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Saturday, March 30, 2013

A C-5 Overhead

     Two posts in one day?  Just as I was finishing the previous post, Durelle yelled, "It's a C-5!"  There is a very distinctive whistle in the engine sounds that distinguish it from other large aircraft.  I had the camera handy as I had just uploaded the pictures of the Christmas cactus.  I grabbed it and hustled out back, happy that I had taken it out of the close-up mode and had re-enabled the autofocus.  I was there in time, but at 1700 hours he was passing right in front of a bright sun.  I paused and took two shots.  Here is the first one.  If you look closely, you'll see that the landing gear are in the process of deploying.
 
     Having no idea if I had caught him, I snapped another.
     You can't see it, but I can on a blow-up...the landing gear are now down.  This picture is very recognizable as a view of our backyard fence and bluebird house.
     I hope to catch a better picture, perhaps in front of the setting sun.  It's a great aircraft.  Great has two meanings.  It's also BIG.  It can carry a payload that is equal to the gross weight of a fully loaded 747!  The Wright brothers' first flight could have taken place INSIDE the cargo bay of a C-5!  It has made million pound take-offs!  It is still serving as a workhorse for oversized, heavy cargo.

The Easter Cactus

     One of the legacies in the Cloutier clan is the famous Christmas Cactus.  It was originally a favorite house plant of my grandmother, Annetta (Nanny) Cloutier.  A large number of cuttings have proliferated throughout the family for seven decades.  My mother had one, and both my sister, Marian, and I have some of the progeny.  For years it provided multiple blossoms for the Christmas season.  Perhaps, as we moved around with changing light and  climate, its circadian rhythms have been changed.  At any rate, it is now our Easter cactus.
     It demands almost nothing in the way of green thumb attention and is a constant reminder of my mother and my grandmother.
     The weather is just now becoming spring like.  There have been a couple of overnight frosts in the past week or so.  Below are a couple more cardinal pictures taken through the guestroom window.
 
 
     Have a wonderful Easter

Friday, March 22, 2013

Back Yard Critters

    Well, pop your chest up and be proud!  You are the master of this pond...at least until the water gets warm enough for the alligators to return.
     We haven't been much of anywhere lately, so all I have to offer is some back yard shots.  I have finished the second Adirondack chair except for applying the finish (a clear spar urethane by Minwax).  I have returned the garage to its previous configuration which will allow me to park the old Corvette in out of the pine pollen storms.  Actually, I'd like to make some more of those chairs now that I have it down to a science.  The problem is that unless I decided to make them out of pine, forego the stainless steel hardware and marine grade adhesives, and just paint them; I'd have to sell them for a hundred bucks.  Probably a small and unsatisfying market.
     There has been a lot of activity on the bird feeder.  If I want to capture some of it, I would need a tripod and an RF remote shutter control.  Below are some back yard bird shots that are shaky hand held shots,and I think the hand is getting shakier.  Here is some activity around the pond.
     Recently, I ran (?) outside with the camera to get a shot of our eagles  I got a good shot, but it wasn't our local eagle.  As you can see, this is clearly an osprey.
      Of course, I have to close with a shot of our favorite back yard critter.
     Say, "Good Night", Baxter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

20,000

     I've got some pictures to send, but I wanted to note that o/a 1945 hours on 19 Mar the page view count passed 20,000.  Thank you very much.
Frank

Saturday, March 2, 2013

8th Annual Charleston Food & Wine Festival

     It gets bigger and better every year.  Charleston is a "must visit" city for all you fellow foodies out there.  I attended just one part of the four day extravaganza.  In Marion Square, in the center of "the Peninsula", there were many huge tents.  The two largest were sponsored by Piggly Wiggly (local since forever) and Jet Blue with about 44 vendors in each tent.  In addition to the larger events at Marion Square, there were events at over 50 locations, mostly restaurants, throughout the city.  I probably have too many pictures for one blog, but let's see.  The first two show the enrtances to the two sampling tents.
 
The next shows a tent dedicated to cooking book sales and book signings.  As proof of the foodie nature of the town, there were 29 (!) food authors scheduled for book signings over the weekend!  Ann, Heirloom Books, which was running the booth had "Music, Menus, and Magnolias" at the store, but not at the booth.  I love Ted and Matt Lee; and I bought their latest.  (Durelle got a candle). 

     Inside the two tasting tents there were 85 (!) vendor booths.  I did not count, but I'll bet there were more tasting booths for beverages than for food.  The event is restricted to 21 and older...no strollers or pets.  There were not only local wines and craft beers but even some distilled spirits.  I sampled everything from kimchee to crab, sausage to sauces, and even a slider made with corned beef tongue which was tender and tasty.  I'll show some of the liquid tasting booths.  I had to pace myself in order to safely drive the old Corvette home in that mass of traffic.

     I had a great time, but standing up in a jostling crowd for a couple of hours, prompted me to leave before it was over.  For the record, it cost $85 with $45 going to the various supported charities.  I'll close with a couple of more food shots, and I hope I don't overwhelm the bandwidth of your device.
 
     Tim, one outfit was touting and demonstrating a big, stainless, infrared grill.