I had traveled up to northern Vermont to visit my sister – and attend her first orchestral concert! Having taken¬† up cello after retirement, I am in awe of someone willing to put those new skills out in public like that! She is now playing with the Me2/ orchestra, “Classical music for mental health.” This group is designed for acceptance of differences, especially supportive for people with mental health issues, and also allies. We all, of course, sometimes have “issues” – but to have a group where the support is there to acknowledge those issues, and the level of diversity that brings, is a breath of fresh air. Held in the auditorium of the Burlington City Hall, the program was “A Viennese New Year” with pieces by three of the Strauss family – energetic, upbeat, cheerful – and probably the concert I’ve enjoyed the most in recent memory.¬†

The above photo was taken as we walked to the car after the performance; I guess it makes the building stand out? I’m glad I don’t have those red lights glowing through my bedroom window!

My wonderful brother-in-law likes taking photos of the many birds that visit their feeders. This one was on the other side of the house, surrounded and sheltered by the snowy hydrangea bush.

Turkeys on the Move

It’s turkey season – I rarely go out on back roads these days without seeing at least one, or a group, or multiple groups. They are crossing the roads, walking along them, in the fields, flying across – and what’s amazing is that as soon as hunting season happens, they will vanish from sight! It’s hard, though, to get decent photos when driving; if one stops, they melt into the shrubbery. I guess these were far enough away they felt safe.

Kayaking Lake Kolelemook

Friday, June 24: A friend and I wanted to put boats on water, and maybe swim – and it was a hot summer afternoon; I knew all the best places would lack parking by then. So we went to Lake Kolelemook in Springfield, New Hampshire, where I have friends who live directly across from the boat ramp – and who are generous with parking privileges for fellow ORFS! It’s not a huge lake; we paddled around the entire thing.

Lots of turtles!

We knew there were nesting loons on the lake – and were thrilled to see an adult with two chicks!

Spring Flowers

These photos were taken Sunday, walking along my driveway. There is lots of the purple trillium – it’s growing in great profusion, in several places. The blue cohosh is more discrete – there is a lot of it, but the flowers are small, and the plants are mostly visible because they are so blue this time of year. And the bloodroot, lower right, is showy enough – but only lasts about a week before the petals fall off and only the leaves are left. There is not a lot of it – and I thought it hadn’t shown up this year, but that’s because it moved down the hill to be right along the driveway.

Then there are the domestic flowers – these daffodils warm my heart, every time I go out. They are also by the driveway. I’m not venturing off the beaten path – this is a horrible tick year, and even just walking to the car, or on the driveway, they keep finding me! Grumble.

Around the Yard

This robin has been my alarm clock the past two mornings – starting before 7, and continuing all day, except when the sun was shining brightly, or it was raining! He sits on door and window sills and fights with his reflection. And there is a flock of about a dozen of the smaller woodpeckers (Downy? Hairy? moving too much, chasing each other from tree to tree to identify) also hammering on things.

Having gone out to see who was hammering on my windows, I also walked down the driveway to admire some of what’s blooming.

Eager – A Book Review

This book came to my attention because Ben Goldfarb was speaking somewhere in the area, about beavers. It sounded interesting, but I was unable to attend, so asked my local library to get this book through interlibrary loan. Thank you, wonderful librarians! Because this book was well worth reading. I had thought it would be a good bedtime book, easy to put aside – but I was wrong. I whizzed through it in one sitting, with a break for food; it is an excellent read, informative, thoughtful, and with a subtle sense of humor. If you aren’t sure where beavers fit in to the natural world – and the less natural one of built spaces – this book will tell you. Its scope ranges across the United States, and into the British Isles. There are stories of reintroduction and survival, engineering and beaver family life. My husband was not a fan of beaver – the beaver swamp across the street threatened to flood his basement – but if he had read this book, I suspect he would have come away with a more nuanced view.

Yearning Wild, A Book Review

Gumtrees and Galaxies, an Australian blog, encourages reading on environmental issues and experiences ( In the interest of sharing a book I enjoyed (to where I didn’t put it down and go to sleep until I couldn’t focus on the words any more!), which I found in my local library. R. Glendon Brunk spent years in Alaska, homesteading, raising a daughter, running sled dogs, working in the woods, hunting and guiding – any thing that would get him out in the wilderness and on the land. I’m not sure I like him as a person; he was so wrapped up in himself that his marriage and family suffered, although he seems to have retained good relations with his former wife, and his daughter – or he’s rebuilt them. The word pictures of the wilderness of Alaska – and Africa, Asia, and other wild places to which he’s traveled – are really well done. He was close enough to the environment of Alaska to see the harm done by the pipeline (one of his jobs was monitoring the caribou) and rampant greed. This book was published in 2002, so it’s certainly not new, but the issues have not changed. He’s a good writer, and doesn’t gloss over his shortcomings, or the difficulties of life around the Arctic Circle. Having no idea how available this book is, I’m not going to tell you to go hunt it down, but I’m really glad I stumbled across it.