Saturday, October 13, 2018

More Rain.

10-13-18 SHORT HILLS: The remnant of Hurricane Michael went through yesterday and gave us 1.5 inches of rain and gusty winds, maybe up to 20 or 25 mph, nothing compared to what the Florida panhandle got. I spent the day after picking up branches, mostly deadfall that had been hanging in the trees, and composting them.

Today it’s back to cool and rainy, our usual pattern of late. Doors and cabinets are swollen and hard to open, the flagstones are muddy and slippery, the ash trees have given up almost all their leaves.

New blooms: Dracaena compacta.


Siobhan sent this one from California. It was on the bathroom floor. Not a worry in NJ or VT.

Rainy rose on the new Rosa rugosa in NJ.

One of the indoor plants has bloomed. I don't know its name, and I don't think it ever bloomed before. I just used a new app, PlantSnap, and it might be Dracaena compacta, dragon plant.

Monday, October 08, 2018

The Color of the Day is Drizzle.

10-8-18 VERMONT: Today was cold and wet, dark and dank, overcast and rainy. It was an inside by the fire day. Sam and Lily left early this morning because Sam had a class to teach this afternoon.

Last night we ate at Stone Soup and Shari and Dave joined us.

The feeder has gotten progressively busier for the week we’ve been here. Four blue jays have intimidated most of the other birds, but not the chickadees. A few days ago I saw a bump on top of a dead pine tree in the distance, and a telephoto shot showed two flickers.

New blooms: cimicfuga [about to open].


White-crowned sparrow among many mobbing the feeder.

A pair of northern flickers, but neither one is showing the red spot on the back of the head.

Aster, a late bloomer.

Witch-hazel, almost the last bloom.

Today was not a day for color. It was foggy, drizzling, dark and overcast.

A cardinal only showed up at the end of the season, but he must have summered nearby.

White-throated sparrow often has the yellow patch in front of the eye.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Leaf Season II.

9-7-18 VERMONT: We had one day of sunshine amongst all the cloudy, rainy weather and decided to drive north to Peacham and Joe’s Pond in Danville. We took back roads, had little traffic, took many pix and saw increasingly better color. In Caledonia county the color was vivid and at peak.

Peacham, VT is a small town on a hilltop filled with maple trees. The population is about 700, but there are way more folks in the cemetery. The views from the cemetery look out at distant mountains and valleys, all painted red and orange.

We went on to Danville and Joe’s Pond where we stopped for ice cream cones at the general store. We came back on I-91.

Otherwise, I have done a few chores, pulling plant supports and hardware out of the gardens and a little weeding. Brady the horse blundered through the barrier around the new pasture and left a few hoof prints, but did no damage. We lead him back to the other side with carrots.

New blooms: witch-hazel.


I call this high drama.

I think this one was from Bradford, VT.

Brady the horse seems unmoved by the color.

Topsham, VT.

Near Peacham, VT.

Peacham.

Peacham cemetery has amazing views.

Maple Tree Lane, Peacham.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Leaf Season.

10-3-18 VERMONT: We drove north on Tuesday and hit rain in Massachusetts that followed us all the way up. It was warm and sunny in NJ when we left, but rainy and cold here. Today the rain is gone, but it was dark and overcast all day and in the fifties.

We ran a bunch of errands that took us to Sharon, Pomfret and Woodstock and then to Quechee and Hanover. The fall color should be good in a few days, especially if the sun comes out. Actually the color in our pasture was as good as anything we saw on the drive. The new grass in the pasture is doing well. One spot will need some extra seed that I hope to get tomorrow on our way to an auction preview.

On the drive we saw turkeys, cows, sheep and lots of peepers in Woodstock.

In the gardens things have that end of the season sprawl. Lots of the plants still have a few straggler blooms, but the late flowers are almost all out. I’m still waiting for cimicfuga and witch-hazel.

New blooms: toad lily, chrysanthemum, red aster, bottle gentian, chocolate snakeroot, monkshood.


This Heliopsis, also called 'oxeye', was eaten to the ground by something in mid-summer, but re-grew and re-bloomed. I hope it survives the winter.

the Bushnell game cam caught a flock of turkeys in the woods.

It is fall, and the color is just developing, but the dark sky doesn't help.

This little late bloomer is a toad lily, the plant is covered with dozens of odd flowers like this one.

This would look great in the sun.

And so would this. Maybe tomorrow.

A stag posing for the Moultrie cam early in the AM. When we see deer, the tail is usually held up and they're running away.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dinner in PA, Walk in NJ.

9-30-18 SHORT HILLS: We had more rain. The official rain total for this September from Newark Airport is 5.64 inches, which is two inches more than average. My rain gauge had even more, about 8 inches.

Yesterday we drove to Philly for dinner with cousin Steve at a Thai restaurant near U Penn. It was good to see him, it had been about a year. Today we dog walked with Bebe, Ron and Bill accompanied by Maizie, Gus, Kaley, Bella and Bally. It was warm and sunny for a change.

It seems early, but a couple of sugar maples on our street are turning color, and the ash trees are starting to drop.

New blooms: sedum. [I thought this one, which I had planted a few years, ago had disappeared in the weeds.]


Here's a pic from Siobhan of a California Sister butterfly. It's very similar to the Arizona Sister. I have never seen either before.

Sedum remnant in bloom.

Some early sugar maple color above and below.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Theater in Brooklyn.

9-26-18 SHORT HILLS: Over the weekend we caught the Heights Players production of Oliver! in Brooklyn. Val gave a bunch of us, Alison, Dan, Lily, Sam, Judy and me, dinner on her deck before the show. Steve Quint was a perfect Fagin, scary, manipulative, deceitful, avaricious, and audible in a venue that is acoustically challenged. The mix of amateur and professional performers did a great job. Also, we actually parked on the street in Brooklyn Heights.

Yesterday, we had another storm and got another three inches of rain. The yard is soggy. The flagstone walkways are as slippery as ice. The doors are all swollen and stuck, and the windows clouded with condensation.

We had dinner with Barbara and Stan at Marcus B & P in Newark, a restaurant that is a new fav.

I have done a little weeding and trimming when the rain has let up.


Pretty scary - Steve Quint as Fagin in the Heights Players production of Oliver!

Unfortunately, the run is over.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fall Begins.

9-22-18 SHORT HILLS: Very early in the morning tomorrow, September 23, Greenwich time, the sun will cross the Equator into the southern hemisphere and so will begin the dark half of the year for us northern hemispherians. On the Autumnal Equinox everyone has a twelve-hour day and a twelve-hour night. The sun rises and sets on the equator, so it rises due east and sets due west, if you want to check the accuracy of your compass.

Technically, we’re talking about the sun’s geographic position, which is that spot on the earth’s surface directly beneath the sun at any given moment.

While it may not seem so, the northern hemisphere spring and summer are longer than our fall and winter. If you start on March 21 and add 10 days at the end of March to 30 days for April and then 31 and 30 and 31 and another 31 for August and 23 in September, you get 186 days. Half of 365 days in the year is 182.5 days, so the sunny season are 3.5 days longer than the fall and winter.

Don’t believe it? Add 7 days in September to 31 for October and 30 and 31 and 31 and 28 and 21 in March to get 179 or 180 days, every fourth year, for the fall and winter.

It happens because the earth’s orbit is not round, but oval and eccentric and the earth is actually closer to the sun in winter and moves faster in its orbit at that time. If the earth pointed the other way, which happens cyclically, winters would be longer.

Big congrats to Judy and Kaley for passing the Therapy Dog Exam. First visit for Kaley is this coming week.


Kaley just passed her exam to start Therapy visits.

Congrats to Judy and Kaley for their hard work on her training.

Roses continue working into the fall, without any training.