Monday, February 25, 2008


My friend Terry is part of a blog group consisting of twelve textile artists. They call the group TWELVE BY TWELVE. Every two months or so a member assigns a theme and each member then completes a quilt block on that theme. At the end of the assigned time they each reveal their completed quilt. I am amazed at the diversity and detail that goes into each presentation and completion.

Equally amazing is how they each address a given theme. The current theme is one that I find intriguing because it can be discussed, debated and elaborated on so many different levels. The theme -- Community. The Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary's first definition of community is the one that possibly interests me most: "a unified body of individuals,...." The question then becomes "unified by what?" What size is the community? How many communities can an individual be a member?

This has been on my mind more as I work on the local Economic Development Committee and researching the Main Street Project. The community has to be defined and that is what I am struggling with right now in my thoughts as to how such a project should be instituted. There are lots of unifying threads to various factors but I am at a loss as to what the one unifier is for the community we will be defining. It can get so muddled with little or no effort.

Perhaps I will feel more directed when TWELVE BY TWELVE reveal their finished products.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some This & That

A friend emailed about the last posting. She was pretty sure that the gold ring around the goose's neck was an identification band placed by wildlife officials. Since the photo was zoomed in on a much as possible for clarity I could not go further with detail. I was hoping that it was such a band and I am glad that that is probably what it is.

The eclipse of the moon came and went and we only saw it for seconds. It was cloudy so there were only brief glimpses. That was a bummer. Oh well, we awoke yesterday morning to snow. Not much but enough to account for the clouds of the previous evening.

Today it is cloudy, cold and a near freezing. It rains a little every few minutes but not enough to clear the ice from last night. The bright spot is that I saw the first ROBIN of the season. Can Spring be far behind?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Three Weather Fronts

The weather around here has been very strange of late. Just last week it was 63 degrees at 6:00 a.m. and just pouring rain. The temperature was nice but outside was not. Here is a picture of run-off from the rain at the corner of lot where we live. It was a rather fast moving stream.

Well, the sky cleared and the temperature dropped. Saturday and Sunday were gloriously clear but really on the chilly side. We decided to drive to Ocean City since we have not done that for awhile now. Each time we go down there I am reminded of what a zoo it must be on holiday weekends in the summer. There were definitely more people about than when we visited last winter. Of course, it was a holiday weekend. Here two photos show how bright it was outside but also have a cold feel to them.

Of course the critters on Wagamons were also enjoying the sunshine.

Today I awoke at 4:00 a.m. to 64 degrees and howling wind with driving rain. Whose to figure? On a venture out I came across a field filled with snow geese. They seem to be enjoying their winter here. There are times they fly over and the sky is white with hundreds of geese. The shadows they cast are eerie. I am working on trying to get some photos of a fly over. Today I did get some of them in the field. I was really intrigued by the darker guy in this flock and then I when I was downloading the pictures from the camera I noticed the white goose standing close by.

This picture shows that there is something interesting around the white goose's neck.

In this next picture you can see that it is possibly a can that he got his head in and if it was open at both ends then it slipped over his neck. If I zoom in closer the photo gets too fuzzy (one more reason to get a camera with a telephoto lens).

So much for the wierdness, here is a picture of the snow geese in the field. You can see that they are eating the grass down. This is a problem in the area for grain farmers.

Just before I was going to publish this post a lightning storm with tons of rain hit. I unplugged the computer and did not return until this morning. It is now bright and sunny and only 34 degrees.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Today I must get out my Valentine cards. Again, I wish I were more creative and I would make wonderful greetings but knowing me the project would take on monumental proportions and become a pain rather than the pleasure it should be. I have always loved sending at least some valentines but not many. However, since there are now so many children (number will exceed 20 this summer) on my side of the family I have opted to send each of our grandnieces and grandnephews cards. This started last year when I finally realized that it was no longer an option for me to send each of them a meaningful Christmas gift. I loved doing that but the logistics and expense put it out of my comfort zone. I suppose that I could do birthdays but I would invariably miss or be late with someone's. So, I decided on the valentines. Just a little way to let them and their parents know that we love them all.

Valentines Day is not that special as far as I am concerned but I do love valentines. I remember one I received when I was 10 years old. I was in the third of what would be five months in the hospital. The card was from my Dad. It was a silly card with four images of a rabbit (not unlike the Trix rabbit) and the message was simply, "I would spread butter on my chin for you Valentine. Be Mine." For some reason that card just tickled me and probably my leanings towards irreverent humor. In the sixth grade I took the card and cut out the four images and used close to the same message for my class valentine. I won the prize in the school Valentines Day Parade for the best valentine. Funny how those things stick with you.

My friend Terry sends Valentine greetings instead of Christmas cards. She has been doing this for a long time now. She is an accomplished artist and we look forward to her card each year. I am quite sure that I have all of the ones she has sent over the years. In fact, one year for Christmas Bill had three framed in a grouping for me.

Aside from the cards for the children I will send just a couple more that will be irreverent and I will give Bill a couple, one nice and one a little silly.

That's about all for this quirky little post.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Unseaonally Warm

No pictures today. It is just too gray outside. The wind has really been blowing hard. The screened porch on our next door neighbor's house has its screen flapping in the wind. Our down spout extensions have taken off to other places and a couple of the gutter pipes have pulled away from the house in this wind. What is amazing is the temperature. I just checked the weather service and the current temperature is 73 degrees. Wow!!

I just got back from taking the cat to the vet and I had no reason for a jacket. I even had to turn the A/C on in the car. There are some unbelievers because I just a neighbor guy walking to the mailboxes with his parka hood pulled on tightedly. This is not unlike what he does on very cold day. Who knows?

Friday it is supposed to be back to the 30's.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Could Spring be Far Behind?

We drive by Wagamons Pond every day. Every day I look for the heron. The heron has been gone for what seems several months now. The heron appeared again in the favored cove a few days ago. I am so intrigued with this bird because its favorite spot to stand is no more than six feet from the road. There are cars going by all of the time. That does not seem to bother this creature. Cars can be stopped six feet to the east of the bird and it just stands there. But, stop six feet to the south and the bird takes flight. The flight is not far. It is cannot be more than 30 feet to the other side of the cove. Of course, the position to the south is the best to capture a great camera shot.

Saturday I tried my luck again and true to form the heron flew away. I did get a few images while it stood in the backside of the cove. One of these days I will pervail and get a straight shot. Until then, the mallards will have to do.

There the frustrating bird is on the shadowed part of the cove. Here, the same shot, using the "pan" tool.

Friday, February 01, 2008

February, At Last

January finally ended yesterday. I spent almost all of the day working on the Milton Lions Club Bulletin. I recently upgraded my Office Suite and I struggled with some of the new features when I did this bulletin. Besides that I felt like I had a creativity drain and nothing read right or looked right. Today is a new day and a new month. Of course it was pouring early this morning. It is still gray outside but it is not cold. The heron has returned to the pond and now we start our adventure again of trying to get some good pictures. There he was this morning in all his glory in the rain and I did not have the camera out besides not having the time. Too bad because the rain provided almost perfected light. I think I will try later today.