SOMEWHERE IN SUTTON

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Kaity and I went shooting today. We haven’t done that in a long time and it was a pleasure spending time with this young woman who is my granddaughter.

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It was not quite as bright and beautiful as it had been earlier in the week … but it was neither raining nor snowing.

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At this point in the seasons, a day which isn’t bitterly cold and when precipitation isn’t falling from the sky, is a good day to be out and about.

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Monday Garry and I are off again. Me to Amherst to stay with friends, he from there to Amherst to Long Island, then back to pick up the luggage (me). And home.

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I’ll try to get some pictures while I’m out in the western part of our lovely commonwealth.

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These pictures were taken somewhere in Sutton. A farm, a pond, a few bright leaves.

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We met a big (probably) Greylag (domestic, not wild) goose who was taking a break from the farm and failed to read the signs reminding us not to feed the geese. I hoped I was seeing a rare goose, but suspected, when he walked out of the water and stood there looking cute, he was probably domestic.

I have dogs. I know begging when I see it.

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WATER BIRDS AT LACKEY DAM

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I haven’t seen any swans around here at all in months. The local ponds, rivers, waterfalls were all  dry, with their muddy bottoms showing.

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Kaity tells me she’s seen a lot of swans, but not in the usual places. I assume they went to deeper water. Before the rain started in October, you could walk across Whitin’s Pond.

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The ponds are full again. Full of water, full of ducks. I’ve never seen so many ducks. And today, down by Lackey Dam, one swan … and a lot of ducks. The leaves around the pond are dark red to bronze and so, by reflection, is the water.

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A fine day for waterfowl.

GOLDEN AFTERNOON

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When Garry said I should come out and grab my camera, I wasn’t as thrilled as I usually am. Mid November is usually drab, vying with early March for nothing special to shoot. Nonetheless, I went. I haven’t taken any pictures for over a week and my camera was lonely.

Mallards golden november at the dam

As we left the house, the sun came out. I noticed more than a bit of autumn foliage. Most of the trees are half bare. Naked branches cluster right, left, or center … but the rest of the tree is still clothed in golden leaves.

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Our first stop was Whitins Pond. The last time we were there, it was mostly muddy bottom. No birds and not enough water to float a canoe. Today it looked normal. The mallards I saw were too far away to shoot, but I was glad to see them swimming lazily on what may be the last warm day of this autumn.

Mallards November Mumford

Garry suggested we check out the dam in the middle of town. When we got there, it was after three … late afternoon since the clocks were turned back. The light was golden and so were the trees along the Mumford River. The angle of the sun and the trees turned the river to gold.

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We were above the dam and a whole flock a mallards were enjoying an excursion. There were males with their bright teal heads, females and adolescents — full-grown, but not yet wearing their adult feathers.

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It was gorgeous. These pictures are not processed. This is how it looked in the lens. No special effects … or any effects … were used. Just a little cropping. A drab day turned into a miraculous day.

November Mallards golden Mumford

MOST OF MY DAYS

Cee’s Black & White Challenge:

Walk 100 Steps and Take New Photos

Today has been a quiet, sleepy day. Raining outside as we snuggle up inside.

I didn’t walk 100 steps to take pictures. Maybe I walked 5 steps to get to the top of the stairs for a shot of the landing below. I walked couple more steps to get a better angle on Bishop, the big Aussie Shepherd.

This is my world, or important parts of it. This is where I spend most of my time, most of my days.

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SHARING MY WORLD – WEEK 43

Cee’s Share Your World – 2014 Week 43

What is your favorite time of day?

Ironically, though I hate having to get out of my warm, comfortable bed, morning is my favorite time of day. I love morning light, morning coffee.

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The quiet in the house. Morning is when I write best, think best. It is when I get most business taken care of. Sipping coffee, writing a post, making phone calls and appointments. Then Garry is up and the dogs start to charge around and morning is done.

What’s your favorite charitable cause and why?

The Durrell Wildlife Park is a zoological park on the Isle of Jersey. Established in 1958 on the island of Jersey in the English Channel by naturalist and author Gerald Durrell, it is now operated by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. 

I read — and loved — Gerald Durrell’s books and I remember when he was fighting to get his park established. He was one of the first to see that breeding endangered species was going to be the only way to preserve many animals whose habitats were disappearing. He is, for the literature majors in the crowd, the younger brother of author Lawrence Durrell, or as Gerald always called him, “Larry.”

Address: La Profonde Rue, Jersey
Area: 25 acres
Opened: March 26, 1959
Phone: +44 1534 860000

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Their motto is “Extinction is not inevitable.” At Durrell Wildlife Park you’ll can meet — face to face — some of the rarest animals on earth. Be amazed by their beauty, wonder at their majesty and uncover their stories of fight for survival. The park is also a vacation park, an educational resource. I have never been there (I wish!), but I have contributed money when I could and followed its progress from when it was founded through today. It has come a long way and maybe, someday, I will be able to visit.

They have a wonderful website with video, information, stories, stuff for kids. Please check it out!

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Reading, writing, hanging out with the dogs. Kind of like I spend most days, actually.

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?96-Bonnie-OnGuard_03

I hate writing by hand. I’ve been touch-typing since I was 10 years old and my handwriting, once elegant and readable, has become illegible. I can still sign my name, but when I have to actually hand write anything, I have to print it if I want anyone but me to be able to read it.

Even then, it’s just 50-50. And I make typos even by hand, which is hideously embarrassing when one is signing a book for someone. Maybe I should use crayons? I like those rolling tip marker-writing thingies. I used to have some of them, but I think Garry stole them. He has a thing for pens.

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We finally got Bonnie’s teeth done and they were not nearly as bad as we had been led to believe (another story, to be written separately).

Our little girl has her smile back. It turns out, our dogs are fine. What we really needed was a better veterinarian.

Next week? THE WELL!