Monday, September 21, 2020
OK, a guessing game. Who wants to be the first one to guess what this is a photograph of? What are these circles? And how big are they? Have I been flying and doing aerial photographs again? Is this some decorative material that you can buy at Home Depot and apply to your walls, if you want to have a really modern house. OK, a clue. This is Monday night. I took this picture, yesterday, Sunday. Do you know what Sunday is in our house? Right! Pasta night, just like Tuesday morning is donut morning! Any guesses yet? OK, in our house there is a division of labor. Kathy makes the pasta sauce most Sundays, and I cook the pasta. Is that a clue? OK, so I was heating a pot of water for the pasta, in a non-stick pot, which has that dark gray surface inside it. I happened to look down into the pot to see if it was boiling yet, and I noticed hundreds of tiny bubbles starting to form on the bottom of the pot. They were not starting to rise up in the water yet, and the water was clear because of this, so I grabbed my Nikon with the Micro-Nikkor close up lens. You are looking through a whole pot of water, at the tiny air bubbles on the bottom of the pot! Is this amazing, or what! Who got this right?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:18 PM
Sunday, September 20, 2020
I opened the garage door the other day, and there, lying behind the garage door on the cement floor, was a long black thick thing. I recognized it as a caterpillar and didn't want anything to happen to it, so I carefully went to pick it up. The second I touched it, it rolled up into a circle like you see here. So I found a piece of cardboard as a background, and took it over by the garden to photograph it in the sunlight. I haven't seen one of these in years. The common name is "wooly bear" but it's real name is "eyed-tiger moth caterpillar." This type of caterpillar is both harmless and beautiful to look at, which makes them a welcome visitor. They are not harmful to us, and in fact, they are good to have around. They go through several stages of molting and then go on to become beautiful moths - in this case the giant leopard moth. It is particularly striking, with its three-inch white wings which look almost porcelain, with embossed black rings randomly positioned throughout. It’s bright and unique, making it stand out even among the most eye-catching insects. What an amazing find this caterpillar was. I put it in the herb garden, next to the driveway, and haven't seen it since.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:36 PM
Saturday, September 19, 2020
So after two days struggling with troubleshooting the old cultivator, I decided to give up. The place where I buy equipment said it would take 10 days for them to repair it. So I bought a brand new, shiny orange ECHO cultivator! It comes highly recommended, and after using it for two days, I love it. And it starts easily, as well! I am a happy camper!
So yesterday I worked on a patch of bare lawn and the machine dug down about 5 inches, turning up the soil. Then I raked over all the dirt until it was level again, and then I spread two bags of what they call "topsoil" over the ground - you can see that it is black in color.
Then I raked it all together, and sprinkled starter fertilizer on top, and then I spread grass seed on top of that and raked that all together, and watered it. And this is the result. Then this morning I did another whole patch of bare lawn in the same way. Whew! I still have more to go, but it's a start. Now I wait for the seed to germinate. I hope it warms up a bit so the seed will germinate.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 5:29 PM
Friday, September 18, 2020
This is a photograph of my gas powered cultivator. I was about to use is yesterday to start the rehabilitation of our lawn, little by little. But it wouldn't start. Or, rather it would start and run for 10 seconds and then quit. It is a Sears cultivator that I have owned for probably 40 years, and has always been difficult to start. I solved that problem by using winter starter fluid in a spray can - one squirt of the ether into the air intake, and the cultivator would start instantly. So, yesterday I reluctantly got out all my tools, and began disassembling the cultivator. Because it would start and run for 10 seconds, I knew that it had to be fuel, and that means the carburetor. So I took everything apart and disassembled the carburetor. I cleaned out the passages and checked for dirt and found nothing. So I put it all back together. It took the better part of the afternoon, which is not what I wanted to do. I put gas in it, gave it a sprtiz of starter fluid, and it started... for 10 seconds, and then quit again! That was maddening! So this morning I started all over, and took it all apart again, and carefully looked at every part of the carburetor. I got out my air compressor and blew out all the passages again and double checked everything. Reassembled it, gassed it up, and, put, put, put, and it died. So frustrating.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:06 PM
Thursday, September 17, 2020
As fall comes on, I like sitting back and seeing what I accomplished taking care of things around here. Like the lawn. I worked like a dog all spring and summer, getting it to look great. And it shows, right? Look how rich and thick and green the lawn is! This lawn is so good, that if a grass seed company were to drive by, and see this, my lawn would be shown on their bags of grass seed! That's what I get for all my hard work, and it feels great! The satisfaction for hard work. I love what you can see with a drone, it reveals everything!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:20 PM
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
I found this lying at the end of our driveway after a windy period a week or so ago. It was in really good condition, so I put it carefully in the garage with the intent of photographing it. Finally got around to it tonight before my astronomy meeting. I used one light behind the piece of the plant, but up high. I also used a black background behind the subject to make sure that where were no distracting tones in the background. The incredible detail in these ornamental grasses is really something! They are so beautiful seen from a distance, and so fascinating when you look more closely, which is why I am posting two photographs - the second one so you can see the detail better.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:04 PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Together again! Kathy is back, and I don't have to have to sit by myself to have my coffee and a donut all alone on Tuesdays! It was a bit chilly this morning - 51 degrees when we woke up. It was warmer at the beach but I am wearing fleece and Kathy has a sweater on. But we are so glad that her trip to California went to so well, and she arrived home with no sign of the virus - fingers crossed. She received a call two days ago from a "contract tracer" in New York state, wanting to know if she was quarantining at home, and if she had any symptoms. Then the next day she received a call from someone from the county, also a contact tracer, wanting to know the same things. And today she received another call from the same county tracer. Maybe they want to see if they can catch her out! But she has been good and has not left the house, except for our donut day, and there was no one at the beach!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:23 PM