This is the way I tumble... And collect. And curate. Artifacts of a peculiar existence. Muddling fact and fiction, substance and void, text, sound and image. Akin to squandering the afternoon in a distant relative's attic. But less dusty. And fewer cobwebs. Or mice.
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Perfect Santa Fe Pied-a-terre
Street entrance to Adobe Oasis during the summer of 2013.
After searching for many months we’ve finally found the impossibly perfect Santa Fe pied-a-terre we’ve been dreaming about for years.
- Ideal location on quite possibly the calmest, most charming lane in the Historic Eastside.
- Intimate enough to be convenient and cozy, spacious enough to feel ample, spacious, and light filled.
Hashing the En and Em Dash
If only en and em dash were melt-in-your-mouth candy…
While editing an article a couple of days ago I came across some en and em dash discrepancies that I wanted to iron out. I haven’t any cleverness to contribute to an already much hashed topic, but here’s a grab bag of grammatical (and computer) smartness to help sort out the whole dashing matter once and for all.Dash Bashing
First let’s start…
I recently met Lake Placid based photographer John DiGiacomo at the Essex derry dock where he was photographing Common Goldeneye ducks and other waterfowl.
The Essex-Charlotte ferry channel has become a popular destination for birders ever since Lake Champlain froze over last month. Ferry captains have been meticulously nibbling back the ice to maintain a navigable passage ”canal” between New York and Vermont, and thin watery strip is doubling as a sanctuary for the lake’s waterfowl (including the rare Tufted Duck) accustomed to watery diets.
I introduced myself to John while he was photographing ducks near the Essex ferry pilings and offered Rosslyn’s boathouse as an alternative “birding blind”. He hauled his tripod and gear up the road and captured those magnificent photographs of Common Goldeneye ducks from the boathouse pier.
Dramatic Goldeneye Ducks
John was humble about the photos, apologizing for the grey day: “unfortunately the light was pretty poor that morning”. I share his preference for photographing with clear, high contrast natural lighting, but I actually think the flat light adds to the drama in this series, accentuating the crisp black and white coloration of the Goldeneye ducks. Spectacular!
Knowing little about Goldeneye ducks I poked around online and discovered these cool facts about Common Goldeneye ducks:
- The eyes of a Common Goldeneye are gray-brown at hatching. They turn purple-blue, then blue, then green-blue as they age. By five months of age they have become clear pale green-yellow. The eyes will be bright yellow in adult males and pale yellow to white in females.
- A female Common Goldeneye often lays eggs in the nest of another female… She may lay in the nests of other species of ducks as well.
- After the ducklings leave the nest they can feed themselves and require only protection. Some females abandon their broods soon after hatching, and the young will join another female’s brood. Such mixed broods, known as “creches,” may also occur when a female loses some ducklings after a territorial fight with another female. Young scatter and mix when females fight, and not all of them get back to their mother when the fight ends. Some or all of the ducklings may be transferred to one brood, usually that of the territory owner. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Beyond Goldeneye Ducks
John also offered kind words about Rosslyn and mentioned a restoration related project he had been involved with that sounds intriguing.
I am thoroughly impressed with your restoration of Rosslyn. I love seeing these historic structures restored to their former glory. A few years back… I worked on a Then and Now book with the Smithtown (Long Island) Historical Society [Smithtown: Then & Now (Arcadia, 2011)]. It was a fascinating project as I learned so much of the town’s history from the three historians I worked with. I would joke with them that I wish I could take credit for the historical shots and not the current ones. So much history has been replaced with strip shopping centers or cookie cutter buildings. ~ John DiGiacomo
Little by little my bride and I are pulling together our own “then and now” visual history of this quirky property we call home. Too bad I didn’t have John shadowing me for 3+ years of Rosslyn’s rehabilitation to help document the process!
If you’re interested in learning more about John DiGiacomo’s photography you can visit his website, PlacidTimesPhotography.com. Don’t miss his spectacular nature and sports photos.
- Birders Flock to Essex-Charlotte Ferry Channel (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Tufted Duck at Essex Ferry Dock (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- La Vie en Rose (rosslynredux.com)
- Vintage Photo: Kestrel at Rosslyn Boathouse (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Bald Eagle Breakfast (rosslynredux.com)
- Essex Aerial View (rosslynredux.com)
- Birds drawn to frozen lake’s ferry channels (wptz.com)
Decrypting Bird Tracks in Snow
Decrypting Bird Tracks in Snow: Mallard (Photo: virtualDavis)
I don’t recall whether or not I was fascinated with animal and bird tracks in snow as a child, but I suspect I was. I am now… (Fox Tracks, Foxtrot & X-Country Skiing)
It wasn’t until my nephews (now teenagers but still “pocket sized” then) began asking me to identify bird tracks in snow, four legged critter tracks on muddy paths, and…
Walnut Banco Seat Progress
Walnut banco seat during construction, ready for cushion top. (Credit: Robert Schutz)
Traditional bancoseating is a familiar part of pueblo style architecture you see in the American Southwest. Often formed out of adobe or concrete and following the same organic ”form meets function” tradition of pueblo and pueblo revival construction, bancos offer efficient, comfortable indoor and…