Sunday, June 30, 2024

Shadowy June Flowers #ShadowshotSunday

Today, on this last day of June, let's celebrate some of my flowers. 

Orange day lily.

Red ganzania (African daisies).

Variegated geranium.  These are orange but for some reason, always photograph as red.

Peach day lily.

Joining with Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for her #ShadowshotSunday.  We'd love you to come out the shadows and join us.  All you need is one shadow photo and it doesn't even have to be of a flower. 

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Daylily Celebration

I've been busy today (partially with indoor plants) and I'm a little late in posting.

My dayliles are blooming and it's time to show them off.

It's raining today so I am showing some photos from earlier this week.  Here, ruffled.

Lemon, complete with ant.
I love this color.

For some reason, this one is never facing in a direction that makes it easy for me to photograph because my bed has so many daylilies in it now. Too bad, because this is one of my favorites.

Really, all of them are my favorites.

More tomorrow.  (Maybe).

Friday, June 28, 2024

Blueberry Picking Skies June 27 #SkywatchFriday

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day, after almost two weeks of warmer than normal (for the most part) weather, and three power failures at our house.

Our winter this year was milder than normal.  We are having various plants blooming or fruiting weeks or days ahead of schedule.  

Yesterday, we picked blueberries for the first time, and this is possibly a couple of weeks sooner than normal.  Come along with me and see some blueberry like skies.

This farm scene looks so tranquil, but it was anything but in February when an EF-1 tornado tore through this, and a neighborning farm.  It took 17 trees belonging to the U-Pick operation with it but fortunately the blueberries were affected.

I love that blue sky.

I don't miss the humidity of most of the past two weeks, either.

The blueberry bushes.

I'm happy they were able to open yesterday (and today), but they won't have more blueberries until after July 4.

I love blueberry picking season.

Joining Yogi and other sky watchers for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Tree Trio #ThursdayTreeLove

Yesterday, the oppressive (by our standards-my readers in India would laugh for hours if I stated the temperature, so I won't) heat was back, but we wanted to walk outside, and we ended up taking a 30 minute or so walk along a flood wall.

We admired these trees.

Trees don't have the option to duck into shade or air conditioning.  They stand, rain or shine, heat or cold, sun or ice.

Some have showy blooms.   By this time of year, our trees are mostly done blooming.

Some of them stand alone. 

This tree is actually three separate trees, each with what appears to be three trunks. The mini-grove stands near the Susquehanna river in the Southern Tier of New York.  

People like quotes with trees.  I don't have a quote for today. Instead, here's a tree joke:

Q.  What are three trees standing together called?

A.  A trio.

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food for her twice a month Thursday Tree Love.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Sad Scene #WordlessWednesday

 In a neighborhood park where we sometimes watch the sunset, we saw this sad scene yesterday.

A small playground has been in that park for years, but the metal parts of it were rusting away, and there was vandalism (spray painting) in the winter.

We took a walk in the park yesterday, and this is what we saw.

RIP playground.  Right now, with the caution tape, it looks more like something a tornado hit.  And, we were actually under a tornado warning on Sunday.  Maybe it had been damaged by high winds we had Sunday and Monday.

Let's hope the town plans to replace it soon.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

From Cheesequake to Jon Bon Jovi

Today's trivia question:  What is a Cheesequake, and what does it have to do with Jon Bon Jovi?

I originally asked this question in 2010, after attending a wedding in New Jersey.  I never found out.  I tried asking again in 2016 and still didn't find out. But now, there is even more to this story.

In July of 2010, spouse and I traveled to the Jersey Shore from the Binghamton, New York area.  This involved travel on the Garden State Parkway, known as the country's busiest toll road.  We had been warned about the traffic and we already knew how aggressive and high speed the driving would be, so neither came as a shock.  We proceeded through The Oranges and The Amboys when to our wondering eyes did appear, near exit 120....(milepost 124, to be exact)...

The Cheesequake Service Area.


Spouse and I turned to each other simultaneously.  What was a Cheesequake?  We pondered various answers.  A strange New Jersey restaurant chain?  A former cheese factory that had exploded and was now a historical site?  Some kind of corrupted Native American word?

Our wonder grew as we passed by a sign for Cheesequake State Park.

Turns out spouse's guess of a corrupted Native American word was correct.  My spouse, however, speculated that "Cheesequake" came from the same word that Chesapeake (as in Chesapeake Bay) derived from.  That apparently is not the case, according to what I was able to research back then.  If my sources are correct, Chesapeake comes from an Indigenous word meaning a village "at a big river" while Cheesequake comes from a Lenape word for "upland village".

Drawing from my (too long ago) college anthropology courses, I recalled that the Lenapes (formerly known as the Delaware) are part of a much larger Native American group-age called the Algonquians.  So, there may still be some truth to this speculation.

At any rate the word has nothing to do with neither cheese nor earthquakes.

Cheesequake State Park does sound fascinating but, as of today, I still haven't revisited the area.  

But, moving on, fast forward to a week or so ago.

We were watching a late night TV show whose host was interviewing  New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi.  Bon Jovi mentioned something about being honored by having a New Jersey highway rest area named after him.

"Wouldn't it be something", I mused, "if it was the Cheesequake service area?"

Turns out, it was.

RIP, Cheesequake Service Area.  It is now the Jon Bon Jovi Service Area.

But wait, there's more.

It would seem that New Jersey has been renaming its turnpike service areas after famous New Jerseyians, and several of them are musicians.  There's the Celia Cruz Service Area.  The Whitney Houston Service Area.  The Frank Sinatra Service Area.  (There are several non-musician named rest areas, including one for the late great actor James Gandolfini, but none named after Tony Soprano).

New Jersey offered to name one after Bruce Springsteen, but The Boss declined the honor.

For a future Music Moves Me (my Monday posts) post, maybe I'll do a post based on Musicians with New Jersey Turnpike Service Areas named after them.  

Because, why not?


Monday, June 24, 2024

Rainbow Songs #MusicMovesMe

 It's Monday, and it's time for music!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? Well, we are a group of music loving bloggers who blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please! Otherwise, your post may be labeled "No Music".  Our head host is Xmas Dolly, and our co-hosts are Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and, last but not least, me.

Every other week, we have a theme.  On alternate weeks, we can blog on any music theme we want. This week our theme is Freedom of Music - our choice of music.

Last Friday I wrote a blog post about a red rainbow I saw recently.  I decided to dedicate my blog post to rainbows.

First, let's return to 1967 with a psychedelic video - She's a Rainbow - The Rolling Stones.

Since I saw a red rainbow, why not sing about a Silver Rainbow, as Genesis did in 1983?

Pocketful of Rainbows - Elvis Presley, from 1960.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow is known to most of us as a song from the Wizard of Oz movie, sung by Judy Garland.  But I am going to choose a cover sung by the late Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, who died young at age 38.

How about a song with a country vibe? Rainbows All Over Your Blues - John Sebastian.

I will end this, returning to rock, with Dio and Rainbow in The Dark, from 1983.

Join me again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Shadow and Hummingbird Moth #ShadowshotSunday

This past Monday, my spouse was watering my hanging baskets when he spied this unusual (for us) sight:  a hummingbird moth feeding on a basket of million bells.

Look on the left middle and you'll see two yellow stripes.  That's the moth.  There are also some small shadows in the picture.

Spouse even took video of the moth (accidentally!) but the last time I tried to upload video to You Tube, I couldn't even figure out how to do it anymore.  It used to be so easy but I last did it five or more years ago.

Joining Lisa's Garden Adventures this first summer Sunday in June for her #ShadowshotSunday.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Day of the Day Lilies

Hot days aren't fun for us humans, but the plants in my Southern Tier of New York garden are soaking it up. And, the garden has announced that summer is here.

The daylilies are blooming.  These pictures, except for the last, were taken yesterday.

As of today, I have four varieties blooming.  I don't know the names of any of them, because either I forgot, or I never knew (some of what I have bought were "unknown", sold at a discount).

This was the first, already blooming before the 15th of the month.  It has a lot of blooms and buds now.

The second of my collection to bloom.  This may have been purchased in Penn Yan, New York at Grace Gardens.

This, on the side, is a rebloomer.  I'm positive it isn't Stella D'Oro.  I got this at a clearance years ago.  It's a short variety.

Finally, this is one I bought two years ago from a daylily nursery in Thompson, Pennsylvania, Lambertson's Brookside, which went out of business at the end of 2022...and then reopened for a while in 2023...and is going to reopen again for six days (I think) this July.  The owners are in their 80's and I suspect they just can't let go.

You can search July daylily posts from previous years, when my memory was better.  I should, but I'm too lazy.

I hope these pictures refreshed you.

If you are under the heat wave, stay cool!

Friday, June 21, 2024

Red Rainbow? #SkywatchFriday

Earlier this week, we were under a heat advisory.  We decided to walk in the park where we sometimes watch sunsets.  We weren't sure we'd see a good sunset but maybe we would.  Maybe we could get some walking in, too.

This is what we saw.  It was hot and humid, even near sunset, and there looked like there was a thunderstorm starting to build.  Suddenly, spouse points at the sky and says "is that a red rainbow?"

I just stood there and clicked.
The red cloud continued to build.
Red rainbow or not?
At this point, we were hearing thunder.  Time to end the walk.
Here the red rainbow or pointer from the cloud is starting to disappear.  You can see it just to the right of the tree.

We headed home.

Now, you can decide.  I think it had something to do with us being so close to sunset.  And we never did see a full rainbow, just did.  So...maybe.

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Say Hey Another Great Gone

As you grow older the parents, relatives, other adults, childhood heroes, favorite musicians, childhood sports favorites, and others, grow older along with you.

Eventually, they all pass on, as you know (intellectually) you will also, one day.

This is life, and we must accept it.

Tuesday, another sports figure of my youth passed away.  Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid [so named because it was how he greeted people in his youth], was 93.

True, Willie Mays was one of the greats of the sports of baseball. Many consider him the greatest all around baseball player of all time.    What statistics he compiled in his career in all categories of baseball play.  He entertained with his smile and showmanship.  

Mays eventually won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Also, consider this:  Mays grew up in Alabama, in the segregated  South.  He started his career in the Negro League, which existed because Major League baseball did not admit black ballplayers at the time.  Mays may have ended up having a spectacular career without much of our population ever knowing, or perhaps caring, if history didn't provide otherwise.

Ironically, Major League Baseball held a major league game yesterday in the same park as Willie's Negro League team, the Birmingham Black Barons, once played.  Willie had already announced he would not be able to make that ballgame. 

It was only earlier this month that Major League baseball included statistics from the Negro League in the stats of former Negro League players who had entered the major leagues after integration. 

Ironically, perhaps, I learned of May's death Tuesday evening while watching a New York Mets game with my spouse.

So,where do I fit into this?

Neither of my parents followed baseball, but I somehow found (and loved) watching games, starting around age eight.  In high school and college, I went to a handful of games with friends. Also, I met another New York Mets fan (the spouse mentioned above) in college. By the fall of 1972, we were engaged.

In May of 1972, Willie Mays, at the tail end of his career, was traded to the New York Mets.  We in New York loved Willie Mays.  He had started his major league career (once he could play in it) with the New York Giants.  It was a homecoming.

In 1973, the Mets didn't play well for most of the year,and by the end of August they were in last place.  But then, they started a winning streak.  By September 21 they were in first place. It was such an exciting time.  We went to some games.  By then, Willie Mays wasn't playing every day (he only played in 66 games total).  For me, it was enough to be in the same park as him.  

On September 20, Mays announced he was going to retire after the season ended.

On September 25 the Mets held a Willie Mays celebration at Shea Stadium.  Some 53,000 fans showed up.  My future spouse and I were two of them, and we, his fans, gave him a six minute standing ovation.

You can hear Willie Mays' speech here.

Mays never played in the regular season again, but he played in several postseason games.  We went to at least one of those, game five of the playoff vs. the Cincinnati Reds, where the Mets won the National League pennant. We were also at game three, where Mays went out with several other Mets players to calm fans successfully, and prevent the Mets from forfeiting the game, after a brawl. 

Mays' last base hit was in game two of the 1973 World Series, held in Oakland, California.

We went to World Series game three, in New York, and that was my last major league game ever.  I don't know if I will ever go to another one.  Such again is life.

I haven't been a baseball fan for many years, but I still admire the players from my era and before.  For example, seeing Bob Feller play the year before he passed away was a highlight of my life.

What a thrill to have been able to be present at a couple of historic points of baseball history.

Yesterday, there was a moment of silence before all major league games.  

Willie Mays is gone, as we all will be one day.  Life will go on, but many will miss him.  I am one of them.

May Willie Mays rest in peace.


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Hummingbird Moth #WordlessWednesday

A sad morning - last evening, while my spouse was watching a baseball game, we heard of the death of Willie Mays, a baseball legend of my childhood, and one of the greatest players of all time, at age 93.  I will blog about him later this week.  

Now,  to my already written post.

Have you ever heard of a hummingbird moth?

I saw one for the first time back in the 1980's when I lived in Arkansas.  I was positive I had seen a hummingbird but something seemed a little off.  A neighbor told me what I had seen.  It's easy to be fooled.  They hover like hummingbirds, although they are also smaller.

I've seen them a handful of times where I live now in New York State.

My spouse was out watering my hanging baskets (thank you!) a couple of days ago when he saw this on a basket of million bells (look on the upper right and you'll see a pair of yellow semi-circular stripes and the wings).  My apologies for not having better closeups.

Moved onto a low flower on the left.
One more capture on the left. You can see the stripes against the green basket.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Changing of the Roles

Sunday, in the United States, was Father's Day.  We invited our son to come over for lunch.

After lunch, dessert, and some watching of a baseball game on TV, my spouse said "Son, there is a favor you can do me.  I have to get bags of salt for our water softener.  I was going to do that tomorrow, but I'm thinking, could we do that together today?"

"Sure", son responded. Off they went to a local big box store that sold the brand he needed, with me tagging behind.

I had a feeling how much asking for that favor cost my spouse.  When he was in his 20's and 30's and even 40's and  50's, my spouse was strong (and his hair was brown).  He had physical jobs that required constant lifting.  He was proud of his strength.  Hefting eight bags, 40 pounds (18.1 kg) each, of water softener salt pellets from the display, pushing the cart,  loading the car with them and bringing them down to the basement would have been an easy job if we had had the water softener.

But that was then.

A fall from about five years ago and wear and tear from all those years of physical labor have worked their way with his shoulders.  He can lift, but it is an effort.  And it would have taken a while.  Even six bags (there is a price break at six so that's what he normally buys) are a chore.

My son helped us with a couple of other things like a watering hose repair that needed parts at the same store. Then we headed home with the salt. 

My son works a job that is physical at times. He's in his 30's.

After he and spouse unloaded the car, and son carried the salt downstairs, son looked at his father and offered to add salt to the softening device. He then asked,  "How often do you have to do that?  How long does one bag of salt last?"

"About 11 days", spouse responded to the last question.  I could see my son's mental wheels turning.

We are fortunate.  Our son lives in the same county as we do although we realize that may not always be the case. We try not to ask for his help too much.

But, I wonder, when he looks at us, what does he see?

Does he see what we saw with his parents when they were our age?  A split screen of then and now?

His grandfather, my father in law, died at just about the same age as my spouse is now.  His other grandfather, my father, died about four years before my son was born, at just about that same age.

And yes, I think about that. And the "W" word.   A lot.   I know a number of women, in real life and on Facebook, that are members of the W club. Some of them have been for years.  One of them joined that club, overnight, just a couple of months ago.

I think my son is peering into the future. He's seeing the beginning of the changing of the roles.  We took care of him through his first 18 years or so.  One day...well, we'll see, but we were also caregivers for his mother her last few years. 

My son is an only child and I know it must weigh on him sometimes, just as it weighed on me starting at a certain age.

No one knows what the future holds.  Perhaps it's just as well.

Bette Davis once said "Old age ain't no place for sissies."  I don't feel like I'm old but I think the calendar would disagree with that.

We'll just do the best we can, and hope for many more Father's Days (and Mother's Days) with him.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Father's Day Plus One Music 2024 #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and it's time for music!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? Well, we are a group of music loving bloggers who blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please! Otherwise, your post may be labeled "No Music".  Our head host is Xmas Dolly, and our co-hosts are Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and, last but not least, me.

Every other week, we have a theme.  On alternate weeks, we can blog on any music theme we want. This week our theme is Fathers for Father's Day.

This can get complicated.  Some of us never knew or even met our fathers.  One such artist was Eric Clapton, who also lost a young son in a tragic accident.   Upon hearing  of his father's death, he was hit b a great sense of loss, which is expressed in this song:

Here is 1998's My Father's Eyes, from Eric Clapton.

I didn't think of this as a Father's Day song, but apparently many people do.  Here is The Temptations and My Girl.

 Another classic, with a take on "Like father, like son" is Harry Chapin and Cat's in the Cradle.

Included in the word "father" are stepfathers, who often are unsung and underappreciated.  Here's the Winstons and their 1969 hit, Color Him Father.

I feel a need to rock out now, so including this 1974 song from Queen:  Father to Son.

Finally, in closing, one of my favorite songs, another song about father-son relationships and regret.  Here is Mike and the Mechanics and their 1989 hit The Living Years.

And that's a wrap!

Join us again next week for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Nature Shadows #ShadowshotSunday

Some shadows out of nature for this Father's Day in the United States.

Young groundhog in shadow, Vestal Rail Trail.

Peaceful shadows yesterday.

Wishing all fathers or men who act as fathers a wonderful and peaceful Father's Day.

Joining Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures for #ShadowshotSunday.  Why don't you come out of the shadows and join us? 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2024

It's the last weekend of spring and the 15th of the month.  It's time for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. 

It seems the seasons are rushing by in my newly reclassified zone 6a garden in the Southern Tier of New York.    There is so much blooming that I am just going to show you some random things and save some of all my annuals for another time.

Well, let's make two exceptions.  We are going to have a heat wave starting Monday, and we may be looking at the last days of our pansies.
I am calling this my miracle hanging basket.  See those pansies?  They died out over last summer (or so I thought) but one of them survived the winter when I stored the hanging basket in our unheated garage.  It's come back to life, accompanied by some purple million bells I purchased to keep them company.
Our garden sage is blooming.
This is nutmeg geranium, a scented geranium.  Scented geraniums aren't supposed to bloom all that much.  This plant didn't get the memo.
Salvia "Hummingbird Falls".  Only problem is, we seem to be boycotted by hummingbirds this year.  Well, no matter.

Our first day lily has been blooming for several days.  Several others have buds ready to go.

Variegated geraniums.  I bought a couple of these in a nursery about an hour away that specializes in the unusual.  The green and white leafed one was a cutting from a plant about three years old now that we overwinter in the house.


Globe amaranth, a first for us.

On the side of our house, this wild rose.

In our back yard, Siberian columbine.  It's on its way out so here's a picture from a couple of days ago to show it in better times.

Also in the back, cuphea (cigar plant).  It's found its perfect spot and in normal years, hummingbirds love it.

One of our back (part time to shady) yard hanging baskets.  This one has fuchsia and browallia.  Browallia is new to us and we are loving it so far.

Last but not least, a hanging basket of sunpatiens, another plant I love.

Joining up today with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for her 15th of each month Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Why not visit others on her linky and see what is blooming around the world?

Friday, June 14, 2024

May Cruise-In Skies #SkywatchFriday.

Time is speeding by.  This is the last Skywatch of spring, 2024.

Today, I'm taking you back to May 17, when there was a cruise-in in a local supermarket's parking lot.  One of the store's employees, who is a Corvette enthusiast, puts these together.  This year, it's expanded to twice a month (first Saturday and third Friday) through the end of the good weather.

The sky looked a little grim in one direction.

But less grim reflected on this little red Corvette's hood.

How about a different Corvette?
Less noticeable on the purple Chevy.

One more plus part of that Chevy above.

I like looking at classic cars, and finding these reflections is part of the fun.  I hope you found it fun, too.

Joining Yogi and other skywatching bloggers for #SkywatchFriday.