Why do amphibians love our trash barrel shed thing so much? First we had a frog living in there and now we have this guy…


Is that a salamander? Is it a newt? Is it John Cleese? (get it?)

Also, where did that screw come from?


Back Yard Foliage Update

We’re still barely underway here in the Merrimack Valley, but there is some color. Not good color, really, but it’s something.

This tree is almost done, but the tree next to it hasn’t even started turning yet.
This guy has made good progress since the last time I looked, but still has a long way to go.
I kinda like the reds here, but most of it is just going to be the same old blah yellow. Blah. 41/365
In summation… bird.

Autumn in the Back Yard Update

I went outside just now to bring out the trash. I took the opportunity to get an update on the fall foliage in the back yard. I will break the two minute experience into three pieces.

Part One: The Leaves are Changing

A couple of trees are turning yellow
This thing is turning… red? Purple?

Part Two: Are These Poisonous?

If the deer eat these berries will they get sick?
If the deer eat these berries will they get sick?

Part Three: Frogger

Every time I bring out the trash, this frog is on the lid waiting for me.
This was after I lifted the lid. Mr Frog looks like he’s hanging on for dear life.

And that is the summary of the two minutes I was outside. The sun is blazing and the air temperature is a glorious 73 degrees. It’s practically summer again except that it will probably be chilly again in a day or two.

Rodent of the Day

I was waiting for my lunch to heat up in the microwave and I happened to look outside and see our groundhog friend.


I don’t know anything about groundhogs but I do know that this little sucker is adorable.


As cute has he is, he’s isn’t even close to as cute as Lady Pachalotte of the Rhode Island Patchalottes.



I had to step outside today to take out the trash and I saw this hideous monster. How can we live in a world where an evil like this exists?


Also, you’d think that living in the woods in New England would mean we’d have some cool fall colors. Not really. In our back yard the leaves go from green to ugly yellow to dead on the ground. Oh well.


Jen and I talked about going leaf peeping up on the Kanc this weekend. It’s probably a smidgen too early, but it will be a fun day if we go.

Three Stops on a Sunday Morning

I went to three places this morning. The first two were sort of a bust but the third worked out nicely.

I tried to retrace my steps from Friday and hit a couple of things I saw on the Plum Island Turnpike. The first was the little airport on the side of the road. It wasn’t as nice as it was on Friday. I think there were fewer planes parked there, but I’m not sure. I pulled over on the side of the road and then wussed out and took a couple of pics through the windshield. They kinda rot.


There was also this cool abandoned looking house so I drove up to it, but the sun was directly behind it so I had to find a place to turn around. That took approximately 3000 years, but I managed it. This pic is also through the windshield, but it’s not as crummy as the last couple.


That house has to be haunted, right? Otherwise someone would have bought it and fixed it up (and then probably sold it for a fortune).

On the way back to civilization I stopped in the airport parking lot and tried again. The pictures are better, but the view was better from the road, I think.

Dig the tall asshole’s shadow

The next stop was a pretty major fail all in all. It was Water Street in Newburyport, I think. There’s a marina on what has to be the Merrimack River, but might be the Parker River? Not sure. I wanted to get close but it’s right in the downtown area and the waterfront is super built up and I couldn’t find a parking lot or an entrance or anything. I found one little pull off on the side of the road just outside of the downtown that was about 235236236235 miles from the boats. I pulled off and snapped a few in hopes of getting something decent.


The view in the other direction wasn’t quite as New Englandy picturesque, but it was better (I think?).


Check out the house with the observatory looking thing on the roof.


One last shot at the boats.


At this point I was feeling pretty blue about the whole morning’s adventure so I headed back home. I had a thought about trying to find the airport in Lawrence, but I set the GPS for home thinking I’d adjust it after I got back to the highway. There was a stretch of road in Amesbury that was on the river as well with a couple of bridges. I thought about finding a place to park on the way in but passed. One the way out I found a little spot called Alliance Park that was right next to another marina type thing, and a cool looking bridge. There was a parking lot and I was the only visitor. I wandered around the park and got some decent looking pictures. It sort of salvaged the trip for me.

Bench. Obligatory.

Once I got back to the highway I did point the GPS at the airport in Lawrence, but it was all fenced off and you couldn’t really see anything. There were parked planes in view but the fence ruined the vibe. I didn’t stop and just headed home.

That’s when I got this bonus shot. I got out of the car with my hands full of stuff and started walking up the side of the driveway. 30 yards away from me, along the trees in the backyard, was a deer! I couldn’t get a pic because my hands were full. We just stared at each other for a few seconds and then it hopped into the woods. Crap. I started walking up the driveway again and saw two more.

I quietly put my stuff down on the steps and snuck around the corner of the house. When I lifted the camera the went into the woods too. Damn. I crept into the back yard to see if I could see them through the trees. I could. They were just standing there, eyeing me with suspicion. I tried 5-6 shots but only one of them came out.


Can you see her there, through the trees? I told her she could come back any time. She and her friends are always welcome in our yard. Probably not in the house though, sorry.