Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer in the City.

7-28-08 SHORT HILLS: The control [?] of the boys has been returned to parental supervision of Jon and Siobhan, but they are here for a few more days. Yesterday we all went to Ellis Island and Liberty Island from Liberty State Park in Jersey City. It being a summer Sunday, there were as many people on Ellis Island yesterday as immigrated during the entire 32 years it was originally open.

The boys liked the statute better. While ferrying from Ellis Island to Liberty Island, we were in a huge T-storm with tremendous wind blowing us around, and a lot of lightning and thunder that we saw and heard in the distance. The amount of rain wasn't a lot, but enough to require parka purchases at the Liberty Island souvenir shop, along with most of the other thousands of visitors. They sold a lot of parkas yesterday. It was like everyone was in the same uniform.

Today they went to Sandy Hook, and Judy and I went back to Jersey City to take the water taxi across the Hudson to NYC at the World Financial Center marina. We walked east across lower Manhattan through the Trinity Church graveyard and on Wall St. and lunched at South St. Seaport over-looking the East River. We went back to the ferry landing via Battery Park for a great afternoon.

Tomorrow Jon and Siobhan are taking the boys to Philadelphia for Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We have dinner plans at Grammercy Tavern with Alison, Dan and Anna.

There has been plenty of rain here, and all the new plantings look fine. The lawn guys seeded, and the new grass is in its infancy. A week with the dogs should pretty much destroy it all.

In bloom: hydrangea, rose-of-sharon, wild strawberry, hosta and lots of weeds.

Ellis Island-Laughing Gull. Laughing at the Crowds?

Verdigris Statutes.

National Emblem at Work.

South Street Seaport.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Drying Out.

7-25-08 VERMONT: Two more days of rain, all day rain, dumping another 2.2 inches on us. That makes almost 4 inches this week. Today is warm, dry and sunny finally giving us a chance to dry off and dry out. All the rain has filled the pond.

Valerie, Steve, Maggie and Lucy left this morning for Maine to visit his family leaving Judy and I alone with Eoin and Joe. We take them to NJ tomorrow and connect with their parents who should get to Short Hills from San José a bit before us.

I spread a bag, fifty pounds, of compressed barley straw on the pond to fight algae. The straw pellets slowly decompose releasing small amounts of peroxide. The peroxide kills algae but not fish, crayfish, frogs, turtles or newts.

New blooms: echinacea, helenium, joe pye weed, rock sedum.

What's so interesting?

Web User at Lunch.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hot Air.

7-21-08 VERMONT: Rain Jackpot—1.70 inches in the past few days. Valerie, Steve, and campers Maggie and Lucy are here for a week with Judy and I and Eoin and Joe. Alison, Dan, Anna are back in NY, and Lily remains in camp. The boys went back to day camp after the weekend off with all the visits to the other camper cousins.

I have almost finished the picnic table repair. Scott has started the terrace patio project. Judy, unperturbed by all the activity, made a magnificent souffle with cheese and scapes for dinner. A hot air balloon drifted by the pasture after dinner.

New blooms: monkshood, ligularia.

Interesting Sky.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day to Remember.

7-18-08 VERMONT: No rain for about a week, but a small T-storm is gliding by just to our north at this moment. The blueberries are ripening, and I assist the bushes by removing the ripe ones every morning. Only, of course, in the interest of relieving the bushes of the responsibility. Yesterday was a hugely important summer event—the first hollyhock and first asian lily opened. Days that momentous don’t happen frequently.

New blooms: hollyhock, asian lily, yellow/purple day lily.

Pink Waterlily and friend.

Inflatable Monster and friend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Visiting Season.

7-16-08 VERMONT: Eoin and Joe are settling in nicely. Both are pleased with their camps—phew. They spend a lot of time in the pond after camp. Thank goodness for mac and cheese. Alison, Dan and Anna arrived tonight for camp visiting this weekend. Valerie and Steve are expected Friday also coming to see campers.

New blooms: yellow day lily, yarrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Camp Thetford.

7-14-08 VERMONT: The trip form Thetford to Short Hills to San José and back to Newark and on to Vermont was between Wednesday and Sunday. For some reason, I found it a bit tiring. Anna was a huge help with the boys. Today was the first day of camp for Eoin and Joe and both were enthusiastic. After camp there was pond frolicking. Gus was the big hit. He enjoys the water and the boat as much as the other kids.

Happy Birthday, Siobhan and Judy.

There has been plenty of rain here, 0.6 inches this week, and in Short Hills. In bloom there: southern magnolia, hydranga, rhododendron.

New blooms, Vermont: bee balm, lambs ear, evening primrose, filipendula, summer azalea, first hosta.

Pond Life.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

California or Bust.

7-8-08 VERMONT: We go back to NJ tomorrow for a flight to CA Thursday to pick up Eoin and Joe and bring them to NJ on Friday and then VT on Sunday for two weeks of camp. Anna is coming along to do a Stanford tour and interview. Does it look like a fun five days?

Here we had two hot and muggy days. The rain has stopped so I watered today. I have seen the snapper turtle each of the last two days. She is very wary. If she’s on the surface or near the bank, the least sound or foot step sends her scurrying back to deep water.

The camp visits were fun for us as well as the campers. Those children have an enormous capacity for candy.

New blooms: mallow.

More day lilies, water, reflections--I couldn't resist.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yesterday's Pix.

These wouldn't load last night with the post.

What else says "July" as loud as this?

...and if you're into red.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Day Weekend.

7-5-08 VERMONT: The last two days have been beautiful, before that we had another 0.35 inches of rain. We had a dinner party on 7-3. Judy was up to her usual, lofty standards. Much praise was heaped up and piled on her by Phyllis, Arnie, Ken, Jane, Bruce, Donna, Ina, Herb, Gene, Judy K., and Tony. The rest of the holiday weekend was quiet, with just us trying to keep the dogs amused. Perhaps it should be the other way around. Camp visit with Lily and Maggie tomorrow, pizza, candy, chips and soda will be consumed.

The Glenn elm seems to be dying in spite of looking OK a week ago. I soaked it in hopes that it was just dry even though there has been plenty of rain. The smaller elm is bursting with new growth.

The veggies are on schedule. There were two ripe cherry tomatoes today. One was eaten by each of those individuals currently in residence. A blueberry was also ripe and also devoured.

The orioles are around. I have seen one or the other a few times. I moved the hummer feeder further away from the house, and they seen to prefer the new location.

New blooms: astilbe, purple rain salvia, rhododendron. Dianthus and fever few have been out for a week or so, but I forgot to mention either before.