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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse Day in the Park

I didn't take any photos of the solar eclipse yesterday because there are so many other pictures around, taken by skillful photographers using excellent equipment. Instead, I photographed people who gathered at the park which had been organized for the event.

The first thing I noticed when entering the park was a long line of people who I learned were in line to pick up glasses for viewing the eclipse.

The crowd extended from the pond to the field near the day care center.
There were refreshment stands and a band.
All in all, a festive atmosphere. It was strange seeing all those people in an area that I walk through everyday. Some of those days, especially the cold ones, I'm the only person there.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Major League Baseball

Went to the Nationals game this afternoon with neighbor Jim. Nats lost 3-2 but had a good time.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The new bedding area with the bamboo pergola

We're pretty happy with the looks of the new bedding area in the back yard garden. The area came about when a storm blew down an oak tree two years ago. The root ball pulled up about one quarter of that garden, and we've been rebuilding it since.

The big addition was the bamboo pergola in the center of the photos. As planned, the structure is supporting wisteria and cross vines.

Lexington Market

Last Saturday we went with out neighbors to Lexington Market in Baltimore. The picture below shows Pam and Marianne on their way to the entrance of the market which, as the sign says, has been in continuous operation since 1782.

The big draw for us and many was Faidley's seafood which brags that it has the best crab cakes in the city. They were certainly among the best I've ever had.

They also feature a raw bar whose oysters looked tempting, but we didn't sample any.

Pam took all of the above interior shots. In addition to the crab cakes, we also bought some cake to take home. The coconut cake is delicious. I haven't had any of the other yet which is red velvet.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Colorful entrance to the house

Pam is responsible for making entering the house a colorful experience.

Bee balm and four o'clocks are the predominant plants.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Caught a nice bass and hooked a snakehead

Fished yesterday evening with Capt Mike and Col. Ski at Mattawoman Creek off the Potomac River.
Although the water contains some excellent bass, Ski really wanted to catch a snakehead which have become for many a desirable game fish. In previous trips with Capt Mike he had hooked a few and landed one. He wasn't having much luck on this trip, but I caught two largemouth bass and hooked and lost a snakehead. Now I understand the appeal of snakehead fishing because the drama of the hit and the excitement of watching the fish leap was memorable.
Fortunately, Ski eventually hooked and landed a snakehead. 
Below is the larger of the two bass I caught.
We got rained on for about twenty minutes shortly after this picture was taken. Then he cleared up, but I drove through a violent thunderstorm for much of the way home.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On recent walks

This is turning out to be the summer of taking photos of the pond. Here are two more from the past week.

This next one shows a sky similar to one I shot a few weeks ago.

A fishing lesson and an unusual drive home

The fishing lesson was from the charter captain, Capt. Pete, on a trip I took with him and my friend Col. Ski last Friday. There is a basic fishing technique called jigging which I've never felt I was doing right. One reason that I never learned it properly is that the situation comes up with me rarely. There were times Friday, however, when there were masses of rockfish right under the boat, a situation that clearly calls for jigging a lure straight down. Capt. Pete saw that I was allowing too much slack in the line which didn't allow me to detect a strike, and once I got the hang of that I started catching more fish. We caught a lot of fish that day, but they were all just below minimum size. Still, it was a good day.

On the way home from the marina on the South River, I drove into maybe the biggest downpour of my life. Many drivers along Route 50 pulled over to the side of the road because the visibility was so poor. Twice, I pulled over, but I decided I felt safer driving along at 20 mph rather than sitting along the side of the road. Just before the Capitol Beltway, however, I saw blue sky ahead, and when I reached the Beltway it was completely dry. It was dry as home as well. The next day the newspaper described that areas of DC flooded in the heavy rain, so the stormed apparently passed to the south of our home.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Queen Anne's Lace, Not Yarrow

Recently in our yard I mistakenly identified yarrow as Queen Anne's Lace, so when I saw similar plants in the park I wasn't sure which they were. Last night Pam went with me, and after looking closely at the plants she pronounced them as Queen Anne's Lace.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The pond on another summer evening

Last night from the same spot as a week before, on June 25. Nature's light always paints a different picture.

Friday, June 30, 2017

This week

Tuesday I went with my friend Kurt to the Food and Drug Administration building nearby in White Oak where our mutual friend Donovan has created a farmer's market for his fellow employees. Donovan took us on a tour of the facility where I took this picture:

Thursday I fished the Gunpowder River north of Baltimore. The river was low and clear which made fishing tough, but I was glad I went:

Today Stan and I took our regular Friday morning walk, this time along the Paint Branch Creek where I saw this log which spanned the stream. His son's dog, Copley, was with us, and Copley casually trotted across while I proceeded carefully. Stan took my picture.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The pond on a summer's evening

Winters family gathering and the completion of our travel triangle

Wednesday Pam and I drove to Gormania, West Virginia for the annual gathering of her cousins at her sister Kathy's house. The trip also completed our travel triangle since within the past month we also traveled to New York City and Bethany Beach. Pam took both pictures below.

From the top center and moving counter-clockwise are Cousin Nick, Cousin Dan's wife Sam, Cousin Dan resting his chin on his hand, Cousin Ted, me, Kathy's husband Bernie, Kathy, Kathy's granddaughter Annabel, Nick's wife Delores's foot, Ted's wife Bonnie, and Kathy's daughter Sara.

Kathy with granddaughter Nora.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beach Week

Pam took this shot of Sean and Rebecca in the surf last week.

The above picture shows my basic beach equipment: umbrella, chair, and backpack which holds towel, sun lotion, reading matter, and keys to the beach house.

Below is the room in the beach house where we spent most the time. The table top in the foreground held our meals when we didn't go out. The table at right accommodated a 750 piece jig-saw puzzle that Pam, Rebecca, and Sean completed during the week.

On a couple of evenings, we watched a little TV in the living room. In the background are the steps to the two bed rooms upstairs.

The backyard in early June

The Park in early June

Based on what I saw on my walks the past two days, I'd say that the wildflower meadow peaked out a couple of weeks ago when I took this photo.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Another New York Weekend

We began with a visit to the September 11 Memorial in lower Manhattan on Friday, and here I am with daughter Rebecca:

The World Trade Transportation Hub, the Oculus, is a striking and controversial design which serves as a shopping mall as well as a train station. I liked it and so did Rebecca who said the light and openness contrasts with most of the city.

In addition to seeing Rebecca and Son-in-Law Sean, the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum was the highlight of the trip. Her painting of the New York skyline seems appropriate to include:
As well as a painter and feminist icon, O'Keefe was a popular model for photographers throughout her life. Here she playfully peers through a piece of cheese while sitting in a car.
The Dinner Party was a related exhibit honoring the feminine throughout pre and recorded history with each place-setting symbolizing something different, and the final setting is for Georgia O'Keefe as a symbol of women's creative expression. I failed to record the symbolism of this place-setting. I just liked the look.

Pam, Rebecca, Sean, and I walked to the nearby Brooklyn Botanical Gardens after leaving the museum. Here's the young couple:

Sunday morning I was attracted to the sunlight in the courtyard as viewed through the window screen of the Air B&B apartment we rented:

Before the trip I checked my notes on skyscrapers from the architectural history course I took a few semesters ago, and two items that I wanted to see were the lobbies of the Woolworth and Chrysler buildings. Neither were available for a thorough visit, but we were able to briefly get into both. In the Chrysler Building on Sunday, I was able to take a photo or two, and this one gives a sense of the appeal of these lobbies:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Matewan" and Director John Sayles at AFI

Tuesday night I went to the American Film Institute theater in Silver Spring to see a screening of the 1987 movie based on attempts to unionize coal miners in West Virginia in 1920. I've long admired John Sayles who wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. His novel Union City I read and own, and he's also an actor who appears in small roles in some of his films.

Sayles is on the right of the three figures in front of the screen in the above picture. He generously answered questions from the audience after the movie was over. On screen is the actor Chris Cooper who was little-known at the time. David Strathairn also appeared, but James Earl Jones was probably the biggest name in the cast.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

My walks on Friday and Saturday

The individuality of trees is more obvious in the spring and autumn than winter with the absence of leaves and summer when the trees in the woods dissolve into a single green mass. Pam's experience in bee-keeping made me aware of the importance of the black locust trees for the mid-Atlantic area because the honey bees rely on them for early season nectar. I also like the looks of the black locust spring blooms, and decided to photograph one of these trees Friday.

Great-blue herons are frequent visitors to the pond. Most of them don't like people getting too close, so I tried to be careful today when I took this picture.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Peace and Friendship Garden at the University of Maryland

Still my favorite on a campus with many nice gardens.

Went fishing despite missing wading boots

Either I left them at the parking lot at the Daniels section of the Patapsco last October or they're somewhere here in the house. Both possibilities seem unlikely since I've searched the house and my habit is to throw the boots in the trunk when I remove my waders at the end of the fishing trip. I can't think of any other scenario.

Fortunately, I had a cheap pair that barely showed any use, and they proved serviceable for my trip on Tuesday. Coincidentally, I went to the same place on the Patapsco that I did at the end of last season when I last used the missing boots. No trout although the section was supposedly recently stocked, but the bluegills were willing. A nice spring day although windy. Water level at Hollofield was 1.65.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Backyard Wildflowers


Buttercups are all over the lawn, front and back. While their presence is an indication that our lawn is not a perfect, uniform spread of grass, I prefer the interest and beauty of imperfections like these.
It's also a good year for Star-of -Bethlehem.
When mowing I instinctively refrained from cutting down a group of weedy-looking plants behind the swing and was later rewarded by the blooms of this plant which Pam thought was called fleabane:
I now know that the proper name for fleabane is erigeron.