Before the sun went down today I wanted to get some grass cut. When I started it was warm and dry but on the horizon I could tell it was raining. The rain didn’t really look like it was going to come meet me but about half way into my task it really started to rain.
It was one of those rains that wasn’t overcast; just showery. I was thinking, “Why don’t I just park this thing and be done with it for the day?” I was soaked all the way through all my clothes and getting cold riding on the mower. “Just another 15 minutes and I’ll be done,” says my internal voice (like it always does).
Then I looked up and saw a full, very bright and vibrant double rainbow. By the time I got my phone out, figured out how to get into the camera app in the rain this was all I could capture:
I was sitting next to my bees, in the rain with nothing more important to do.
I’m reminded to slow down and enjoy the moment. It may not seem like it but little bits of nirvana surrounds us all the time. Everything is as it should be.
Today nirvana was a rainbow sitting in the rain at the end of a busy work day. All I had to do was look up.
Winter sneaks up on me every year. Slowly the weather turns colder as the days get shorter. But generally it’s not until one day in December when I walk outside in the evening that I think to myself, “Wow, it’s cold out!”
Tonight was that time for me this year. It’s December 15, very close to the winter solstice. Tomorrow is our first real snow storm predicted to bring more than a dusting. Actually it might be more like a foot here where I live according to some models. Time will tell.
It will be interesting to see what pans out. Normally I don’t worry about cleaning off snow until there is more than 8″ so tomorrow may be one of those days. The temperature is in the Goldilox zone of right at freezing and down to 20º with lots of water in the air. We’ll have to see but I’ve noticed out here that these forecast numbers can be conservative.
I don’t have a business that requires me to work outside in this stuff so I say let it snow! How much will determine if I get out and shovel with the tractor or let nature take it’s course. I’ve marked the drive so that if it’s deep I’ll be able to see where to plow.
After work yesterday I took my drone out for some practice run. It was foggy overcast and I thought the sun had already gone down because there were no sun rays on the ground. As I took off and got some altitude it was clear the sun had not set yet.
I’m always amazed at the photos that I can stitch together using the shitty little camera onboard a Mavic drone. I shoot them in raw so I can manipulate them on my computer to bring out the colors better. From the ground it was overcast and dark already. So it was fun to capture some of the last color and rays of the day.
You can create a ton of media very quickly. Over the last 10 or so years I’ve learned how to take that media, rename it, organize it into folders by date so it can all be cataloged properly. I don’t do that to make my life easier today. I do it so that when I go back and look at this 5-10 years later I know everything about the situation; where I was, what I was doing, notes about the day, my mood, etc. That takes a ton of practice and disipline.
Then as I was going to bed I looked out and the strawberry moon was hanging out in the fog. So I got a telescope out to peer at that for a while. It’s always amazing to see the moon through a nice telescope with all it’s mountains and other features. My iphone can take a decent picture thorough the same lens as I look with my eyes. It’s not the best, but it’s OK.
It’s incredibly bright even through the fog. It’s best to use a filter to tone down the brightness but I didn’t have that available to me when I took this. You get the idea.
Sheltering in place is still the norm around here. Working from home has been my modis operandi lately. It’s been that way for the better part of the last 25 years so not much has changed. I just don’t see many people I work with anymore except through the computer lens. That doesn’t look like it will change for the rest of 2020.
As of yesterday the remaining events that I would attend this year have been cancelled. That leaves my summer 100% available back to me to do with what I want. That hasn’t happened in so long I can’t remember. So I’ll spend it working around the farm, learning new things, working and hopefully a vacation or two if that is even possible.
There’s nothing nicer in the winter than sitting in front of a fireplace with a large supply of wood fuel.
A while back during a wind storm we had a locust tree blow down. It was a tall one at about 70 feet. When it came down it took down a bunch of other trees with it. These things are heavy!
Yesterday I went out to cut it in 6-10 foot sections where I can use my grapple to get them in a clearing where I can cut them into firewood sized chunks that can be split and stacked for the rest of the winter.
We use this firewood every day in the winter to keep our home warm. It is a nice source of renewable stored energy. When we use the fireplace it can be 10º outside and still be 75º inside.
We have a nice wood burning stove in our fireplace as an insert. Its a “reburner” which means it burns extra clean and put out almost no smoke from the chimney. And gets wicked hot.
The first step in getting a bunch of firewood is gathering all the wood into one location. The next step, which I’ll be doing today, is cutting, splitting and stacking it so we can have it dried out for the rest of the winter by the time we run out of what we already have.
Years ago I stopped buying pre-cut timber to burn in our fireplace and replace that wood with wood from our own property. We have plenty of wood here that falls on it’s own or a tree that dies that needs to be cut down. This also gives me an opportunity to clean out the underbrush as much as I can, trim the smaller trees, cut down all the vine that is so ugly and allow us to walk and enjoy the trees and wildlife that hangs around in them.
These days a truck load of timber can cost $600. That’s about a cord of wood. Its not much. Its a little work and time but I enjoy doing this.
I especially enjoy sitting in front of a blazing hot fireplace in the middle of winter around here.
Last week we went to Annapolis to visit with some YouTubers I follow at the Annapolis harbor. They are sail enthusiast. I enjoy watching their adventures on terra firma.
I brought my camera with me in case there was something I wanted to capture that I couldn’t with my cell phone. I’m still learning how to shoot things other than landscapes.
We didn’t take any pictures of the event we attended that evening but ended up working our way into downtown Annapolis where the pride festival was in full swing.
I’m not sure if the amount of people down there was “normal” for a Friday but there were sure a lot of people there. I was quite surprised to drive into town, go to our restaurant and park right up front and center. Looking back, I think it was just the luck of the draw that evening.
It was nice to meet friends I only know over the Internet doing what they love and meeting others who are doing the same. And nice to get back home to enjoy a long weekend goofing around here.
It’s a long way to drive but we should do this more often.
It was one of those temperate spring days in Virginia today. It’s too cold to go out in short sleeves but too warm to we a jacket with the sun out. So I took a nap. I looked like this out:
In addition to flying a drone I also flew some fixed wing aircraft. The winds aloft were a good 20+ miles an hour sustained. When I flew a glider into the wind it would appear to hover in place. That pattern continues today with a 57º brisk wind blowing.
I hope you have a nice day today and can spend it with those you love.
We’ve been together on warm summer days and in freezing, wind driven rain.
At first, I could only hear her calls. That was when she was young and being trained by her parents who are long since gone.
In the last couple of years she has let me walk close to her. This is her territory. I see her all the time as she hunts for small furry creatures.
Today I went saw her through a window on this pole close to the house. That alone is unusual. I took pictures through the double-paned glass which makes things blurry at best when you shoot from any distance.
I decided to walk outside and maybe get a few photos before she flew away like she normally would. I did get a few but something unusual happened. She stayed on the pole.
So I walked closer. Took a few photos. Closer. Took a few more. Then I noticed she really didn’t care about me being there. Clearly watching me but not caring that I was getting so close.
I kept walking.
This is not a small lens. It’s 600mm and designed for shooting subjects at a considerable distance. When I got to 40 feet I stopped walking towards her and took this photo:
At this point I can’t zoom back out much. It’s just she and I looking at each other. She is still not showing any sign of leaving. I can see per pupils in the middle of her brown eyes now. She is very orange. Her feathers are blowing in the wind.
I stopped taking photos and just watch her look for things. The smaller birds were watching her closely.
There was a small concentration of animals watching this hunter. I suspect it was so they did not become prey. I estimate her height at 14-15 inches tall and about 8 inches at her shoulders. She is not small.
Spring is just around the corner now. We’ve moved the clocks up and suffered through the first week of time change. Seems silly we still do that. It likely never did make a difference.
It snowed on March 8. The night it snowed it was very cold and fluffy stuff that wasn’t being whipped around by the wind. So it light laid on top of everything.
Once the sun came up above the clouds things started to melt quickly. First the sidewalks but by the end of the day it was pretty much over. It may not be the last snow but it’s going to be close to the last storm we have. It’s snowed here in May so we are not out of the woods yet.
What I do hope happens is we get a respite for a few months from the wetness. Our ground is so saturated with water it’s difficult to even walk on top of it much less manage it with machines. I try not to wish that it doesn’t rain but we could use a little break. Just a couple of weeks of no rain to let the water run down to the tables or rivers.