Category Archives: holidays

turkey haven

In this part of Massachusetts, its not unusual to see flocks of wild turkeys here and there, and now and then. In our new house, we see them rather more frequently. More here and now, than there and then. A family of them lives nearby, somewhere in the woods around our neighborhood. We started noticing them especially over the summer. There was a group of a few adults, and quite a few chicks. I don’t actually know how many of each there were, but I do know that now we have a group of 8 adults that regularly visit our yard. Especially now that we have put up bird feeders in the back yard. They can’t reach most of the feeders, but the little birds that can are messy enough eaters that there’s usually something to be found pecking at the ground below.

Our family, especially the younger generation, has been enamored with birds in general. So, we tend to enjoy these visitors. The one exception to this was when we had our lawn re-seeded. Then I was rather displeased to see the flock of turkeys out on the front lawn, enjoying the grass seed buffet. There were more than a few times when neighbors may possibly have seen me running across the lawn, waving my fist and shouting, “get off my lawn, you whippersnappers!” Or something like that. I did also enjoy a strategic use of the newly repaired sprinkler system, turning on the sprinklers right where the gang was pecking at the lawn.

Anyhow, here are some photos I took back in July. I know I’ve taken more recent photos of these guys (or gals, really), but it’s fun to look back and see the little chicks. Or the not-so-little chicks. They were cute, in any case.

The turkeys didn’t visit us today, which is Thanksgiving in the United States. Also known as Turkey Day. We figured that they were laying low. But these guys don’t have anything to fear from us: the only turkey on our table was a ceramic salt shaker.

festival of lightsabers

It amuses me that Star Wars Day has become a thing. (May the Fourth be with you.) In honor of this day of geekiness, it seems a good time to share these photos of the kid with lightsabers.

Toy lightsabers can be pretty annoying (especially the ones that make noises), but they do look pretty cool at night.

(We got these for the kids one year when we went to an amusement park for their wintertime festival of lights.)

Have you hugged your tree today?

Today is Earth Day, and I can’t say that I did much to commemorate it. I didn’t drive anywhere, so at least I didn’t consume as many fossil fuels as some days. And I did appreciate some trees, though I didn’t photograph them. Instead, I will share some old photos of my children hugging a tree.

This photo is one I shared ages ago, so I guess it’s recycled. But recycling is good, right?

And here’s one I don’t think I’ve shared, so it’s like I’m planting a new tree (photo).

Next year, perhaps I will set some higher goals to express my appreciation for the planet.

splashes of spring color

Here are a few photos I took while we were visiting my mother-in-law for Easter weekend. The kids and I decorated eggs on Saturday, and we had the traditional egg hunt on Sunday.

I find dyed eggs to be so appealing, visually. So much color, so much potential for variation. So many eggs to use for egg salad afterwards. (The color is not always so visually appealing then, though.)

Not so subtle a hiding place.


A blue bloom popping up among the green fronds.

These are totally not eggs, but they are springy, and mighty colorful.

It’s beginning to look…marginally more like Christmas

I love the festive trappings of Christmas–the trees, the bright decorations, and especially the lights. In the long dark nights, it is so cheering to see the bright and colorful displays. However, getting things to look festive takes time and energy. These are things that I don’t have in excess just now. We managed to get our tree on Sunday, before rushing off to a recital, but had no time to put it up. (As I headed out to the garage before driving in to work, I was happy that John had remembered to take the tree off my car.)

We also picked up a little dangling ball of Christmas greenery. These probably have a name, but I don’t know what it is. I hung it out on our front porch, on a hook helpfully left by the previous owners. If I had to do anything more than that, the festive ball would probably be dangling less festively from a doorknob.

Our new neighborhood is much more of a neighborhood than our previous one, which was really more of a road through the woods with houses on it. And the new neighborhood apparently goes all out for holiday decorations. I feel like the neighbors might be a little disappointed that we aren’t joining in the spirit. But I can point out the ball, right?

In this photo, I was trying to capture the drips of the oh-so-festive freezing rain we had today.

And in zooming in to check the focus on my drip, I was amused to see my reflection, awkwardly hanging on to the porch pillar as I tried to get a better angle on the ball without stepping out onto the treacherously icy steps.

Ah, ’tis the season.

turkey, duck, chicken (but not turducken)

Here are 3 pretty birds I’ve come across in recent years. (I did not eat any of them.)




smashing pumpkins (or smashed pumpkins, really)

It is an American holiday tradition to decorate with pumpkins for Halloween, and carve them into jack-o-lanterns. Some pumpkins never quite make it that far…

This pumpkin was not the belle of the pumpkin patch.

There is also the less widely appreciated tradition of stealing pumpkins of other people’s front steps, and smashing them onto the ground. The closest I have come to this tradition is taking our post-Halloween pumpkins to the compost pile, and throwing them down.

Pumpkins actually don’t tend to smash in these circumstances. A compost pile is a rather soft bed of leaves and other squishy organic materials.

These pumpkins are more smushed than smashed. (I confess I am amused by the distorted faces of the decomposing pumpkins.)

These are from 2009, 2012 and 2013. It is totally normal that I have accumulated a collection of photos of smashed and/or rotting pumpkins over the years. I’m sure you can say the same, right?