Thursday, May 16, 2013

Morning Thoughts

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Dutchman's Breeches (Skylands)


This morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to the glorious song of the wood thrush! In my last post I remarked about how it wouldn't be long now that the trees were fully leafed out, and as it turns out I was correct. There is nothing prettier than the song of a wood thrush. Clear, distinct, and melodious. I drifted back off to sleep listening to it.

Yesterday the tile in the laundry room got grouted and the utility/slop sink was set. It looks so much better than the old one which really had seen better days, say 1988! We've been trying to bring our house up-to-date a little at a time. We still have the carpeting to replace later this year, but that is not going to be fun at all. We have a lot of furniture that needs to be moved completely out in order for that to happen.

I haven't gotten to the wisteria yet. Maybe later today I'll walk down and see if I can get some shots. I did want to note that my lilac bush did bloom this year.

This bush is special because it started out in life as a tiny shoot off my mom's lilac bush in her yard in the Adirondacks. We brought it back and planted it together the first year we lived here. I lost my mom in 2007 and she didn't get to see the little sprig flourish and bloom. It first bloomed in 2011 but we were on vacation in France and by the time we got back it was done, so I really didn't get to see it actually blooming. Last year it didn't bloom at all. So I was very excited to see a few flowers on it this year. It's not full of blooms, but at least it's something!


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We had quite a few lilac bushes that towered over my head when I was a child in Hyde Park, and the scent always takes me back there, just like this particular bush reminds me of my mom. I miss her so much.


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Today I have to do some thinking and planning for our weekend trip to the shore since we leave tomorrow. Since the dogs are going with us (please let them be good!) I have to think of everything I need to take for them as well. It's a bit like parents loading up young children but instead of diapers I pack poop scoop bags. Instead of formula I pack dog kibble, canned food, biscuits, water and food bowls. Alex will take "Pink Bunny" as it's his favorite toy to carry around. Also a few chew bones should be added into the mix. 

We are cooking Saturday night dinner so we also have to prepare our mise-en-place and pack it to go, and I need to bake the Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Torte for dessert.

I might blog from the shore via my iPad, but I don't really know if I will or not. I'm just going to go with the flow of things.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring’s Other Color

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Spring it taking her sweet time this year, but how sweet it is! Every day when I look out the window my view becomes a little more obstructed. Gone is the bare starkness of rows of leafless trees. Now the trees are wearing fuzzy buds that light up when the rising sun shines through them. Soon our back yard will be enclosed in the green cocoon of summer. It happens every year but I still marvel at the process.

Every blooming thing has its own special season. The cherries are on the wane now (I'm sure you're glad for that!) but the forsythia and daffodils are still going strong. The crabapples and azaleas will be next although I have seen a few azaleas blooming. The lilacs will be right on their heels. 

So in honor of Spring's other predominant color, yellow, and the fact that the forsythia and daffodils will soon be gone, I dedicate this blog post to YELLOW.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cherrapy: Alone Time

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This time I took the photo because I wanted the person in it! I liked the way she appeared to be dwarfed by the tunnel of flowering trees. 

Next post starts the cherry overload parade! And then? Well, then we'll be finished with the cherry trees and you'll all breathe a sign of relief. But don't get too complacent. The crabapple lane over at Skylands is about to pop.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


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You may have noticed that I haven't had much to say in the past week. I've been struggling with writing blog posts for whatever reason. I've started three different post and just abandoned them.

The weather has not been very conducive to getting out of the house. Over the weekend we had a nasty, cold, biting wind and being outside for any time past five minutes was no fun. It's hard to walk the dogs right now since there is so much salt on our street that the crystals act like little ball bearings and I'm afraid I will fall if the dogs pull hard on their leashes. We've had a couple of tiny "snows" again that just coat everything. Yesterday we had a mix of snow and rain which turned in to a gentle rain for most of the day. Even the rain could not wash away what we still have left on the ground from our snowfall of twelve inches.

Winter starts to look downright ugly about this time. The snow that is left is dirty and hard. Days without grayness are hard to come by. I'm ready for spring!

With Rick in Florida on a business trip until Thursday I am left to my own devices. I do things like watch movies I've been wanting to see again. Like Out of Africa …  I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. That opening line alone can start me to sniffling. There are so many wonderful lines in this movie that I was almost tempted to sit with a pad of paper and write them down. The soundtrack by John Barry is so suited to the sweeping vistas of the African veldt. Just beautiful. It makes me cry too. So why do I watch? Because it's worth it.

Yesterday the wind was not blowing and the temperature was decent (high 30's) and knowing that rain was moving in later that afternoon I decided to go to Skylands for a walk. I don't know why but I decided to walk the two loops that are about 3 miles versus the one lower loop that I usually take, which is only a little over a mile. Silly me.

The sky was gray and stippled when I started out.


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But look! These bushes think spring is on the way! Maybe they know something we don't. I don't know what they are, do you? 

Added Later: I found out they are witch hazel bushes and always bloom in February amid the snow!

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About halfway through my walk I started to see little tiny snow pellets drifting down. Hmm, I thought myself, what's that all about? It was only noon and we weren't supposed to get any precipitation until later. 

As I walked along I heard the unmistakeable thunk, thunk, thunk of a large woodpecker working away. Pileated! Sure enough, there he was high in a tree. He had a huge hole!

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He didn't care that I was right underneath him at all. He could not decide whether to work on his really big hole or the two other ones on the other side of the tree that he had started. By this time the tiny little snow pellets had turned to big, fat, wet flakes. I hurriedly took a few photos of him before walking on.

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Soon the flakes were coming down in sideways sheets and I was not close to the car. I walked as fast as I could with my hood up and my camera zipped into my jacket, making it look like I had a big tummy. Why oh why did I choose to walk both loops? Thank goodness I had worn a jacket with a hood!

With  no harm done I was back at the car and on my way home from my wet walk. It was good to get out but I should have gone on a different day!


(top photo: Through the Window of the Gatehouse)

Note: After I got home and got a look at this pileated woodpecker he looks odd to me. His markings are off I think. His face is very white! Too white. Strange …


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2022 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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