Sep 19, 2017

Hurricane Jose

Here is an up close and personal view of the edges of Jose as he makes his way up the eastern coastline nearing  New Jersey.  This morning he was off of Delaware and headed for us.
The wind is hurricane force but, since he is offshore it is not slamming us like Sandy did.
And, since our ocean temperature has dropped down to 69.7 degrees as of this morning, it does not fuel the hurricane.

The loop around is what worries me. Will it come in closer?
Long Island, which took a terrible beating from Sandy , like crossways right in Jose's path.
One town on Long Island NY was burnt to the ground, flooded and desimated by Sandy.

My chairs and glass picnic table outside are secured. The ponds are drained down to accommodate more water but my roof is bad from Sandy so glad this isn't as bad as it could be and I hope it stays that way.  As I said, that prediction of a loop around is what worries me.
The waves are not huge but fast, constant and very rough. The air is very foggy with constant rain. You know, 1 cubic foot of water weights a ton, so the pounding is significant.

Here are some rainy, foggy, rain soaked lens photos of the surf today.
Click on them to see them full sized.
camera lens wet and misty

surf is powerful and spreading up high.

Now this was a big wave! I would estimate about 12 feet over head. You see rain on camera lens

If I can get someone stupid  interested enough to go with me, I will go down on the beach and take photos.
In spite of my back I am still adventurous and I love to live blog these events as I did Sandy while I still could.

Sep 17, 2017

An Adventurous Sunday

Sunday brings us closer to hurricane Jose and I can feel it in my lower back and legs already. It's awfully painful today. 
It looks like more adventure is due as I just got a tropical storm watch on my phone telling me there is elevated chances of flooding and high winds tonight. "Elevated threat to life and property" ,

 I am joining with Toni for her Creative Adventures.

The Dead End Street

1.   While walking in my neighborhood I notice a dead end street that I haven't seen before. My curiosity getting the best of me I decide to walk down to the end. While almost at the end I notice that the street is longer than I thought. As I approach the end it turns slightly and opens out again into a cul de sac.  In front of me is an imposing Victorian house complete with witches hat.
It appears that no one has been there for a long time.
It takes a lot of work to push through the overgrowth. Weeds switch at my legs as I pass by. I am sure they are covered with welts when I finally get through.
Being too curious can be painful at times.
The house looks far too delapidated to even attempt to explore. The porch roof is collapsing! But I am ever so eager to see what the inside of that front turret looks like. Could I see the inside of the 'witch's hat' from inside the second floor of the turret? Well, too dangerous and I will let it alone for today.
I wonder what the backyard looks like so I continue around the house following a red brick path. There was a path like this around my childhood home. I love them and am always attracted to them.
To my amazement, the back is well kept with a manicured lawn and paths lined with trees and bushes that, in summer, would be beautiful. But it is the end of October and the branches stretch out over the paths leaving shadows on the walk that look like bony fingers pointing me forward.  'You have to wonder who takes care of this garden. It would require a lot of work. And why do they tend it when the house is in such a bad state? Who are they and where are they?  Is someone here?  It feels spooky and a shiver goes down my spine.

2.   In the garden there is a maze. Thinking it would be fun I decide to walk a ways into it and see what might be inside." I needn't go far" I think to myself. "But I would hate to miss the opportunity to see a real maze!"I reason.
It seems easy enough and I am sure I can find my way back. After all, there is an imposing weeping willow at the entrance. It is huge, very tall and though now barren of leaves, its myriad branches reach to the ground and even trail a bit. It is distinctive. I will know it again when I see it.
It occurs to me that I have been walking for a while now. I keep thinking I will find something. I don't know what I think I might find, but ..something. Wishful thinking?
The bushes that line the maze are English boxwood, evergreen. Here and there I see old nests of spring visitors deep inside the hedging. Occasionally there are old metal signs with lovely quotes about nature and gardens on them. 
A rabbit runs quickly across my path and I nearly let out a scream. It was so sudden! I saw it out of the corner of my eye. It was a rabbit, wasn't it?  I am not sure. The light is dim now. Branches cast ominous shadows around me and nothing looks distinct anymore.
In one twisting path there is a water nymph resting on the edge of a concrete pond. Rain water fills it partially and autumn leaves are strewn around in pretty confusion.
I would love to see it's graceful fountain sparkling in the sun one day.
As I pass it by I hear splashing in the pond but when I turn there is nothing. 
My mind is working overtime now. I guess....
The hedges make me think of the old hedgerow schools where the Irish would hide to teach children when the English forbid them to get an education!  They sat down hidden in the hedgerows at great peril of life and limb just to learn to read and write! 
My imagination goes into overdrive and I hear whispering voices behind the hedges.
My breath is coming quickly now and I feel uneasy to say the least.
It is growing dark and quickly now. That happens at the end of October when days are very short.  The sunlight is thinner now and the air is cooling rapidly.
I shiver but I don't turn around. I can't tell you why either.It's almost as though I don't want to see what is behind me.
Where is that willow? It was tall enough that I was sure I'd see it even deep in the maze, but I see nothing but the maze ahead. More and more hedge.

3. Now a little worried that I might be lost in the maze I turn the next row and see a gazebo on a tower.  I can get my bearings from there. It is certainly high enough. From the gazebo top, I can see other bridges in the maze that will afford a good view. But, though I can see the entrance from this vantage point, it will take some luck to get there. It makes sense to follow along to all the bridges in order to have a constant view of where I am going and that is what I will do.
But darkness is closing in. I do not want to spend the night in that gazebo. I rummage through my backpack to find my tiny flash light. I don't want to use the light on my Android phone and lose power.
The tiny torch is powerful and blazes through the night so that I can go from bridge to bridge without too much trouble.
There! The house is just ahead!   It's good to see the house again but, there is someone moving upstairs past a window in the "witches hat " turret. They are carrying a lantern and the light goes from window to window as they move along.
I pause for a second to catch my breath and I see a face in the window looking down straining to see if anyone is there. They are holding the lantern in front of them so it obscures their features a lot.
I try to make myself as small as possible."Oh, please don't let me be seen," I whisper to myself.
 What is that in the window?  I am not sure I want to know. 
I am so very tired from walking around that maze. My legs have had it.
But seeing that lantern begin to move downward toward the front door on it's journey revives my energy. I begin to jog to the front. I want to beat whatever it is. 
 Even the constant switching of my legs by the tangled branches can't deter me. It is as though an unseen hand is driving me to greater speed each time a branch strikes my legs.  "Hurry up ,hurry up," is all I can think.
I want out of there, and I want out now!
My legs are stinging from those briars and tangled branches but I am on the street and heading away from that adventure.
I can't seem to walk fast enough.

4.   Relieved and walking back home I think to myself  the maze is a group effort and not a great idea when you are alone.  I wonder how or what was in that window.Someone was there. Someone not afraid of the damaged condition of the house. 
No one in their right mind would not think twice about entering that house in its terrible condition!
No one in their right mind. The phrase haunts me now.
I take my phone out of the backpack to check the time.
Midnight!  I can't believe I was wandering around the maze looking for a way out for so very long. It took me hours! No wonder I am tired.
I was so stupid to enter it just as the sun was going down! Ridiculous decision. More ridiculous when I consider that the comparison of the house's condition with the meticulous maze should have been a warning to me that someone might be around.
The light from the phone illuminates my face as I look again at the time.
And it is then that I notice the date. I increase my speed to a dead run home...
It is October 31st, Halloween.

Sep 15, 2017

The World Around Me.. friday foto friends

I am joining in for Friday Foto Friends hosted by Debbie.

H ow beautiful the earth around us is.
We are told to cultivate it and preserve it (shomer means to guard)!
(Gen 2)That is what the Hebrew really means there.
The season is changing. Summer will end in a bit  and already some trees are turning colors. The Ash tree already has some yellowing.  Red Oaks in the woods by me are reddening up.
As always you can click to make the photos full sized.

A panorama shot of one of  several little coves by me Click to enlarge

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor would you be mine"...Remember Mr. Rogers?

tête à tête is French for an intimate conversation. So this would be bateau à bateau I guess..boat to boat.

I like this fence. Split railing went round my house for years but termites like it too much. I really think the rope is a nice idea. Then again, maybe a white picket fence? Hmm...Right now I am still doing repairs from Sandy and there is no money for replacing fence!  Now another hurricane on the way.. UGH! Stay away!

Mugho pines love the sandy soil

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay...wasting time. My favorite way to waste it too! ;)

In Autumn the phragmites begin to turn golden. Notice the blue in the seagull wing? My last name is a kind of seagull in German and Danish.

Okay girly...where is my lunch???  I demand attention. The neighbors feed me. what's wrong with you today?

Seagulls always want a free lunch. If you don't provide they get their own.

"I gots a Blue crabby!"   No thanks to you. Hmmph.

I wonder if this seagull even bothered to learn the rules! Some nerve

We got a kick out of this sign in the little park.  Both of us are over 25 Of course it should read 2 to 5 year olds.