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Friday, November 28, 2008

Skywatch Friday

Well, sort of.

This dramatic sky greeted me this morning, and I felt compelled to share it. It's babooshka's fault :-)

This isn't an official Skywatch Friday post because I found the mechanics of registering with Mr Linky a bit too much for a spur of the moment shot like this.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

It's grey but not too cold, and in my mind's eye, I see it without the cars, without the pavement, without the power lines. I imagine the sidewalks made of mud; the houses huddled together for protection from the wind as much as from the natives. It seems to me this scene is very similar to what the original settlers saw when they celebrated their Thanksgiving Days.

They knew very well that these chilly autumn days would lead to frigid winter ones, where everything they were to eat was stored in their pantries and root cellars. No dash to the store to pick up a pound of butter... a harsh life, yet they were thankful for the bounty the land gave them during the summer.

I'm thankful that I live in a time when people don't die from catching a cold. I'm thankful that my family can find the time to come together and share bread, and I'm thankful that even in the middle of the city, furry creatures like that grey streak dashing across the sidewalk still pay us a visit. To remind us of the land under our feet, and it's importance to our lives.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving preparations

I think I may be overdoing the macro setting on my camera. We were preparing a large pumpkin for our Thanksgiving dinner, cutting it up with a very large knife when I saw the lovely colour of the flesh. The pumpkin weighed around 20 pounds; probably better as a jack o'lantern than a cooking pumpkin, but in the spirit of the early settlers, we waste little here.

This particular pumpkin got turned into a pie and several loaves of pumpkin bread. There's still half of it I need to cook!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black cat

It isn't until you see them in very bright light that you find out that black cats aren't. They're really dark brown. This fellow was relaxing in a sunbeam on a cold autumn day and so I decided to try to take his portrait. In some ways, he's every bit as difficult to capture a photo of as the white cat is!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Science at home

Little ones are forever bringing running science experiments at home. Growing marigolds for Mother's Day, volcanoes made of baking soda and vinegar and the experiment photographed here: the ever popular 'grow a bean plant and see the roots.'

This particular bean is growing in a lump of potting soil placed in a bit of plastic wrap, the bean placed in the soil at the plastic wrap, then put into a cup. The scientist can lift the plastic wrapped soil out of the cup and see the root development at any time, and the plant can grow somewhat naturally.

I was asked to help document the progress of our intrepid bean, and this particular photo looked interesting with the combination of textures captured on that windowsill.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


A neighbour's fences in the morning light, before the leaves all blew away. My camera is too slow (well, maybe it's me who's slow!) but I couldn't capture the falling leaves in the frame, so I settled on this still life study.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The contrasts caught my eye. Fog attenuates colours, so the bold colour of the flag stood out immediately. More subtle is the contrast between the trees bravely holding their leaves and the one already prepared for winter's winds.

Sometimes it's the little things that satisfy best.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Watch your step

It's hard to believe this is 10 minutes away from the middle of the city. Moccasin Kill Preserve. The drop on the left is about 200 feet, give or take a few. There seem to be precious few places left where one can actually face nature without a guard rail in sight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today, we remember those who served in our nation's military - Veteran's Day. Originally Armistice Day, it was to mark the anniversary of the end of The Great War, World War I. I regret that I didn't go find our WWI monument, and so I had a hard time trying to find a local photograph, but I took this photo of a submarine sailor, on duty, this year. It is probably my own imagination at work, but I think it captures the spirit of military service. He seems alone, but his comrades are close at hand, every man doing his job in a still dangerous world.

We remember you, who served then. We remember you, serving now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Leafless trees

Top: One month ago.
Bottom: Today.

I took the same basic picture every day starting in early October, before the leaves really got started. Electrons are cheap! If I can figure out how, I'll try to make a slide show of every day's changes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sparrows in the rain

Sparrows are always flitting in and out of the bush behind the fence. I got lucky to get a quick snap of these sitting on the fence itself.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Early morning forager

The leaves are all off this maple tree, but the seeds aren't, and the squirrels are out in force. It's pretty amazing how well they hang onto the branches and eat at the same time. It's sort of crazy to stand under them and have the discarded maple wings fall down all round you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Turkeys at work

A small flock of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) have been visiting us for about a week now and I finally had the camera at work. It's not the best picture; taken through the window in the rainy afternoon but I thought it interesting. They come to eat the fruits on the ornamental trees - I think they're some variety of tiny apple. I tried to get a shot of the turkeys up in the trees but I couldn't hold the camera still enough. I work in a very urban area, but as you can see, it doesn't take much cover to attract wildlife.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

St John's cemetery

St John's cemetery, on a foggy morning.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

HG Reist Wildlife Preserve

Pine trees growing in the HG Reist Wildlife Sanctuary in Niskayuna (just east of Schenectady proper.) It's a great place to go for a walk, dense trees and several decently marked paths. Poison ivy in the wet areas, but if you stay on the trails it isn't an issue. Saw a woodpecker but he didn't photograph very well with the point and shoot camera.

Here's where to find the Sanctuary. There's a small bit of parking at the north end, on Morgan Av.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

It's Election Day, the day Americans get to choose their leaders for the next couple of years. Not just the President, but all the local leaders like our county legislature, state Senate and Assembly, Federal Congressmen and Senators, local and state judges - there are so many layers of leaders to elect!

I was going to post a photo of the campaign signs that have sprouted out of so many lawns and intersections, but I bet many US CDP sites will do that. Then I thought about a photo of all the mail I got, some extolling the virtues of one candidate, some describing how vile his opponent is. Whilst arranging that shot, I came across this unique mailing. The stern looking gent is none other than Uncle Sam himself, the allegorical image of patriotism. Used in many patriotic banners and posters, the classic image is this poster for recruiting in the US Army in WW I. Here is a little bit about Uncle Sam, although it doesn't mention that 'Uncle Sam' Wilson was located in nearby Troy, NY.

Anyway, I saw this one and had to show it to you. I thought it creative compared to the rest of the lot.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Theme Day (one day late)

I am a day late.

This month's City Daily Photo theme is Books. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in the theme day.

I completely forgot about theme day, I'm so thoughtless sometimes. At first, I took a shot of some of the strange titles I have here, but then it occurred to me that I ought to post something more appropriate to my location. I'm going to make an effort to visit each of the locations mentioned in the book. It'll be good for material to post here!

Following is a complete list of participants:
American Fork (UT), USA by Annie ~ Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie ~ Ararat, Australia by freefalling ~ Arradon, France by Alice ~ Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine ~ Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar ~ Aurora, South Africa by shelagh ~ Austin (TX), USA by LB ~ Avignon, France by Nathalie ~ Bali, Indonesia by Anak Dokan ~ Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan ~ Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin ~ Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia ~ Bangkok, Thailand by UberSand ~ Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon ~ Barton (VT), USA by Andree ~ Baziège, France by PaB ~ Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi ~ Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA ~ Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ ~ Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah ~ Boston (MA), USA by Ilse ~ Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston ~ Boulder (CO), USA by A Sterling World ~ Budapest, Hungary by Isadora ~ Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt ~ Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine ~ Canterbury, UK by Rose ~ Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que ~ Chandler (AZ), USA by PattheAZRealtor ~ Chapel Hill (NC), USA by missleah ~ Château-Gontier, France by Laurent ~ Chateaubriant, France by Bergson ~ Chateaubriant, France by trieulet ~ Cheltenham, UK by Marley ~ Chennai, India by Ram N ~ City of the Blue Mountains, Australia by Richard ~ Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic ~ Edinburgh, UK by Dido ~ Evry, France by Olivier ~ Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi ~ Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly ~ Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie ~ Gliwice, Poland by prado&fio ~ Greenville (SC), USA by Denton ~ Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange ~ Haninge, Sweden by Steffe ~ Helsinki, Finland by PPusa ~ Herne Bay, Great Britain by Han, Lil n Caz ~ Hobart, Australia by Greg ~ Honningsvag, Norway by J. ~ Islip (NY), USA by Bettye ~ Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon ~ Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy ~ Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by Susie of Arabia ~ Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005 ~ Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn ~ Karwar, India by Yogesh ~ Knoxville (TN), USA by Knoxville Girl ~ Knoxville (TN), USA by hope ~ Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse ~ Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale ~ Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo ~ Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João ~ Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl ~ Lodz, Poland by wikiyu ~ London, UK by Ham ~ Madrid, Spain by Tr3nta ~ Mainz, Germany by JB ~ Manila, Philippines by Hilda ~ Manila, Philippines by Heyokity ~ Melbourne, Australia by John ~ Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo ~ Menton, France by Jilly ~ Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol ~ Middletown (MD), USA by Bernie ~ Milton, New Zealand by Milton Daily Photo ~ Milwaukee (WI), USA by karl ~ Minneapolis (MN), USA by snapshutter ~ Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch ~ Molfetta, Italy by saretta ~ Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith ~ Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly ~ Monterrey, Mexico by rafa ~ Montréal, Canada by My Life in Montreal ~ Moscow, Russia by Irina ~ Moscow (ID), USA by Sherry ~ Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia ~ Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu ~ Murcia, Spain by usuahia ~ Napa (CA), USA by katester ~ Nashville (TN), USA by Chris ~ Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben ~ New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary ~ New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser ~ New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless ~ New York City (NY), USA by Kitty ~ Norwich, UK by Goddess888 ~ Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie ~ Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla ~ Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen ~ Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash ~ Paris, France by Eric ~ Paris, France by Elsa ~ Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben ~ Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea ~ Pensacola (FL), USA by P J ~ Philadelphia (PA), USA by Stiffa ~ Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon ~ Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar ~ Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam ~ Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf ~ Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03 ~ Prague, Czech Republic by kakna ~ Quincy (MA), USA by slim ~ Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka ~ Reykjavik, Iceland by Vírgíll ~ Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos ~ Roanoke (VA), USA by Tanya ~ Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke ~ Rouen, France by Bbsato ~ Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter ~ Saigon, Vietnam by Simon ~ Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate ~ Salem (OR), USA by jill ~ Salem (OR), USA by pearls ~ Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric ~ San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer ~ San Francisco (CA), USA by Burd Zel Krai ~ San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson ~ Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem ~ Seattle (WA), USA by Kim ~ Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck ~ Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound ~ Seoul, Korea South by SeoulSnapper ~ Seoul, South Korea by Phil ~ Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia ~ Silver Spring (MD), USA by John ~ Singapore, Singapore by Keropok ~ Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie ~ Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia ~ Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey ~ Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth ~ Stavanger, Norway by Tanty ~ Stayton (OR), USA by Celine ~ Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo ~ Stouffville, Canada by Ken ~ Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC ~ Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge ~ Sydney, Australia by Sally ~ Sydney, Australia by Ann ~ Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo ~ Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv ~ Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David ~ Tauranga, New Zealand by Lisa Sarsfield ~ Telluride (CO), USA by mtsrool ~ Tempe (AZ), USA by angie ~ Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K ~ Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas ~ Torino, Italy by Fabrizio ~ Torun, Poland by Glenn ~ Toulouse, France by Julia ~ Trieste, Italy by Rob&Piero ~ Turin, Italy by Livio ~ Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy ~ Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger ~ Verona, Italy by Valeria in Verona ~ Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2 ~ Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin ~ Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential ~ Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb ~ West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria ~ West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara ~ Willits (CA), USA by Elaine ~ Woerden, Netherlands by Marcel ~ Yakima (WA), USA by katney ~ Yellowknife, Canada by Arctic Dreamer ~ York, UK by Ruby in York

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween costume

Yours truly wearing my home made Halloween costume. Yes, it's a Star Trek, the Next Generation uniform. Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about me, doesn't it?
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