Monday, September 21, 2020

Guess What This Is...


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?



 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

"Wooley Bear"


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.






Saturday, September 19, 2020

I Gave Up!


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.



Friday, September 18, 2020

Frustration!


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.

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

As Fall Comes On...


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!

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Driveway Find


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.


 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

No Dunkin' Donuts - Week 27


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!

 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Oh No! My Bike Store is Closed Forever!


I needed a part for Kathy's bicycle, so I went to my nearby bicycle store. "Road Runners"in Glen Cove.  Going back 13 years I went to a different bike shop, and was really friendly with the owner and his wife.  Then one day in December of 2015, they said they were going out of business because the landlord had increased the rent.  I hated to see them go, but then I found this store.  It has been owned by three generations - the grandfather started the business, and then passed it to his son.  When I started going there, the father and son were working there together.  The son was a great bike mechanic and worked on my racing bike a couple of times.  He was great.  I was in shock when I got out of the car and saw the closing sign!  It is a terrible loss, the closing of a neighborhood bike shop after 55 years!



 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Cobweb


I was sitting in the back room this morning when I looked out one of the small windows to the side of the fireplace and this caught my eye.  It is a huge cobweb, fortunately on the outside of the window.  I guess it must have been growing over time, because this is a lot of spider silk.  It is also an interesting construction - it is different from the spider's web that I am accustomed to.  Still it is a striking construction.  You can really only see this when the sun is shining on it for a brief moment in the morning.  Please click on it to see it in more detail.

 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Always Under Something


That Grace!  She is always doing something amusing.  Anytime she can find something to get under, she manages to get under it.  I have no idea how she managed to get under this - it is a wash tub that was sitting on the run upside down.   How does she even get a paw under this?  I cannot begin to imagine how she does it?  And why does she want to get under it?  Oh, that's easy - because she is a cat, and cats are curious!  And they are amusing as well, and certainly fun to have around.

 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Scanning History 6


This photograph is called a "Photo Illustration."  It is a completely set up and posed photograph.  I forget what the story was that needed an illustration.  I think it involved childhood poverty, but I am not sure where.  Maybe just childhood poverty in general.  So they told me they needed a photograph to illustrate the story. It wasn't a news story, because NOTHING can be set up or posed for news stories.  Anyhow, I dreamed this shot up, using an old window in the garage, that was dirty and badly needed painting.  Liz was the subject and I dressed her in an old tee-shirt that was way too large.  I used both graphite and powdered chocolate to make the tee-shirt and Liz's face "dirty."  Maybe a few drops of glycerine to put a tear on her face.  I think the old doll with no clothes on was a finishing touch.  I was really pleased with how this came out.  Of course the question is, "What kind of a father would do this to his daughter!"  Uhhh...  a creative father, maybe?

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Beautiful Steel Gray Sky



I was doing my usual bike ride today, and when I was on the home stretch, riding alongside the harbor, I saw all these beautiful gray clouds in the sky.  There is something about the perfect gray color of the sky when it is like this that really touches me.  So I stopped riding and went across the street.  Unfortunately I don't bring a camera with me on the ride any longer - I worry that all the vibration will shorten the life of the camera.  But I always carry my iPhone with me, and that's what I used for this photograph.  So I took this photograph first, and while I was standing there, I noticed a woman come into the frame from the right, riding her bicycle on the sidewalk.  I snapped several photographs as she moved through the frame, and the one below is the last shot I got.  I REALLY love the shot below, because it is different and unexpected, and an unusual composition with the woman and her bike going out of the frame.  So this shot below is my favorite, as a photograph, but the shot above is much better for showing you the beauty of the clouds.  So that's why I posted both.  It is a 2 for the price of 1 day for you all!


 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Scanning History 5


I have photographed more than a hundred celebrities, writers, actors, authors ,musicians and theater people.  Out of all my subjects, I am not sure why I ended up with the negative from this shoot, of the writer Nat Hentoff, of the Village Voice.  I remember he was in a completely cluttered office down in the village - piles of papers everywhere!  Remind you of anyone?  I photographed him at his cluttered desk, and then, since he was on the top floor of his building asked if we could go outside, which he agreed to.  Once out there I realized that as a famous New Yorker, the background of all the buildings in the Village behind him made a perfect photograph, and that's why I took this shot.  It really is fun to see the beauty and richness of the black & white photographs again, isn't it?

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

No Dunkin' Donuts - Week 26


I asked Kathy last night if she wanted to wait and have our Tuesday coffee on Wednesday when she got back home.  She said that she would be on California time and it would be hard to get up "early" on her time, so she said I should have coffee alone again.  Which I did, BUT...  SOMEONE WAS SITTING AT OUR TABLE!  This is OUR table and no one else should be using it on Tuesday mornings!  Yeah, I know there is another picnic table to the right, but that's not OUR table.  OUR table is the one she is sitting at!  So I went and sat on a single bench off to the right, and enjoyed my coffee and donut.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Scanning History 4


This was a fun assignment that led to this cool photograph.  It was a whaleboat race out of Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy.  The boat in the foreground is from Kings Point.  I am not sure if the boat in the background is from there too, or if this is a race with the New York Maritime College which is nearby.  What is cool about this race is the weather conditions.  It was howling out there, as you can see from the spray flying  around the boats.  What is really cool is having the Throgs Neck Bridge in the background, and then the Whitestone Bridge is in the distance.  It was so cool to find this negative!

 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sewing Up A Storm


Kathy has been having so much fun making quilts!  Back in May I showed you a photograph of the rainbow-colored baby quilt which she sent to Amy.  But for this trip, Kathy made another quilt to take with her for Vivian.  She has been sewing up a storm, working on it for hours and hours each day, anxious to get it done so she could bring it with her.  And it is such a beautiful quilt.  I love the pink elephants on the top and bottom of the quilt, and the multi-colored ones with their green balloons in the center!  Certainly a perfect quilt for our new baby.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Scanning History 3


This is another "weather" shot for the paper, only in the winter.  I went up to Morgan Park in Glen Cove just to look around, and maybe see if I could find a scenic photo if there were no people around, with the trees and the snow.  I remember wandering around and then suddenly seeing this scene in the distance!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  I quickly put on a 200mm lens and waited and the woman kept feeding this squirrel that climbed up her cane.  After I was sure I had the shot, I went up to the woman.  I asked her about feeding the squirrels and she said they now know to climb up her cane when she arrives!  I was blown away!  So it may have been a slow news day, and I think this may have run on page one of the paper.  What was wonderful was how this touched a number of people, who wrote to the paper.  The letter I remember, and may still have around here somewhere, was the person who said how nice that a woman could take the time to feed the squirrels in the winter, AND that Newsday took the time to tell the story!  Wow, talk about connecting with our readers!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Happiness Beyond Measure!


Kathy arrived in California last Sunday afternoon.  So it has been 5 days of seeing Vivian from across the room.  So Kathy and Liz decided to go get Covid-19 rapid tests.  They came back negative, which is wonderful.  I am thrilled that Kathy didn't get infected from the trip on the airplane.  So the net result, is that Kathy and Liz can now hold Vivian!  I cannot imagine the joy for both Liz and Kathy to finally be able to hold her!  Happiness beyond measure!

 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Scanning History 2


One of the things that newspaper photographers do, is that on some days an editor will call and say "get me a weather shot."  That meant driving around and trying to find a photograph of people doing something outside that shows the weather wether it is raining or snowing or freezing or if it is sunny.  This may be one of the best weather shots I ever did - four boys on a Sunday afternoon hopping from rock to rock down at the beach, backlit by the sun!  Brought to you from out of the past through my Nikon scanner that works once again!

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Scanning History 1


So this is one of the black & white negatives that I thought that I had lost forever.  It was in a folder titled "important negatives."  I am so glad I found those negatives!  I can't remember what year I took this photograph, but it was in the early days at Newsday because I was shooting black & white.  There was a huge snowstorm, and so I went out to the airport and was told to fly around (with an instructor pilot) and look for photographs showing the effects of the storm.  I cannot remember any other shot I took that day, but this was a keeper!  I remember the feeling of circling the tree and watching the shadow and the line of the fence, and then at THIS moment, I clicked the shutter and too, one of my all-time favorite photographs.  I am sure glad I got that Nikon scanner working again!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

No Dunkin' Donuts - Week 25


Who would have imagined, when the governor of New York said it was important to shelter in place, that we would still be doing that, after 25 weeks.  So maybe we are allowed to be out and around a bit more, we just need to wear masks and be careful.  So Kathy has flown to Los Angeles, and has gotten to see Liz and Amy and Vivian up close!  No touching and 8 feet away, but she is hanging out with everyone and really enjoying herself!  Liz has been cooking all the meals for her as well, which is a treat.  Of course today was Tuesday and I had a ritual to take part in - Dunkin' donuts at the beach, but I had to do it alone.  It wasn't as much fun...

Monday, August 31, 2020

I Got My Film Scanner Working Again...


When I retired, I bought a really nice Nikon 35mm film scanner.  I wanted to be able to scan some of my old 35mm negatives if I wanted to make prints or to post them on the web.  I didn't use the scanner all that much - most of my energy was put into making new photographs.  I would scan some images every now and then, but then with all the Mac OS updates, the Nikon software stopped working.  So I used an older computer and got the scanner working again.  Then that laptop died!  Oh man.  So no more scanning...  The other day it occurred to me to try some amazing software that was designed to work with any scanner, and it worked with my Nikon Scanner!  So I found a folder of random negatives that said "important."  I couldn't believe it when I saw what was in the folder.  There were negatives that I thought I had lost forever.  I was really surprised to find this one.  The story is that I was driving down the Long Island Expressway and got a call on the company radio that there had been a shooting at a motel, which was about 5 minutes away.  So I was the first one to arrive on the scene!  I got here before the police and before the body was covered.  Yikes.  It turns out that this was a mob hit.  This guy was running from the mob because he owed someone a lot of money.  Two guys were waiting for him when he left the motel, and that was it!  This was my least favorite assignment.  Man oh man.  Oh, and since the paper never runs photographs of bodies, the photo never ran.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Landscape in a Rear View Mirror


I was doing our Sunday night ritual after a pasta, which is going to McDonalds for an ice cream cone.  As I went over the top of a hill, I happened to glance in the rearview mirror and saw this view of the sunset.  I kept on driving and then thought "Don't be stupid, go around the block and shoot the picture!"  So I did just that, and then stopped the car to shoot this.  I am not sure what it means, other than it is a different way of looking at the landscape.

 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

...The Well Dressed Airline Passenger


Tomorrow morning I take Kathy to JFK for her flight to Los Angeles.  She is really anxious to see Amy and Liz and of course Vivian, our granddaughter!  So she is taking precautions.  She talked to our friend Nancy, and Nancy's daughter Sarah flew to Bermuda a few weeks ago, and this is what she wore at the airport and on her flights - an N95 mask, and a face shield.  So Nancy gave the face shield to Kathy for her trip.  I am apprehensive a bit about Kathy traveling by air, but I think it will be OK.  She can't WAIT to see Vivian!

 

Friday, August 28, 2020

I Think There is a Cat in This Picture Somewhere


The cats are fascinating how they decide to rest.  Us humans, we just lie on a bed, mostly stretched out, I think.  These guys can curl up eight different ways or stretch out, sometimes rightside up, sometimes upside down.  I am endlessly fascinated with what they do to themselves, and somehow end up comfortable, and able to sleep.  With the black and white markings on Grace it is hard to know where one part of the cat starts, and where it ends.



 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

This is Surreal


I can't believe this photograph!  I took my infrared camera out and walked over to the side garden, just to see what I could see.  The thing is, with the infrared camera, you never know how things will look.  I was stunned when I saw this image on the back of the camera after I took the first picture!  As a reminder, the infrared camera sees only infrared light and plants with chlorophyl reflect a lot of that light.  So it turns out that everything in the garden reflects IR light, and so everything is white in this picture.  the brightest white is a patch of sunlight shining on the ivy.  There was no way that I could imagine this photograph when I snapped the shutter!  Please click on this image to see it in a larger size.
 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

I Am Thankful


I am thankful for my ability to find photographs easily, most days.  Today I went out into the side yard late in the day, after my bike ride, with my camera.  I was a bit desperate because it was late and I hadn't taken a photograph today.  There are these really small ferns that started growing under the Japanese maple tree and I though I would see what I could find there.  The late afternoon sun was shining through some trees and just illuminating a couple of ferns.  After about 10 minutes, just this one fern had the full light of the sun on it and the others were in shadow.  There's my photo!

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

No Dunkin' Donuts - Week 24


A lovely day at the beach today.  It was a not to hot, and there was a pretty good breeze out of the west the whole time we were there, so it was so nice to sit in a breeze and have coffee and a donut.  I was looking around for photographs which are harder to find on the beach lately.  With the heat most people are staying home.  I did see these two groups of people with their umbrellas, so walked down to the water to change my point of view.  And this giant floating marine crane, made a perfect background I thought, because it was incongruous.  I checked Google maps, and the crane is almost half a mile away - I was using a 400mm lens and long focal length lenses compress objects in the photograph. This crane, by the way is a monster, and they have photographs posted on the fence where it is kept, and it can lift an entire barge or boat out of the water!

 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Algal Bloom



I drove by Scudders Pond the other day, and was stunned to see the entire pond covered with algae.  My first reaction was that it was beautiful, with all the abstract patterns that the algae made on the top of the water.  So I got out my camera and spent perhaps 15 minutes looking for different photographs of the scene.  I like this one the best.  What a strange but beautiful landscape!  Some algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen into waters and higher concentrations of these nutrients in water cause increased growth of algae and green plants. Additionally a combination of environmental factors including  temperature, sunlight, river flow and water storage levels and the water chemistry are all factors. But I would bet money that it has a lot to do with the high temperatures we have been having for weeks on end.  So get this, the next day I drove by and there was no sign of the algae.  I think the wind had blown it all down to one end of the pond. 


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Consequences of Covid


We were driving away from McDonalds with our ice cream cones, and while stopped at a red light I noticed this store.  I have photographed it before, because in the past it sometimes put mannequin displays out front on the sidewalk with brightly colored leggings.  That photograph was Saturday, May 12, 2017.  If you use the search function in the upper left corner and put in "Body Parts" you can find the sunny photograph of the store when it was open.  Now the store is closed, the result of the pandemic, which is a shame.  The store was small and appealed to young women, based on the clothing that I saw.  I hate the idea that a small store like this which maybe supported one or two people is gone.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Beautiful Garden


Back in June I posted a photograph of this garden from a different angle, with a motorcycle in the foreground, because I loved the contrast between the machine and the garden.  Well, a few weeks ago I was backing the car out of the driveway and I saw this view through the car window.  It was such a beautiful view of Tina's garden that I stopped the car to photograph this.  I took this photograph on June 30, so it doesn't look as good at this now, after the drought.
 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Two Windows, Two Cats


The cats are very particular about where they sit.  It is really rare to see them both in the windows at the same time.  This is Grace's window, where she is sitting, and she spends a lot of time there, especially in the heat.  Something outdoors attracted them both to the open windows at the same time, and for a while they were both looking out.  Then they became aware of me, and I had my camera by then, and this is the result!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

'E's dead. No, no, 'e's uh...he's resting.


These cats are endlessly fascinating and always interesting.  I came into the dining room and saw Sam like this on the floor.  He wasn't stretching or anything, just lying there like this.  I managed to snap 2 or 3 shots and then suddenly he rolled over and scampered away.  Whew, I managed to get the shot!  The title is funny, and I wonder how many of you recognize the quote?  It's from Monty Python's "The Dead Parrot Sketch."  Who figured this out?
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cumulus


On my bike ride yesterday as I passed the golf course, which I have photographed before, I saw these cumulus clouds over the green grass of the course.  I kept riding for maybe 30 feet before I stopped and turned around.  The brief view of the beautiful cumulus clouds was what did it.  I realize that looking at these clouds in a beautiful blue sky lifts my spirits.  Clouds can do that. 


 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

No Dunkin' Donuts - Week 23


Another wonderful day at the beach with coffee, tea and donuts!  It was cooler today and there was a nice breeze, so it was comfortable.  There were maybe a dozen people at the beach this week, as opposed to two last week.  While sitting at the table, I could see this fisherman at work, casting his line into the harbor.  I like this shot because of the colors - the red shirt against the blue water and sky.  AND - it's an ACTION shot!   :-)
 

Monday, August 17, 2020

A Beautiful Sky


We were about to sit down to dinner, and Kathy said "Look at the light outside, it is yellow."  So I grabbed my toy camera and went out to the side yard and looked up.  There was late afternoon sunlight on some lower clouds, seen against high clouds and a blue sky.  It was just beautiful, and I wanted to share it with you.
 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Mercenaria mercenaria


I haven't had clams on the half-shell in I don't know how long.  I think I have a nagging worry about "what if there is something wrong with the clams?"   I know they can carry things in them that can be harmful to us.  So what I usually do with hard clams is bring them home and steam them, in hopes the steaming will make the clams safe.  But for some reason the other day, I really wanted them on the half-shell, so I bought a dozen of them at the store.  The store has a good reputation for shellfish and seafood, so I felt comfortable eating them.  Man oh man were they delicious!  I love the taste of salt water you get along with the clams.  I was able to find my clam knife (and my oyster knife) and I decided to eat them as they came out of the shell without putting any cocktail sauce on them.  Yum!


This is what they look like when they are opened.  The photograph on the bottom shows the leftovers in the sink after my lunch was done!  Oh "Mercenaria mercenaria?" That is the Latin name for hard clams.  How would I know that?  Because when I was in High School, I worked for the Milford Laboratory,  a U. S  Government marine biological lab in Milford that was doing research on shellfish, and I did photographs and movies of the research.  I made graphs for the research papers, and I used a mechanical lettering set to write "Mercenaris mercenaria" about a million times!  So get this, I went to check on "Mercenaria mercenaria" and found this:  The term "red tide" refers to an accumulation of a toxin, such as saxitoxin, produced by marine algae.  Filter-feeding shellfish are affected, such as clams, oysters, and mussels. The toxin affects the human central nervous system. Eating contaminated shellfish, raw or cooked, can be fatal.  Yikes!  "...raw or cooked!"  I may be done eating raw clams!

 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

One Feather and the Miracle of Flight


I found this feather lying in the driveway.  It's a small feather, only about 3 inches long.  As I looked it I realized that it is a beautiful thing, and then I started thinking about what a miracle of engineering it is - how light and yet how strong.  And to think that this is only one out of a multitude of feathers that each bird uses to fly.  And what a miracle flight is!  And then I wondered how many feathers a bird DOES have.  So I looked it up.  The number of feathers on a bird varies according to the species, its age, and the season. Most small songbirds have between 1,500 and 3,000 feathers on their bodies. A swan, however, might have as many as 25,000 feathers. A bird of prey, such as the eagle, would have between 5,000 and 8,000 feathers. 
 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Repairing the Electric Lines



You may remember my photograph of the road along my bike route, blocked by the fallen tree last Saturday.  What I had not noticed was that when the tree came down, it also broke the power pole and took it down as well.  So about three days ago, on my ride, I turned into the street and it was clear!  The tree was gone and the power lines had been repaired and attached to a new pole.  Here's the funny thing - The main electric wire that was down was a 4,000 volt line that is on an insulator on the very top of the power pole, and a ground wire that is about 3 feet below it.  So the electric repair crew has put the power lines back on top of the pole.  However, also on the pole are the telephone lines, and any fiber optic lines or coax lines used for internet.  So the electric crew took care of THEIR lines, but what they did was cut the fallen pole in pieces, and then took the portion of the old pole, and tied it to the new pole, AT GROUND LEVEL!  So it will be up to a telephone repair crew to come and lift all these lines back up to the correct hight on the new pole - these telephone lines are usually 10 feet below the high-voltage line.  I mean that is only fair, but still it is funny to see these telephone lines down so low.


Here is the machine that pulled the tree stump out of the ground and has it in it's "jaws."


This is a more detailed photo of the remains of the old pole with its lines attached.


And this is my "Wait!  What?" photo.  These are the telephone lines and probably a FIOS internet cable underneath.  but look at how low it is right above the driveway of this house!  Maybe it is going uphill just enough to get a car under it on the right hand side, out of the picture.  I don't think the electric repair crew did this family any favors leaving these wires down so low!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Heavy Rain



We had some heavy rain today which was good because it has been so dry for so long.  Everything got a good watering.  I happened to go out on the front porch to watch the rain, and I saw this scene.  All the colors of the bush and the scene were more pastel because of all the rain coming down.  If you click on the photograph to enlarge it, you can see the detail in the rain.