Change: This week, show us a change in progress. This can be done in one or multiple photos — we’ll let you decide!

ice at the dam

In the middle of town, there is a dam and a bridge. The river is the Mumford, which is one of the larger tributaries of the Blackstone River and the bridge is just the overpass where Route 16 turns towards Mendon, Milford and other points southeast of Uxbridge.

This is the middle of town, through the seasons, from December through the following November.

Mumford Dam




path woods golden november at the dam


23 September 2015: SUMMER’S HARVEST

It’s Frisbee Wednesday again. Late September. And today is the Autumnal Equinox, when the length of the day and night is the same. At least it is almost the same. Actually, it is never exactly the same, but today it is as close as it will get this season. From this day on and for three lovely months, it’s Fall.

So what did we do on our summer vacation?


First, we went to Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the birthplace of America’s first best-selling author, James Fenimore Cooper.

The museum wasn’t quite the heartwarming experience we expected. This was my third visit and Garry’s second, so we thought we knew what to expect. We wuz wrong.


Someone decided the museum needed to be redesigned. A fine example of fixing something that wasn’t broke. Garry will have more to say on the subject, so I will merely say that I liked it a lot better before.


Of course, Cooperstown isn’t just about baseball. It’s about souvenir shops and tee shirts. Old baseball cards and signed bats. It has become (it was not always) a classic tourist town. It could be Edgartown, Carmel, or Gettysburg (minus the graveyards and zombies). It’s a certain “look” one gets to recognize.

72-Garry-Baseball-HOF-new_074If you have seen one tourist mecca, you will always recognize one. Not a bad thing. Such towns are always quaint, neat, clean, and customer service oriented. No surprises — good or bad — lurk in a tourist town.

Outside of town, it’s all about farms. Fields of hay, barley, and oats. Cows. Harvest time in the rolling foothills of the Adirondacks. We took pictures. You knew that, right?


We found a beaver dam, complete with ducks. And the occasional beaver.


Logic said we should go from Cooperstown to Peacham, Vermont … the next stop on our journey. Except it’s the punchline to a joke. You know, the one where you ask the old farmer how to get somewhere in New England. He stops, thinks a long time, then says: “You can’t get theah from heah.”


The roads in the north land … New England, upstate New York … all points north of Massachusetts? The major roads — anything that isn’t just two lanes, one in each direction — travel north-south. Local roads go every which way. Which means if you want to travel more or less northeast, it’s not such a long drive in miles, but it’s at least seven to eight hours driving on local roads.

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We did that last October when we drove 10 hours from Jackman to Peacham. It was gorgeous. The mountains, the glowing trees. Endless twisting roads. Very slow drivers. Old pickup trucks. Weaving cars. Maddening.

The idea of repeating this was enough to make poor Garry froth at the mouth. It was as quick to go home for the night, then drive to Vermont the following morning.

So, that’s what we did. Went home. Then drove to Vermont, which was every bit as beautiful this year as last.


The first day, they came and harvested the corn.


From first light to late shadows, it was surpassingly lovely. There may be other places on earth as beautiful, but none more so.


Long shadows as the evening draws on.


And then, suddenly, too soon … it was time to go home. Reality. Ouch. Don’t you hate when that happens?


We got back from Vermont and Cooperstown the day before yesterday. The leaves look just like they did when we left, as if everything just stopped and waited for us.

Should you decide to accept “the challenge,” you may use any picture — and this week, you have some great choices — or use one of your own pictures. Write something about the picture or make something up using a picture as your jumping off point.

I maintain this is the easiest prompt in the world.

Happy Autumn to you all!



Long shadows across the grass. Evening is beginning earlier and it seems very sudden. The leaves are mostly not changing yet up here.


Color will come late this year. Hard to know how Autumn will be. So many factors. We need just the right amount of rain and a cold snap with chilly night and cool days.


The last two fall seasons were glorious, but before then, we had a series of washouts with lots of hurricanes coming up the coast and dropping tons of rain and blowing the leaves right off the trees.


This year, the problem down our way is not enough rain plus continuing summery temperatures.


We’ll have to wait and see. When change comes, it comes in a big hurry.



Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 09 – Harvest


Fall does not officially begin until the Wednesday, September 23, the first day of Autumn. That’s the day of the Autumnal Equinox, when days and night are of equal length.


Locally in central Massachusetts, the leaves began turning before August was done, leaving the beginning of September to feel like summer, with temperatures in the nineties and high humidity … while big swathes of the woods are bright yellow.


Full Autumn in New England does not visually arrive until early to mid-October. As we drove into upstate New York, it was obvious that the trees had not changed yet, but were thinking about it.


Two days later, Autumn is rushing in, surrounding golden fields full of corn and barley. Goldenrod and purple asters are everywhere.


So our early changing leaves must be from lack of rain. We had no rain in August, not one measurable rainfall.


About half of the gallery photos were all near my house during the first week of September when the aspens had just turned bright yellow. The rest of the photographs were taken today (September 15th) in and around Cooperstown, New York in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

If you live in this region, you know that the color of the leaves changes from month to month — from light golden green in the spring, to the deep green of late summer.


The big water is Lake Otsego, “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper. The place in which we are staying is on the shore of the lake.


Cardinal Guzman, the host of this challenge, has totally blown us away with his own galleries this month. Absolutely, go take a look. Amazing photography.


Greetings from the birthplace of James Fenimore Cooper, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. We are poised on the shore of Lake Otsego. We just got here less than an hour ago … and I opened the back door to our room and voilà … Glimmerglass!

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For anyone still under the impression that young James Fenimore Cooper was raised in a log cabin on the frontier, he was actually raised in a big, white mansion at the head of Lake Otsego. To be fair, it had indeed been wilderness when his father settled there. Today, it is gentrified and expensive. Manicured farmland abuts mansions. An elegant area of exceptional beauty.

James’ father, the venerable William Cooper, founded the town. Will Cooper hung out with John Adams and George Washington and was a big deal even before his son became America’s first best-selling author.

Glimmerglass in the books is, of course, Lake Otsego. Tonight, as we were coming back from dinner, the lake looked like a gleaming gem in a deep green setting.

72-Lake Otsego_05

Everything you might want to know about James Fenimore Cooper, America’s first novelist, here.

It’s kind of gray and rainy today. Tomorrow, or perhaps the day after, the sun will shine, or so they promise . I hope I will have more pictures to show you and stories to tell tomorrow.

An interesting point about lake side living is that it’s at least 15 degrees colder out back than out the front door. All the folks in the back barbecuing or just watching the day end are wearing heavy jackets. Those on the front porch, in the rocking chairs are wearing tee shirts. Natural air conditioning at work.



On the evening of March 3, 2013, a young paleontologist named Nizar Ibrahim was sitting in a street-front café in Erfoud, Morocco, watching the daylight fade and feeling his hopes fade with it. Along with two colleagues, Ibrahim had come to Erfoud three days earlier to track down a man who could solve a mystery that had obsessed Ibrahim since he was a child. The man Ibrahim was looking for was a fouilleur — a local fossil hunter who sells his wares to shops and dealers.

Among the most valued of the finds are dinosaur bones from the Kem Kem beds, a 150-mile-long escarpment harboring deposits dating from the middle of the Cretaceous period, 100 to 94 million years ago.


After searching for days among the excavation sites near the village of El Begaa, the three scientists had resorted to wandering the streets of the town in hopes of running into the man. Finally, weary and depressed, they had retired to a café to drink mint tea and commiserate. “Everything I’d dreamed of seemed to be draining away,” Ibrahim remembers.

Ibrahim’s dreams were inextricably entangled with those of another paleontologist who had ventured into the desert a century earlier. Between 1910 and 1914 Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach, a Bavarian aristocrat, and his team made several lengthy expeditions into the Egyptian Sahara, at the eastern edge of the ancient riverine system of which the Kem Kem forms the western boundary.

Despite illness, desert hardships, and the gathering upheaval of World War I, Stromer found some 45 different taxa of dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, and fish. Among his finds were two partial skeletons of a remarkable new dinosaur, a gigantic predator with yard-long jaws bristling with interlocking conical teeth. Its most extraordinary feature, however, was the six-foot sail-like structure that it sported on its back, supported by distinctive struts, or spines. Stromer named the animal Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.


Stromer’s discoveries, prominently displayed in the Bavarian State Collection for Paleontology and Geology in central Munich, made him famous. During World War II he tried desperately to have his collection removed from Munich, out of range of Allied bombers.

But the museum director, an ardent Nazi who disliked Stromer for his outspoken criticism of the Nazi regime, refused. In April 1944 the museum and nearly all of Stromer’s fossils were destroyed in an Allied air raid. All that was left of Spinosaurus were field notes, drawings, and sepia-toned photographs. Stromer’s name gradually faded from the academic literature.

Read more! Source:

I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs. This is a fantastic find. I thought maybe you would find it fascinating too.

See on In and About the News


The season is coming on so fast, there are visible differences in leaf color in a six-hour period.

In the morning …

And the, a few hours later …

I have to go down by the river. That’s where the maples turn scarlet and our woods has very few maple trees.

I don’t know what to expect this year. It has been so dry. Regardless, I need to see.