Fresh Veggies

2014-07-31 173325 001

We are members of a local CSA .  Each week we pick up a basketful of in season vegetables and/or fruits.  With Jeanine arriving later this evening it fell to me to make today’s pickup.  I must admit it was fun to select from the variety of offerings with the knowledge that Jeanine would transform it all into some very yummy and healthy meals.

Power Hawk

2014-07-31 190654 018

I spotted this hawk in the back yard and was able to get close enough for a decent shot. This is possibly the largest one I have seen in the area.

Kayak Storage

2014-07-18 084324 497

Pictured here is my kayak storage / car loading system.  A pulley system lowers the kayaks directly on to my home made car carrier with almost no effort.  In the storage position the kayaks are near the ceiling of the garage where they are well out of harms way.  I can load and secure a kayak in less than 2 minutes with no assistance.

Choteau, Montana

earmtn_9030

224 miles into her Montana biking expedition, Maya reached the small town of Choteau today.  The kids get to make one phone call each week and Jeanine was the recipient of the first.  Maya reports that she is having a great time and that their route is extremely beautiful.  I Googled Choteau and found this image by photographer Ann Torrence. Before she left I gave Maya a nice camera and I hope she is making frequent use of it.

Sudbury & Maynard

2014-07-27 162745 007

Still stiff from the volleyball tournament yesterday, it was not easy to drag myself to soccer practice this morning but I did none the less. After a torrential downpour during the early afternoon, I set out for some photography in the towns of Sudbury and Maynard. My final destination was the Assabett River National Wildlife Refuge where I found an ample supply of subjects.

2014-07-27 174710 073

2014-07-27 172649 046

Each of the following photos contains at least one insect. There are a total of 78 including 6 species.

2014-07-27 180236 094

2014-07-27 175709 086

2014-07-27 175354 078

Honorary Captain

2014-07-26 193714 103

This evening, Nicolai was the honorary captain of the New England Revolution MLS soccer team participating in the coin toss to start their match against the Columbus Crew.  He earned his stripes by winning the toss for the Revs.  Nico received ten complimentary club house tickets and invited his friends to join him for the game.  When one couple cancelled, I was next in line for a ticket and enjoyed the opportunity to see him at center field with Jose Goncalves and Michael Parkhurst, captains for the Revs and Crew respectively.

Earlier in the day I attended the iRobot annual summer picnic at Kimbal Farm.  This year I was assigned to a pretty respectable volleyball team and we placed second in the eight team tournament. I was able to make some positive contributions to my team but with each passing year I feel my speed is approaching that of this guest of the farm.

2014-07-26 121358 002

Sony RX100

2014-07-25 173718 007

At any given time I own a half dozen cameras.  The one pictured here is a Sony RX100 which I carry with me all the time.  One day (soon) someone will design a high quality camera phone. Until then, I will be using a purpose built camera for my everyday “snapshots”.  Today I sold this trusted friend and replaced it with the newest generation of the same model, the RX100 iii.  It features a better lens, a better sensor, and a pop up viewfinder to name the key improvements.

Summer Postcard

2014-07-24 191005 019

When people ask me why I love living in Concord it would be easy to explain if I had this photo on hand.  Beyond our quaint downtown and our historic landmarks, the town has fought fiercely to preserve open spaces.  This scene is less than a mile from our house.

Liverpool vs. Roma

2014-07-23 192226 003

Liverpool F.C. played A.S. Roma this evening in a friendly match at Fenway Park.  Who knew you could squeeze a soccer pitch into a baseball park.  Roma scored the only goal in stoppage time for the win. I attended the match with Nico as guests of Lumber Liquidators.  They are sponsoring Nico’s amp soccer teammate, Noah Grove (pictured above) who is in town for the event with his parents.  The match was not terribly exciting but the company was great.

Jeanine left for California this morning and will be spending the next week with Kyle.

Green Grove Grooves

2014-07-18 184116 004

My eye is often drawn to patterns. These can be found across from Verrill Farm on the Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, one of my favorite street names of all time.  The tongue-twister title of this post was created with today’s pattern theme in mind.

First Birthday

2014-07-20 171516 001

Lilly celebrates her first birthday surrounded by balloons sent by Jeanine and her sister Susan. Lilly is the daughter of Jeanine’s niece, Erica.

Farewell Dinner

2014-07-20 192326 005

A fairly large portion of the day was devoted to getting Maya packed for her Apogee bike trip. She leaves early tomorrow morning for Montana where she will bike an average of 40 miles per day for the next three weeks. In addition, she will complete 30 hours of community service on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, raft the Flathead River, and bike the “Going to the Sun” road in Glacier National Park, one of the most scenic highways in the country. After a special family dinner (Maya requested Mexican Torta for her farewell meal and Jeanine added a healthy quinoa salad) we had a long FaceTime chat with Kyle who has settled nicely into the house he is renting. I was back on the soccer pitch this morning working on my touch and conditioning. I will be playing in a big summer tournament in August and need to stay in shape.

2014-07-20 202738 006

Blueberry Pancakes

2014-07-19 101307 007

We are fortunate to live less than a mile from 200 acre, family run, Verrill Farm, established in 1918. Today was the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast and Pie Eating Contest, one of many seasonal festivals held throughout the year. With Jeanine and Maya driving back from Vermont this afternoon, I was thrilled to have a good reason to head out for breakfast. The fresh blueberry pancakes are really quite delicious and worth the 30 minute wait in line.

2014-07-19 095810 003

The pie eating contest is broken up into different age groups. Contestants may not use their hands at anytime and the first to produce a clean pie tin is the winner. Many participants care less about winning a ribbon and more about enjoying the pie.

2014-07-19 112417 031

2014-07-19 112604 045

2014-07-19 113018 066

On the Water

2014-07-18 125702 003

My favorite benefit at iRobot is half-day Fridays. During the summer months you can leave at noon if you have put in 40 hours before then. I decided to spend the afternoon on the water in my home built kayak. The weather was ideal and I encountered dozens of turtles, hundreds of damselflies, and a hand full of huge blue herons. I covered about 7 miles so as not to overdo things on my first outing of the summer. My right shoulder is still hurting from beach volleyball in Brazil so I kept my pace fairly slow.

2014-07-18 123726 001

2014-07-18 130729 017

Lonely Sunset

2014-07-16 203137 003

I learned to appreciate a beautiful sunset from my father. He knew how to pause whatever he was doing and give his full attention to the appreciation of nature’s light show. This was also true of a good campfire. I am pleased that I inherited his mindfulness and ability to really live in the moments of such beauty. With Jeanine visiting her sister in Vermont, Maya at ballet camp in Montreal, and Nico on a date with Koruna, I enjoyed the sunset this evening with memories of my father.

Gerbil B

2014-07-15 212956 013

Gerbil B wished to be photographed with a funny face. Rose has a distinctly different personality than her sister and I am reminded of the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character when I am around her. She is a bundle of energy and force of nature. I really enjoyed this visit and was sad to see the girls leave today. Jeanine heads north to visit her sister in Burlington, Vermont today before the pair continue on to Montreal to pick up Maya from ballet camp.