Yesterday in the backyard

Leaf on the pond




Pond pods




Green gone gold


Looking across our back field


"Yes, I am going for a walk with you."


Looking up


Looking into the red maple swamp


Another swamp shot






Getting her stalk on


Cattails and maples by the pond


Lily pads


 Cat in sunshine

Ouch, my eyes


Go and get yourself some cheap sunglasses because I'm going to hurt your eyes some more later today with even more NEW ENGLAND RED MAPLE SWAMP FALL FOLIAGE.  

Hurts so good.  It's all too beautiful.
UPDATE: more photos tomorrow (not today) due to technical difficulty

Sunday storm


This is what happens when hurricanes hit our cold waters.


Not as much of Kyle spinning around out there at noon today, compared to yesterday. Landfall expected in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia tonight or early tomorrow.
This is Route 1A, Ocean Boulevard, in North Hampton.


Sunday storm watchers were out in force along the coast at high tide, 11:20 a.m.  It is 63 degrees, raining steadily, and not windy at all.


Normally we prefer a good nor’easter, but we’ll take a ragged ol’ Category 1 hurricane if that’s all the weather gods can concoct to throw at us.
Offering, marker, artwork, an idle pile, a balance challenge.


The parking lot at North Hampton Beach was almost full of cars.  A few people were walking on or near the beach, but most were inside looking out through rain-spotted windshields.


Tons of seaweed washed up, filling the air with its tangy ocean scent.  It would be good for feeding the garden over the winter.  (It’s legal to take it for personal use, not to sell – if it’s washed up, not growing attached on the rocks – during daylight hours, from public beaches – or private with permission. Sec. 207:48-52)
Driving by the Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Company, near North Beach, in Hampton Beach.


These surf shop colors almost rival the kindling fire of autumn leaves just inland.  Right along the coast it’s a gray misty day.
The wall and North Beach surf fans.


“I guess nobody has anything better to do today,” I said to my husband and sister as we cruised the coast.  (For one thing, the Patriots aren’t playing – they have a bye.)


The waves are good and rough, and visibly difficult to surf, but we’ve seen bigger.  In fact, we’re not so easily impressed here along the weatherbeaten North Atlantic coast.  But it’s something to do on a Sunday.
When I was a kid, some Sundays we would skip church and go orienteering instead.  My father said we were going to “the church of the woods.”


I think there are some devout surfers who go to “the church of the waves.”


for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
– e.e.cummings

100% wet


Gull on a rainy day, North Hampton Beach

100% chance of rain through tomorrow night, tapering off to merely "likely" on Sunday.  Temps in the upper 50's but it feels colder as the damp seeps into the nooks and crannies of our souls.

A morning of hot coffee and catching up with friends, followed by a date with my husband for hot wings lunch.  Savoring these moments while I can, with a sense that I need to get out into the working world sooner rather than later, family finance-wise.
Green pots in the rain, at a shop in Rye

I'm sitting by the pushbutton gas fire.  Wasn't it just hot and sunny and we had the windows open a moment ago?

After we tidy up for the teenagers descending upon us this evening, I have a very good book I'm reading: The Mayflower, by Nathaniel Philbrick.  The suffering endured by the pilgrims in their first couple of years always puts things in perspective.

It is a story that is at once fundamental and obscure, and it begins with a ship on a wide and blustery sea.

Review when I'm finished.

Satellite image

Two different storm blobs are the rainmakers for us.  

We may have 3 inches overnight, with possible minor flooding from the first (unnamed) one, but "a more threatening scenario exists with Tropical Storm Kyle" tomorrow and Sunday according to the National Weather Service, with a possible 2 to 4 more inches of rain, plus wind and coastal flooding, depending on the track.

The rain to the wind said, 
“You push and I’ll pelt.”
– Robert Frost

Hot Wheels


Jonathan Jean, 5, explores the interior of a New Hampshire Army National Guard promotional Hummer. (John Carden photo)

Rockingham News
By Amy Kane

RAYMOND, N.H. — There were no "moos" or "bahs," and the only horns were on steering wheels at the "vehicle petting zoo." 

The Raymond Coalition for Youth and the Raymond Recreation Department hosted a free community event, Touch a Truck, on Saturday at Raymond High School. 

Kids and families could look, touch, climb inside and learn all about a variety of wheeled wonders. There was an impressive cement mixer, a monster truck, a race car, a huge tractor-trailer, bright and shiny fire engines, a command-center school bus painted black, and a Humvee decorated in camouflage and American flag colors. 

Sisters Brynna and Ella Hone, ages 4 and 3 respectively, took turns exploring the inside of a police cruiser, sitting first in the front seat, then in the back. 

"They were very excited to come here today," said their mom, Tara. "Especially when they heard there would be ice cream." 

According to Raymond Recreation director Michelle Weaver, 600 ice creams were distributed. Hot dogs and drinks were also free. 

"It's been crazy, it's been a great success," said Weaver. 

This was the third year for Touch a Truck, according to Celeste Clark, coordinator of the Raymond Coalition for Youth, who helped organize the event. 

"The idea is to give kids a close-up of vehicles, especially police and ambulance in case of emergencies, so they won't be afraid," said Clark. "It's a fun day for the community." 

The Raymond Coalition for Youth promotes positive choices for the youth in town, partnering with the schools, recreation department and other agencies. 

Vehicles owned by the town of Raymond were on display as well. Highway department employee Rich Nunziato gave kids a helping hand so they could climb up into the cab of the town's brand new excavator. 

Taylor Hammond, 9, was sitting up high, looking out the window at the long articulated arm ending in the scooping bucket. Nunziato said, "She's a natural." 

Taylor's grandfather, Kevin Hammond, smiled. He works on maintenance for the highway department and takes on an occasional plow route in winter along 102 miles of town roads. 

Wearing their official crowns, Miss Raymond, Michaela Loman, and Junior Miss Raymond, Sara Westmoreland, were on hand to meet and greet and pose for photos. 

"The trucks are really cool, but the helicopter was my favorite," said Sara, the Junior Miss. 

The owner of the RC helicopter, Chris Meyer, had flown in that morning, landed at the bottom of a hill and rolled his aircraft up to the parking lot. The Nashua-based helo is used for flight instruction and aerial sightseeing. Kids waited in line to climb into the pilot's seat and get their hands on the stick. 

"I wish I had time, I'd take them all flying," said Meyer. 

Field driver trainer Tom Dimambro answered questions about the Waste Management recycling truck, assisted by his son Agostino, 12. Inside the cab, kids discovered there were two steering wheels so the truck could be driven from either side, as well as cameras to eliminate blind spots. 

There were giveaways for the kids, including coloring books, and information for parents like brochures offered next to the ambulance by Jennifer Peters of Exeter Hospital pediatric rehabilitation. 

"It's important to let people know we're out there offering speech, OT and PT for ages 0 through 21," said Peters. "We want to help families connect with community resources." 

Waste Management was giving away hand-sized stress squeeze trucks. "They're popular with the adults," said Dimambro. 

Touch a Truck was a big playground for Rashaun Plourde and Josh Parsons, both 11. The friends were busy climbing the outside of the Bearcat armored car used by the regional police SWAT team when they paused to answer a few questions. 

"We've seen everything and this is our favorite," said Rashaun. "It's the coolest." 

"It doesn't look that big on the outside, but it's big on the inside," said Josh. 

According to Cpl. Kerry Pomeroy, the SWAT car operator and a Raymond police officer, the vehicle can hold 36 SWAT team members and bring them safely to the scene. The car is used in downed officer rescues, for barricaded subjects and in drug raids. 

"It's totally bulletproof," he said.
(Rockingham News is one of the Seacoast Media Group newspapers.  Read more local stories on

NH: the 50th most extraverted state!


Shh, Robert Frost is thinking

Welcome to New Hampshire.  Now please leave us alone.

We're not trying to be disagreeable.  We're just reserved.  Nevertheless, we're pretty open to new ideas and we're one of the least neurotic states in the Northeast.  But please do not depend on us for anything.

Fascinating and fun article in the WSJ today looking at personality traits by state: The United States of Mind. 

Turns out NH is the 50th most extraverted state.  Which I guess means we're seriously introverted

Individuals who are quiet, reserved, thoughtful, and self-reliant are often referred to as "introverts." They are likely to prefer solitary work and leisure activities. In comparison with extroverts, who draw most of their energy from social interaction and respond to external stimuli immediately and directly, introverts tend to mull things over before formulating a reaction, and their energy is regenerated by time spent alone.  

We also rank:
• 30th in agreeableness
• 44th in conscientiousness
• 14th in openness
• 14th in neuroticism

Visiting or relocating to New Hampshire?  Then I recommend this classic from The Atlantic:

Caring for your introvert: the habits and needs of a little understood group




Every morning to mid-afternoon in this their migratory season there are gorgeous snow white egrets in the high pools of Hampton Marsh just off the Route 1 causeway between Hampton and Hampton Falls.  This is not one of those egrets.

I went with my camera this morning to get an egret.  I parked in the safest spot, which was still not very safe, and walked out on the thin gravel strip between the morning traffic busy road and the marsh.  

I had a feeling the egrets were about to arrive – the daylight seemed about right – and I would catch them landing, with the sun at my back.  But I was also aware of my standing-out-like-a-sore-thumb-ness on the side of a busy road engineered only for cars and trucks.  

You sort of have an excuse if you're carrying a decent camera (with a telephoto lens) but you still feel like Loser McLoserson of Loserville, with a big L on your forehead.

So I quit.

Hampton Marsh, with power line crossing on old rail bed

I drove to a safe marsh viewing access point, to the landing at the bottom of Depot Road in Hampton Falls, where I could indulge my nerdy bird photography away from the gawps and stares of the gainfully employed on their way to work.

I knew I would be on the wrong side of the morning sun, but I still like the shot of the (unidentified) shorebird above.

On the way back, there were (head smack) 7 or 8 egrets in the high pools of Hampton Marsh.

Roger Tory Peterson etc.: Field guides as vehicles for experiencing the awesomeness that is life