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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

     As I write this we are within two hours of 2014.  Perhaps the proudest accomplishment of 2013 is that Cindy enters 2014 weighing 58 pounds less than she entered 2013.  Durelle and I admire her fortitude.  It has been a fine year.  It has had its ups and downs as all years must.  Of course New Years Eve means fireworks, and fireworks mean nervous puppies.  Baxter has had his melatonin and he is wrapped up in his "Thundershirt" in front of the fire.  The TV with its football games is turned up louder than usual and the windows are shut so that he does not hear the pyrotechnics as much as he might.


     
      So far, so good, but we have not had nearly as many fireworks as last year.  Let's hope it continues.  Our Christmas decorations are limited to a few ribbons and Mother Nature's addition of a lovely bush full of Holly berries.



     Of course the RED Sox do not detract from the holiday theme.  The weather has been just lovely and we enjoyed the holiday drive through the James Island County Park's annual festival of lights.  We sympathize with our many friends whose holiday weather has not been nearly as pleasant.  We look forward to 2014.  My rehabilitation from shoulder surgery is proceeding normally and my primary care physician has sent a referral to the top hip replacement surgeon in the area.  I am optimistic that the summer travel season will find me (and the bus) fit and ready to go.
     We wish all of our readers a healthy and prosperous 2014.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Summer weather

     While the Northeast has been experiencing abnormally nasty weather. The Southeast has been treated to summertime conditions.  Today was 79 degrees that felt like 81 with the humidity.  This evening Durelle and I sat out back to watch the sunset.  (We sit out front to watch the strollers walking around the neighborhood.)  It wasn't dramatic, but I did get some good sunset shots.  A major challenge is holding the camera still enough in the low light.

     As the sky got darker, the sky changed colors.



     We are ready for a quiet Christmas with Durelle and I and Cindy.  By the way, Cindy has lost 55 pounds since the first of January and 35 pounds since her surgery.  I, for one, am impressed.  I should also mention that Baxter will also be part of our Christmas.  Here he is in his usually contemplative state.



     We wish you all a great holiday season.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Baloney

     It seems that on every visit to a grocery store I make a visit to the deli.  Our usual lunch is a big wrap that we split.  Today, for example, I bought a half pound each of sliced pastrami, roast beef, and mozzarella plus a pound of sliced swiss.  I often buy some salami or hard sausage to use for snacks with crackers and cheese.  In this case I prefer an un-sliced chunk so that I can cut it to suit my needs and the shape of the crackers.  A very interesting thing happens when you ask the young lady behind the counter to cut a one pound piece off the hunk of salami in the display case.  When asked for a pound of sliced meat, they can just sneak up on it one slice at a time.  Of course they often say, "It's just a little over. Is that OK?"  But the idea of a one pound chunk stumps them.  Once, she set the slicer to the maximum width and gave me about five half inch chunks.  Another skittered off to find a supervisor.  Once in a very great while I will find one who will weigh the whole chunk and estimate what fraction would be close to a pound, but this is an exception.
     These kids are not stupid; they just have not faced the problem before.  When I suggest that they weigh the whole piece, they will.  I explain that, if it weighs two pounds, cut it in half.  If it weighs three pounds, estimate where it should be cut to make three equal pieces and cut on one of those points, then wrap up the smaller piece for me.  If it is an odd weight, the mental calculation can be more difficult.  Once, one of the girls handed me a piece that weighed a bit less than 2 1/2 pounds.  I looked at it and said, "Make your cut between the e and the f in beef.  The resulting piece was almost exactly one pound.  To her credit she wanted to talk about how to do that.
     I can recall when my mother would ask my father how much a piece of meat weighed.  These pieces were home butchered and wrapped for the freezer and did not have the grocery labels.  He would grab a quart of milk from the refrigerator and "heft" it to get calibrated.  A quart weighed two pounds.  "A pint's a pound the world around."  Of course that only applies to water, bur milk was close enough for an estimate.  He would then give my mother an estimated weight of the meat that was close enough to choose the cooking time.
     I am not here lamenting the dependence on calculators.  I am saddened by the fact that an intuitive understanding of fractions has been lost.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Almost Christmas ?

      That's what Baxter says, "Is it Christmas yet"    The tree is set up, but the only presents are a few that Cindy brought over.  It's time for me to start thinking about what I should get for Durelle.  The PT is coming along fine.  The shoulder permits almost any motion.  I have one more session of "range of motion only" therapy then we get into the rebuilding phase on the 23rd.  
     Tonight we were sitting out front watching a full moon come up.  I took a few pictures as the moon escaped from behind a tree.

     My mini tripod makes these possible.
  
       I assume you are watching the same moon.  We are doing well.  Durelle is disgustingly healthy.  I'm muddingly along.  The reconstructed rotator cuff is almost back to normal.  I have one more "range of motion only" PT session, then we start the rebuild activities on the 23rd.  When the shoulder has recovered, I can think about a hip replacement.  I am looking forward to being able to move normally.
     Tonight was a very successful effort on the grill.  Two days ago I marinated an extra thick pork chop in a mixture of beer, molasses, and kosher salt.  Today I removed it from the marinade, dried it with paper towel, and rubbed in a mixture of minced garlic and pepper.  The Traeger Grill was set at 350.   When the chop reached about 145 degrees, I took it off and wrapped it in foil to rest.  Durelle did a rice/veggie while the pork was resting.  It was perfect.  There is a fine line between getting it done without drying it out.  Tonight was perfect.  It was moist for me and not pink for Durelle.  Here's hoping you all have a great holiday.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving for 2 1/2 stomachs

     Although Cindy was working today, she did not have to go in until four so there was time for a turkey dinner.  We had all the classics, but on a small scale.  Durelle found a 9 1/2 pound turkey which we accompanied with mashed (riced) potatoes, stuffing, gravy, butternut squash, boiled onions, cranberry jelly and pumpkin pie.  Everything came together right at two-o-clock as if by magic.  It all started with stuffing the turkey.
     That's the potato ricer in the background.  I had recently read a couple of food articles in the run-up to Thanksgiving that claimed that mashed potatoes made with a ricer were absolutely the best way to make mashed potatoes but that, alas, no one has a ricer anymore.  Guess what?  Perched on top of one of our kitchen cabinets as a decoration was Durelle's mother's ricer complete with the conical wooden "pestle".  I got it down and Durelle cleaned it up.  Who knows how old it is...a century?  I did a dry run last week and today turned out a wonderful batch of potatoes.  Instead of dirtying some other implement, I also used it to mash the squash.
     Once the turkey was stuffed, properly seasoned and oiled, the roasting pan was carried out to the Traeger pellet fed grill.  I have a remote thermometer.  One sensor gets inserted into the inner thigh of the turkey.  The other clips to the grate of the grill to provide the oven temperature.  These temperatures are wirelessly remoted to a monitor inside the house.
     The spritzer bottle holds apple juice which is used to periodically to baste the bird.
     Here it is almost done.  Is that the smallest turkey you ever saw?
     The table to which this bird is headed is equally modest...just three plates.  
     Besides, Cindy with her gastric bypass surgery, was tortured by the small size of samples she could have.  Her mother's stuffing brought great appreciative sighs at each of the two bites she felt she could have.
     Still it was a great Thanksgiving.  The scene below has nothing to do with triptofan.  He always looks like this.
     I hope your Thanksgiving was as enjoyable as ours and that you stop from time to time to recognize all that we have for which to be thankful.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thirty Thousand


     This is a picture of one of the many blossoms on our Confederate Rose, hibiscus mutabilis.  It is pretty, but the da#### thing is still a weed.  In three years it has grown from a mere cutting to where it is taller than our eaves and is covering our back door.  Plus, it was planted inches from the foundation.  When it is done blossoming, I'm cutting it down.  I MAY save a cutting for another location.
     The real reason for today's post is to note the milestone of 30,000 page views.  In the world of professional bloggers that's a day's tally.  In my world it is a few loyal readers who have stayed with me for over five years.  I will take this opportunity to thank you all...or by now I should be saying "y'all".  At any rate, thank you very much.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween

     Over the past few weeks I have posted pictures of several examples of the assorted wildlife that has wandered into our yard.  Thursday there were several more strange examples See the pictures below.




     It is also about time for an update on my shoulder.  After the "excitement" of the immediate post-op period, recuperation has settled into a more conventional routine.  The arm is still in a sling and will be for the foreseeable future.  Initially, the PT will be limited to "no-load", small movements well within my comfortable range of motion...which isn't much yet.  I'm afraid it will be a while before I can begin to rebuild it.  Last Tuesday I had an interesting post-op meeting with the guy who operated on my shoulder.  'Twas a bit humorous.  After 15 minutes of my telling him about tape damage to the skin, several unsuccessful IV attempts, an IV in the neck, a dye-assisted CT scan and two days of a suppressed lung function, he interrupted to say, "By the way, I successfully repaired a completely torn rotator cuff."  I had to laugh.  He thinks that if I am careful, I should regain full motion and function, but he is talking in terms of months. 
     I'm mobile; I can drive; and I can do most everything I need to do.  Although I managed to shave left-handed this morning, I asked Durelle to trim my sideburns.  She has taken over some of my chores temporarily, but I hope that will be short-lived.  The bottom line is that I am fine and recuperating (slowly).  The hip may have to wait a while.  Physical therapy starts Monday.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Surgery

       I know, I know...it has been three weeks!  Many of you know that I am a two-fingered typist.  Now, with my right arm in a sling, I am a one-fingered typist...and the left one at that.  Plus, you should try operating the mouse with your non-dominant hand sometime.
     Having finished with my excuses, I can tell you about the repair to my right rotator cuff.  It was done at Roper-St. Francis in downtown Charleston by Dr. Keith Merrill last Wednesday afternoon.  The surgery took a couple of hours.  As part of the procedure the anesthesiologist installed a drug distribution system to dispense 10 ml per hour of "super-lydocaine" for 50 hours.  There is a sphere the size of a large orange in an external pouch and a very thin length of tubing inserted under the skin to dispense the numbing agent right next to the nerves that need to be numbed after the general anesthesia has worn off.  It works like a champ!  For the distaff side of my readers I'm told it is similar to an epidural. There was NO post-op pain.  Don't worry; there's a "however" coming.
     Thursday afternoon I began to have some shortness of breath.  By lying flat and consciously trying to slow my breathing I could get my respiration rate down from a rapid and shallow 30 to normal rates.  BP, pulse and temp. were all normal.  I called Dr. Merrill and left a message.  When he called back to tell me to go to the ER, I answered the phone from a gurney in the ER to tell him that I was already there.  It was Durelle who said, "Let's not wait for the call-back."  When you say, "...difficulty breathing" in an ER, they move fast.  Within seconds, it seemed, I was on a gurney with my shirt and sling off, and I was plugged in to oxygen and an EKG.  The next procedure was dye-assisted CT scan to make sure that there were no wandering blot clots from the surgery lodged in the lungs.  Two phlebotomists in two arms were unsuccessful while leaving large (6-8 sq in) hemotomas behind.  In their defense, I was dehydrated.  We needed the IV for the dye so the doctor tilted the gurney to lower my head and used a vein in my neck!  On Halloween he'll probably go as Dracula.  At any rate, the lungs were clear.  He then did some tests to measure my lung capacity.  He put a mask on me and had me inhale a medicated mist for a while.  By then I was breathing normally.  He gave me an inhaler and sent me home with instructions  to go to the main ER downtown if it happened again.
     Guess what?  It happened again on Friday.  I just could not get enough air.  I could not speak more than four words without stopping to breathe before continuing.  Cindy, who was off work doing her own post-op recuperation, drove us into the city.  Again, the "can't breathe" gambit got their attention.  Again, out came the oxygen tubing and the EKG and other sensors.  Then in walked Dr. Louis, a personable and perceptive young man.  Within five minutes he had asked a few questions, listened to my lungs and decided that the "super-lydocaine" being dispensed by the "OnQ" device was leaking over to the phrenic nerve that has a major role in lung function.  He was helped by the fact that all the usual causes had been eliminated the afternoon before.  So he turned off the dispenser and left me, still on oxygen, for a couple of hours (I had my Kindle) so that the drug would get out of the system.  He then asked me how I felt, and I said,"Normal".  He sat me up, pressed a stethoscope to my back and exclaimed,"Oh, Wow!"  After living in a world of puzzling, gray area diagnoses, a nice black and white success has to be very satisfying.  For my part it sure was good to get my lungs back.  There was only a couple of hours left on the machine.  He told me that if the pain returned to the shoulder, I could turn the flow back on for a half hour shot.  That would be enough time to sedate the shoulder, but not the lungs.  He was right on.  Saturday, nurse Durelle pulled the tube out of my shoulder and removed some tough tape, and I was finally able to get dressed without the "medicine ball".
     With the sling and keeping the shoulder as still as possible I can now get by with no pain meds.  I even managed a bath today while keeping the dressing dry.  It will get removed tomorrow morning.  It was an exciting few days, but "All's well that ends well."  My hat is off to Dr. Hunter Louis.  Meanwhile my arthritic hip is patiently waiting for the shoulder to be well enough to manage a walker so that it can be replaced.
     
     










































Friday, October 4, 2013

Contest is over

     It appears that no one is going to venture a guess as to the identity of the blossom on our crepe myrtle.  Today was a good day for critters in the back yard.  Durelle thought she could see a lump in the crocodile's belly that may have correlated with all the lost dog pictures on the area's telephone poles.  He moved before I took the picture so I "can neither confirm nor deny" the existence of a "lump".   His ribs are clearly visible, so, I guess he's not overfed.
     Also providing a nice wildlife presence to our backyard is our nesting pair of bald eagles.  There are frequent photo ops of one of them handsomely perched on a top branch in front of a blue sky looking positively regal.  Here's one of them taken this morning.
     Someday I'll get a picture of him in flight, perhaps with a fish in his talons.  In the meantime I'll happily settle for stationary pictures such as this one.
     Monday and Tuesday are doctors appointments which I hope to use to initiate some positive steps to restore my mobility.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Horticultural Challenge

     Let's start with a picture of a blossom I took in our yard just a few minutes ago.  I intentionally cropped out anything that would give you a sense of scale
     I'm sure that several of you will recognize the flower.  For others it will be a puzzle. 
     I saw the neurologist this morning.  My main problem is the arthritis in my right hip.  That issue is not in his bailiwick.  We kicked the neuropathy can down the road; i.e. I'll stay with the Lyrica for two to three more weeks.  If it doesn't help, I'll phase off of it.  Thursday is our primary care physician.  Hopefully she can pull the whole picture together and we can make some progress.
     Durelle and Cindy are on the golf course.  When they finish, we'll meet for a late lunch at the "Noisy Oyster".

Monday, September 23, 2013

Evening Sky

     Last evening Durelle yelled, "Frank, get the camera. The sky is beautiful."   I do what I'm told, but she was certainly correct.  There was nothing special about the sky earlier to indicate that it was going to be a great night for sunsets.  Here's another.
     It has cooled down enough that the AC sees only occasional use.  Everyone is quickly getting retrained to a conventional house, and I am really enjoying the Jacuzzi.  Cindy's being on vacation this week has been a pleasant addition.  Can you handle one more sunset picture?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home

     
It's good to be home.

     We've been home since Monday.  The bus is unpacked and at ProTech for a few repairs.  Durelle has caught up on the wash and has everything back in it wintertime location.  We have taken our time and appreciated Cindy's help.  Those two even played golf Thursday.  The old Corvette was in fine running order.  Thanks, Tom.
     I've had one doctor's appointment with two more next week.  I'm sleeping OK, and I'm getting around in a limited fashion.  Durelle, of course, is doing just fine...fortunately.  There is not much to report.  Remember: no news is good news.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Safe Arrival

     I just tried, unsuccessfully, to send a number of you a note proclaiming a safe arrival.  Unfortunately, my reestablished computer configuration won't allow me to compose and send emails.  Until I sort that out I hope this venue will reach most of you.  We got in at 1300.  It was the shortest day of the five, but it seemed like the longest.  After unhooking the Jeep and parking and chocking the bus, I turned the unpacking over to the ladies....felt like a wuss, but really had no choice.  The first doctor's appointment is tomorrow.  Now it is time for a small martini.
     Thanks to all for your concern.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Checkered Flag

     You can tell we are back in the south.  The owner of the rig next door as we pulled in was in a recliner watching an outside, flat screen TV.  Was he watching one of the many football games?  Nope...NASCAR.
     We pulled in to a KOA in Statesville, NC just before 1600.  The reason for the "late" arrival is that we spent an hour forty visiting with a cousin I had not seen in over twenty years.  Anika and I were contemporaries growing up.  Our fathers were unusually close brothers, and in each case we were the first born.  They live in Lynchburg, VA so they arranged to meet us at rest stop on I-81S.  It was a very nice reunion.  Below is a picture of Bob and Anika Chevalier and Durelle.
     Bob is a retired Navy WO and Anika is a nurse who takes good care of him.  They were married 55 years ago.
     If you are still puzzling about the title of the blog, it has nothing to do with our neighbor's TV preferences.  What it means is that the end is in sight.  We are about 225 miles from Charleston, and I am within 24 hours of turning off the adrenaline spigot.  We'll get in at midday, unhook the Jeep, turn off the fridge (because of the slope of our driveway), park the bus and take our time unloading.  Our talented daughter, Cindy, is about to become a pack mule.
     Thanks to all for a great summer.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Staunton, VA

     Still no pictures.  This is very pretty Virginia horse country, so, if I got off my butt and wandered around, there would be some nice pictures.  We are in Staunton, VA, about in the middle of the state.  Two more easy days and I'll let everyone know where things stand.
     What a pitiful post for number 500!

Friday, September 13, 2013

White Haven, PA

     Two days down; three to go.  Today had a scary start.  I had noticed on our first night out that the main living room/dinette slide did not go out smoothly and uniformly.  So I was expecting trouble this morning.  That's the one that has given us trouble ever since we were burglarized and had difficulties corralling all the pieces of broken safety glass that got under it.  This morning the aft corner didn't want to move in with the rest of the slide.  I made two tentative tries, stopping short of getting the thing cockeyed and jammed.  I went outside, put my back against the slide, hooked my hands under the edge behind me and heaved up and in while Durelle activated the motor.  Great news!  It worked.  Guess where it's going to stay until we get home?  We can easily live with just the three other slides.  I don't think that activity was on my approved physical therapy regimen, but it worked and no harm was done.
     On a couple of side notes of interest only to the Moorings crew: the dishwasher door now locks for travelling and the red generator light over the bed no longer comes on in the middle of the night.
     We are in White Haven, PA on I-80 almost to I-81 south.  We took an interesting shortcut to get from I-84 to I-80.  PA 423 runs right by the Tobyhanna Army Depot in the heart of the Poconos.  It sure ain't cruise control country, but it was only a dozen miles or so and it worked fine.  I guess it was one of Dick Roth's "red roads".
     Our target for tomorrow is Verona, Va which advertises "four indoor hot tubs"...one of which has my name on it.  Now it's time for a little "happy hour"with some lobster dip.
      

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Heading South

     This post does not contain pictures of scenery, food or cute dogs.  Neither does it describe any fine adventures or enjoyable social events.  The ONLY purpose if to give a status report to all those generous, considerate and honestly concerned friends who have been so helpful as I packed up some tired bones and headed home.
     Day one was 264 miles which deposited us in Sturbridge, MA at three-o-clock.  A pull through site made set up easier.  Durelle and I could list a dozen folks who helped and made sure we got under way safely.  There are dozens more whose sincere concern is greatly appreciated.
     Forgive me for not trying to list you all here.  The list would include friends for decades as well as those whose friendship is only a few days old.  I'm still hobbling around, but the actual driving presented no problem.  Stamina is a problem, but we'll make it.  Four days to go...we hope to see you next summer.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Winding Down

     We plan to pull out on Thursday, the 12th.  We also plan to spend five leisurely days between here and SC.  The longest day will be 300 miles.  I'm sorta limping along and look forward to getting to the root of my afflictions.  The seasons are changing rapidly.  Today we went from heavy rain to blue skies in a matter of minutes.  Today I spent a couple of hours getting reacquainted with our neurologist camping friends, Stover and Debbie (and Amos). Check  2 Sept 2012 for a previous reference.
     This is a quiet time as we get everything squared away for the trip south.  The evening was pleasant and I took a few pictures of Penobscot Bay.  The overnight low is projected to be 42 degrees.
     
  
     The setting sun illuminated a small cruise ship heading into Belfast harbor.
   Here's a shot of one lone hydrangea that just will not give up.
     And here's a shot of our home for at least the next week or so.

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Harbor, Maine

     For the better part of a century a modest, three-season cottage on the shore of Muscongus Bay has belonged to the Gardner clan.  Fortunately Gene Gardner, a "downeaster" if there ever were one, married Ruth Grover.  She in turn was the aunt to Durelle Grover who, of course, joined the Cloutier clan fifty three years ago.  Hence the connection.  We first started to spend some wonderful weeks at the cottage thirty five years ago.  Without regaling you with even a small portion of the pleasant stories of family and friends that occurred here, permit me to set the stage.  Immediately across route 32 in front of the cottage is the Rachel Carson "Silent Spring" salt pond.  A salt pond is a small (perhaps a hundred yards across) depression that fills up during high tide and remains full as the tide retreats.  At midday in the summer it is waist deep in the center and warms up in the sun until it is the most comfortable body of salt water on the Maine coast.  Assorted coastal aquatic critters are often deposited there who must await the next high tide to escape.
     The expanse of Maine woods extending from the porch a quarter of a mile downhill to the coastal road has been cut down and grown up as various generations have cleaned out the view.  Few can forget the admonitions of Gene who permitted the pines to go, but insisted on preserving the oaks.  It is currently cleared again.  Yesterday we ventured down from Belfast, and I took another picture from the porch.  Look for route 32 at the foot of the hill, the salt pond immediately beyond it and a large home on Long Cove Point on the other side of Long Cove.
     The cottage is largely unchanged.  It is still heated by a wood stove and a fireplace.  The outhouse was replaced by a septic system in the late forties.  The water supply is still provided by an above ground hose.  When we made our unannounced visit, all three Gardner boys were there along with Harold's wife Dianne and Dianne's folks.  It was a quick visit as we headed over to Shaws for a lunch with Estelle Anderson and her daughter Karen.  The shot below shows the flowers in the parking lot.
     And the last shows the arrival of lunch on the deck.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Castine.

     Today was a wonderful trip to Castine, the home of Maine Maritime Academy.  It was wonderful because we had five couples who have been camping together for a decade that met at Dennett's Wharf in Castine.  Castine is an hour plus from Belfast.  We can see it from the campground, but we have to go north, east and then south to find our way to the next south pointing peninsula.  
     Maine Maritime trains cadets to become qualified to be certified in the various specialties necessary to operate commercial seagoing transport.  There are elements of the training that are reminiscent of the military academies.
     A principal piece of their training environment is the "State of Maine"  It is a large commercial ship that provides them hands-on application and also serves as a platform for the summer long cruises.
     I thought it was noteworthy that the pleasurecraft activity has already started its late summer decline.  Note the dinghys which should be tied to deep water moorings.
     Dennett's wharf has been a well known restaurant in Castine for many years, and they did not disappoint.  
     They had some fine local oysters on the half shell and many varieties of beer on tap.  
     The crew included the Andrews, the Roths, the Cloutiers, the Dunns and the Pecks.  'Twas a nice lunch.  After lunch we (the Andrews and us) drove around the town looking at the fine old homes.  You might be surprised to learn that Castine was settled seven years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth.  On the way back I got a nice shot of a large sailboat sailing up the river.
     There were a few more pictures after we got back to the Moorings.  One was a magnificent sailboat illuminated by the late evening sun.
     As the evening was winding down, Durelle took Baxter for a walk and passed the "Bambi" that I included in a previous post.  They left and came back.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Late Summer Sunrise

     Every once in a while I wake up just as the sky is starting to get light.  It's usually much later.  The newspapers don't come until eight, and we've been known to sleep 'til nine.  It's fine with Baxter whenever we get up.  Since it was just before sunrise, I brewed a quick mug of coffee, slung the camera around my neck, grabbed a folding chair, and headed down toward the water to find a good vantage point.  I set up the chair and the camera and sat down with the coffee to wait for some good photo-ops.  There was some morning sea-fog, and nestled in it was a freighter waiting to move into the Searsport harbor.
     You can tell that this was gentle, pre-dawn light.  The colors didn't stay subtle for long.
     I suppose I should have had some sort of filter to shoot straight into the sun, but I didn't so I shot anyway.
   As it crept above the horizon it began to blast every pixel collector I had, so I used an oak tree for a filter.
     As I turned my back to the sun, it was nice to see the homes on the far side of the bay starting to reflect the morning light.
     These homes are in Northport or perhaps the southern edge of Belfast.  While I was sitting there, I saw a gull pick up a mussel and carry it aloft only to drop it onto the rocks below.  After he released it, he followed it down and had a tasty mouthful as it broke against the rocks.  I tried hard to capture it with the camera, but with no success.  The best I could do was to catch one guy ready to launch.
     The mussels are pretty firmly attached to the rocks, so it's hard for the gulls to rip them loose in the first place.
     Prominently located in the entrance to Belfast harbor is an aid to navigation called a monument   It has been there since the 1800s and has special meaning for several of our Maine camping friends.  This morning was low tide as you can tell by the black portion of the monument that is exposed.  The waterfowl are cormorants.
     This evening the full moon put on a display to compete with the sunrise.  It rose in the same place and was nearly the same color in a very muted way.  The first shot was when I was too lazy to move away from the campers and elected to shoot between them.
     Then I decided to move out to where I could see the reflection.
     When you consider that all of these shots were taken in one day from the same place, you have to agree that it is a very special place..