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Bookmarque’s Padded Cell 2018 - Shared Delusions 2

This is a continuation of the topic Bookmarque’s Padded Cell 2018 - Shared Delusions 1.

The Green Dragon

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Apr 30, 5:04pm Top

Rather than put a bunch of new pics on the old thread, I am starting a new one.

Due to one thing and another, I couldn't add pics from Argentina here. I haven't even looked at them in Lightroom yet, so I'll get some cell phone pics going -

This is from the province just outside of Buenos Aires. We were coming back from a fantastic asado (barbeque) where we ate a lot of great food, drank some lovely wine, rode horses and learned how to make empanadas.

Apr 30, 5:37pm Top

Great view. I hope you had a fantastic time.

Apr 30, 9:21pm Top

Empanadas! Yum!

May 1, 6:41am Top

Oh wow, that sounds amazing! Not sure how well I'd manage in Argentina as a vegetarian, but I do love empanadas.

May 1, 9:14am Top

>1 Bookmarque: Nice teaser! *waits in anticipation*

May 1, 12:37pm Top

Thanks peeps!

Here's another early shot of my husband going up the ramp at Buediger winery so we can taste some sauvignon blanc directly from the steel tank. Kinda Close Encounter-y.

cell phone again, so pardon the quality.

May 4, 11:18am Top

Slowly getting photos added to the Argentina album - check it out here as I add more.


May 4, 1:26pm Top

>7 Bookmarque: Lovely pictures.

Happy Star Wars Day!

May 4, 1:53pm Top

This trip wasn't really about photography, so I didn't do much with my good camera. I did take a ton with the iPhone though. More than I ever have on vacation. Partially it was convenience - much easier to carry and to deal with in certain situations. And also the 6's camera is much better than my old 5.

May 4, 3:53pm Top

>7 Bookmarque: Great photos! I liked the captions, too, and I especially agree with the “What the?” caption. :)

May 4, 5:54pm Top

yeah it was certainly weird to find that down there.

More pics added. Here's our lunch table for Monday the 23rd!

May 5, 10:25am Top

>7 Bookmarque: Yes, I am hungry now!

May 7, 9:09am Top

It was an amazing lunch. All the lunches were actually. Ate enough for an army!

So I'm going to toot my own horn a bit for a second. Anyone subscribe to Backpacker magazine? Look out for my photo credit below this image in the June issue -

It's a shot of the Plover River taken on that segment of the Ice Age Trail. It will be used to illustrate an article about National Scenic Trails, of which the IAT is one. 1/2 page !! Very excited!

Anyway...that's all for now. Still adding to the Argentina album. Will be able to upload a bunch once I get to the library on Wednesday.

May 7, 9:23am Top

>13 Bookmarque: A well deserved toot!

May 7, 12:09pm Top

>13 Bookmarque: Beautiful photo. Congrats!

May 7, 1:01pm Top

>13 Bookmarque: Congratulations. Well done. Lovely shot.

May 7, 1:37pm Top

Thanks peeps. Originally the photo editor thought 1/4 page, but she changed her mind and I'm getting 1/2 a page now. yay!

May 7, 2:37pm Top

Yay! Double the fee!

May 7, 2:41pm Top

Excellent news, but surely it deserves a double-page spread!

Edited: May 7, 3:24pm Top

Great news! Great image!

We'll need an autograph.

May 7, 9:51pm Top

>13 Bookmarque: nice! It’s a beautiful picture! It definitely deserves 1/2 a page!

May 8, 7:31am Top

>13 Bookmarque: That is beautiful and well deserves its larger format. Congratulations!

May 15, 3:25pm Top

Thanks much. I'm still waiting for my copy.

Anyway...I put a few more pics up in the Argentina album today - check it out if you want. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thewiresmith/albums/72157668083828398

And I've been in the yard lately in the mornings when the sun is irresistible.

This is wood anemone from this morning -

And this is bloodroot from the other day -

I love my yard.

May 15, 4:34pm Top

>23 Bookmarque: Lovely pictures. It looks more like a friend than anemone.

May 15, 4:37pm Top

>23 Bookmarque: The photographs from Argentina look super. Would I be right in suggesting that most of them fall into three categories? Landsapes; Townscapes; Food/food related?

Those are three excellent categories for photographs. I get the impression you had a great holiday. Thank you for sharing your memories.

May 16, 8:57am Top

Some of those Argentine landscapes are incredible. Not that I would expect anything less from your photographs :-)

May 16, 9:39am Top

Thanks peeps.

Yeah, pgmcc, they fall into some pretty narrow buckets because it was such an organized affair. 11 of us visiting wineries and one Estancia to experience Asado in its purest form. That's Argentine barbecue and it's amazing.

But it didn't give me much time with the camera so the shots are a bit more limited than usual. I'm happy though. It was a great tour and something we'll probably do again with the same group. I think Portugal is on the table.

May 16, 10:50am Top

The scenery is absolutely beautiful. Your trip sounds like it was great :)

May 30, 11:08am Top

Woo hoo!!

So anxious that Uncle Steve's newest novel would disappoint, but it doesn't!! Check out The Outsider if you're a longtime King fan. It's pretty great. Non-spoiler-y review >>> https://www.librarything.com/work/20532075/reviews/156473252

Edited: May 31, 6:47pm Top

Is it the end of May already? I know I forgot to do a reading wrap up for April so I’ll get myself in gear now!! (I only read 4 books in April anyway…)

10 books read
9 fiction, 1 non-fiction
1 new author
2 freebies (Project Gutenberg and an ER book) the rest I bought
Of those 2 were used, the rest new
5 each women and men authors
1 ebook, 4 audios and 5 physical books


Most popular was Playback with 1322
Least popular was Phantom Fortune with 17
Oldest from 1883
Newest from this year

Best was The Outsider by Stephen King because I loved it to bits for all the reasons I love Uncle Steve. Such. A. Relief.

The worst was Negroland by Margo Jefferson because it was so oddly organized. Quite disjoined and meandering. Interesting though...and eye-opening, so it was worth listening to for sure.

Jun 18, 8:28am Top

OMG have I been busy. With a new jewelry venture selling at my stylist's salon and yardwork and my husband quitting his job. Crazy, but all good stuff. So in the middle of it I thought I'd have a sale -

Plus I'm going to Door county today to visit some state parks for my 50th birthday. Just me alone on a tiny island in Lake Michigan taking pictures of wildflowers. What more could a girl want?

Anyway...I did put up a new book review, too. A lovely and very eye-opening nature book called The Forest Unseen - A Year's Watch in Nature. The writer is a zoologist or a biologist and he watches something like a 12' square piece of old growth forest in Tennessee for one year. I learned a ton and it's written really well. If you like nature writing, give this one a go.

Jun 26, 9:01am Top

Don't you hate it when you love an author, but haven't read their most popular book and when you do it underwhelms you? Oy. I think I understand why The Stone Diaries won the Pulitzer when it did, but it's hard to appreciate when it's been copied so much. Beautifully written as usual and full of lovely insights, but it left me without an anchor. I just floated away from the book entirely. Oh well.

On Sunday my husband had a match so I put the kayak in the Spirit River and had a lovely day -

There are miles of it that have nothing on it at all - no camps, resorts, houses or even a road so it's very peaceful. Hard to explore though due to lack of places to put in. I might have found one about an hour up river from the public launch so I'll have to check it out by car to make sure.

Jun 27, 9:23am Top

So restful!

Jun 28, 9:10am Top

It was. I might head back there tomorrow and see if I can find a place to put in that's further up river.

This shot was taken in the Pottawatomie lighthouse on Rock Island which is one of the most northern islands that make up the pointy peninsula of Wisconsin that sticks up into Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was commissioned and built in 1836 to help guide ships from the lake side of the chain into Green Bay. It's been restored to about 1910 and although I would have taken this picture anyway, I thought of my LT gang and how much you'd all love it and understand how important this little box would be to people living in these remote and often dangerous locations -

and a couple of the lighthouse itself - the lamp was part of the keeper's quarters which is a little odd I think.

and here's one of Rock Island as shot from Jackson Harbor on Washington Island. That's the last ferry of the day heading over.

The whole island is a state park and no motorized vehicles or even bicycles I think, are allowed. I spent my birthday on the island and it was wonderful.

Jun 28, 9:29am Top

That looks like a terrific place to visit. Love the shades of blues in that last photo!

Edited: Jun 28, 4:01pm Top

It is a cool place. Takes two ferries to get there, but it's worth it.

Lake Michigan is very blue/green. Much more so than Superior as far as I recall.

Jun 29, 7:26am Top

I've never seen a lighthouse designed like that! Very cool.

Jun 30, 10:19pm Top

Beautiful place!

Jul 5, 8:37am Top

So it’s July...the summer is racing by. Like always. In June I only read 6 books so this will be a quick flashback -

5 fiction, 1 non-fiction
2 by men, 4 by women
1 new author
I bought all the books and 2 were new
1 was an audio the rest were hardcopy


The most popular (by far) was The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields - 4789
The least was The Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes - 136
The oldest was only from 1993, the newest from last year

The best was The Forest Unseen because it was so passionate, dedicated and it taught me a lot. If you’re looking to get into nature writing this is a good one.

The least was Friend of the Earth because it was so bleak and other than we’re doomed, I didn’t get anything out of it. If you want to try Boyle, don’t start here.

Jul 5, 9:14am Top

>39 Bookmarque: The Forest Unseen attracted me with its title and cover, I'm glad it was a hit for you. A bullet for me.

Jul 5, 9:58am Top

So it was your bullet huh? Nice one. and yeah, I liked it. Couldn't remember where I heard of it, but I had to get it used since I think it's out of print. Shame.

A couple more field guides came into the collection so I updated the blog post - http://thebookmarque.blogspot.com/2016/09/shelf-by-shelf-field-guides.html

Jul 6, 8:41am Top

Amazing photos, as usual. Congrats on getting one chosen for that magazine! That photo and the one of the island are so... not sure how to word it, but restful is what I'm trying to convey.

Jul 6, 9:28am Top

Thanks clam. Restful is good. So much of life is frenetic that we should take it when we can get it.

Jul 17, 1:15pm Top

I haven't done a book stack in a while. Mostly because I've been reading books I own rather than borrowing from the library. But this is what came home with me today -

The top one was in the Friends of the Library sale bin though. I'd eyed it recently on sale as an ebook and on the library shelf, but resisted. It's an English first edition which is kind of cool so I snagged it. A buck well spent.

Jul 17, 2:45pm Top

>44 Bookmarque: A buck well spent indeed. That book is awesome. Do you mean British first edition?

Jul 17, 5:22pm Top

Yes...the price is in pounds.

Jul 17, 5:38pm Top

>44 Bookmarque: The only book in that stack that I’ve read is Station Eleven, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’ll look forward to reading what you think of it whenever you get to it.

Jul 18, 8:37am Top

Thanks YouKneek - the bottom one is a semi-local author sort of thing - Minnesota. French and Walters write decent thrillers and I have read them both before. Dee is new, but I've heard good things so what the heck.

Audible is paying me to spend my credits so today I picked up -


I've read all these folks before. The King and the Goldman books are parts of series that I like, the Goldman one is set in Minnesota, too. Lawhon writes recent historical fiction. The first was about the disappearance of Judge Crater, the second about the crew on the final Hindenburg flight and this one is about the woman who claimed to be Anastasia Romanov in the 1970s. Great stuff.

Jul 29, 4:28pm Top

One of twin girls in our area. Shot out the window from upstairs. Her sister was off to the left and I can't remember where mom was. She lets them wander a bit these days, but isn't ever far away.

Jul 30, 6:39am Top

How lovely! She looks so fragile.

Jul 30, 11:04am Top

Those tiny hooves!

I went to transport a rescue a while back when the fawns were only days or weeks old. Talk about tiny. It fit in a laundry basket!!

Jul 30, 8:54pm Top

Aww! Adorable :)

Jul 30, 10:34pm Top

So cute! And such a treasure to have nearby.

Jul 31, 9:37am Top

>49 Bookmarque: And that is why I can never get too angry over the deer eating all my plants before they bloom.

Jul 31, 2:34pm Top

Yeah, even though I see them or other deer just about every day, I still stop to marvel at their beauty. They were in the side yard yesterday...the twins scampering about under mom's watchful eye. Too many trees and branches to see clearly, but it was great.

Just put this in the shop today. It's one of the best pieces I've done so far. The chain came out really well.

It's amethyst and fine silver, which being a pure metal, doesn't tarnish like sterling. I loves it.

Jul 31, 3:37pm Top

>55 Bookmarque: Unfortunately my wife can only wear gold without breaking out in a rash. At least that is what she has bern telling me for the last 37 years.

Jul 31, 9:58pm Top

I guess you’d have to try a fine silver ring and see. Something quick and basic.

Edited: Aug 1, 6:17pm Top

OMG July is over.

Wait for me, summer!

I read 11 books
8 fiction, 3 non-fiction
6 by men, 4 by women and one by a team of one of each
6 new authors
I bought 9 (8 new, 1 used), borrowed 1 and one was an ER copy
5 physical, 4 audio, 2 ebooks

The most popular BY FAR was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children - 10702
The least popular was The Living Forest with a mere 11 copies

The oldest was from 1988 and the newest from this year.


My favorite was The Stranger in the Woods because it was fascinating without being lurid or too exploitative.
My biggest chore was The Death of Mrs. Westaway because of the whiny and basically dumb main character. No more Ms. Ware for me.

Aug 3, 3:46pm Top

hello, my name is Kris and I am a book addict.


Spent a lovely hour or so at the Friends of the Library booksale. My husband did the grocery shopping. Total win!! Now I get to spend some nerdly time cataloging and listening to Swedish heavy metal. More win!

Aug 6, 4:46am Top

Wow, what a great haul! Some of those look almost new. What a great way to spent the weekend!

Aug 6, 9:19am Top

I love book piles. So seductive.

Aug 6, 9:27am Top

Yeah...24 books and 4 DVDs for less than the cover price of a new hardback. I love library book sales. And it raises money for library programs, so it's all good.

Some seem like they've never been read, Sakerfalcon, but some definitely were. The sale organizers don't accept really ratty books it seems.

Does this happen to you guys when you go to a thing like this...you see tons of books you've read and either want to hide them so no one else has to suffer with it like you did, or the opposite - you want to take books down and give them to people they were so good. I kept reining myself in so not to do that. Like when there were a ton of Sue Miller books all together. Must. Not. Preach.

And here are the sisters together!!!

Aug 6, 9:33am Top

>62 Bookmarque: I have been known once or twice (but who is counting?) to hand people (generally people I know, but not always) excellent books at a library sale and tell them they should take them home and read them. It is also a temptation for me to purchase said books, even if I already own them, so that I can then pass them on to the proper person for them. Especially when they are older books, hard to find.

Aug 7, 9:17pm Top

Nice haul!

And love the deer photo :) They are cuties!

Aug 8, 2:20am Top

What beautiful deer!

Aug 8, 6:53am Top

They are dears, aren't they ;-)

Aug 8, 7:56am Top

Thanks peeps. Even if they eat my garden, they're cute and I never yell at them or chase them. How could I?

And if you want to make your head explode from the cuteness, watch this video - https://www.flickr.com/photos/thewiresmith/42097753630/in/photostream/

Aug 8, 8:21am Top

>67 Bookmarque: Cuteness overload! They are so beautiful.

Aug 8, 1:11pm Top

>67 Bookmarque: I'm smiling now!

Aug 10, 8:15am Top

They came through the yard again the other day, with mom. Two of them just passed through, but the larger fawn, stopped to examine a big stump with roots attached that we pulled out of the river the other day. It happens quite a bit and I have a small stump on the dock as sort of natural sculpture. As this one got closer I knew I wanted it, too. It's MUCH bigger and looks as if some weird alien has washed up on the bank. Well, the fawn was really interested, but didn't want to approach. She would stare and take a step or two toward it then back, then sideways. She did the same thing to me about a month ago when I came off the dock to walk back to the house and we surprised each other.
Always cautious, but mesmerized by the strange hunk of wood. After a few minutes of edging closer she gave up and joined her family.

So did this little one -

She spent the night on this flower in my front garden. I've often seen bees resting on flowers, especially in the early morning when it's wet and kind of cold. I was prepared to give her a bit of sugar water if she didn't revive, but a little sun was all it took and she went off to the nest.

IRL she is 1/2 inch long. Quite tiny for a bumbler.

Aug 10, 9:02am Top

Love the bee photos!

Aug 11, 8:34am Top

Thanks MrsL. I've been known to pat them. Too cute and fuzzy.

Not fuzzy, but definitely beautiful -

These two were by the dock the other day. I went out with the long lens because I heard them calling to each other and could tell they were close.

Yesterday there were a pair of great blue herons wheeling around from time to time. I'll try to get a good shot of them, but it's much harder.

Aug 15, 6:18pm Top

I love your pictures! The deer are so cute! The bumble bees don't get very big here, not sure why, altitude maybe? You live in a wonderful place!

Sep 4, 6:17pm Top

Well, there's the summer gone. My oldest friend (we've known each other for over 40 years) spent the long weekend here and we had a great time. Even though life has separated us for a while, we got right back into a familiar groove. We wandered in nature on some trails and went kayaking. We cooked and drank and laughed ourselves to death, and it wasn't just the Monty Python.

I had a sore throat the whole time and I knew the ax was going to fall. Luckily the really bad part of my cold cycle didn't hit until after she left. Nose blowing in a kayak is a bit awkward. Now I'm just relaxing and zoning out on Day Quil.

Anyway, here's the reading wrap-up for August.

12 books read - all fiction
3 new authors, the rest were familiar
4 by men, 8 by women
3 borrowed from the library, 2 freebies (ER and Airplane Lady), the rest I bought
Of those 2 were used, 5 new
3 audio, 3 ebooks and 6 physical


No real head-spinners, but I think The Locals edges out the competition even though I gave it 4 stars with some others from the month.

The worst goes to Predator just because I'm really really sick to death of some of the characters (Marino) and the plot was iffy.

A note about I Was Anastasia - I think I should have read it with my eyes and not my ears because although it had a linear timeline, it was backwards and I had trouble keeping the dates straight. It's a bit of a brave novel considering we know Anastasia was killed along with her family, and it works. Ariel Lawhon continues to write historical fiction in new and surprising ways.

Sep 4, 6:23pm Top

And here's a picture of a frog -

Spring peeper on my deck. Less than 1 inch long. Very patient.

Sep 4, 7:54pm Top

Cute little froggie!

Sep 5, 9:03am Top

Hahaaha! The segue from post 74's last paragraph to post 75's sentence was very Monty Pythonish. Lovely golden frog.

Sep 5, 9:36am Top

>75 Bookmarque: and now for something completely different, an exceptionally photogenic frog....

Sep 5, 9:40am Top

OMG I didn't even catch that. cold meds make me feel like I'm part of a jello salad.

Sep 24, 2:22pm Top

Here are some of my favorite mushroom shots from some recent outings (in NH and WI).

Strobilomyces strobilaceus (old man of the woods) -

this next one is a good example of the constantly changing mushroom taxonomy and have been named Inocephalus quadratus, entoloma quadratum, nolanea quadrata, entoloma salmoneum, nolanea salmonea -

Hard to figure this one - could be a russula or a lactarius -

probably hygrocybe cantharellus with a surprise bit of seed fluff -

a soggy group of Pholiota sqarrosoides a little past their prime -

That ought to hold things until I get some foliage shooting done and get the Lassen Volcanic National park shots done.

Sep 28, 1:11pm Top

And now two cute little shield bugs that visited my deck this summer -

The greenie is probably a Chinavia hilaris and the brownie is probably a Moromorpha tetra. They're so cute and I love the way they walk.

Sep 28, 1:48pm Top

Yeah those little bugs are so neat. I never knew what they were called, shield bugs make sense :)

Sep 28, 4:53pm Top

Great pictures, as always.

Edited: Sep 29, 10:37am Top

Loving the photos! Can't ever get enough of fungi.

By the way, I don't think our computer monitor was on when you were here, but you would have seen quite a few of your pics on our screensaver if it had been. :)

Sep 29, 11:17am Top

Your photos make fungus so beautiful!

Hope you feel better soon.

Sep 29, 7:00pm Top

Thanks peeps. I went up north today...on the UP border and of course, fungi featured front and center...and foliage. It wasn't the best day, but it was a new preserve for me (nothing like moving to make everything new!) and a good day even though it didn't crack 40 degrees.

Oct 1, 4:47am Top

I love the fungi pics, and the shield bugs are cute! I never realised until recently that there are so many different kinds. (the bugs; I knew there are a lot of fungi!)

Oct 1, 9:20am Top

thanks Sakerfalcon...I hadn't really noticed them much either, but they are fun. Here's an old shot from when I lived in NH. This one like the deck, too!

Probably not the same species as the other green one, but I haven't checked.

And here's a shot from Saturday in case you missed the weekend thread. I'll process more soon. Getting them on a hosting site is proving difficult because of our terrible internet connection.

It's an undeveloped lake way up by the U.P. in the Catherine Wolter Wildlife Area. Loved it there despite it being pretty cold for late Sept.

And sigh. In book news, another promising thriller is ruined by what appears to be our national sport - Blame the victim! http://www.librarything.com/work/19877753/reviews/160900716

Edited: Oct 1, 2:48pm Top

Wow. October already. I've started on a giant book because I'm in the mood - The Forsyte Saga - I have it as a big doorstop of a physical copy and also as a much lighter and portable ebook version. I'll be flipping back and forth as the situation calls for. So probably October's book count won't be as high as last month which went like this -

10 books read
All fiction again
5 written by men, 5 by women (I’m even Steven!)
5 new writers, 5 old friends
2 audios, 3 ebooks and 5 physical books
2 library books, the rest I bought
3 used, 5 new


The most popular on LT is My Cousin Rachel which was a re-read for me. Actually I listened to it because it’s read by Jonathan Pryce!!

The least popular was Walking the Bones which disappointed me as compared to the first one in the series because it was really navel-gazey/inner monologuey. A bit too much of that and not enough police work.

The oldest was from 1951 and the newest is from this year.

The best was My Cousin Rachel, but then again that’s hard to top.

I read a lot of crapola this month and so the bad ones are tied at 2 stars Grist Mill Road, Wrack and The Bookman’s Tale - reviews up for all of them.

One DNF - Reality and Dreams by Muriel Spark which puts the nail in her particular coffin for me. It’s the 3rd or 4th book I’ve tried and couldn’t get through more than one of them. Oy.

Oct 2, 3:39pm Top

Phew. Got to the library to upload some photos to my Lassen Volcanic NP album -


Here's one of my favorites -

Oct 2, 7:20pm Top

>90 Bookmarque:
great image!

Oct 3, 5:27am Top

>90 Bookmarque: That is a great set of images. When was the most recent eruption?

Edited: Oct 3, 9:17am Top

>92 pgmcc: Sorry for butting in, the most recent eruption of Lassen Peak was in 1917. My grandmother watched it from her porch with my 1 year old uncle on her lap. The valley I grew up in (about 1 hour drive away) was covered in ash. The photo Bookmarque shared her is of Cinder Cone, one of the many interesting volcanic leftovers in the park.

>90 Bookmarque: Those are some terrific images! I've been wanting to share photos of my stomping grounds for ages, but never can capture good enough ones. Thank you for doing it for me! :)

Edited: Oct 3, 9:30am Top

No prob MrsL - the info at the park says the Cinder Cone probably last erupted in the 1600s which tallies with other events nearby; at Mono lake and the cinder cone there and at the Lava Beds park. Mono is south on the Sierras chain and Lava Beds are north.

And yup, we climbed it. Much more fun coming down!

And, wow! Watching the explosion must have been scary, humbling and amazing. The devastated area looks as if only a couple of years have gone by, not 100.

Oct 3, 10:14am Top

>93 MrsLee: & >94 Bookmarque:

That is fascinating information and I love the family connection, MrsLee. It brings it to life.

I studied Geology at college and have always been fascinated by volcanoes, but I have never been near, and have no desire to be near, an active volcano. I have been lectured to by those that have been near erupting volcanoes and who had to avoid lava bombs flying through the air, so therefore I must be an expert.

I grew up beside a plateau formed by lava flows about 30m years ago so was fascinated by what lave could do. It poured over a chalk landscape and where there were valleys that were inundated by lava on could find low grade coal which was the result of the lava trapping trees under it in the valleys. The same volcanic eruptions were responsible for The Giant's Causeway. The Giant's Causeway formation was formed by the same process that formed Devil's Tower, slow cooling of basaltic lava/magma.

Oct 3, 10:56am Top

I love volcanoes, too, Pete. I was a kid when Mount St. Helens erupted and I was fascinated by just how helpless we are in the face of that. I don't mind being near active ones like Lassen or the activity in Yellowstone and someday want to go to Hawaii to see some (Dr Evil voice) "liquid hot magma" up close. There's a photographer I follow on one or other site who gets right up close to new land being formed in Hawaii and it's absolutely mesmerizing.

The Giant's Causeway is very neat.

Oct 3, 11:26am Top

>95 pgmcc: You remind me of a long-ago post-conference tour to the island of Lanzarote in the Canaries, which is actively volcanic. More details in my own thread, so as not to pollute Bookmarque's wonderful pictures.

Edited: Oct 3, 11:41am Top

You're not polluting, Hugh! I didn't realize the Canaries were still active. How cool.

Here's a link to some shots from Lava Beds and Crater Lake, both of which are still active and show the different geological features left behind by volcanoes. The lava tube caves were so amazing. We weren't prepared to explore much, but we did a little. Good thing hubby always has some flashlights with him!


This album is from the Sierras where there are old volcano hills and active hot springs.


Oh and I forgot our few hours in Yellowstone - we didn't see the big things like Old Faithful, but there is some boiling mud in there -


Oct 3, 11:43am Top

>96 Bookmarque: I've always lived on good ol' dependable NH granite, so my visit to the St Helens, and Newberry Crater in Oregon was mind blowing. Obsidian fields seemed so exotic by comparison.

Oct 4, 9:48am Top

>95 pgmcc: If you do ever visit a live volcano, Lassen Park is a nice safe bet, at least for now. Although, do check ahead if you plan a trip. Sadly, part of the bubbly, sulfur, active area was closed during Bookmarque's visit. They are working on the trails which have been undermined by the active, bubbly, sulfur stuff. :) Bumpass Hell they call it. I've never been on that trail.

Oct 4, 10:07am Top

That park is my nemesis!

Oct 5, 11:58pm Top

>98 Bookmarque: Crater Lake? You were in my neck of the woods! I'm only 2 hours from there! Your pictures are amazing!

>100 MrsLee: Bumpass Hell was cool!

I have always loved volcanoes, too. I got a Geography degree and had a minor in Geology. Some day I will get to Hawaii and watch the lava flow!

Oct 6, 8:45am Top

Thanks catzteach - the Oregon/California trip was a few years ago, but I remember the caves and the redwoods vividly.

Oct 8, 11:38am Top

I added a few more photos and a video to the Lassen album if you're following along at home -


Oct 8, 3:15pm Top

>105 Bookmarque: That's a perfect photograph for picture puzzles. At least, 500 pieces or more. What fun!

Oct 8, 3:19pm Top

>105 Bookmarque: I agree with what Jill said in >106 jillmwo:.

Your pictures are great.

Oct 8, 9:33pm Top

Thanks peeps. I've never turned any of my shots into a puzzle, not being into them, but it's an interesting idea.

Fall is almost over. Sigh.

Oct 9, 2:14am Top

>108 Bookmarque:

Another great jigsaw picture, particularly if you are giving the jigsaw to someone you want to drive crazy.

I had a picture of my sister’s garden made into a jigsaw as a gift for Christmaa and she loved it.

We drove through North Wales at the weekend. One half of the journey was through rugged mountains and moorland. The other half was through wooded valleys with the trees taking on their autumn colours. It was beautiful. I was very frustrated as we were on a tight schedule and I could not stop and take out the camera. You shall just have to take my word that North Wales is beautiful.

Oct 9, 9:16am Top

I believe you! One of these days I'll get back to the UK and have the time to do more than hang around London, which was fun, don't get me wrong. During that trip, one day we ventured into a small town, I think it was Churchill's family seat, and it was lovely. I meandered next to a small river, explored a couple of churches and marveled like a tourist at the thatched roofs.

Oct 9, 12:26pm Top

>110 Bookmarque: Of course, you will have to visit Ireland before you do any further UK touring.

Oct 9, 12:58pm Top

Of course! You guys make whiskey like normal people. And now I live in Wisconsin, the green shouldn't startle me at all!!

Oct 9, 3:12pm Top

My latest book was a real dud - The Forbidden Place - Everyone is so ominous and fey. Making cryptic remarks and having halting interactions as if everyone is covered in shards of glass. Nobody can give a straight answer, they all have mysterious and pointless agendas. The prose is dreamy and opaque and has lots of navel gazing from the characters. The plot, what little of it there is, is a slow moving mass of nearly dried out paint. The translator used a lot of British idioms, but the narrator is American (or does a reasonable accent) and it rings a really false note. Also, there are a lot of As You Know, Bob moments where too much info is given about too many esoteric subjects, especially what's-her-name's greenhouse gasses field of study.

Oy. Returned to Audible. Thankful for their no fuss returns. Now I can get the latest from that fucking Flowers - Holy Ghost which dropped today.

Oct 9, 4:17pm Top

>113 Bookmarque: Cutting and running if a book is not working out for you is the best way to avoid wasting your life on rubbish.

Edited: Oct 11, 7:02pm Top

Glorious photos, as always.

I am struck by your comment "Fall is almost over" as it has just started here, other than that it's dark early. I was still swimming in the bay last week.

Oct 12, 8:26am Top

>115 clamairy: Yes, our forecast is for mid 80s for the next 10 days, 50s at night. Granted, for us that represents a big cool-down from the 100+ temperatures of the summer, but still, not quite fall weather. :)

Oct 15, 1:54pm Top

Peak color is around Columbus day up here and now there is snow and some foliage left on the trees although a lot of them are already bare. It doesn't do this for very long -

Oct 15, 7:03pm Top

So pretty! Wish our leaves would start turning already.

Oct 16, 9:26am Top

Lovely! I don't know if we will get much fall color this year. It is still very warm here, and I'm afraid when the weather does turn it will simply be wet and warm.

Oct 16, 10:35am Top

>117 Bookmarque: Again a beautiful picture. I love the texture of that picture. The pattern made by the leaves is wonderful and the trunks lead the eye upward through leaves. The eye also wanders down the aisles between the trees. Just beautiful.

Oct 16, 2:57pm Top

Thanks peeps. It's hard to take a bad shot of such a beautiful scene.

Today is windy, windy, windy and most of the maples aspen, birch and ash trees are nude. Just the hornbeam and oaks have leaves. Such is the way of it.

Oct 19, 7:05pm Top

High winds, cool temps and some rain made a really large hornet's nest fall apart and unfortunately not everyone made it out -

Only queens overwinter anyway so it's not like this wasn't an inevitability.

The next day a woodpecker was hammering the remains on the house to bits.

Oct 21, 12:52pm Top

I wonder if hornets taste spicy to woodpeckers.

Oct 21, 5:03pm Top

>123 MrsLee: They probably have one of those tastes that has a sting in the tale.

You know I cannot resist the obvious.

Oct 27, 6:16pm Top

Groan. You guys.

So I've been struggling with a couple of books lately. The Forsyte Saga is one. As much as I liked the miniseries, the book is wearing on me. A Man of Property is the first book. The man is Soames Forsyte and the property is his wife, Irene. OMFG it's so horribly insulting. All the women in the book are just there to prop up the men. They are beautiful or fecund or both, otherwise useless. If they have *gasp* opinions of their own it's just the end of humanity. Soames has just raped her and can't understand why she's constantly crying. Sickening what men do to women.

Anyway...in the other book both the men and the women are pretty equal in their vileness. I liked her second book quite a lot, but this one is a DNF - This one is Mine by Maria Semple. Shit these people deserve each other, but I'll be damned if I'm going to stand it to see any sort of comeuppance. Bleah.

So I've started Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton. It was a library book sale item and one that I thought was a new author, but it turns out that I liked Daisy in Chains earlier this year. I didn't realize she first published using initials.

But here's what I was leading up to with all my complaining. When a book is right. When it appeals and is enjoyable on every level - the writing, the characters, the action - it lights up my brain in a way that is relaxing and enticing. Like the right chemicals are being released - endorphins or seratonin or something.

Isn't it amazing? It's like a warm bath for the brain.

Oct 28, 4:48pm Top

The other day I went back through my reading notebook and pulled out stuff that I caught as wrong when I was reading. Everyone has their areas of expertise and can tell when an author makes a mistake. One of the most glaring for me is how little people know about guns and how much complete bullshit is repeated in books and in movies. Here's my list! (all take from books with lazy writers)

Modern semi-automatic pistols take magazines, not clips
magazines use springs to move another round into the chamber, clips do not.

Guns don’t just “go off”
they are precision machines and it takes deliberate effort to discharge one

10 gauge refers to a shotgun; a shotgun is not a rifle therefore there is no such thing as a 10 gauge rifle.

You can do more than perfect your grip and stance with a pistol inside a house without shooting holes in your walls. You can dry fire.

Snipers don’t use tripods - they use bipods

Revolvers do not have safeties (apart from one ancient model that hasn’t been made in decades)

Neither do Glocks (at least the type that operates via a binary switch)

Revolvers do not eject brass

Shooting a person does not make them jump back, spin, fly out of their shoes into the air or any other thing except fall like a bag of dirt.

That's all I have for now, but I have lots of other stuff. How about you guys...what's the stuff you catch and roll your eyes at?

Oct 29, 8:24pm Top

How about blood spatter from gun shots? In reality isn't all the blood spatter on the exit wound not entry?

Oct 29, 9:29pm Top

Pretty much, yes, but it depends on the person, the round and the position of the shot.

Oct 30, 9:31am Top

>125 Bookmarque: Here is a quote for you from Buried in Books and anthology.

"It is good to be now and then withheld from reading bad books." Henry Crabb Robinson, diary entry 28th December 1821

Oct 30, 9:48am Top


It feels so great to DNF something. I feel free and the ick is gone from my brain. At least until I introduce new ick.

Nov 1, 12:35pm Top

I went wandering in search of abandonment again yesterday. Found this, among other things -

and this right next to it - and old firepit and some fancy fencing. The chair probably isn't as old as the cabin, but it's just there.

This is on a good sized lake up north. Not directly on the water, but close. In northern Wisconsin, abandoned stuff just lasts and lasts. In NH this wouldn't have stayed around for months never mind decades. Nothing appears ransacked or damaged except by time and the elements. Back when it was built it was pretty isolated since the other houses are much, much newer. There's another abandoned little cabin (not log) across the street by the water. There is a big, new cabin right next door. I guess with 15,000 lakes, there's always room on one of them.

Nov 2, 6:28pm Top

Wow. That’s October gone.
I read 10 books
9 fiction, 1 non
4 new authors, 6 familiar
2 by men, the rest by women (Robert Galbraith doesn’t count!)
1 ebook, 4 audio and 5 physical
1 library book, 2 ER books, the rest I bought
5 new, 2 used


Oldest was from 2008, the newest from this year
The best was The Round House by Louise Erdrich - 4.5 stars
The worst was The Forbidden Place by Susann Jansson - .5 stars - returned to Audible.

DNF = The Third Hotel because of the oddly unfocused writing and I didn't engage w/protagonist

Nov 3, 5:23am Top

>132 Bookmarque: Does the blurb of Sacrifice say where the cover picture was taken? It looks amazingly like one of the passages in the Elliptical Temple at Great Zimbabwe.

Nov 6, 11:39am Top

Sorry, just a photo credit - I can't remember the name off hand. John or maybe Jack Ambrose. Getty image.

Nov 6, 12:47pm Top

Pity. Thanks for looking, anyway.

Nov 6, 1:52pm Top

No prob. Just had to go downstairs!

Nov 10, 12:58pm Top

Another one of our roadside attractions. This was one of two that were so relaxed about me and the car that I wonder if they people in the neighborhood could hand feed them.

And another favorite of my day on a trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest -

There's a couple inches of snow on the ground now. How fast things change!

Nov 10, 2:34pm Top

Lovely pictures.

Nov 11, 9:10pm Top

So pretty.

Nov 13, 4:44am Top


Edited: Nov 13, 8:25am Top

Thanks peeps.

Snow on the ground. Temps in single digits over night. Oddly wintery for this time of year, but what the heck. I find something worthy -

That is Long Slide Falls in northeastern Wisconsin, right on the UP border (Michigan). There aren't a lot of ways to shoot it because the gorge is so steep and windy, but I gave it a go.

Nov 13, 8:34am Top

You only need one right one, which you have found -- in spades!

Nov 13, 9:37am Top

>141 Bookmarque: That is a great image. What exposure did you use to get the flow of the water?

Nov 13, 9:38am Top

Thanks Hugh! It takes a bit of driving around here to get to any waterfalls. I have to get out of the Wisconsin River valley and head toward either of the big lakes - Michigan or Superior. Then the terrain gets much more interesting and the rivers drain away from the Wisconsin. Worth the trip though. I hope to do some more in the U.P. this spring.

Nov 13, 9:44am Top

hey Pete, sorry. Missed your post while I was replying to Hugh. It's 3.2 seconds at f14 and ISO 125. I used a 6-stop neutral density filter to get the exposure time down long enough to soften the water. On other shots in the series I also added a polarizer to get the glare down off the water surface. Didn't need that in this case.

Oh jeez. That was probably TMI!!!

Edited: Nov 13, 10:11am Top

>145 Bookmarque: That is perfect, Bookmarque.

It must have been a calm day for the leaves and branches to be so sharp over a 3.2 second exposure.

I shall have to look up the "6-stop neutral density filter" but everything else I am familiar with.

(Not "TMI". Just an opportunity for me to learn.)

ETA: Learning done.

A colleague of mine described how he bought a cheap piece of welding glass and uses this as a filter for his landscape shots. I cannot remember the cost involved but he said it was a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated filter. I do not imagine he has the various stops one would have with a dedicated filter.

Nov 13, 11:12am Top

Welding glass works in the same way...like sunglasses. If he used that he probably had to hold it in front of the lens while taking the picture. Awkward, but I've done it with other filters.

I do a bit of playing with long exposure now and then. Calm days do produce more dramatic results, but it's fun when there's some wind kicking up, too.

This one was 10 seconds at f7.1, which means a wider aperture, and a slightly more light sensitive ISO. I probably used some filter or two, but I can't recall if it was one or the other or both. The ferns knock me out and that's why I chose the composition I did.

The trees are blurry, too.

Nov 13, 11:28am Top

>147 Bookmarque: The movement of the ferns adds an "other-worldy" fell to the picture.

I have a remote release device which I have only used in earnest once and that was taking shots of fireworks. I have a lot of practice to get under my belt before I can take good firework shots. Unfortunately a fireworks display does not last long enough for one to try different settings for long.

Nov 13, 11:35am Top

I've never tried shooting fireworks. Weird. I know how to do it, but there it is.

Most of the time, with shots like this one and some macro work, I use a 2-second shutter delay. This way the vibration of my finger hitting the button dissipates and I get a clear shot. If I'm waiting on wind to die down or split-second changes in light, I use the cable release. Mostly on macro shots when both of these things drive me nuts.

Here's another long exposure, this time the contrast is between the tiny trees on the forest floor and the movement in the canopy of their elder statesmen.

It was 6 seconds at f14 and ISO 160. Just a polarizer for this one. I really should have used the neutral density, but rain was threatening and I had a steep and slippery climb down ahead of me so wanted to get that over with. As it turned out, just as I hit the trail to the parking lot the clouds opened up.

Nov 13, 12:27pm Top

Another super shot.

I do not do enough long exposure shooting. I am usually photographing animals and I am trying to use the fastest speed I can which means wide apertures giving shallow depth of field, and high ISO leading to grainy images if I crop the picture too much.

Nov 13, 12:59pm Top

Funny, I'm in the opposite camp. Am working through a steep learning curve with my long telephoto zoom and animals that just won't stand still, darn them.

Nov 13, 1:40pm Top

>151 Bookmarque: They are a bit thoughtless like that.

Nov 13, 2:27pm Top

>151 Bookmarque:

Have you tried a bigger tip?

Nov 13, 4:22pm Top

Alas, bribes prove ineffective.

Nov 13, 5:25pm Top

All your pics are great, but I especially like >149 Bookmarque:

Nov 13, 5:47pm Top

Thanks tardis. One of my happy places is the woods. It's enchanting, magical and always gives me something new. Like this little beauty and its friends.

Nov 13, 7:08pm Top

I love your pics! That cabin looks like someplace that would be nice and peaceful, well, in its prime. It may be too run down now.

Edited: Nov 15, 8:30am Top

Thanks. I bet it was super peaceful when it was built. It's probably early 20th century and all the rest of the buildings around are much newer. Funny that there is a very new log cabin...a semi-fancy one...in sight of this old dilapidated one.

Edited: Nov 17, 7:16pm Top

>72 Bookmarque: As a loon lover, I especially liked this one. I also have one of your gorgeous autumn-woods photos (probably from NH) supplying rich fall colors on my desktop.

(ETA) I'm late catching up, but...husband quitting his job?

Nov 17, 8:55pm Top

I love your photos. That mushroom capture is amazing.

Nov 18, 7:18am Top

Thanks Narilka. I am such a nut about mushroom photography. I can hardly walk 5 feet in the woods without stopping during the season!

Hey Meredy...I knew you'd like the loons and I'm glad the fall photos make you smile. They do me, too. Such a short season, but so lovely.

Yeah, things were and still are imploding at his (former) division. Undermining his authority as General Manager, not giving him what he asked for to succeed, bad planning. So he quit in June and doesn't need to work full time anymore so he's consulting for his former employer in NH. They send the plane for him every other week and he works from here, too. It's really working out well.

Nov 18, 7:32am Top

Oh and hubby is picking up a new camera for me next week. I think some of the new tech will help me take better loon and other wildlife pics. I can hardly wait!

Nov 18, 9:24am Top

>162 Bookmarque: Thank hubby for us. :) I look forward to your shots.

Nov 18, 9:41pm Top

>162 Bookmarque: a new toy! I can't wait to see what you can do with it!

Nov 19, 6:32am Top

>162 Bookmarque: Ooh, I can't wait to see pics from your new piece of kit!

Nov 19, 9:16am Top

I'm so excited to get it. Especially for my wildlife work...I'm really bad at it and I think some of it is the camera. A lot of it is me, but the focusing tech is plain better in the new one and that's my big downfall right now. Anyway...it should be really great. It's only my 7th camera since 1985.

Here's my geeky blog post about it. You have been warned!


Nov 19, 3:10pm Top

Happy new camera! Reading your blog, I couldn't help thinking about my kit, which includes as one of the most treasured parts an adapter that allows me to use a couple of lenses and a set of extension tubes that my father bought for his first Pentax in 1960.

Nov 19, 3:49pm Top

Ah old glass. It can be beautiful and challenging to use. My previous camera, the E-30, had in-body image stabilization so using my old lenses was easier when off the tripod. At that time, Panasonic went all in with stabilized lenses so I lost that. I have it back, but now it's my Panasonic system lenses that are behind the times. They won't work with the IBIS. Newer lenses do and both types of stabilization give about 6 stops of assist when hand-holding. Not entirely critical, but it would be interesting, especially for video.

Nov 19, 6:54pm Top

And it has been secured!

Currently in the hotel safe. Body, battery grip and a free strap and SD card to match a similar deal at another retailer. It's the strap I want and the SD card I need. Sweet. Not sure if hubby acquired anything else while there. Like a new macro lens or something. lol

i can hardly wait.

Nov 22, 9:08am Top

It has arrived!

I won't be reading much today except the manual and a customization/set up guide!!

Nov 22, 9:33am Top


Nov 22, 3:32pm Top

Very different scenario compared to when I got my last new camera. Then it was May and beautiful out. This time it's November, cold, overcast and windy. Took it out for a while and froze my fingers even with gloves. Will need handwarmers if I try it again.

So far though, it's pretty interesting although just different enough in design and handling that it will take a while to develop muscle memory with it.

Nov 25, 9:50am Top

Well I've had it in the field a few times and wow...it's a joy. Here are a few shots -

And the spillway from the dam downriver -

It's pretty impressive and I'm changing some things in the way I shoot and have the camera set up. Way geeky, so I won't get into it here, but it's all good.

Nov 25, 2:26pm Top

Great pictures.

Nov 26, 7:09pm Top

Wow. Here at the office they took my ad blocker off and now I can see your pictures. So, so beautiful.

Nov 27, 9:45am Top

>173 Bookmarque: I love the frozen motion of the falls, a compliment to your flowing motion pictures of other falls. Very cool.

Nov 27, 11:32am Top

Actually, that's nature's frozen motion - it's ice.

Nov 27, 11:57am Top

>177 Bookmarque: You should just take praise when you get it and say, "Thank you!" :-)

Nov 27, 12:03pm Top

I'm good, but I'm not THAT good! lol

Nov 27, 12:41pm Top

>179 Bookmarque:
There you go again.

Nov 28, 9:08am Top

>177 Bookmarque: Well, I knew that, I just didn't phrase my post very well. I claim drain bamage.

Nov 28, 9:24am Top

>170 Bookmarque: Nice!

Shiny! Shiny!

Nov 28, 3:51pm Top

I know...I love it and basically carried it around with me everywhere for a couple of days. No. I did not sleep with it. lol

It's all customized and whatnot. I've shot a little with it recently, but I will have to see if I can get out again on Friday...we're supposed to have a storm, but who knows.

Here are a few more shots -

A little abandoned cabin that I just noticed after passing it a zillion times.

It used to be The Minnow Shack apparently -

Windows and a front door of an abandoned house that I also pass by a lot -

There are tons of old cars and stuff next to it, including a boat and an RV. Looks like people still use the way back of the property as a woodlot. Common enough around here.

Nov 28, 4:05pm Top

Abandoned buildings really have a special air about them - a certain mystique, enigma.
Love the cars!

Nov 30, 10:18pm Top

Amazing photos, as always. And damn. Those cars! Especially that really old one! How sad to see it decaying, though.

So I read your post in WholeHouse's catching up thread. Are you planning to stay in the midwest now that your husband is back to working part of the time in NH? Did you buy a house out there?

Edited: Nov 30, 10:48pm Top

Thanks, clam & Busifer. Yeah, the abandoned stuff around here is a bit sad. I know things run their courses, but the waste is a little astounding.

We're staying here. We like it. We own the house and it's pretty perfect. When we are sick of the frozen mud (late winter/early spring) we'll just leave for a while. Easier to do without the cats, but we can board them.

Because of the company planes, going to and fro isn't so bad. He is spoiled and being alone from time to time has never bothered me.

Dec 1, 9:23am Top

November is past and the last calendar month is on us. Tempus fugit indeed.

I read 9 books and a camera manual or two!
Only one was non-fiction
2 new authors
6 by women, 2 by men and one by a team of one each
7 physical copies and 2 audio books
1 was an Amazon freebie, 3 were borrowed and 5 purchased
Of those 3 were new and 2 were used


The oldest was from 1999 (party down!) and the newest published this year.
The best was Rawblood for its inventiveness and sheer complexity.
The worst was The Ruin because it plodded its way to a decent conclusion.

A big DNF to The Forsyte Saga. Just wasn’t interested enough in the story or characters to put up with the relentless misogyny.

Dec 1, 10:09am Top

I haven't read The Forsyte Saga but I definitely hear you on the misogyny. For me the characters has to be VERY interesting for me to be able to accept too much of it. And I don't mean the kind were it's added for period authenticity but rather the casual kind that permeates most older works.
It's one of the reasons that I never finished The Picture of Dorian Gray, for example.

Dec 1, 11:21am Top

Yeah, it's a product of its time and the attitudes of Galsworthy. I liked the mini-series well enough.

Edited: Dec 2, 6:56pm Top

It wasn't just the new camera that made me go out side. It was the new snow!

Dec 2, 7:01pm Top

Absolutely lovely.

Dec 2, 7:29pm Top

Thanks Clam. It was a pretty good morning to be out.

Dec 3, 8:36am Top

Ooh, wow! I wish we got snow like that here.

Dec 3, 8:43am Top

Thanks peeps. It's only 3-4 inches so it doesn't get in the way too much, but is beautiful. Plus the wind just plastered the trunks.

Edited: Dec 5, 10:10am Top

And yesterday's wander featured quite a few abandoned places.

While I was shooting this, the owner stopped to talk to me. He's an old dude and said the house had been in the family a few generations. He said it was built to last, but wished it had been kept up. The barn next to it was flattened by a tornado, its stone wall foundations the only thing left.

Dec 5, 9:33am Top

Nice shot.

At some point upkeep is just no feasible, sadly.

Dec 5, 11:11am Top

>195 Bookmarque: That reminds me I am reading The Haunting of Hill House. No hills behind the house in your picture, but it does have an atmosphere.


Dec 6, 2:55pm Top

Yeah, not much in the way of hills around there. And as agriculture becomes less and less viable (thanks big-Ag) you find more and more of this.

It's from the neighboring town.

Dec 7, 12:04pm Top

It saddens me, yet it is the trend everywhere, it seems: consumers want to buy super-cheap, and so small-scale family farms cannot get paid enough for their produce to stay in business.
In Sweden the acreage and number of livestock has stayed the same over the past 20 years, but the number of actual farmers have halved during that same period.

Edited: Dec 8, 9:23am Top

I saw that happening in Northern Illinois when I lived there in the 1990s. I'm sorry to hear it's still happening

It seems I am very lucky to live in an area of the country where small farms and other agricultural enterprises are booming. The trend started here in the mid-1980s, when the first potato fields morphed into vineyards. The biggest draw-back is that the weekend traffic from July through October is horrendous. It's nice and quiet now, though.

Dec 8, 12:25pm Top

Ironic though isn't it? The room for farming is out here. The pasture is better than anything in New England or much or the northeast and the soil is MUCH easier to work. But yet a lot lies fallow. Not all, but enough to be noticeable. Even if we could grow grapes...for anything other than juice, there wouldn't be much traffic, lol.

Just finished an terrific book about the evolution of feathers. If you like natural history or evolutionary biology this is right up your alley - Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle by Thor Hanson. Nicely illustrated and engaging. Review here - http://www.librarything.com/work/11165121/reviews/162037936

Get a physical copy - the book itself is GORGEOUS.

Edited: Dec 8, 2:01pm Top

>201 Bookmarque: I know at least a few suburban areas of the Midwest are starting to encourage agri-tourism type farms to establish themselves in the area. My nephew says they're offering incentives where he lives in Michigan. I also wonder if Climate Change is an issue. That recent report from the 'gummint' said the the Midwest will be one of the hardest hit regions, with hotter Summers and inconsistent rainfall. Or are potential small farmers not even thinking that far into the future?

I will say that when I was living there I was shocked by the lack of farm stands, etc. No one bothered with them. There was a big farmer's market once a week in downtown Rockford, but otherwise you had to grow your own. My town in CT had one. I moved to a similar size town and I think we have at least a half a dozen, and each town has a few so there are plenty of choices. There are a couple of places with green houses that will be selling some veggies through the Winter at least a couple of days a week. I'm sure the climate is beneficial, as the surrounding water keeps this part of Long Island warmer than inland New England.

Dec 8, 2:41pm Top

I also think population density and tiny lots are part of it. Where I lived in NH I could hit a farmer's market during the summer in every town that touched mine on every day of the week. Here they are around, but not quite as common. Most people do grow their own, but they also have the room to do so and FMs aren't as important. That doesn't go for the larger cities, but up this way it's pretty true. There are some local farmers becoming more active and hosting different events and I hope that works for them. Not sure there's any tourism, per se, but at least they're raising awareness. I don't buy everything local, but I try. Some grocery stores carry local butter, eggs, potatoes and a few other things.

And up where I am is in the Wisconsin River valley so says a fraction warmer than the outlying areas. Like you mentioned, it's the water.

Dec 9, 11:35am Top

Another amazing book late in the year. If you often scratch your head at award winners and short lists, you won't at this one - Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor is a fascinating work not only for the story it tells, but how it's told. The craft and deliberate way it's written is soothing, rhythmic and engrossing rather than exciting.

Review here ---> http://www.librarything.com/work/18617158/reviews/160444692

I think it will be on my top 5 for the year.

Yesterday, 4:36pm Top

Wow. Has it been a week since I posted here? I guess so.

Not every book is great this month. Just finished Strindberg's Star which luckily I got at a Friends of the Library sale. It's pretty silly and empty in the end. Reasonably entertaining, but ultimately kinda dumb and it wasn't just because it's in translation. That's ok though. Gotta have the silly ones, too, right? Review is this way 👉 http://www.librarything.com/work/10496594/reviews/162037977

Another DNF goes to Crimson Lake by Candice Fox. Even Euan Morton couldn't save that one and he's one of my favorite narrators. Endless cycles of stupidity, cruelty, violence and corruption that apparently just can go on and on and on. 😒

I've been sorting through stuff for Best of lists. Books and my photos. I think I have them narrowed down.

Did a little Christmas shopping this week and so I'm basically done there. Hubby will deliver presents to my parents later this week when he's in NH.

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