close to home

5.16.20 ~ eastern painted turtle at Beach Pond, Groton

Last weekend we took a long meandering early morning walk at Eastern Point Beach. No pictures because the place had been trashed, complete with broken beer bottles. We wanted to see it before it opened for the summer because we will not be going there much. Only before or after hours (8am-8pm) when it opens June 20. Still concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19. On the other hand, since people will have to purchase season passes to enter between 8am and 8pm, perhaps the individuals currently vandalizing the place will go elsewhere.

When we drove past Beach Pond Tim spied a turtle sitting on a rock in the pond. He loves turtles. ♡ So we stopped and I got the above photo!

5.16.20 ~ Calf Pasture Overlook, Groton

Then we checked out a nice mini-park with one bench and one picnic table, overlooking Baker Cove. Maybe we’ll come here for our summer outdoor suppers… (Eating in our car, of course. Just in case the virus is on the bench or picnic table.)

And then the next morning we hopped over to the Sparkle Lake Conservation Area, practically in our back yard, and enjoyed some lovely scenery and did some birdwatching.

5.17.20 ~ Sparkle Lake Conservation Area, Groton, Connecticut
5.17.20 ~ gray catbird

The catbird is a bit of a busybody. Its presence should caution you to be extra careful about what you say and to whom. Things will have a greater potential of being made public or being distorted. Its presence can hint at others being overly inquisitive about your own affairs or that you are being so about others.
~ Ted Andrews
(Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small)

5.17.20 ~ red-winged blackbird

Spring is such a lovely time of year.

turtles on the rock in the pond

6.12.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
6.12.14 ~ Beach Pond

Tim needed an afternoon break from work so we went down to the beach. On our way past Beach Pond he spotted four turtles on a rock! Tim loves turtles. He rushed over to get a better look at them, but they all scrambled off the rock and back into the water. Perhaps they would come back if he retreated.

Eventually one brave soul (above) climbed back up on the rock. In the picture below, to the right of the rock, the head of another turtle can be seen scoping out the situation.

6.12.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
6.12.14 ~ Beach Pond

He decided to chance it…

6.12.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
6.12.14 ~ Beach Pond

6.12.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
6.12.14 ~ Beach Pond

But then his friend suddenly disappeared…

6.12.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
6.12.14 ~ Beach Pond

Too much of Proof affronts Belief
The Turtle will not try
Unless you leave him – then return –
And he has hauled away.
~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1240)

adding to life

illustration by Virginia Frances Sterrett
illustration by Virginia Frances Sterrett

The Fantastic or Mythical is a Mode available at all ages for some readers; for others, at none. At all ages, if it is well used by the author and meets the right reader, it has the same power: to generalize while remaining concrete, to present in palpable form not concepts or even experiences but whole classes of experience, and to throw off irrelevancies. But at its best it can do more; it can give us experiences we have never had and thus, instead of ‘commenting on life,’ can add to it.
~ C. S. Lewis
(Of Other Worlds: Essays & Stories)

Amelia Island II

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

The turtles live with huge hotels for neighbors!

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

There are more pictures of other places to come! But first, Tim took a couple of short videos of the turtles and lizards…

It still amazes me how the turtles can go about their business so close to so much human activity….

Amelia Island I

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
Barbara and son Nate caught on film ~ 4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

Another place we visited on vacation was Fernandina Beach, across the border in Florida, on Amelia Island. Shea had spotted some turtles here when she spent a day at the beach with friends. Because Tim is crazy about turtles we had to come see them! This place isn’t a nature sanctuary, and we found the close proximity of nature to civilization a little strange.

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

We were taking turns using the camera this day, too, but Tim took most of the pictures as I recall…

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

With a special pass recreational vehicles are allowed on this beach.

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Georgia
4.8.12 ~ Amelia Island, Florida

A few more pictures from Amelia Island tomorrow…

Mystic Outdoor Art Festival

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

I’ve been a little sad this week, stumbling across a few painful reminders of losses in the past. One reminder was a deeply moving blog post, Silent Death-Alzheimer’s Disease story-1988, with striking photos that hit so close to home, bringing back memories of my grandmother’s decline and reminding me of what my father is going through now.

The idea of crowds and heat and humidity gave me a bit of pause, but today we ventured out to the 54th annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival. We were lucky to find a parking spot we didn’t have to pay for and it was not too long a walk to the first booth.

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

The festival is a professionally juried outdoor art show, with booths for over 250 artists and over 60 crafters to display their works lining the streets of historic Mystic. One must cross over the Mystic River on a bascule drawbridge (above and below) to get from East Main Street to West Main Street in Mystic.

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

Before we got too far I fell in love with an oil painting of a cat sitting on a chair looking out the window, called “Oliver’s View” by Kimberley Scoble. The artist told me she painted the scene first and then Oliver cooperated by jumping on to the chair and sitting there for twenty minutes looking at something intently, the way cats do.

Because we were at an art show I was totally unprepared for a booth a few spots down for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation. As a kind breast cancer survivor was explaining about the Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut coming up on October 1st I got all choked up and then the tears started. I explained to her that my mother died of breast cancer twenty years ago… I don’t know if this is menopause making me so sensitive… I’m kind of surprised that it hit me like that.

Tim took me away and comforted me as I collected some pamphlets. It took me a while to regain my composure. Now that I’m home I’m thinking maybe the universe is telling me it’s time to get involved in a cause that is obviously so dear to my heart. The woman said if we couldn’t walk the quarter marathon (6.55 miles) we could take part by being in a cheering section. And in October heat and humidity probably wouldn’t be a reason for concern…

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

Anyhow, we went on to see many beautiful oil paintings, watercolors, photography, pastels, sculpture, acrylics, pottery, metalwork and crafts. Most were way out of our price range, and many had signs forbidding the taking of pictures. But we did buy some very refreshing all-natural frozen lemonade!

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

On March 6, 2000, there was a fire at the shops on 18-22 West Main Street in Mystic which burned them to the ground. Every plan proposed to rebuild the site has been rejected for one reason or another and it remains as the fire left it. A wall was erected to hide the empty spot, but there are some holes cut out of it for people to look through. For the festival, the wall has been decorated with children’s art.

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

Another treat was some lovely music we heard before we found the source. This woman was playing an ancient Chinese stringed instrument, a guzheng.

8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut
8.13.11 ~ Mystic, Connecticut

We stopped at the local free-range chicken farm on our way home, and at a farmer’s market for tomatoes, eggplant, squash and cherries. I’m looking forward to autumn and apples – I’ve had enough of summer!

Galápagos Islands

Image: National Georaphic
Image: National Geographic

Doesn’t this look like fun?

Last week a travel catalog came in the mail – not sure how we got on their mailing list – a copy of National Geographic Expeditions for 2011. It’s fun to dream and fantasize… And we did find an expedition cruise we thought we’d both enjoy! As Grandmother used to say, with a twinkle in her eye, you never know just which dreams might come true.

Tim has always loved turtles. Before Walt Disney World in Florida had Animal Kingdom, they had a little place called Discovery Island. For our 20th anniversary we visited it and I have fond memories of Tim lying on his stomach photographing the Galápagos turtles interacting with each other. Interacting very slowly, but Tim has infinite patience and he got some great pictures.

Well, National Geographic has an expedition called “Galápagos Family Odyssey.” It seems about our speed, ten slow-paced days exploring and mingling with the wildlife on several of the Galápagos Islands. “Gaze into the old eyes of a giant sea tortoise…” And I’d love to see courtship dance of the indigenous blue-footed boobies!

Galápagos dreams in January…

And speaking of anniversaries…

Happy 8th Anniversary, Nate & Shea!!!

(¯`’•.¸(¯`’•.¸*♥*¸.•’´¯)¸.•’´¯)