Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Tree Row at Sunset

You can tell when I get bored. I post pictures from my backyard. Heck, this one is almost two months old. weatherman says there lots of drier days ahead, so, maybe there is some new pictures in our future.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Little Cupcake Bakeshop

The Little Cupcake Bakeshop sits on the corner of Mott Street and Prince Street in NoLita, NYC. (there is another over in Brooklyn). 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crabbing at Sunset

I've never been much of a fisherman. I don't even like eating fish. Crabbing was something Dad had showed us when we were kids. Crabbing the few times we went to the beach or, as I faintly remember, crabbing while visiting cousins down along the bay. A few years after I started taking my family to the beach we dug back into the memory bank and bought a simple net and some chicken necks. I think we let them all go, we were barely prepared to catch them and not at all ready to steam and eat them. This has become a must while beaching. Slow down. Toss the net and wait. Move down the dock. Toss the net. Out early in the day. Out late in the evening. Watching the sunset. Relaxing.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Garden Gate

The garden gate at Kings Gap Environmental Center near Mt Holly Springs, Pa. Taken just after New Years. A fresh snow and the park nearly to myself. The flowers and herbs peaked out of the new snow waiting for spring. The sun dial, unfortunately, is not set to daylight savings time. I shows about 11:40 here but it was an hour off.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sika in the Grasses

While trolling the Assateague Island's Wildlife Loop last fall we spotted this sika hind feeding on the tidal grasses in Snow Goose Pool. She was 100, maybe 150, yards off the road. Sikas come from Asia and were introduced to Assateague Island in the early 1900's. We don't see sika every time we drive the Loop but we do occasionally see one.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Those Thieving Starlings

One way to get rid of a suet cake quick is to just wait for the starlings to show up. They never show up just one or two. No. They bring all their friends. They don't sit still very long either. Sorry the pictures are not too sharp, had a camera setting issue I realized later that morning. And before you comment on it Sparky, I know that the grill bottle is expired, I'll take care of that soon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

FDNY Apparatus, February 2013

These are the fire units we saw while in NYC last weekend. Remember I said about Winter Storm Nemo the day before? Well no one got around to washing anything yet. First off we ran into the Explosives Unit. Thought that was interesting, then we realized they were overseeing the pyrotechnics guys wire up the firecrackers. No road flares this year. They were parked along Chrystie Street up near Hester Street.  Reserve Engine 500 sat across Forsyth Street from Natalie's Bakery on stand-by for the fireworks. I got pictures of E-500 last year, too. Next is Ladder 6 out of the Chinatown station over on  Canal Street. They were passing through on Grand Street. And the Fire Family Transport Van, was sitting on Broome Street over by Engine 55's station in Little Italy. The Fire Family Transport Foundation is a volunteer, non-profit organization to help the FDNY firefighters in their time of need. FFT-13 is dedicated in memory of Firefighter Thomas E. Sabella of Ladder 13 who died in the line of duty on September 11th, 2001.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Empire View

The view of the Empire State Building from Mott Street in the Chinatown / Little Italy neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You Can Buy Anything on the Streets of Chinatown

Seriously, you can buy anything on the streets of Chinatown. Except, obviously, Dumplings. Apparently all the freaking Dumpling Houses are CLOSED on Lunar New Year. What's up with that? I could have gotten those mini dried shrimp I've been looking for. And dragonfruit. I really am buying one of those one day. And the Lunar New Years decorations. I'm sure they're all "Made in the USA". And, Hey, I could get any of those services on the signs there. I'm pretty sure some of that stuff may be illegal to bring back across state lines. And squid. Did I mention squid? Sitting right there along the sidewalk on a pile of ice. I don't think I'd get that in the summer. But it did snow the day before, so I'm pretty sure it's OK. I did get pineapple rolls from Natalie's Bakery on Grand and Forsythe for my son. My daughter peeked outside her box and got a bag, no two whole bags, of fortune cookies. The fortune cookies were made in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lion Dances

One of the things that make the Lunar New Years celebration memorable is the lion dancers. And the Dragons, which we didn't see many of this year. They must only come out for the parade. There were a couple different troupes of dancers that I noticed, the last two pictures are the Staten Island Lions. They do their thing to bring fortune to those businesses they dance for. the other memorable thing is the constant drums.

Monday, February 18, 2013

4710 Year of the Snake

This year we changed things up a little and went to New York City for the Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony. This was last weekend, February 10th, and held at Sara Roosevelt Park in Chinatown. The festivities were to start at 11, so we kicked out a space in the snow along the railing. Winter Storm Nemo dropped about 8 inches of snow on the city just a day earlier. At 11 the dignitaries started their speeches. It must be election year for city council, because all of them had something to say. Finally at about 12:15 the firecrackers were lit. They advertised 600,000 firecrackers but only about half a million went off. It was loud, it was smokey and charred pieces of confetti rained all around you. At the end we bailed out of our spot to find the people stacked 10 or 12 deep behind us. It was cool and different but I think I'll go back to the parade next year.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


This is the same set up that I caught to fisher at. Only, I think, This little stinker is actually eating the sardines I used for bait. I haven't rest the camera since pulling it from here. I'll put that on my to do list for this weekend. 

Bushnell Trail Cam - Striped Skunk.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I had a little mid winter action at he suet feeder. I think there are some cardinals living full time in a tree in my neighbors yard. The male likes to sit on my daughter's car mirror and peck at his reflection. I've had this cake up for a while. I guess it must not be their favorite flavor.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Heidelberg Castle 1986

Heidelberg Castle, Germany. Mid July 1986. Like many castles of Europe it's hard to say when this was built. The original castle here was built in 1214, expanded in 1294, partially destroyed in 1537. Expanded again in 1650 and lightning struck again in 1764. Like a lot of my trips during my two years in Europe details fade into one another, unlike a week vacation where everything is condensed. This trip, I believe, was just a weekend or just a two day trip with my friend Jim. Jim was the chef at the base Bed and Breakfast. With his schedule and my schedule we had days off in the middle of the week and we would run out and do things. I do remember the castle tour but surprisingly enough I remember hitting every Italian ice cream shop we passed. Some twice.