Friday, August 31, 2012

Craigslist and Fireworks (again)

What is with people on craigslist? We had our solar pool cover and the reel advertised on craigslist for about a month. One guy said he wanted it and made arrangements to pick it up at a time that was not at all convenient for us. Rick worked from home that morning so he could be there to help take the reel apart. The appointed time came and went with no email, phone call, and the guy didn’t show up. Thank you (self-serving idiot)!

Fast forward to yesterday. Someone else wanted it, said they were bringing cash and would come to pick it up at 6:00 p.m. yesterday evening. Same scenario as above. No call, no email, no person.

We’ve now taken it off the list. We’ll wait until next spring and advertise it in the pool store and maybe someone with more integrity will want it.

And last night at 3:21 a.m. (or should I say in the wee hours of the morning this morning) we were once again rudely awakened by a huge BANG! Just one, but we both startled awake mumbling “what the heck was that?” It sounded very, very close. I couldn’t get back to sleep just knowing another one would probably be coming. I had sort of heard something in the distance before that but only on the fringes of my sleepy brain.

I did fall back asleep until 4:12 a.m. when another firework went off, this time not as close. What the ???

Rick thinks it is someone driving around in a car throwing fireworks out the window and we only hear them about once per hour because they are making some kind of circuit around our area. I did not hear a car drive by, but who knows? It’s completely and totaling annoying. I’m sure whoever is doing it is having a great time. Maybe once school starts next week we won’t be having any more nonsense.

I need to end this post with a soothing photo!

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Sleepy bee. This time of year the nectar must be pretty potent!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Autumnal Thoughts

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Early morning sunlight sifting through my backyard trees.

Here in New Jersey August is a pretty mild month. It should be the hottest but it’s not. Somehow I think it’s the weather’s way of segueing us into autumn. Every year for the past six years that we’ve lived here it’s been the same. So why do I keep expecting it to be somehow different each year?

Now the cicadas are joined by multitudes of crickets at night, each one trying to outdo the other. The cicadas are not ready to give up their orchestra seats to the crickets just yet.

If this is typical of all the other years we are not quite done with the heat just yet. There is always a week at the beginning of September where the temperatures soar for the last hurrah of summer.

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My little clutch of turkeys come nearly every morning. A hen with two half-grown babies. The other day when I looked out I thought a recognized the sole turkey that was at the feeding station. I’m certain it’s Thomas back again! He has the same funny feather that sticks out all by itself on his chest. And even more exciting news: Thomas has hooked up with Lady Hen and they are now traveling as a family group. Good for Thomas!

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Thomas and family.

Some trees are getting a head start.

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Not sure if they are truly changing because of the season or if it’s stress from not enough moisture.

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The air feels different; it’s hard to explain, but it’s there.

It’s easier to see the difference in the light. It’s softer. The way it filters through the trees. The shadows in the morning. The increasingly shorter days. All due to the sun dipping lower in the sky.

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Me and the big pine in our front drive this morning.

Autumn is on it’s way. It’s real. Tangible. I think I’m ready.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Charlotte’s Demise

Oh, NO! Please say it isn’t so!

Sunday morning I made my usual visit to Charlotte’s web only to find it spider-less. The web had not been re-spun from the previous day: still the same old design and looking a bit tattered. Not her usual neat web. I looked around but could not see her hiding in the foliage surrounding the web.

Mid-morning after our trip in to the farmer’s market in Warwick I checked again. Still no big yellow-and-black Charlotte.

It was depressing to find her web abandoned. Almost as if I had lost a friend.

I figured she had moved on to better catching grounds since I had not seen her with a kill for some days now.

Fast forward to the afternoon.

Rick got in the pool first, and while standing in the shallow end he remarked that there was a critter crawling on the bottom. I told him to just scoop it up with his hands, but being the big brave man that he is, he refused. I told him that if it was on the bottom it was surely dead.  There was nothing for it but for me to get the skimmer.

I put the skimmer in the water and captured whatever it was in the net and brought it to the surface.

Oh no. It was my Charlotte. I could not believe it. Tears threatened to collect in the corners of my eyes. I yelled to Rick “It’s Charlotte!” and at first he did not believe me. When he saw how upset I was he knew that I was not just kidding him.

Poor Charlotte. I felt horrible. Was I somehow responsible for her death?  You see, we did sleep out for a few hours on the air mattress in the cabana and did not cover up the pool until much later than we usually do. Was she in a habit of wandering away from her web in the middle of the night?

What made her leave her cozy web? Did she commit spider suicide? Or did she unwittingly fall into her watery grave? 

Just two days ago I had taken her photo yet again. Here she is in all her worldly spider glory.

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At least I know what happened to her, but I think it would have been better if I could imagine her off spinning a new web somewhere.

I’ll miss you Charlotte!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Good Eats

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Now I know why our garden spider likes her spot so well. Good eats! I think this might be a cicada, but I’m not sure. It was interesting to see her take the wings off first. Later in the day the carcass of the bug was hanging by a thread of the web and had pretty much destroyed the web in the process. By the next morning the web was re-spun and pretty as could be.

By now you know my penchant for naming creatures that hang around my yard. Since this is the third week for this particular spider I have named her Charlotte. Original, eh?

Long live Charlotte!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As the summer wanes

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Shades of green at Green Turtle Pond. Taken two weeks ago.

And so it begins. The slow slipping down of summer. At first it’s the little things you notice.

The sun. It’s lower in the sky and rises later and sets earlier. It seemed like just the other day we were swimming at dusk which happened around 8:45 p.m. Now it’s around 8:00 p.m. It’s strange that you don’t notice at first, then all of a sudden it hits you: the change of seasons has begun.

There are other indicators. The pool temperature drops by about two degrees and becomes on the edge of swimmable. The cooler nighttime temperatures and the slight change in the angle of the sun are to blame.

The hummingbirds are feeding voraciously at the feeder stocking up for their big flight home. They haven’t been bothering with the feeder and have left it to the bees for the past month and half. Not now.

The other birds seem to be feeding a lot too. More so than usual. I’ve had to fill the bird feeder every other day.

The turkey with her two babies has started showing up every day at the bird feeding area in the front yard. Soon the hens and the toms will all band together and instead of three I’ll have twelve or fifteen turkeys coming.

And they aren’t the only ones. This cute little fox showed up the other day.

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My garden spider is still around. I check up on it every morning. I’ve never known a spider to have a web in the same spot for so long! Don’t you think it’s strange? I call this photo Dance with Death.

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It’s been a real summer this year. Very warm and humid. Not a lot of rain but enough to keep everything green without watering. The nasty storms over the past few days have pretty much passed us by, growing stronger as they move eastward, leaving us with only a little rain to show for it. We could use more.

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I think I’m ready to embrace a different season. Although I hate to lose the pool, I am looking forward to autumn. To opening the windows wide instead of always having the air conditioning on and sleeping cool for a change. To cozy fires in the wood stove to take the chill off a damp day. To stews and chile bubbling away on the stove.

I have no idea if the trees will have good color this year or not. I kind of think they will. Last year was so disappointing with all that moisture we had because the trees just gave up and dropped their leaves without ever really changing. Will not quite normal moisture make for a poor showing as well?

The are predicting a very snowy winter for us which I am not quite ready to think about yet. After last year’s non-winter it could come as quite a shock!

Only time will tell what Mother Nature has in store for us!

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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.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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