.  A couple times during the walk, the path would branch and I had to make a choice; I didn’t really worry about being lost though.  I just chose the one that seemed it would head back in the general direction of home. 

While we walked and the dogs sniffed, I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood and those walks with Jennifer, Renae, and often my dad and our dog, Myrtle.

(Myrtle and me, circa 1981)

My train of thought, which often follows wild and circuitous tracks, continued from the walks in the woods to family vacations. Okay, perhaps this isn’t so far off track (or beaten path, choose your metaphor, I think either is appropriate here).  My family and I will leave for our 1-week vacation this upcoming Saturday, and we will travel to the same beach that my parents took Jennifer and me (and often Renae!) to as children.

(Jennifer at the beach circa 1982)

(The cottage where we stayed; it is no longer there, sadly having been replaced by condos)

You can see that even back then I was into photography!  I had a Polaroid camera, however, and the film was quite expensive.  The shots I still have are precious few. 

My walk did eventually come out at a place that I recognized.  Our path came out behind the local soccer fields.  We walked across a cute little wooden bridge and eventually into the parking lot of the middle school, a short distance from my house – the middle school that I attended (called a Jr. High back then) and that both my girls attended (younger one still attending this fall.)  Isn’t it interesting how things come full circle?

August 9, 2010

What’s Blooming – late July/early August

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 10:35 am
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It has been a while since I’ve done a straight “What’s Blooming ” post, so I thought it was time to feature the flowers once again.  The butterfly bushes, while still blooming, have gotten plenty of press recently in the butterfly posts (oh, I finally got some monarch butterfly shots too, so that’s another upcoming post), so I thought I’d turn my attention to some other faithful bloomers.  I have had tall phlox blooming in a garden around my bird bath for many summers.  After the glory of the bearded irises and bleeding hearts have passed, these beauties take over for later summer color.

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In addition to the phabulous phlox, the annual zinnias and cosmos (as well as a tri-color collie) continue to provide summer color at the base of the hydrangea.
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Although I’ve featured the zinnias and cosmos before, I have some different shots to share (plus these were taken with the Rebel, not the old Olympus, so perhaps some improvement in my image quality will be seen.)
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Pink Cosmos, just beginning to open

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White cosmos

I’ve gotten a couple surprises with my zinnias this year.   Some of them turned out to be lovely “double” specimans:
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In addition to being double, I don’t think I’ve ever had a yellow zinna before.  They are usually in the pink range, so this one turned out to be a bright, cheerful addition to the flower bed.

August 6, 2010

Cedric Says

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:46 pm
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Hi, my name is Cedric, and I have a complaint!  A couple actually.  First of all, ever since Mom started this blog-thing, I think she spends waaaaayyyyy too much time in front of the computer – time that she could be spending paying attention to me!

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I find computers quite boring, you see… don’t even get me started on the camera!  I especially don’t like it when she flashes that bright light in my eyes!  It makes me squint, and look mean, and I’m about as far from mean as you could get.  Even dog people like me ( or so Mom tells me, I’m really not trying to be vain.)
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My other complaint is that Mom gives the dogs in this family far too much press time!  I’m the senior pet in this house afterall!  My birthday is coming up this month and I’ll be 9 years old!  Mom wrote about the dogs here, here, here, here and here! I’m glad she’s giving this elder a little respect.  I thought I deserved the chance to say hello.IMG_0595

Hello!

August 5, 2010

Garden Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:13 pm
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Harvest time has begun here in my veggie garden.  I mentioned the cucumbers last week.  I’ve been picking zucchini for several weeks already.  This week I’ve gotten to eat my summer garden favorite, tomatoes.  Cayenne peppers have also been ripening fairly regularly.
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Jalepenos…
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…and Thai Dragons are coming along.
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Have you ever seen these hot peppers growing before?  Isn’t it strange how they grow upwards?

My bell peppers are a bit further behind…
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…but at least it appears I will get some this year, unlike last summer.

Remember my story earlier this year about the only surviving seedlings that I started?  I am shocked to discover that I may actually get to eat watermelon from my garden this year!
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According to information I’ve read, icebox watermelons are supposed to be 6-10 pounds at maturity.  I’ve never grown edible sized melons, so I don’t know what to expect for size.  I took this picture to try to give you some idea of the size…
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(I do have relatively large feet for a woman! Size 9 1/2)  Any ideas whether this is close to eating size?

Not all of my plants are in tip-top condition, but at the very least it appears I will be able to harvest some of everything I planted this year.  That’s a definite improvement over last years woeful garden, due to an extremely wet summer here in New England in 2009.   I’m happy so far – especially with those tomatoes!  Delicious!  I should have taken a picture of the one I sliced up to go with my lunch today ( or with my dinner last night) to share with you, but I ate it too quickly!

August 3, 2010

A Few More Favorites from the Canal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:22 pm
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Here are a few more favorite pictures that I took while visiting the Cape Cod Canal.
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Looks like a barge coming through!  (Play on family joke included here – tell me in the comments if you know what I am talking about, or ask me if you are curious!)

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I like interesting boat names.  These were two I happened to catch.  I’d like to have a boat someday.

If I remember correctly, I think I tried the panning technique for the “Tunanut” picture.  Not perfect, but not too bad I think.

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Cormorant swimming…

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Cormorant diving! Kinda  neat shot, isn’t it? I learned an interesting fact about these birds this weekend.  The cormorant is a bird you will often see at the edge of the water sitting with its wings extended.  Apparently, they need to let themselves dry out before they can swim again.  If they let themselves get too saturated, they will sink!  Seems like an odd design flaw for a sea bird.

August 2, 2010

Cape Cod Camping

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:57 pm
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After a beautiful camping trip to Cape Cod this weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to practice my photo essay assignment that I will eventually be composing for Scott Thomas’s challenge due in September.

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My family and a group of close friends visited Shawme Crowell State Forest in Sandwich, MA this past weekend for our annual group camping trip.  Shawme Crowell is part of the extensive Massachusetts state park system.  It offers 285 shaded sites for both tents and campers on 700 acres of pine forest and is conveniently located less than 2 miles from the Cape Cod Canal Recreation Area.  (Do I get my extra credit for including people in this shot, Scott?)

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The Cape Cod Canal is a 17.4 mile long waterway which artificially divides the pennisula of Cape Cod from the mainland of Massachusetts.  It saves ships much distance in travel by not having to go completely around the “arm” of Cape Cod, as well as helps them to avoid the hazardous waters off the outer Cape and Nantucket Sound which were responsible for many shipwrecks during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Seven point seven miles of land was cut during the project that began in May 1909 and finished in July 1914.  The canal was originally a toll system, but when it failed to make money for its owners was sold to the U.S. government in 1928.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improved the waterway, making it deeper, wider and safer, as well as constructed the current bridges that serve as today’s transportation routes to the Cape.

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The Bourne and Sagamore Bridges connect Cape Cod to mainland Massachusetts.  The original bridges built before the canal first opened, were draw bridges.  The bridges that we travel today bear the same names as the originals, but were reconstructed when the U.S. government took over ownership of the canal.  The Works Progress Administration approved the construction of the new bridges in 1933 and as much work as possible was hand labor in order to employ as many people as possible.   They opened to traffic in 1935.

I don’t know if this is exactly what Scott is looking for; I had a difficult time showing my places of interest with only one photo each.   

Correctly done photo essay or not, we had a lovely camping trip.  This trip is a tradition with a group of friends that has gone on for more years than I care to count now.  We’ve been to many different campgrounds over the years and have expanded the trip to include our children as each couple’s family grew.  We don’t camp simply either!  We plan out great meals and all share in the work of providing, cooking, serving and cleaning,  and then retire to wonderful nights of telling stories, reminiscing and laughing around the campfire.  It is a tradition we look forward to each year and that I hope will continue for many years to come.

Two Sides of Sarah

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 3:24 pm

I have lots of pictures and thoughts to share in some upcoming blog posts, but first I must say “Happy Birthday” to my younger daughter, Sarah.  My baby is 13 this year, officially a teenager.  I cannot take credit for these pictures; Sarah’s sister Meghan (15) took them.  I just loved the way these shots from our camping trip this past weekend reflected two completely different, but yet “very Sarah” moods.

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Happy Birthday, Sweetie! 

Love, Mom

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