Saturday, November 30, 2019
I haven't had Indian Pudding in perhaps 20 years. My mom used to make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I got her recipe years ago, and I made it a few times, but I was the only one who liked it, as I remember. So I decided to make it for this Thanksgiving. I was a bit puzzled by something in the recipe that I wasn't sure of, so I called Betsey, and she enlightened me. So this is the result. It is absolutely delicious! It is made from corn meal, milk, butter, eggs, spices and molasses! And, you have to serve it with vanilla ice cream. Wow!
I had a cheering section in the kitchen while I was making the dish. It is Jo Anne and Kathy. Kathy and Jo Anne had never tasted the Indian Pudding before. So they tried it, and they both said it was "good." I was hoping for "this is the best dessert I have ever had!" :-)
Friday, November 29, 2019
Today Maureen and her dad Neil drove down from Connecticut to visit with Vince and Jo Anne and Kathy and I. We had a wonderful afternoon talking and hanging out with each other, which is always nice. Then it was time for Neil and Maureen to leave, and so we stood outside in the driveway and said our goodbyes, before they headed home.
Thursday, November 28, 2019
This is our Thanksgiving portrait. I guess I should have taken the portrait BEFORE we ate, and you could see all the wonderful dishes we got to eat. But we couldn't wait to dig into the food, so I only thought to take the portrait after dinner. Duh! Jerry is on the left, and he is Kathy and Vincent's cousin who lives on Long Island. We had a wonderful day, and absolutely delicious food, and great conversation, and then I took a nap!
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
The pumpkin has been sitting on the shelf I made for it on the front porch, since the last time I showed you a photograph of it. Yesterday it disappeared, and I discovered that Kathy had put it on the compost heap. I could tell from way down the driveway that it had a different smile than before. I love this smile! He has gotten cuter as he ages, hasn't he? He has lost his air, and his teeth, but that smile is just precious.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:35 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Kathy planted a lot of Dusty miller around the borders of the gardens. For some reason, I really love this plant. I think it is the color, mainly. The funny thing is that it seemed to stay small for most of the season, and then as Fall approached, I suddenly noticed that the plants had grown so full and so tall. They were absolutely beautiful at the end of the season. Then it got cold. When most of them bent over like this, it felt to me as if they were marching in the garden. I can't decide if the group shot is better, or the single shot. What it seems like to me now, is that neither photograph is really good, unfortunately. But I present them to you as an attempt on my part.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:01 PM
Monday, November 25, 2019
...another photograph for the blog! I love this time of year because the sun is low in the sky for a longer period of time before it sets. In the Summer, the sun almost drops straight down as it sets - at this time of year, it slides in at a really low angle. The low angle makes for more interesting lighting. I look at these rocks on every walk, but this day the tide was just right, and there were small waves that added both brightness and additional an element to the combination. Sand, rocks, water, waves. On a good day, it is enough for a photograph
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:17 PM
Sunday, November 24, 2019
On the day I photographed these gulls, the wind was blowing at 20 mph and gusting to 30! The gulls stayed grounded because when they are close to the ground they retain more of their heat. At least that's my theory. I mean, the wind was howling! I had an idea, though. I was headed south toward where the power plant used to be. I thought that when I turned around and headed back to the parking lot, I would walk into the lot where the birds were. I would set the camera lens to wide-angle, and the shutter speed to 1/500 of a second, and then after I slowly walked toward the birds, I would start running toward them at the last minute. I hoped they would take flight and I would get a photograph of a hundred birds flying up into the sky. But when I got back to the parking lot, the birds were gone! Oh well, at least I got this shot.
Saturday, November 23, 2019
When I posted the photograph of the fisherman in the water at sunset, someone sent me an email saying how cold that looked. It actually was not cold that day, and I thought the warm light on the marsh grasses made it look warm. Several days later I saw this scene. The wind was 23 mph gusting to 33 mph and walking straight into the wind on the way back from my walk was cold! So I took this photograph, and I think that THIS photograph looks cold! Does this look cold to you?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 4:23 PM
Friday, November 22, 2019
I am trying to be more disciplined about doing a half-hour walk, on days that I don't do my bike ride. That also gives me more chances to find photographs for the blog. This photograph was taken about 20 feet from our house - it is ferns on the neighbor's front bank. We have a beautiful fern bank, as you know, but when our ferns turn brown, they are not as obvious as these ferns are at the house next door. We also have a lot of vines growing in our fern bank, so there are still lots of green leaves on top of the ferns. I am thankful that it not the case at the neighbor's house. Lovely, subtle colors, as Fall gets closer to Winter.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:04 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2019
I saw this fisherman setting up two poles right at the edge of this park, and so I kept looking as I got closer. He walked away from them for some reason, and I just stood there and he walked back to check on them. I shot about 4 pictures as he walked back over to the fishing poles. I think his hands on hips and position in the frame was the best one. Can't believe I got two photographs of fishermen within 1/10th of a mile! Such is the richness of subjects along Hempstead Harbor.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:11 PM
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
I went for one of my walks along the harbor this afternoon, and the first thing I saw at the bottom of the hill was this view of the harbor with this beautiful sky. And then the frosting on the cake was this fisherman out in the water. I spent some time composing this, and tried zooming in closer to the fisherman, because he is kind of hard to see in this image. But I realized pretty quickly that the real subject of this photograph was the sky. So it doesn't matter that you can't see the fisherman as well. Please click on the image to see it in greater detail. It's a beauty!
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
I love looking at construction projects all over the city. Lately there are a large number of really tall skyscrapers under construction. Manhattan is like boomtown these days! Most of the tower cranes I have seen have the tower contained within the building under construction, so it can reach the outer walls at each floor. But this crane is way out there by itself. As you can see, there are braces holding the crane to the structure, but still... I get dizzy just looking at it! I did a search, and a couple of references I saw suggested that tower crane operators are paid a LOT of money! And looking at where they work, you can see why. My main question is, how does the operator get all the way up there? That is a LONG way to climb!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:52 PM
Monday, November 18, 2019
...just like me! :-)
I do love to watch the Jack-O-Lanterns as they age, starting right after Halloween. They last longer if we don't get sub freezing temperatures. One year I looked out the living room window, and there was a squirrel sitting right on top of the pumpkin, and the squirrel was eating pieces of the pumpkin. It's funny, that has only happened once. I have looked for it every year since, to no avail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:07 PM
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Kathy decided to make a new kind of cookie. These are called "Lemon ricotta cookies." This is a first time for Kathy making these. She was anxious for me to taste them to see what I thought of them. They are absolutely delicious! She made several batches and set them out to cool. She put one batch in the dining room. Later on she passed through the dining room and saw this! She asked me if I had any idea who took a bite, but I have no idea... :-) She did laugh when she saw this though!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:05 PM
Saturday, November 16, 2019
We were walking down Madison Avenue, from the Met Breuer to a gallery, and stumbled across this! So cute, two red bears dining Al fresco! I guess they are waiting for the waiter. Funny that the table has not been set yet. Very clever thing to attract attention to passers by, don't you think. This is a well-known restaurant in the city, so I am guessing that most of the people who come here already know about it. But it made this tourist smile.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:45 PM
Friday, November 15, 2019
I went to the Met Breuer with Stan yesterday to see a large exhibit of paintings that Stan's wife Ann said that we really needed to see. While we were going from room to room looking at the paintings, I saw these two guards in a conversation. Usually guards are always standing by themselves. So while looking at a painting, I got out my toy camera, and pointed to the side, it in the general direction of these two people. I took two shots, and this one is the best. Sneaky Ken!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:27 PM
Thursday, November 14, 2019
I was sitting in the waiting room of the LIRR in Glen Head this morning, having my coffee and one of Kathy's scones. These two men came in and looked around and seemed puzzled. They were holding train tickets. So I asked if they were going to Manhattan, and they said "yes." I said: "You are on the right side of the tracks for going to New York." And then I explained how the train would stop in Jamaica and everyone would have to get off and switch trains. We walked out to the platform for the arriving train, and we started talking. We got on the train and sat across the aisle from each other and talked all the way to Penn Station! They are Angel, on the left and Mauricio, on the right, both from Chile. They arrived here in the US. on October 1 to visit relatives in Manchester, VT and Sea Cliff and were headed to Manhattan to see some sights, including St. Patrick's Cathedral and the New York Public Library. Here's the traumatic part - right after they arrived in the United States, Chile, which is a very peaceful and prosperous and politically stable country has been rocked by protests and rioting. Looters are setting fire to churches and subway stations! They are not sure what they will find when they return home. We had such a nice talk about their country and our country and about people and how they behave. I am worried for them and what they will find when they return home.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:40 PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
I was walking in the rain again the other day, and spotted these leaves, growing on an old chain link fence down near the old boat yard. The colors jumped out at me - I couldn't believe how brilliant the colors are. It may be enhanced by the fact that they are wet. I have no idea what kind of vine this is. I am just amazed at all the different colors.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:25 PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
On my bike ride yesterday I went by this golf course, which I always do. I saw in the distance this solitary tree, but realized that it was too far to get with my iPhone which I always bring on my bike rides, just in case. So after the ride, I got in the car and got my camera with the 100-400mm telephoto lens and drove back to the scene. Here's where the story gets amazing... I assumed my photo was going to be the solitary tree, from top to bottom against the background. But my zoom lens was zoomed out all the way, and when I looked through the viewfinder, I saw a close-up view like this, and realized that the picture was so much better with just part of the foreground tree in the frame! So sometimes happenstance plays a part in photography!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 5:10 PM
Monday, November 11, 2019
Today there was a rare astronomical event - the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun. This is an event that is relatively rare. The last four transits occurred on May 7, 2003, November 8, 2006, May 9, 2016, and November 11, 2019. The next will occur on November 13, 2032. Fortunately, the weather was clear enough to see the transit, which lasts seven hours and thirty minutes. I got to see about one hour of it, before the clouds moved in. What is all the fuss about? It is about the tiny black dot in the center of the sun - the large white ball. The tiny dot is the planet Mercury. Look how small it is! Hardly exciting to see a small dot on the sun, is it? Please click on the image to enlarge it, and you will be able to see Mercury more easily.
In contrast, this is my photograph of the transit of Venus, in 2004. Venus is almost the size of the Earth, and it is much more visible as it crosses the Sun. I was also lucky that there were clouds, which makes for a pretty spectacular photograph, don't you think?
Sunday, November 10, 2019
When Kathy goes down to the cellar for anything, like getting cat food, or to do ironing, the cats just HAVE to know what she is doing, so they each go part way down the stairs, where they can watch her at work! She called up to me and told me about them, so I got my camera, and walked to the top of the stairs. I thought I could catch them in their natural state, but the minute I appeared at the door upstairs, they turned to look at me. That's OK, they look cute this way! Click!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:51 PM
Saturday, November 9, 2019
I had a folder of photographs to edit that were from Yellowstone, and I misplaced it somewhere on my busy and cluttered desktop. I just found it and started going through it to see what photos were there. I found this one, which I think is a beauty. I took a whole bunch of photographs of this, the Grotto Geyser, and I think I put off editing because there were so many choices. I think this is the best of the lot. This is amazing, isn't it?
Friday, November 8, 2019
I returned from Manhattan on the Long Island Railroad a week ago or so, and it was just after sunset. I walked to the nearby parking lot where I leave my car. As I turned the corner, I saw this house with the lights on and it stopped me in my tracks. So I got out my toy camera and braced it on a nearby fence and took this picture as the sky faded. I love this shot!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:55 PM
Thursday, November 7, 2019
This is the last photograph I took on my Walking on a Rainy Day series. I think it is a Little Blue Heron, but I am not sure. It was rainy, and the Heron was almost the same color as the blacktop so I was surprised when I suddenly realized what I was looking at, at my feet. The Heron is lying right next to the sidewalk that I travel on, and it is next to a road. So I am not sure what happened - perhaps it was struck by a car. It does seem so sad to see such a beautiful bird in this condition.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 5:55 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
When I bought my new, small Canon T7i, which replaced my 12-year old SONY camera which I had used for so many pictures on this blog, I also bought a telephoto lens. It is a 55-250mm lens, but since it has a smaller sensor, there is a multiplying factor of the focal length. So that lens is the equivalent of an 88-400mm lens. 400mm is a pretty long lens - look how close it got me to this seagull. But "seagull" is not an accurate description of this bird. I thought it was a Herring gull, but it doesn't have a gray back, and it doesn't have a yellow eye. So my Peterson field guide says this is, strangely enough, a Greater Black-Backed gull, because of the black back, and because of the flesh-colored legs! Aren't you glad you stop by here every day to learn more about the world? :-)
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:54 PM
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
I was in the grocery store today buying some salad fixings. I picked up a red pepper for today's salad, and then I noticed this pepper. I was taken by how convoluted it was, and it brought to mind photographs that the photographer Edward Weston did of some peppers in the 1930's in black & white. I wonder if anything comes to mind when you look at this natural sculpture?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:22 PM
Monday, November 4, 2019
Another in my series of walking in the rain. This is a very strange landscape. I love strange landscapes... :-) It is the boat launch area of the Tappan Beach facility, which includes a beach, a boat launch, and a marina. Those are streetlights which light the parking lot and boat ramp at night. Given the dark clouds and the rain, I think this is strange enough for a photograph.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
OK, so this is astounding! Right after I photographed Scudder's Pond for yesterday's blog, I crossed the street and happened to look down and see this oil slick on a shallow puddle in the road. I have no idea what made the oil slick circle around like this, or why the different colors in the slick. As I photographed it, it continued to rotate, clockwise, changing its pattern. I just thought this was an astounding thing going on with the water and oil, and the wind!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:37 PM
Saturday, November 2, 2019
I love the subtlety of this shot. It is Scudder's pond, which I have shown you many times. Because it was foggy and rainy, there was not a breath of air blowing, and the surface of the pond is mirror-smooth. And that gives us a mirror image of the trees in the water. Not brilliant Fall color, but some color on a few of the trees. I do like the muted colors - it is not garish.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:43 PM
Friday, November 1, 2019
I warned you that I shot a lot of photographs when I went for my walk in the rain the other day. My Jack O'Lantern interrupted posting these pictures, but now I am back to my walk photographs. There is a large group of rowers who I think are students, based on the other side of the harbor. On this day I saw a total of 5 eight-oared shells and two coaches in outboard motor boats. Photographing these rowers was really interesting on a gray, foggy, rainy day. I love the atmosphere on days like this.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:37 PM