Getting around

At another part of the beach. (May 8 2:16 p.m.)

Things are moving… and some things are stalling.  Such is life.  I’m behind.  Not enough time, and not enough sleep.  The year has gone by so frickin’ fast.  One week away from summer… even less than that.

I’ve been meaning to post more often here but my internet access at home has been unreliable.

(May 15 2:33 p.m.)

I’ve been here and there.  And my transportation has been funded by… gulp… taxpayer money.

(May 15 2:33 p.m.)

Okay, so I’m being a bit dramatic.  I haven’t been everywhere and every day, and it’s nothing compared to the cost of health care… nothing compares to health care in America anymore.

Mackworth Island. (May 17 2:36 p.m.)

But you ought to make the best of each day, right? Continue reading Getting around

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Greening up

(May 30 4:20 p.m.)

The trees at home are finally filling up like other parts of the bloomin’ state.  And it seemed to happen quickly given just a week ago:

(May 22 10:41 a.m.)

Leaves have left the immature and soft stage, and entered the developed and glossy stage… with insect bites.

Apologies for the iPhone’s persistence in making the brown leaves gray. (May 30 4:21 p.m.)
Mar 22 2:37 p.m.

The little purple flowers have popped up, as well as tiny white.

Continue reading Greening up

Cool spring

(May 8 11:30 a.m.)

Spring is already half-over.

(May 18 3:40 p.m.)

Which makes it odd that many of the tree leaves near home are still in early development or just budding, whereas trees in Biddeford and Portland have already bloomed.

(May 17 10:31 a.m.)

Of course, snow makes everything take longer.  (Not to mention, planted trees, flowers and grass are treated differently.)  It’s been cold for May— temperatures in the 40s (°F) versus “normal” numbers in the 60s.

Here are some photos of the progress so far.

(May 4 6:39 p.m.)

The leaves, of course, were buds.

Continue reading Cool spring

Toes in the sand at Old Orchard Beach

Pier and a pigeon. (Apr 17 2:48 p.m.)

It had been many a year since I visited this beach.

Closed until summer. (Apr 17 2:50 p.m.)

I remember visiting the Old Orchard Street— lined with stores, rides on the side… and pizza.  And more pizza.  I remember playing at the arcade.  The last time, however… I sat in my mother’s car parked along the street, and didn’t get out due to self-consciousness.

(Apr 17 1:49 p.m.)

On Wednesday, most everything was closed, and will remain closed until summer, of course.

(Apr 17 2:40 p.m.)

Even the pier was closed.  A parked truck blocked the entrance… I vaguely remember that being the case way back when too. Continue reading Toes in the sand at Old Orchard Beach

Spring is here! …mostly.

(Apr 11 5:05 p.m.)

Yeah, it snowed again, about a week ago.  But that’s Maine for you.  It can snow “unexpectedly” in Spring.  That isn’t to say we’re the only state that gets snow in April.  Some parts of the U.S. got blizzard conditions.  (And Texas got a dust storm.)

(Apr 13 4:31 p.m.)

But, with rising temperatures and rain, it soon began to clear up.  The white stuff vanished in two days, save a few patches.

(Apr 13 4:32 p.m.)

The mini-lake in the driveway is depleted, but some of the ground is still saturated.  Squish, squash, splosh. Continue reading Spring is here! …mostly.

Winter update

(Mar 14 8:15 a.m.)

Yeah…. it snowed again.  And unexpectedly; it wasn’t supposed to look like this Thursday.  The forecast temperatures for that part of the week were above freezing…. But “supposed to” is a fallacy.  Us humans can’t tell the weather what to do; we can only predict it.

Supposedly, this was in part due to a “bomb cyclone.”  The weather across the U.S. has been a bit crazy this month.  Very low temps this winter.  Tornadoes in the south.  Over a dozen fatalities in the midwest alone… and that’s just January.  Fierce winds and fallen branches.  Hail …in Britain.

(Mar 6 10:47 a.m.)

Here?  Some winds.  Cold.  Nothing much happens in Maine.  But so many blue sky days.  And I’m talking bluer than these photos here.

…And then the clouds roll in. Continue reading Winter update

Iced, slushed and sugar-high

(Dec 28 2:42 p.m.)

Tis winter and a new year, and places have been closed for the holidays… due also to road conditions.  But the white stuff melted throughout winter.

Pre-bad path conditions. (Dec 23 10:00 a.m.)

Until it snowed again.  1.5″, and sleet and…

Bad path conditions. (Dec 28 4:15 p.m.)

…slush.  At its worst, the daily walk can become an obstacle course, sometimes with mini-lakes in the driveway, and sometimes with this kind of mixture you wouldn’t dare put your shoes in.  I’ve walked the sidelines… in the snow, instead of the path that’s… made so you don’t have to walk in the snow. Continue reading Iced, slushed and sugar-high

The end is nigh … for 2018

Pink. (Nov 21 6:39 a.m.)

Winter’s approaching fast, and the snow is… significantly evaporated since the scene above.

(Dec 10 9:09 a.m.)

Dirt is exposed once again.  Freezing rain and sleet made for something mushy then icy.  But days of precipitation in southern Maine have been few.  Brine has been put on roads as a precaution.  But unlike other states, we just haven’t seen any more snow.

(Dec 10 9:15 a.m.)

Blue skies.  The kind of blue & sun that makes the snow look purple.  Sunny all week.  But cold.

(Nov 21 6:44 p.m.)

Visually, the snow— while it lasts— can make for some remarkable photos.  There are days where the mixture of snow and moonlight make for scenes you have to see in person… especially if the camera can’t handle low light conditions very well.

Dark at 6 o’clock at night. (Nov 21 6:48 p.m.)
(Nov 20 7:50 p.m.)

Maybe you can see a bit of what I mean by remarkable moonlit snow scenes.

(Nov 20 7:52 p.m.)
(Nov 21 6:47 p.m.)

First snow was on Nov 16.  Nothing over half a foot, so far, as measured by the yard stick.

(Nov 22 4:07 p.m.)

First pumpkin pie was on the 22nd.  And it was one of those store brand pies that had a bit of pecan and coconut in the flavoring… which makes it kind of special, come to think of it.  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a bird… an understated Thanksgiving that went by too fast.

(Dec 3 7:27 a.m.)

The days are still for the most part ordinary, but colorful sometimes.  Last Monday morning was foggy/misty.  When the fog lifted, the overcast sky had a bright tint of blue until the yellow of sunrise.

Red-headed woodpecker, just below center of frame. (Dec 8)

Some animals are still out.  I saw and captured a woodpecker on video; I’ve seen a chipmunk using our stick pile as shelter; and today, I saw a herd of deer from our kitchen window, before they entered the woods.

(Dec 2 8:37 a.m.)

As for the holiday season, the tree is up.  First ornament, from a close friend.  See if you can spot it. 😁

(Dec 3 10:24 p.m.)

A few more ornaments added since.  The basic cellotape doesn’t do a good job of holding up the star.

(Dec 3 10:30 p.m.)

The lights went up first.  And as always, bright light sources don’t pick up well with most cameras.  The little incandescent bulbs, for example, aren’t very bright, but a basic camera will make their light a big bright blur.

Low ISO, higher exposure time. (Dec 3 10:27 p.m.)

To the naked eye, the hot filament in a clear bulb looks like a hot filament.

Low dynamic range… but low noise. (Dec 2 8:34 a.m.)

Adjusting for the outside in LDR (so the out isn’t washed out in blurry whiteness), you get the opposite effect: the foreground is too dark.  For conventional cameras, the required dynamic range is too high for an accurate photo.  (It’s even more difficult when the sun is in frame— a much higher DR.)  Long exposure is necessary to reduce noise with the iPhone SE… not a professional camera… so I digress.

(Dec 10 9:15 a.m.)

The climate has been dry.  The kind of dry that you get static shocks when you least expect them.  Even with faucet water.  (An odd sensation.)  Skin has cracked and fissures have formed.  My hands don’t look too great right now.

The cold has all but kept me indoors.  And the fact that it’s now the last month of the year, that had gotten me to look at 2018 in review.  But since the restoration of our cable— as Spectrum killed off the analog channels in our area, forcing us to replace the degraded line to get any channels at all— much of my indoor time has actually been spent watching BBC America… which reruns Star Trek: TNG and The X-Files.  I’m a fan of those shows, so… yeah, the TV has been on in the overnights.  I even checked out some Dr Who with Doctor #13, played by Jodie Whittaker.

Uneven LED backlighting decay. (Oct 13 12:23 p.m.)

And this increased use of the TV comes despite backlight discoloration.  The photo above was taken in October; it’s worse now.  LED backlighting isn’t so great after all— at least during this crappier stage of LED panel design to lower prices.  Two color temperatures for balance and control …and two temperatures that decay unevenly.

…On the matter of lighting, incandescent light bulbs may make a comeback.  Using infrared trapping, MIT has managed to make an efficient tungsten bulb.  Nothing commercial as of yet.  But imagine the natural light of classic light bulbs, but about as efficient as LED. 🙂

(Dec 2 6:01 p.m.)

Well, that’s it for now.  It’s been kind of a struggle to write as it is.  Writer’s block… or vegging out with the TV and/or YouTube… it seems I need to get back to nature to write anything.  And sleep.  I can never seem to get much done, and I always need more sleep.  We are addicted to our screens, and so are our kids.

Having gotten up at 2-something in the morning, I am a bit too tired to continue to stare at screens right now.  So I will bid you all adieu.  Have a good night, morning, or afternoon— wherever you are in the world. 🙂

Until next time…

(Nov 20 11:28 p.m.)

Mid-autumn update

(Oct 25 1:47 p.m.)
Broken branch ahead was dangling in the trees until I took it down. (Oct 28 3:10 p.m.)

The trees have shed, and the oranges and browns are setting in.

It’s the last day of October.  And on some calendars, this marks the end of harvest season.  In Celtic tradition, this end is celebrated with the festival of Samhain; tomorrow on the Gregorian calendar is the beginning of winter on their calendar.  In the U.S., however, we recognize … Hallowe’en.

(Oct 28 7:37 p.m.)

This is about as All-Hallows’-Eve as it gets around here.  (A crude face has since been drawn on this pumpkin.)  Fun fact: before pumpkins were used for jack-o’-lanterns, turnips were used.

This year, analysts say consumers will spend some $9 billion on Halloween candy and costumes in total.

(Oct 25 3:58 p.m.)

But I’d rather look at the leaves.  The reds, in particular, come and go fast.

(Oct 23 1:05 p.m.)

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest.  And free.

Back Cove. (Oct 23 11:50 a.m.)

The tidal waves can be mesmerizing.

Fall colors. (Oct 23 1:08 p.m.)

And as far as weather goes, there have been strong rains…

Uprooted. (Oct 25 4:29 p.m.)

And there have been strong winds.

Another uprooted tree. (Oct 25 4:30 p.m.)

And soon enough, maybe as early as this Sunday, there will be the white stuff where I live.  It’s already snowed north of here; on the 24th, cars slipped off the road in Bangor due to early snow fall.  In Canada, snow fell almost as soon as fall began.

(Oct 23 1:15 p.m.)

There always seems to be grass at Crescent Beach.

Dog season. (Oct 23 1:15 p.m.)

And with signs taken down, at least one person hasn’t picked up after his/her dog.

(Oct 23 1:18 p.m.)

…Nevertheless…

(Oct 25 3:59 p.m.)

You gotta take in the sights before they’re gone.

(Oct 25 4:34 p.m.)
(Oct 25 1:44 p.m.)
(Oct 25 4:27 p.m.)
(Oct 23 1:04 p.m.)

Some flowers and berries remain.

(Oct 29 2:36 p.m.)

Imagine seeing a double rainbow behind the supermarket right after you parked.  I don’t remember see the fainter rainbow, above, until I reviewed the photos.  I take it that the camera picked it up because digital cameras are more ISO-specific sensitive than the human eye when it comes to direct light, whereas we see a high range mixture of ISO somewhere between 25 to over a thousand.  Our HDR vision enables us to see texture on the moon versus a typical ISO blur with the iPhone, but it can make it more difficult to see some fainter light sources.

Anyway.  It turns out this may have been the double rainbow over Old Orchard Beach, in the distance.  It’s certainly not the first one of the year over there.  Within a few minutes, this double rainbow began to disappear with the clouds.

(Oct 29 11:46 a.m.)

It was a downpour earlier in the day, Monday.  Saco Island Deli helped lift my spirits a bit.  (At least until I fell asleep in the car because I hadn’t gotten enough rest before the day began.)  I tried their Mainah-as-panini special: romaine, Cabot cheddar, pan-seared chicken, uncured bacon and their famous maple aioli.  And I gotta say, they make quality sandwiches!

Downpour. (Oct 29 11:51 a.m.)

The good news is I’ve finally seen a dentist.  The bad news: three cavities, and an eye-popping bill.  Cross my fingers that I’ll get any kind of insurance this year…

At home, the mice have returned.  Sometimes, they’ll brave running around in the house… lil’ bastards.

Big rock. (Oct 25 4:09 p.m.)

Well, that’s it for now.  I hope your Halloween night is a good one! 🙂

Until next time…

(Oct 25 3:54 p.m.)

The leaves, the leaves

(Oct 9 12:16 p.m.)
Everyday, I’m shufflin’… walking through leaves. (Oct 9 12:21 p.m.)

It’s autumn, a.k.a. fall.  And the leaves are falling in large numbers.  And that means anywhere there’s a tree, they are sometimes landing on people like arms of a jacket; they’re not as small or dry as you might think this time of the year.

(From driver’s side window, hence the glare.) (Oct 6 1:36 p.m.)

What was mostly a green landscape began to gather browns, then reds…

(Oct 6 1:24 p.m.)
(Oct 9 12:22 p.m.)

…then yellows and oranges. Continue reading The leaves, the leaves