Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

April 6, 2014

A Wonderful Spring Weekend

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 5:28 pm
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Spring is finally sproinging around here, and it’s about time after the lousy, frigid, snowy winter we had!

Saturday brought a delicious visit to Pickity Place in Mason NH. I’ve blogged many times about this favorite lunch place of my sister, our best friend and me.
Lunch was good and tasty, but the dessert yesterday was OFF THE HOOK! Check this out:
Fabulous dessert (1)

Fabulous dessert (2)
That gorgeous thing is a vanilla flan with caramel sauce, raspberries and mandarin oranges.

Happy pansies and jonquils decorated the little cottage in the woods:
Pickity pansies

as well as the perennially sleepy Pickity Kitty:
Pickity kitty

Today brought sunshine and a high temperature around 60 degrees F! That in itself is a wonderful thing. The hike that we were rained out of last weekend was rescheduled for today. I have a friend with an interesting goal this year – to hike all 92 miles (the width of the state of Massachusetts not including the north shore and Cape Cod) of the MidState Trail. It runs from Douglas MA on the Rhode Island border to Ashburnham MA on the New Hampshire border. I said I’d like to join as often as possible, so we began our quest today! We did a little over 3 miles today, but that included looping back to the parking lot, so we still have around 90 miles to go. Next time we will strategize with parking cars and such so we can accomplish more of the route in one outing.

But for today, we enjoyed each others’ company and being out in the spring air. Our dogs enjoyed every puddle they tromped through and getting muddy!
Rhode Island-Mass border
Group portrait of Sherry, Greg and me (and Angel, Teddy and Daphne) at the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border.

Rhode Island line, Midstate Trail
The marker

78 Miles to the Ocean!
A crossing trail, running through Rhode Island. Only 78 miles to the ocean! Let’s go!

After lunch on our spring hike
One more group portrait, after our lunch break.

I’m looking forward to making my way up my home state throughout this spring, summer and fall – I hope we can find the time to complete the full trail.

Happy spring everyone! Is it finally feeling like spring where you are too?

P.S. WordPress has nicely informed me that today is my 4 year blogoversary! Still carrying on the “when I feel like it” way, 4 years later! ;-)

December 14, 2013

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 3:41 pm
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After being treated to a relatively warm and mild autumn here in New England, things have changed significantly here, and in much of the country it seems. Cold air, snow, ice – we seem to be getting it all, all of a sudden. It isn’t “officially” winter yet of course, but it might as well be. There have only been dustings of snow so far – though that’s due to change tonight. Electra is expected to drop 6-8 inches on this region. But it is one of those things that I can’t change, so why should I worry about it, right Robin?

Instead of worry, I bring you some of the things I’ve been up to in this cold weather of the last three weeks or so.

Before Meghan went back to college after Thanksgiving, we joined good friends of ours Greg and Sherry (brother and sister) and Sherry’s pooch Angel for a cold-weather, heart-pumping hike at Bigelow Hollow in Union CT.
walk with friends, furry and otherwise

Though the air was chilled, the company was great and the scenery was rather pretty.
cold picnic view

We hiked about 3 miles through the park on marked trails, and even had a picnic.
Daphne wanted a picnic too
Daphne for some reason believed she belonged on the picnic table. We had to convince her otherwise.

no swimming? no kidding!
With the exception of the four-legged ones, no one was really tempted!

Back at home, the dogs are quite happy that the snow season has begun.
pawprints

And the weather is definitely not too frightful for regular soaks in the hot tub.
dusting
I wish I could share the beautiful, clear, starry nights that I gaze at from the tub that these cold days have been leaving behind.

As much as I hate to admit it, November and December have been shedding some very pretty light.
winter light

There are these lights to enjoy as well:
tree '13

Here’s some more pretty sparkle:
2013 Champs ornaments
(You knew I’d have to have that ornament on my tree, right?)

I told you in this post that I was committed to making some changes in the one thing that I could change – me. How’s this post for a change? Appreciation of the cold from a self-proclaimed summer girl!

January 6, 2013

New Year’s Walk

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 5:55 pm
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Hi there everyone! We are nearly a week into the new year and this is my first blog post of 2013!  2013 – a year I’ve looked to since my first baby was born as so very far away and now it is here.  The year my first child graduates from high school.  I’m excited and nervous and happy and sad all at once.  But we’ve got months to go until that happens so I’ll contain myself for now.  You’ll be sure to hear more from me about that as June rolls closer with all the events that go along with it arrive.

My first photos of 2013 were of a snow-covered walk in the woods, and I’d like to share them with you.  I’ve published pictures from this walk that the dogs and I take many times, but I’m pretty sure these are the first completely covered by snow.  It was a heart-pumping, feel-good-about-myself kind of walk.

The meadow that I walk into in the summer time that is usually filled with helicopter-like dragonflies, was shiny and sparkly in the snow.
Winter meadow

The brook where hot-and-tired Daphne likes to rest in the summer was partially frozen over.
Winter creek

Our “tunnel” path had a different look with a snowy bottom.
Snow covered path

There were no bluebirds to be found in this section of the walk this time around.
snow covered path 2

The new year began with a beautiful blue sky. If there were leaves on the trees, you could almost look into it and believe summer wasn’t too far away.
Blue winter sky

Near the end of our walk, nearly back to the house, I noticed these peeling birch trees. Funny, I’m 43 years old and I’ve lived in suburbia with birch trees my entire life, but I don’t remember ever seeing them peel like this.
peeling birch trees

Near the end of New Year’s Day, I took a picture of my dinner for that dinner blog-along I suggested in this post, and guess what? That’s the last time I remembered to take a dinner picture! The rest of the week was back to school and back to the routine and taking pictures of dinner disappeared from my mind! I’m going to try to make myself remember this week so that I’ll have at least 7 dinner pictures to share with you.

I hope 2013 is treating you well so far. I have a couple ideas for photo projects that I may or may not get to this year, but will definitely share with you if I do. Looking forward to another year of sharing photos and adventures with you.

November 17, 2012

A Tale of Two Bluebirds

I mentioned in my last post that we had a lovely weekend in store weather-wise last weekend.  Indeed it turned out quite sunny and warm for a November New England Veteran’s Day weekend.  I did take the dogs for the long walk that I promised them.  Before I went out, I stood pondering with my camera: leave the small, lightweight 50mm lens attached or switch to the 55-250mm zoom?  I was feeling like keeping the walk as light as possible so I stuck with the 50mm.

And I regretted it when I got out to the meadow part of my walk!  The eastern bluebird is a fairly common bird, but it is one that I have never managed to spy or photograph.  Lo and behold, what do I see perfectly perched in front of me about 25 yards in the distance but a lovely, male eastern bluebird.  I, of course, tried to take pictures, but this was not the job my 50mm lens was made for.  Sadly, this very tightly cropped shot was the best I could do:
bluebird1

Can you see him there, perched on top of the pine tree?  Slightly blurry and difficult to see, I know.

Today, it turned out, was also sunny and fairly warm.  So the dogs and I headed out for another walk.  I switched to the 55-250mm lens and wondered what the chances were that I’d again see a bluebird in the meadow.  It was around the same time of day as our last walk and same sort of weather conditions so I thought maybe I’d get lucky.

And I did!  I saw eastern bluebirds again, but this time they were farther away than 25 yards.  My zoom lens couldn’t bring them in as closely as I would have liked, but I think the couple shots I took are a bit sharper.  This is the best one that I managed today:

Eastern bluebird

I think this could possibly be a female bluebird; she was shadowed so I’m not 100% positive, but this bird does have a blue tail and those dusky colored spots near the wings:

femaile bluebird?

These bluebirds could almost count as entries in Scott’s newest assignment, I think!  I do have another post, however, coming soon with my take on color composition.

May my bluebirds bring you a little happiness today! :-)

September 29, 2012

I just couldn’t let September end this way!

Filed under: Walking the Dogs,What's Blooming — Karma @ 10:08 am
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Gee, what a slow and blue blogging month it has been for me.  The End of the Earth and the End of Summer - that’s all I blogged about.  I couldn’t let it end this way.  I did get out and take some cheerful pictures last weekend, the first weekend of autumn.

In the comments of the “Transition” post that I linked to up there, Michaela and  I were having a little discussion about taking pictures of pretty flowers in someone else’s yard and whether we should do it.  For several years now, I’ve admired the dahlias in the front yard of a house up the street a little ways from here.  They are right along the sidewalk, and I’ve always meant to tote my camera along and take some pictures.  This time I finally did it.  I’m afraid this is really not a  great representation of all the beauty in this yard.  I still felt a little funny shooting someone else’s flowers, so I just did it quickly, didn’t change lenses when I probably should have and got back in my car really quickly!

Dahlias 1

Dahlias 2

Dahlias 3

This last shot gives you the proof of where I was standing, plus it is a really cool looking dahlia:
Dahlias 4

The dogs and I also went on our first walk of the autumn season.  There were still plenty of wildflowers in bloom and the air was warm, so it did help ease my transition and my mood.

I thought this looked like a little bouquet that Mama Nature had left behind:

natural bouquet

All along the path, I found little reminders that there is beauty to be had in all seasons.

autumn grasses

wild flowers 1

wild flowers 2

Queen Anne's lace

In addition, as October approaches (would you believe I just typed “August” there instead of “October”?  Apparently my wishful thinking continues), I hope to rejuvenate my blogging habits.  Robin, over at Life in the Bogs has provided links to NaBloPoMo’s blogging prompts for October.  While I am sure I will not make the commitment to blogging every day in October, the prompts provide some interesting food-for-blog-thought.  I’m hoping to tackle a few – maybe you’d like to also?

wild flowers 3

Robin provides more inspiration in her idea for a group blog walk.  She had mentioned over the summer about how she’d like to take a really long walk someplace she doesn’t always walk, take photographs and blog about it.  She suggested some of us might enjoy doing the same.  I may have helped a little bit in this inspiration by suggesting that she turn it into a blog-along type of event by choosing a time period to complete the walk and allowing us to share our blog posts with her.  She chose the week of October 8th, and I’m hoping to participate if Columbus Day provides this area with some nice weather.  I hope you’ll think about walking along with us.

fading susans

I will have to decide soon if there will be an October photo hunt too. If inspiration strikes me, I will try to post something during the first week of the month.

Now, that’s a bit better, right? No more gloomy funk. Here’s a better kind of funk to end the month ;-)

June 24, 2012

It had been far too long since…

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 9:05 pm
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…the poochachos and I went for a walk.  With the busy-ness, issues and recent heat, Teddy and Daphne had been just a wee bit neglected by their mama in the walk department.  Don’t get me wrong, we have a nice sized yard for them to romp around, but for them, nothing matches the excitement of a walk on the leashes, outside of their little backyard world.

I swear Teddy figures out what is going on from the moment I make the decision to go for the walk.  This past Saturday morning, as I sat on the edge of my bed putting my sneakers on, Teddy began to whine his happy whine.  I hadn’t touched the leashes or the “special orange bags” but I swear he knew what was happening.

It’d been so long since we took a walk along the powerlines into the woods, I was unprepared for the changes that had taken place in our absence.  The path that we take to the fireroad along the powerline was all grown in:
overgrown path #1
We had to hike through some tall grasses and thorny vines to get where we were headed. My legs are a bit scratched up.

Apparently a lightening strike had taken place:
lightening strike?

I was happily surprised by the wildflowers everywhere I looked:
wild daisies

wild susan

Wildflower meadow

Even a little daylily appeared on the edge of our path!
wild lily

I even took a video with my phone because I wanted to share the sounds with you as I followed the fire-road for a bit, but my phone is unfortunately being a bit persnickity about sharing that video.  I tried emailing it to myself – froze my phone in the process – and tried uploading directly to YouTube from my phone – video no where to be found on YouTube.  If I get it to work anytime soon, I’ll add it to this post.

There was a little downside to this walk too.  When I got to one of my favorite sections of the pathovergrown path #2

when normally the only sounds I can hear are the red-winged blackbirds and peepers and on warm days like this one was, the cicadas, the dogs and I were assaulted by deer flies!  I put on my bug repellent before heading out for the walk, but these buggers didn’t care.  I hurried through the normally very quiet and peaceful section of the walk swatting all the way.

Daphne always looks forward to the creek crossing near the end of the walk so that she can do this:Hot n tired golden retriever

but I couldn’t let her linger as long as she would’ve liked due to those nasty flies!  Does anyone know, would a stronger deet percentage repellent help?  I was using fairly gentle “Skintastic.”

I certainly won’t let a few obstacles prevent the dogs and I from enjoying more walks this summer, but I will definitely be looking for a way to be more bug free the next time!

January 28, 2012

Did I sleep through February?

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 2:45 pm
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IMG_7213

It sure felt like I must have today.  As the dogs and I went for our walk today, I’d swear it was late March.  The sun shined in a cloudless sky
IMG_7212

that reflected in large puddles
IMG_7216

and patches of melting ice
IMG_7218

At 45°F in glorious sunshine, I thought I must be taking an early-spring rather than mid-winter walk.  We meandered our favorite path through mud and muck without complaint.
IMG_7214

Teddy thought it a fine day for a stroll through the freely flowing stream, while I enjoyed taking this handsome collie profile with sun-sparkly water in the background:
IMG_7220

The calendar did indeed say January 28, not March 28 when we arrived home.  If this is Mama Nature’s way of perhaps righting some wrongs of last year, I will take it! Thanks, Mama, for a lovely day!

January 1, 2012

This is January 1st?

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 4:04 pm
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Not that I am complaining, mind you, but I do wonder what the heck is going on around here.  Check out the temperature here today:
IMG_7138

Nearly 50° F in Massachusetts on January 1st!  And the sun was shining too!  Thanks very much for the Happy New Year, Mama Nature… you aren’t just trying to soften me up for what you really have in store for me later, are you?  No, no, I shall not look a gifthorse in the mouth; instead, I shall take the poochachos for a walk.  Want to come along?

IMG_7132

Blue skies and puffy clouds along the powerlines today

IMG_7131

Sunshiney ice crunching and melting under the dogs’ steps
IMG_7133

Puffy weed (is that her majesty Queen Anne?  I’m afraid I don’t recognize HRH in wintertime) in the shadow of a happy dog’s open mouth

My days of no school, no schedule leisure are quickly coming to an end.  I was so happy for this warm little walk for the dogs and me.  Our last day off is tomorrow, and my Christmas tree and village are still standing.  Waiting to see if the spirit moves me to take them down or let them be for a little bit longer.  How did you spend your New Year’s Day?

November 27, 2011

Meandering

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 4:01 pm
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creek

Like this little creek from my walk today with the poochachos, I think this blog post may meander a bit.  That’s a bit how this Thanksgiving break from work has gone.  I told you about Friday in my last post.  Yesterday found me breaking out of lack of physical activity to tackle the leaves from my horrible sycamore tree.  I forgot to take a “before” picture, but this shot from my 365 project 3 years ago will give you the idea with the amount of leaves from one tree I have to deal with:

The task at hand

After I finished cleaning the front yard, I treated my daughter and myself to a guilty pleasure:

Okay, I’ll cop to it: I read all of the Twilight books.  I’m not one of those “obsessed” people, but I did enjoy the story.

Today found me disbelieving it is already Sunday and that means the return to work tomorrow.  Where did the Thanksgiving break go?  The weather was still reasonably warm today and the dogs really needed a good walk, so off we went.  We headed out to our walk along the powerlines.  Many of the hurdles of broken trees and limbs had been thankfully removed.  As we entered the field that leads to the powerline path,

field

in the distance, at the top of the ridge, I saw what I at first thought were just people.  They seemed to be too tall and rather fast moving to be folks on a walk like me.  They disappeared into that stand of trees on the left of the shot before I could get nearer for a closer inspection.  Then I realized what I had been seeing:

IMG_6929

people on horseback!  There were LOTS of tracks like this along our route today, and I think Teddy smelled every one of them.  Other interesting sights along our walk included:

IMG_6937

the final resting place for a bouquet of helium balloons, and these:

cones

They look like some sort of pine cone, don’t they? Except they were on a tree completely barren of needles.  I didn’t think pine trees ever lost ALL of their needles in one season, do they?

We came around toward one of the last really wooded parts of our walk (I feel like I show you this view rather often, but I love the tunnel-like look and how it changes with the seasons)

IMG_6943

The walk was kind of muddy, and the dogs never missed the opportunity to tromp through the puddles rather than go around them.  They came back dirty and tired, but it was all good.

Now I’ve meandered back to where I began the day – sitting at the computer, keeping up with all of you in the blogosphere.  Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us!  I’m going to try my best not to get to rattled by it all and to stay up with my blog and yours as we enter this busiest of seasons.  Speaking of seasons, Scott’s Fours Seasons assignment is due in about a month!  Did you remember to take pictures for it?  I did, and will be bringing you that post very soon.

October 9, 2011

Searching for Autumn Color

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 6:51 pm
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It might be a bit early still.  I had it in my head that by Columbus Day weekend, western Massachusetts was usually ablaze in the colors of fall.  I wasn’t able to find much photographic evidence in the archives on my computer.  I searched dates around this time in 2010 and 2009, without luck.  My 365 project on Flickr showed a bit of color on October 10th of 2008.

When the forecast for this weekend said sunny skies and temperatures around 80°, I knew a walk in the woods would be on my “to do” list.  The forecast proved accurate, and the doggy duo and I set out for an afternoon walk yesterday.  I reveled in the warmth and sunshine, telling myself to enjoy it, knowing this was likely the last New England weekend to enjoy such weather.  Hoping to spot hints of pretty color, Mr. Andre Rebel came along for the walk too.

While I didn’t see vibrant shades filling the trees, I was able to find some hints of the autumn palette:
IMG_6614

IMG_6631

IMG_6626

These little cuties reminded me of Michaela’s post from the other day:
IMG_6613

I also found something new along our familiar path.  While rounding a bend, this popped up:
IMG_6627

Bridge? I thought to myself.  What bridge?  Lo and behold:
IMG_6606

A new footbridge had appeared along our walk, at Daphne’s favorite spot to take a little rest.  Normally, this is the place where I have to figure out the best spot for a little leap across the running water while the dogs happily slog across.  The dogs still slogged through, but I happily made use of the new addition.

IMG_6630

In some spots along our walk, and in general about town, I’ve noticed some of the trees seem to be skipping their autumn display and going straight from green to brown:

IMG_6611

IMG_6618

In the pleasantness of the afternoon, we ambled further along the path than we’d been in quite a long time.  As the sunlight peeked through trees in the shadowy section of our walk, it suddenly came to my consciousness that I had possibly obtained my own form of quiet contemplation and meditation.  If meditation is the absence of active thought, then I think it happened, if only for a short time.  For a short time, I wasn’t thinking about chores that awaited me at home, the trials of the previous week at work, or the tasks ahead for the week to come.  It was just me, the dogs, the woods and breathing.  And it felt really good.
IMG_6623

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