Three plus weeks into the New Year and my Kinda Sorta New Year’s Resolutions are well underway. I committed to visiting the local lake ten times. As of today I’ve gone three times. I’d rather go now before the nice-weather crowds descend in spring and early summer. I am really not a fan of combining crowds and nature. The mood is mellow now, the walkers and joggers fewer. I am glad I made a plan to do this. It really is peaceful and scenic.
After a mild start to December there was snow on the weekend. It wasn’t much to speak of, having already melted by today, but it was pretty and even kind of exciting. I had to snap a shot of Lydia the One-armed Watering Girl, Snow Man, and the Chinese lion. They made a fine, decked-out trio.
This probably means I’m easily amused, but the lions in snow never fails to make me laugh. They seem so irked with the indignity.
The other day someone on a local Facebook group posted about making a Christmas “tree” of string lights and decorations that hung on the wall in her home instead of a having a real tree. The photo was very pretty and clever and gave me an idea. In the yard I took a wood garden trellis I have (somebody’s roadside castoff, what else), turned it upside down, added lights, small gold balls and a homemade cardboard and foil star and BAM! I had a tree. The nighttime photo quality isn’t great but you’ll get the idea. It’s about 5′ tall and very sweet for such a simple project. (By the way, WordPress automatically added the falling “snow to my blog which delights me – I had forgotten they do that.)
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The trees are pretty much spent so I was surprised to come across this beauty two days ago just before dusk. I loved how it had both orange and purple (for want of more precise color names). Stopped me in my tracks.
Back in 2015 I posted Lake photos in winter from the small lake in my community. I intended to go back and take pictures again sometime, perhaps in a different season, but so far I haven’t. However, there’s something in particular I want to show from there now (and I’ll throw in a few photos of the lake too).
This small community lake has a wide unpaved trail that encircles it, about 1.25 miles. Alongside one shore is a street with some of the nicer houses in town, higher priced ones that overlook the trail and lake. One of these houses is known for having A LOT of various decorations in its yard, many of which are seasonal. In fact, there are things lots of things going on in this yard year-round. I believe some of the neighbors aren’t that keen for these displays but they’ve been there for years – and only increase – so I doubt they’re going anywhere. I’m not always so crazy about what I see in this yard throughout the year either but I have to admit that if I was a kid, I’d likely be fascinated.
Recently I walked the trail and saw the Halloween set-up, which I don’t think I’ve had occasion to see for many years (I remember once seeing Halloween AND Christmas decorations at the same time and that was a bit odd, so I didn’t typically make a point to check it out). Now there are things in the yard I’ve never seen and many were right up on next to the public trail (the whole thing is definitely intended for the view of the many users of the trail). The novelty is the unexpectedness of this display in someone’s yard. This past Sunday I went back to get photos.
C’mon, let’s take a little tour of the highlights.
Since I was at the lake I took nature photos too just so you could see. Signs of fall are just starting. I DO appreciate this lake but taking photos renews my appreciation; it makes me focus.
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Last October I posted My Hair “tricks and pics” 2016. I’d let my hair grow most of the year and during the summer had gone back to doing hairstyles I’d done years prior when my hair was long, plus created new ones. I’ve continued to let my hair grow this year – if it looks good I figure why not? It has to be in decent condition and flatter me; simply being long isn’t enough. These pictures help keep me honest since we often forget how other people see our hair which is from all sides; not just what we see when we face a mirror.
I kept doing the styles pictured last year but here’s a few new ones from this year too. Forgive the photo quality; these were taken in the mirror. And — the hair color(s) you see are all mine (I get asked this regularly). The lighting makes it look different from one shot to the next – my hair is very light on top (crown) and a lot darker beneath. If you remember (or look at) last year’s post, it is decidedly longer now. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing my hair this year.
As I am writing this post I’m at the library and realized I failed to take a picture of my hair as it is this moment, which is one of the ways I wear it most often, so I managed to get a picture now, by turning my head for a selfie.
Bonus picture(s): The following is not my hair. I bought this “hair” years ago. To be clear, I’m not sure what it is as it doesn’t have clips. Perhaps it’s an extension meant to be “sewn” in? (I have no experience with hair pieces or extensions having only seen them being used on TV.) Why did I buy it? It was inexpensive (a couple dollars) and color-wise it was a perfect match! I wore it only once many years ago at a public event where I was a vendor. Not one person I knew said a word about it. Funny that. I enjoyed my “hair” and it felt swingy but since it has no clips and I’d kind of jerry-rigged it, I did worry about it falling out. (It didn’t but I bet people would’ve noticed that.) I put it in at home to show you now.
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I occasionally walk past the local armory. I’ll be honest, I’m not too clear on what they do there; it’s an old building that doesn’t seem to have much activity around it (or perhaps I’m just passing by at the wrong times). In July I was walking by and noticed this unsettling sign so I took a picture thinking I’d share it on the blog sometime. (I half expected, in these touchy/sensitive times, an armed guard to pop out of somewhere and challenge me but none did.)
As I say the sign was hardly cheering. What’s odd is the peppy font for AMERICA, considering the scary point the sign is meant to convey, although I’ll grant you that eagle looks scary enough. I didn’t feel under any particular threat. (I just now googled “why was July 6, 2017 a high risk day for terrorist attacks” and got nothing.)
I got to wondering if the sign ever changed, given the general look of disuse about the property so yesterday I had another look. Golly! It had changed. Apparently we all should have felt much better about the state of things yesterday.
If I might make a small suggestion to them, I think they should have varying eagle pictures too so that yesterday the eagle could have been smiling or at least not looking quite so severe. He could be eating fries or something, just to demonstrate that we could all go about our business for the day in a relatively relaxed state. Finally, given the seeming importance of the sign, you’d think it might be in more than one language. After all, who is the sign for? Surely not only those entering the building. If it was why post it outside? So it must be for the public’s benefit. Apparently if you are a non-English speaker you’ll just have to wing it.
So anyway, while I was standing there taking the photo I noticed a dark wasp fly by and didn’t think too much of it as the weather has been oddly warm and flying insects are still roaming about. I can’t tell you what made me look up but when I did I was in for a surprise. Check out that structure below the window!
I’ve never seen a wasp nest like that just sitting out in the open. Maybe that’s because people usually put a stop to it in public spaces, such as on a building. I don’t know but in my personal experience I’ve only seen a nest of this magnitude a few times in wooded areas. Had I thought anybody – well other than the hapless me – would be potentially endangered by the nest, I would have reported it or left a note or some such. But it’s clear by the collection of last years leaves by the door that this entrance doesn’t exactly see a lot of foot traffic. Well, I guess the guy or gal who flips the terrorist risk sign would be about the only person getting close. (Um, how did THAT person or persons miss this thing?!) In the end, I figure those wasps worked awfully hard on constructing their palatial dream home and it would seem a shame, no matter how disgusting/unnerving it might look to me, to knock it down or spray it now. Besides, it’s October. Their happy days are numbered.
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Now that it’s Officially Fall you might think I’d write a fall-inspired type post. You’d be wrong. I still have a few pieces of summer show-and-tell that I hadn’t got to. And I really want to!
Earlier in the summer I bought my first solar string lights from Amazon for a few dollars. I put them on my seasonal screen tent and have loved them ever since. The photo doesn’t do them justice but here they are. They are so fun! Very colorful at night. They turn on as if someone flipped a switch (I try to “catch” them going on sometimes).
A few flowers have continued beautifully into September.
Moving on… A few photos from when the “fair” came to town Labor Day weekend.
Finally, despite the fact summer is supposed to be about eating fresh vegetables, I found I wasn’t getting a lot of variety and was eating rather odd meals at times. Determined to straighten up, in late August I finally fixed an old favorite, “salad plate”, which is a mix of cold vegetables, whatever you want. I made a white bean dip to go with it.