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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Roku eats his greens

We plant bird seed for the dogs and cats to nibble on during the winter. Roku in particular seems to appreciate having fresh greens!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Last weekend, I was playing radio in the car, driving from hilltop to hilltop, trying to talk to as many people as possible (it was a contest.) The object in the foreground is one of the antennas sticking out over the hood of the car. The Moon was irresistible!

For other Skywatch Friday entries from round the world, visit the link!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My weekend ride

Last weekend, I went roving for the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes. It's a ham radio contest where you talk to as many people on the VHF (and higher) radio frequency bands as possible.

Rovers drive from place to place (usually hill tops) so they can talk to more people. I rove because I can't put up a big antenna farm on my postage stamp lot in the city.

The car belongs to my roving partner, Sigurd, who graciously lets me tag along. I operate the low bands and he does the microwaves.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

24 hours of rain

We had an unseasonably warm bit of weather over the weekend and it was accompanied by rain. About 24 hours worth of rain. It stopped last night and as you can see, there isn't a trace of it left. Our storm drains are pretty much rated for solid rain like that.

The snow banks are considerably smaller though, and the weather is apparently going to stay above freezing for another day, maybe two. That does odd things to the ground. I hope the plants will be OK without their insulating blanket of snow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skywatch Friday

On Fridays, there is a community of bloggers who post a photo of the sky. Here's mine, a hazy, wispy, not-quite-cloudy but not-quite-sunny sky.

For more, visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Making tracks

Man and beasts walking together.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I've got my eye on you!

We were out playing and I snapped this quick one. OK, I was shoveling and he was playing. He built a snow fort and stood ready to defend it from all evildoers. Like a parent. Who just might be dumping shovels full of heavy snow near to his fortress... Hmmm.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Skywatch Friday

It's January, so we see a fair amount of cloudy days here. Some days though, we get a reminder that our nearest star is still hard at work. Some days the clouds work harder!

It's Skywatch Friday! Click the link to see photos from round the world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The sun is barely above the horizon. It rises off of the left side of the frame. I was going to walk down to the cemetery at the end of the street, but there are trees blocking the horizon there too. So in the end, I decided to try to capture the street in the half light. Before the sun lights it up, before the people are off to work. Those early morning moments of stillness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snow at night

I thought I'd give the on-camera flash a workout. Surprisingly, it came out pretty well!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Yes, an earthworm.

I try to grow a little something for the cats and dogs to browse on during the winter, and bird seed sprouts easily and quickly and they all like it. I re-purposed a pot I had used to grow herbs in. The pot spent most of the summer outside and unknown to me picked up at least one earthworm.

I started this pot of bird seed last week, with lots of water and stirring. Today, it's sunny, so I thought I'd move the pot into the shaft of sunlight streaming in through the window. The instant the pot moved into the sun, this earthworm crawled out of the shallows and wriggled around on the surface.

I'm not sure who was more tickled, me or the 7 year old who got to hold an earthworm in January! After his portrait, he was returned to the pot where we watched him point his nose down and burrow back into the soil. A sprinkle of water to make sure he wasn't too dry and I'm sure he's fine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowy tree

I haven't been taking many photos so I had to go back a feww weeks for this image. This was taken on a clear, bright day that followed a cloudy, snowy night. The contrast in my spirits is just as pronounced as the contrast in he weather. What a lovely sight to wake up to!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An ordinary day

Just an ordinary day. The sun is out, which is a bit unusual :-) but the snow is mostly off the street, the school bus is picking up children and people haven't headed off to work yet so there are cars on the street.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Morning sun

It seems as if the skies have been a solid, leaden grey for a long, long time - it's so good to see the sun in the morning for a change! After Christmas, when the lights are no longer turned on, the amount of colour goes way down. Everything seems to be grey or brown. Even the snow is grey after a short while. Dust and dirt, I suppose.

Seeing a bright flag like this is like a jolt of caffeine for the eyes. Once I got past that, I rather liked the textures of the side-lit planter boxes (can one call a concrete planter a box?) and the shadow of the hibernating trailing plant.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Census preparations

Schenectady's population has been declining since our industrial heyday in the 1950s. There was a minor scandal during the previous decennial census which caused more than one city official to declare that we were under counted for political reasons. The official population stands just below 62000. New York politics is way too complicated to explain in a blog, so I'll leave that at that, but the upshot is that the city really, really wants to make sure that every resident is counted.

Federal and NY State funding relies on the population count as well as the byzantine NY State Education Department calculations on school aid distribution. So many programs rely on the population count that it's become one of the key indicators (as crazy as that sounds.)

Apparently the Census people have an equally strong desire to get the count right, because they've given money to the city to buy advertising, to prepare us to be tallied. I picked up this t-shirt at a public meeting reviewing the city's block grant development program. It's not just a generic census shirt - it has the city seal on the upper left breast with the mayor's name as well.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Not much different

After being away for 20 days the street looks pretty much the same as it did when we left. Snow on the ground, snow banks atop the grass and grey skies.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Back from holiday

I was away on holiday and got so caught up in the preparations that I didn't think to set up automatic posts for my time away from a computer. This is what it looked like when I left and it hasn't changed much upon my return!
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