Saturday, June 27, 2009

From No. Conway to Franconia, NH

On Saturday last weekend, we drove through Crawford Notch and on to the Sugar Hill section of Franconia. Each year (this is the 16th) Franconia puts on a Fields of Lupine Festival, over a two-week, three-weekend period in middle of June. We got there on the second-to-last day of the festival, but there appeared to be a lot more blooming left. Perhaps things are a bit late this year.

Here are a few of the photos I took as we cruised over a two or three mile area called Sugar Hill.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From the center of No. Conway at 7 am

From the Cranmore Inn (see previous blog post) Laurie and I took morning walks downtown before breakfast. What a great way to work up an appetite for blueberry pancakes or eggs and sausage.

After an overnight rainstorm Saturday night, the lighting was magnificent in the early morning, with a few dark clouds lingering and mist rising from the River.

The Conway Scenic Railroad takes riders up to Crawford Notch and back and there's even a dinner train. We hope to take a trip when we come to North Conway again!

The view of the Cathedral Ledge area is looking west from the golf course that abutts the train station. All of these images were taken between 6:30 am and 7:00 am.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Cranmore Inn in North Conway, NH

Laurie and I spent a long weekend at the Cranmore Inn, an old bed & breakfast in North Conway, NH. The weather was far better than we were anticipating. I don't recall even needed raincoats, though we were expecting rain all weekend.

I am sorting through my pictures now. I took way too many! Here are a few of the Inn itself. It is in the old part of town, and not too far from Cranmore Mountain, the ski area.

The new owner of this Bed and Breakfast is a carpenter and he has spent the last two years refurbishing the insides, one room at a time. The building has 21 rooms so he's been kept very busy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nice morning at the Land of the Nuclear Sunfish

With the rivers so high today after the 2" of rain we received Thursday night, I went to the "Land of the Nuclear Sunfish" for a 4 hour "float" with my Hobie pontoon boat. The fishing was good and I saw an Osprey, a Great Blue Heron, a few ducks and geese, a couple of snapping turtles, a nesting bird of some kind, and caught some BIG sunfish.

I have a set of nine images here:

Vince Gill concert at Lowell Memorial Auditorium

Laurie and I saw Vince Gill (for the 3rd or 4th time, I should add) in concert this past Wednesday night. He was at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in downtown Lowell, suprisingly only about 15 minutes from the house. It is an easy drive with garage parking on one side of the river and a nice covered walkway across the river near the Middlesex Community College campus building and onto the main street, where there is only another 100 yard walk to the Auditorium.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bambi and mother

Laurie first spotted this fawn a couple of days prior. We both saw the doe and fawn two nights ago about 7:30 as they passed through the yard. This is a terrible photo of the fawn, but by the time I got my camera and snuck out the front door I barely got the shot off before the pair disappeared into the woods. I didn't even have time for the camera to lock focus. But you can see the mom's hindquarters on the left behind the spruce tree, and the baby on the right with tail in the air, both moving away from me.

The three photos of the doe were taken last night at about the same time. I didn't see the fawn, which makes Laurie and me worry a bit. But maybe that is normal. Maybe the baby is sleeping somewhere protected.

I don't know much about deer but my best guess is that they have terrible eyesight and great hearing. I was able to sneak out the front door without being seen but every time (even at 50 feet away) the camera made its little beep as it locked focus she would turn her head toward me. But since I was leaning against the front door and not moving, she didn't seem to recognize me or at least was not frightened.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Three-wheeled motorcycle... and trailer!

This first picture is the one I took before I realized this motorcycle was towing a trailer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Porch and family rooms gets some paint

Bob the painter came over this past week to fix cracks on the porch ceiling and give it a couple of coats of paint. A layer of stain killer was painted on first as there were a number of water damage stains from two winters ago. Now that we have a new roof on the porch (last November), we don't expect any more ice dams (knock on wood.)

In the family room, I took care of removing the shark-skin wallpaper. Happily its removal went smoothly. The two coats of biege colored paint (with a hint of green) applied by Bob looks very nice, matching colors in the marble hearth and rug. The plastic in the family room was to keep the dust off of the furniture. Professional painters do a lot of sanding before they paint! (I've always skipped that step *grin*.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Very cute car

While driving through the neighborhood we came across one of the cute little "Smart Cars". Laurie would like one, but I think I still prefer the little Cooper.... when we win the lottery.

The yellow one is the one we saw here in Westford. The maroon one pictured below was in Wyoming in June of 2007 (I dug it up from my image files from that trip).

As I recall, it was the first Smart Car either of us had seen. I think Laurie had heard of them, but it was completely new to me. They were not yet available in the USA; this maroon one was from Alberta, Canada (I had to use the photoshop zoom-in feature to read the license plate, which at first glance looks like a Massachusetts plate.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Two photos chosen for "Photo of the Year"

Last night's meeting in the photo club was the annual "photo of the year" meeting. I was pleased that my "Misty Morning" received black and white print of the year. It was entered as a 10"x 15" print.

And "Last Light" won photo of the year in the digital image category. That means it is entered on a disk as a jpeg digitalimage, and viewed on a screen at the meeting.

[Reed, this is the one you have on your wall as an 18" print.]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wild irises along the Millers River

While fishing this past Sunday on the Millers River I came upon a couple of clumps of blue irises. They can't possibly have been intentionally planted there as this is an island that is really just a bunch of dirt over rocks. During the spring, in fact, it spends much of its time nearly submerged. There are no houses nearby either.

[Edit: Andy Smith tells me that these are likely native irises called Iris Versicolor, or simply the Blue Flag.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tom Rush concert at Emerson Umbrella

Tom Rush was quite a folk singer "back in the day". He's 68 now, and lives in New Hampshire (as he has most of his life.) He generally plays small clubs and makes the same tour it seems each year. He used to play annually in Shirley (Ayer?) at the "Sit 'N Bull" club, but that is no longer functioning. He's a well educated man, too. On his Web site we learned that he had gone back for his 50th reunion at Groton School, and he graduated from Harvard.

Watching a performance at Emerson Umbrella is, for Laurie and me, like going back home. For us it was the old junior high school. And before that it was the Concord High School until the current Concord-Carlise High School was build sometime in the late 1950s.

Now it is the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts. Courses are taught there and the old classrooms are artists' studios. Laurie and I can still remember going to science movies in the 400+ seat auditorium. I wonder if there is still a cafeteria in the basement?
Bigger and a few more images are here:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Laurie stays home today

Today is Laurie's first Monday of "retirement". Of course, she is not really retired, she's just retired from MIT. And already she's had some new client referrals for her Daily Money Management business. Laurie can't wait to get Checknowledgy moving forward again. (And she can't wait to work in the garden, take morning walks, do some more cooking, plan our next vacation, and generally have more fun!)

I took this picture this morning at about 5:45. I know that sounds way too early in the morning for someone who has "retired", but this is usually the time Laurie heads out the door to drive to the train station to begin her two hour odyssey to work. (Yes, that's two hours! Each way!) But old habits are hard to break, as you can see she has her coffee in her commuter mug *grin*.