Saturday, November 25, 2006


11-25-06 SHORT HILLS: Thanksgiving came with two more rainy days. After the holiday it got warmer again and sunny. The girls, actually the two middle-aged daughters, were here with their families for the turkey, and we all got stuffed and played a lot of pool while it rained. [the gardener still rules.] The next day was sunny and we took the dogs for a walk and visited downtown Newark.

Instead of the Xmas season, we should call this time of year the XSmas season. I feel like I gained five pounds Thursday.

Should masked men make you nervous?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive.

the little dears

Rain Forest

11-18-06 SHORT HILLS: We have had two sunny days after endless rain. The rain totals for the region are far above normal and approaching twice what we usually get. Welcome to the New Jersey rain forest. It is still warm, in November, so make that the New Jersey tropical rain forest. The mud is ankle deep on the dogs who sometimes forget to wipe their feet before coming back in the house after harassing the squirrels on the bird feeders. Judy mops the floor every six hours.
Almost all the leaves are down. I did the pool leaves again which makes three times this fall. The dogs found a dead opossum in the yard and we saw a second one on the street about a block away. Coincidence? Or is it 'possum flu?
The other night we saw seven deer including a buck with a big rack in a neighbors yard and a flock of turkeys in the same spot the next day. I’m waiting for a moose or lynx in Short Hills.

Monday, November 13, 2006


11-13-06 SHORT HILLS: I spent Thursday through Sunday baby-sitting for Maggie and Lucy while Val and Steve gamboled in Las Vegas. I had a few hours of help from Judy on Saturday when the dogs were resting. The girls are old enough that it was almost easy. While they were in school on Friday, I took the camera and did the Brooklyn Bridge and the Heights Promenade. As you can see it was beautiful. Mid-November and people were promenading in tee shirts. We still haven’t had a frost in NJ, maybe it will cool off by January.

The leaves are falling even if its warm. The rain started again on Saturday and the ground is sopping again. About half of the wood chips I put down in September got picked up with the leaves leaving the mud behind. If the foresters can ante-up more chips, I’ll lay them down after the last leaf has left, and I bet that deals with the mud.
Liberty and the NJ ports.

Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan tower.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good News

11-8-06 SHORT HILLS: How ‘bout THAT election. Well OK. The House and probably the Senate. First, lets investigate, with subpoena power, the vile campaign tricks and racist ads and illegal funding. Next, the thievery of the contractors in Iraq. Anyone for impeachment? Bye, Rumsfeld.

Heavy rain last night and today washing the Republicans away.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Color

black chokeberry

for burning bush fans

sun and snow

mowed pasture

11-6-06 SHORT HILLS: We had another 0.1 inches in the gauge before I put it away for the winter. There was a second dusting of snow which disappeared with the morning sun. You can actually see the snow melting in the picture.

Back in NJ, the burning bush are brilliant. Here is one for the burning bush fans. I have resisted the temptation to post more than one, but did include an orange Black Chokeberry. I cleaned out the pool area once again and dragged the leaves up to the street for collection by the town. I will need to do that at least once again.

Friday, November 03, 2006

First Snow and Ice.

Burning Bush

11-3-06 VERMONT: We came up two days ago on a warm afternoon and had snow that night. The snow was gone by noon the next day, but things were white at 7 AM. There was 4.95 inches of rain in the gauge, all that just since October 19. The storm with high wind and rain that dumped all the branches on the yard in Short Hills did the same here. I spent the last hour of daylight after we arrived gathering a cart load of sticks and branches. The next day after the snow melted, I did garden clean up and today I did a little pruning and cleared dead fall off the pasture fence. We have a couple broken rails from a fallen maple limb. I prefer doing the garden clean up in the fall rather than damage emerging shoots in the spring with the rake. Also the snow melt in the spring is dependent on sun exposure so some places can be cleaned when other stuff is still under a foot of snow. You have do clean up several times.

The pasture was mowed yesterday and looks great. There is something pleasing and satisfying about the look of a mowed field. Perhaps some part of our sub-cortical brain knows there is nothing in the short grass who wants to eat us.

This morning when I went out in the pasture to do fence mending, that sounds sooo country, the puddles from all the rain had a thin cover of ice. The trees are leafless except for beech and oak that carry a few brown leaves through the winter. Some shrubs, like these burning bush, still have color.

We have dinner with the Hanlons tonight and the Koreys tomorrow.