CLOUDS OVER THE MUMFORD

A Photo a Week Challenge: Unusual Clouds

I love taking pictures of clouds. The night of the super moon, I was disappointed by the cloud coverage until I started processing the photos, and then I was thrilled with some of the images because of how the clouds added to the images.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE ONE OR TWO PHOTOS WITH UNUSUAL CLOUDS OR CLOUD FORMATIONS.

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Late afternoon in the middle of town, on the bridge over the river. In black and white.

HARVEST: MONTHLY PHOTO CHALLENGE 09

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 09 – Harvest

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

HEARING IS BELIEVING

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: SENSE OF HEARING

This week’s topic is the colors of the sense of hearing.    You can be simple like I did this week and used instruments.  You can also get radical and show someone blasting apart a sidewalk with a jackhammer or the soothing sound of the ocean waves.  This week you can post anything that stimulates or delights you when you hear it.   Be creative and have fun. Feel free to dig around in your archives for photos if you don’t have anything new you can photograph.   Most of all I hope you have fun.

And fun it is. To you from way up in the mountains of Vermont …

 

PICKY

Once upon a time, in a far away land, The Boss assigned me a secretary. Not part of a pool, but a whole person. With a master’s degree from Mt. Holyoke. Pretty daunting, me with my little B.A. from Hofstra. So I said to The Boss:

“What is she supposed to do?”

“You write, she does the typing.”

He apparently thought I wrote in longhand. On paper.

I learned to touch type when I was 10 and hadn’t written anything longer than a grocery list by hand since then. Now, I had a secretary who was supposed to type for me? I was supposed to write longhand? I can barely hand write a list and decipher it later. I can’t think without a keyboard. Regardless, I had a secretary.

She was American, like me. Thin. Tall. Blonde. (Unlike me!) Very nervous. Twitchy.

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We discovered a shared passion for horses and went riding together. She rode a lot better than me. She had her own helmet, crop, jacket … the whole regalia. I had jeans and a pair of battered boots. I’d never worn a helmet.

About the same time, I had a less heartwarming revelation. I discovered my secretary was a dedicated nose picker — and she ate it. She was fast and sneaky, but when you spend every working day with someone in close quarters, it would have been impossible to not notice her long, nervous finger up her nose.

I’m sure everyone probably picks their nose sometimes, but this was different. She couldn’t stop. She admitted she’d damaged the lining of her nose from constant attacks with her fingernails.

Our offices were on the fourth floor of a warehouse. No elevator, so you got plenty of exercise. The boss was an orthodox Jew from Belgium. Other than Judaism, he believed in feeding his employees and giving everyone lots of vacation time. It was a good job. He was one of the kindest, most decent men  I ever knew, much less worked for.

Two floors below us was a chocolate factory. They made all kinds dark chocolate-covered citrus fruits (my favorite was grapefruit). If you were Kosher, you could eat them with meat or dairy. And oh my, they were so good. Around two in the afternoon, they fired up the chocolate vats and the smell would start drifting upward. I sent my secretary to get me chocolate. I didn’t know what else to do with her and watching her ream out her nose was getting to me. By mid afternoon, I not only needed chocolate. I needed a break.

She was such a nice woman. Smart. Well-educated. She objected to being sent on errands. I sighed. I didn’t really have much else for her to do. The nose-picking was wearing me down. I found myself trying to not look at her lest I catch her digging with a finger up to a second knuckle. One day I was sure she’d hit brain matter.

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Finally, she refused to get me chocolate and I had no work for her. Moreover, she was unable to keep her fingers where they belonged. I went to the boss. I said I felt my secretary needed to move on, perhaps to someone else in the company who needed her services more than I. He looked at me.

“What is the real problem?”

“It’s embarrassing.”

“Tell me.”

“She picks her nose. And eats it.”

I thought he was going to toss his cookies on the desk. That was the end of the story. In reality, not only did I not need a secretary, no one did. It was a computer development company. We all worked on keyboards. So her departure was inevitable. I just sped it up by a few weeks.

I didn’t mention the picking thing, but she knew. She also had to know she was underemployed. I’ve been in that position. You know when you’re redundant. No one will pay you indefinitely when they don’t need your services … unless your mom or dad owns the company and even that doesn’t come with a guarantee.

Still, if it hadn’t been for the nose picking and her refusal to get me chocolate, she’d have had a bit more time.