Sunday, September 26, 2010

A walk and a 'possum!

Yesterday Noah and I spent too long in the yellow canoe and missed our chance to forage with Steve Brill! He was at Holbrook Farm (our new favorite place to buy produce) talking about edible plants in the typical northeastern landscape. To make up for it, I took Noah to Barnes & Noble and he bought a book on edible plants, which he was then DYING to use.

So today, we went over to Saugatuck Falls Natural Area for a walk with the cutest collie ever, Tag, and Noah brought his book. I borrowed Lori's camera to have a little photo fun.
Beginning of the trail

A man and his dog

Gratuitous pup shot. Ain't he gorgeous?

Sweet Goldenrod

N busily identifying edible plants w/his trusty field guide
Noah identified the goldenrod and some red clover, nothing too edible, though you can make some anise tasting tea from the goldenrod apparently. He's not ready to live off the land yet. I have some more plant identifying to do, too, which will probably require an edit of this post at some point, but here are some more photos for you to enjoy, while I'm looking up their names.

Mountain Winterberry

We chanced upon this lovely cormorant spying for fish in the watershed area.

While walking along, I noticed Tag stopped just ahead of me, his head cocked at a noise he could hear in the tall grass. I assumed it was a bee buzzing around his head that had intrigued him... then Noah asked if I could hear a cat growling. I listened a moment and then discovered this little guy snoring away in the grass just off the trail! Tag had found an opossum!

Snoring 'possum!
We met one other mom and her little girl walking their gigantic Golden Retriever on the trail. He and Tag took turns slobbering on each other for a few minutes and we headed for home. A nice short walk in the woods.
Headed home

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall is coming!

Here are some images in anticipation of fall! The leaves are just beginning to turn... 

It's 80 degrees here right now, so despite the pretty leaf changing effect, summer having it's last hurrah. I have a feeling we'll see nippier temperatures very soon.

In other news, I'm driving to Kentucky next week, a solo road trip to visit some of my old school friends and to attend a couple of events at the World Equestrian Games! I'm sad that Noah has to stay and work because I am really looking forward to this trip and it would be nice to share it with him. Oh well... someone's gotta look after the pup. :)

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and drink lots of Ale8 for you all. You know you're jealous :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


I have an obsession with the Orkney Islands. I call it an obsession, but really it comes and goes so quickly. .. I think it must be lurking, underlying my thoughts, cropping up unexpectedly.

I read about the Orkneys for the first time in TH White's "Once and Future King". I'm pretty sure Walt Disney copied the first book for the script to "The Sword in the Stone". Actually, he did... I just looked it up. There are 2 other books in O&FK, though. A little more sinister and heady than Disney wanted, I imagine. In the second book, you get to know Morgause and her horrid children.... and they live on the Orkney Islands.

Then I read about the islands again in Mary Stewart's "The Wicked Day". Mordred grows up there, as well, in this book.
photo borrowed from Foxsaver Pictures website, no credit available.

A while back I felt inspired to write a little bit of fiction about dark magic (still working on it so don't get too excited)... and when casting about for the perfect backdrop (it's all about the setting for me)... I remembered the Orkneys. So I began doing some research. I wanted to be able to name places and land features authentically. I came across this website: And now I am obsessed... with the history, the landscape, the folklore, the traditions... I even look up real estate listings. Like this one.

I'll visit there eventually. In the summer... so I can keep up the illusion that I could live there one day. I'm sure the winter there would destroy me. It's decidedly harsher than the winter even here in Connecticut is supposed to be. Maybe one day after the CT winter has thickened my blood...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A canoe

Noah has been talking about getting a canoe ever since we moved into this place. It is ideal, right on a little pond, lots of water birds and other wildlife.

Yesterday he bought this one. It's yellow... 15ft long... by Great Canadian... Noah is in love! The guy who sold it to us was very helpful in getting the canoe strapped to Subaruby (who was in her element yesterday, by the way). We took the side streets (aka LONG WAY) home from Madison, CT, which is out east of New Haven. No trouble getting it back to the house.

Then we had to let Tag investigate it.

Lori tried to talk Tag into the canoe, but he wasn't buying it. So we carried it down to the water and prepared to launch.
Noah, true to form, took time to explain where he thought would be the best spot to put her in the water (complete with hand gestures).
And we put her in!

Tag stood by to oversee the whole process. And off Noah went in his yellow canoe!

Here is Tag waiting to help us bring the canoe back in after Noah's maiden voyage around the pond.

And a very happy Noah with his new favorite toy.
Today was much chillier and cloudier than yesterday. We ran errands in the morning, went to the bookstore and the art store... had cupcakes for breakfast...
And when we got back from our errands, Noah took Lori and me out in the canoe for a little spin.

Lori sat in the front and helped paddle while I took photos. She kindly snapped this photo of me as well :)
This is our house as seen from the pond in a yellow canoe:
And this is the abandoned factory on the other side of the pond. It's actually owned now and a developer is hoping to renovate it into loft apartments... one day... when the housing market resuscitates... for now it still looks cool and abandoned.

The factory is the reason the pond and our house exists. In the late 1800s, the factory was built to make screens out of animal hair. They dammed the creek to make "Factory Pond" and in the 1920's built a row of duplexes as housing for some of their staff.

Now we enjoy the pond and the many birds and beasts that frequent it, and live in one of those duplexes.  Pretty nice for us!

Noah plans to take the canoe out every morning before work. Hmmm... we'll see how long that lasts ;) In the meantime, fall is quickly closing in on us here in the Northeast. It's lovely to see the season change, to pull out my sweaters and eat soup and plan what books I'll read and paintings I'll do once it gets too cold for trekking with Tag.

Tag enjoyed hiking at Huntington State Park with me last week, but he's come down with kennel cough and so he's bored because I've been keeping him in the past few days. Kennel cough is not really dangerous, but it is contagious... so we'll be happy when he is through it and we can go back out hiking.

This week Lori is here. She's been hired to work at a new REI in Norwalk and is going through training. She'll live with us for a while as she works part time... and when she's not working probably will venture back up to MA to visit her family, that is, if I let her. Having her around is extra-entertaining for me. Now if only I could entice Leslie back out here, my happiness would be complete :) 'Til then I'll content myself with ventures in cat-training and perhaps finishing my short story.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


This bird was stunned in my yard... at least I think it was stunned. It's still on the porch. I moved it so that the dogs wouldn't trample it.
 I'm hopeful that it will recover and fly away soon.

*Update* The bird has flown away. It recovered :)