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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Calm morning at the pond

Maryland basketball last night

They beat Radford.

Anthony Cowen shooting free throws:

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pond iced over during a cold week


I took this picture on Monday when the pond was about 3/4 ice. Other mornings during the week it was almost completely ice, but by Friday the temperatures warmed up and the rains came, enough rain to make 2018 the rainiest year on record.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Swan visits pond

Saturday I watched a large white bird land in the pond, and my first thought was that it was a mute swan, a species I knew to be considered an invasive nuisance in Maryland.

I continued to follow the swan around the pond and took a number of pictures with my phone. Soon I noticed two large yellow tags with inscriptions on them. I'm not certain how well these tags show up in these photos.
When I got home I spent time on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website to learn about swans. Apparently, some tundra swans also winter here, and the two species look very much alike. Googling swan tagging brought me to a website in Ontario, Canada that described an effort to reintroduce the trumpeter swan which had once been common throughout North America but whose numbers had been to reduced to only a few because of market hunting. According to the website the Canadian group used tags which were described as looking exactly like the tags I had seen on the swan in the park.
I returned to the pond twice in the afternoon, and looking through binoculars I could make out the letter "T" and the number "8" on the yellow tag. There was a third number or letter which was obscured by the bird's feathers.
I spent much of the day looking through the bird books we have, and although the three species of swans look much alike I believe this was a trumpeter based partially on the dark beak and size of the bird but most importantly on its yellow tags. Based on what I've read I believe the swan's presence in Maryland is unusual because most of the trumpeter swans in the U.S. are out west in Wyoming and Montana.
After my initial sighting I e-mailed the Ontario website to tell them of the swan sighting in Maryland. If they answer my e-mail I'll tell them about the letter and number I saw. The swan was still there at the pond Sunday morning but flew away as I watched with my friend Stan. I haven't seen it since.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

For years we've been sharing our holiday with my sister's in-laws, the Powell family. This year Dan Powell, my sister's nephew, with his wife Azelin hosted Thanksgiving at their new home in Monrovia, Maryland. A very nice affair.

 Greg and Pam are second and third on the right. I'm in back also on the right where if you look hard you can see a white head of hair tilted back to get in the picture.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Plucky little ducky

The water fowl in the park pond consists mainly of Canada Geese and Mallards, but in the colder months sometimes something different appears and hangs around for a while. This small diving duck showed up about two weeks ago, and the closest I can get to identifying it is a lesser scaup. I've poured through bird books because I'm not satisfied with that answer.

I was thinking today about why I find this duck so fascinating. Part of it is that it's something different, but it's also because he's small and alone.

The picture above gives some indication of how small this guy is. I should say "gal" because it's probably female. She's on the left and is dwarfed by the three Canada Geese. On the upper right are two Mallards behind a fourth goose.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

On my walk this morning

As usual, went by the pond first. Autumn color came late this year, and I suspect the leaves may not be around long.

I then walked down to Paint Branch Creek.

I climbed the hill and took a picture down at the creek:

Some trees along the trail:

Autumn Leaves

When the obvious title for a post of these two pictures occurred to me, the song with the same name also popped into my head. Now I continue to hear that old standard in my mind. Oh, well. As ear worms go, this one is pretty good.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Wild surf following the storm

A storm blew up the coast Friday night, and we heard the wind howl in the dark. Although there's no scale on the picture to give a sense of the height of the in-coming surf, I estimated the waves to be between 8 and 10 feet on Saturday, and they probably much higher the previous night.

The picture does show, however, the spray from the pounding waves.
I don't know where along the beach the surfers were on Saturday, but they showed up Sunday.

Weekend at Bethany Beach

We arrived at the beach early Friday afternoon, and I immediately took a walk:

Back at the Addy Sea, the bed and breakfast which we always use for our short stays, I took this picture of Pam on the porch:

Autumn foliage is late this year

This picture was taken last week when normally the fall colors would be reaching their "peak". Global climate change is probably the cause.

We also got a visit from this great blue heron which are not as common on our pond as they are on other neighboring waterways.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Catch-up #6: Misty Morning at the Pond

This picture was taken yesterday. This is the last of the catch-up posts:

Catch-up #5: Football

The University of Maryland won against Bowling Green.

Catch-up #4: Golden Rod at the Pond

The picture was taken in mid-September.

Catch-up #3: Baseball

I went to a Nationals game with neighbor Jim in September. I don't remember who we played, but I believe the Nats lost.

Catch-up #2: Pam and I at Bethany Beach

We were on our way to dinner one night, and son-in-law Sean noticed that the lighting was good for pictures. Also, we were dressed up for than we usually are during our beach week which this year was the last week in August.

I in turn took a picture of Sean and Rebecca:

Catch-up #1: Backyard flowers

This is the first of six posts that represent an effort to make up for almost three months when I didn't post on this blog. I could excuse the inactivity due to obligations, but actually it was mostly laziness.

This backyard photo was taken in mid-August:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Jazz at Riverdale Mansion

The mansion was built in the early 1800's by members of the Calvert family, the family responsible for the settling of Maryland, and other prominent political families lived there at various times. The photo below I took from the mansion's website:

Last night, I went there for a performance by the Seth Kibel quartet joined by vocalist Flo Anito. Portraits of members of the Calvert family watched over the performers.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Winters' Family Reunion

The first day of our late June trip to Oakland, Maryland, two of Pam's cousins visited from Southern California and one from Arkansas.

Left to right above are Pam's sister Kathy, cousin Nick from Arkansas, cousin Sandra from Southern California, and me.

Left to right in this photo are Sandra again, cousin Teddy's wife Bonnie from California, our grand nieces Nora and Anabelle, their father Kevin, and the lower section of my legs.

Cousin Nick on the far right, and Anabelle and Nora.

All pictures taken by Pamela Winters Jones and used with her permission.

Oakland, Maryland in Late June

Getting caught up on activity from weeks ago when we visited Pam's sister who recently moved about ten miles from Gormania, West Virginia to Oakland, Maryland. Just up the street from their new home is a view down at this pond:

On the first day there we had a mini family reunion which deserves its own post, and the second day we visited downtown Oakland:

At this point, you can look up and see the picturesque Garrett County courthouse which is blocked from most other angles by a nondescript administrative building which partially obscures it in this photo as well:

We visited the farmers' market that day:


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Baseball in the Park

During the season we often hear the sounds of baseball being played in the park across the street. The sound of the bat hitting the ball and the cheers that follow are nice background noises. Sunday both the softball and hardball fields were in use.

An older men's league played on the hardball field. Since many of the players appeared to be about as old as I am, I spent a bit of time watching and trying to determine how much practice I'd have to put in to play. I thought the pitching was slow enough for me to hit, but maybe I'm kidding myself. Certainly, I'd have to work on my throwing since I could damage my arm if I tried to throw as a ballplayer without gradually working up to it. It's all theoretical since I really don't plan to try.

Two Hispanic teams competed on the softball field. They were both younger and better than the older guys. The game was also much noisier since the teams brought along their own fans to root for them.