Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Firery Japanese Maple

This Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) put on an unbelievable color show today...just in time for Halloween.
It looked like it was on fire!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boo ! and Birthday ...

I hope everyone has a great Halloween! I love this Holiday...especially people running around in their costumes.
...and although I am typically terrible at recalling birthdays, since John was born on Halloween I usually remember...and this picture was also in the box full that my Mom sent up recently.

so... Happy Birthday Old Man!!! and all the best for another year.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oh Sunny Day !!!

Dogs have it figured out. Tucker spend the entire afternoon in the sunlight baking and napping away. He got up for dinner. Then I took both dogs for a walk and he napped again. I really think that things are pretty darn good in his world.
Fall continues to be spectacular. Here is a shot from under a sugar maple. It has been so pretty that even our hot water heater giving up the ghost wasn't too worrisome in the big scheme of things. Got a new more efficient one today and the plumbers were nice guys and only charged us the weekday rate and not the emergency weekend rate. That is deserving of a post on its own!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Fun at the Festival

Ok, I will be the first to admit it. I have kind of a strange sense of humor. One friend described it as an ultimate fighting bout between Monty Python and Tim Burton...with no winners...only losers.
Regardless :-) both of these images made me laugh again when I posted them. If you laugh it is a sure sign that you are off to!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Waynesville Images

Christine's folks were up to visit and I had a chance to get a few pictures while we wondered around the Apple festival in downtown Waynesville. It was a gorgeous fall day.
I have always loved this metal sculpture of a flower. The flower is about 4 ft across and the stem is about 16-20 ft of twisted metal.
The tracks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

1st Grade

My Mother recently sent some old photographs up from Richmond, VA. I thought that this one might interest some of the folks that check on my Blog because there are many future members of Manchester High School's Class of '86. I actually thought that Ginger of The Fitz Clan fame might be in there, but my memory must be slipping. I could have swore that she went to A.M. Davis? Maybe there was more than one class of 1st graders? 1974 was 32 long years ago

Future Lancers Include:
Lisa Chauklin
Stacy Counts
Mary Beth Hessian
Kevin McDaniels
Suzy Rozum?
Lisa Beth Young
Jeff Zehner

...Of course I am there in the center on the "short kid" row holding the sign on the right. There are also some others that I believe went on to other High Schools like Michelle Roberts, Lisa Echols, and Shane.

Monday, October 16, 2006

All the toys...

I was driving on the Interstate this weekend and suddenly the sun disappeared when the shadow passed, I realized that our Honda Civic had experienced a total recreational eclipse. Look closely...Mega luxury motorhome with a Harley mounted on the rear towing a Hummer. Folks it doesn't get much more American than this!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Sunday Morning Post

Two cold nights in a row here in the Mountains. Both days there was a frost warning, but the low was expected to be 31 or 30 F. Instead it got down to 26 early Saturday morning and 23 early Sunday morning. However the temperatures get up to a mild 65 by the afternoon...making for more of that perfect October weather.

Foliage is near peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway and working its way down to the lower elevations. We are at about 2600 ft and the best colors are supposed to be in about 2 weeks. A lot of the maples are already turning though. This red maple by the silo on the farm behind us is quite striking in person.

If you look closely you can see a tractor working the upper field. Corn was harvested last week and the farmer was discing this morning.

The dogs are absolutely loving the weather. They are spastic on their morning and evening walks. Bear in particular seems to become a lot more wolf-like when the weather turns cold...watching every blade of grass move and listening to every crunching leaf in the forest. He knows all those little mammals he loves to snack on will hibernate soon and he better enjoy them now before the winter sets in.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No Pictures Tonight !!!

Tonight Christine and I had our first "birthing" class. I learned quite a bit. I consider myself a solid B+ biologist in the big scheme of things, but there were things I had never seen before and terms that were new to me.

Suffice it to say there will be no pictures tonight.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Halloween Early

Well, I guess boys will be boys and play with their toys for far too long, but make no mistake about it this guy is not your run of the mill dictator. Based on everything I have read he is a certifiably insane megalomaniac.

I truly think he takes pride in taking a poke at the hole world with a potentially nuclear stick. If his scientists were actually capable of detonating a primitive nuke, it is a whole new ballgame out there.

The really scary thing about this guy is I don't think he can be bought. He is in for ego and legacy not money.

I wanted to post these random Internet pictures to humor myself, but they don't even make me smile right now....not even a little.

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." ---Albert Einstein

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Last few images of summer....

Summer is fading fast around here, but there are still a few reminders left. The Dahlias continue to sing...apparently unaware of the weather fast approaching.
There also are quite a few insects left around that just fascinate me. This Katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia ....I think) was hanging out looking enough like a leaf to attract my attention.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall Apart

It has been an interesting week at work...and not really the good kind of interesting. It reminded me of a quote I had seen somewhere and written down:

College football would be more interesting if the faculty played instead of the students - there would be a great increase in broken arms, legs and necks. ---H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Sometimes the absurdity of departmental politics can leave even the most hopeful of us a bit dismayed.
Then I went outside and I remembered why I like my job. I get paid to teach others about plants. Just look at these pictures, conveying the science behind these creatures is pleasurable. Most plants are outside. Most plants are fantastic. Plants don't talk. Plants just grow.
...and at certain times of year perform wonderful magic. In the fall if I close my eyes and listen to the dry leaves blowing around I am 38, 29, 22, 18, 12, and finally 8 again...riding my bike down that dusty dirt road wind at my back, unzippered nylon windbreaker flapping in the wind, suede hushpuppies pumping the pedals, and dog named Blue running along side.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Seamus update

Christine had a new ultrasound today and everything is great. The child's Irish heritage seems to be kicking in.

Misc. goodies

This little friend was watching me have my coffee from the deck. When I cropped the picture (and zoomed in) I realized he was having his breakfast as well.
Guitarist at the local coffee house lost in his own world.
Jim and Sylvi, friends of mine enjoying the band on their anniversiary.
Finally, Bear has been left out of the blog too much lately. I recently showed a picture of how Tucker lovingly plays with his stuffed toys treating them like little puppies. Bear on the other hand treats them like he would any rodent he catches.