Saturday, January 30, 2010

2 Things Challenge Merge/Diverge

The 2 Things Challenge for this week is Merge / Diverge.

Here is my entry. Depending on your point of view, or your direction of travel if you prefer, these old tracks can be said to either merge or diverge. I actually think this particular branch is abandoned and has been so for a long time (tall weeds and rusty rails). Whatever facility they served has been closed and itself abandoned for years too. But the through tracks in the background, they haul tons and tons of coal to the nearby power plant on a daily basis, and sometimes other freight trains too.

Join us at the 2 Things Challenge site to see other entries or to participate. We'd love to have you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

After the Rain

It rained a lot Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. Then abruptly the clouds moved out, leaving everything drenched, and the bright morning sun shining down. Almost every cedar branch and oak or sweet gum twig was dripping a drop, forming millions of sparkling lights through the forest.

After the Rain

Christmas Tree Sparkle Drops

Christmas trees fall into 3 categories. First, there are the plastic and metal artificial kind. That's what we have, pre-lit, Wal-Mart special, half price after Christmas last year. Second there are live trees, either in large pots or with burlap wrapped roots, intended to be planted after Christmas to make an outdoor tree next year. That's what Kristina and Jackson had this year. Third, there are cut trees, often advertised as "live," but which, as my wife says, are in fact "dead, they just don't know it yet."

Wednesday the weather here was superb, especially after the first two weeks of January. High 60's, sun shining brilliantly. Kristina hasn't planted her Christmas tree yet, so my wife watered it in the pot on the patio. I was sitting outside enjoying the warm sunshine when I noticed the droplets of water all over the needles, sparkling like miniature ornaments. It turned out to be much harder to capture than I thought it would be. Sometimes the camera just cannot see what I see, no matter what I try. Anyway, just below the big drop in the middle, is a tiny little sampling of what I saw. You may have to click out to Flickr and view large size to really see it.

Christmas Tree Drops

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2 Things Challenge Fire/Water

The 2 Things Challenge for this week was Fire / Water.
This entry took a little setup, but rest assured, no Dickel was harmed in the making of this image. Be ye warned, however, the glass suffered irreparable harm. It just couldn't take the combination of flaming alcohol (rubbing) and ice cubes. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try this inside your house. Fortunately I was outside on the patio, the flame was out, and I was moving the glass off the velvet when I heard the, "Tink, tink, tink!" as the top half of the glass cracked all the way around and into several chunks. AND, again fortunately, I had purposefully used a mismatched glass, just in case something like that happened.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It was so cold in the Birmingham area recently. I'm pretty sure that I read it was the coldest first two weeks in January, EVER!!! Well, I'm sure they mean since records have been kept, but BRRRRRR! Can't wait for next month's power bill. Just to keep warm in our drafty house we kept a fire going for several days. Burned up all my firewood. Snuggle up to this and you'll feel better.


And today it is 66 degrees and sunny. What a turnaround. Still, I think this is, on average, going to be the coldest January since records have been kept.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Christmas Candlelighting

As part of the Christmas Program at our little Columbiana United Methodist Church, we had a candlelighting.

A nearby suburb of Birmingham informed their churches that to hold candlelightings they needed to get a permit from the fire department and to have two firemen on duty at the church during the service. No such requirement in Columbiana, although we do have several volunteer firemen who are members of the church and there is a fire extinguisher readily available behind the pianist.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2 Things Challenge Push/Pull

The 2 Things Challenge for this week is Push / Pull.

My entry is a tug boat that met our cruise ship in Guatemala. Modern cruise ships are so maneuverable with their side thrusters and all that they seldom actually need a tug. Depending on how it is helping, tug boats can both Push (note all the tires) and Pull (note the heavy rope). This one actually did nothing except ride along side the cruise ship and look colorful.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The cow pen was absolutely muddy with yucky brown mud, if you get my drift. Yet amazingly, this cow's blaze and eyelashes were very white. Moo!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sighting In

Opening day of deer season in this part of Pennsylvania is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Two days before they like to get together on the farm and sight in their rifles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lonely Ginkgo in a Foggy Forest

Over 50 years ago my mother-in-law started this Ginkgo from a seed picked up on the grounds of a hospital in Philadelphia. She brought it back and planted it across the drive from her farm house in central PA.

There it grows amongst the oak and ash trees and provides lovely color every fall for her enjoyment, mine too when I'm there at the right time. This foggy morning the day before Thanksgiving, with just a few hangers on, it stood there with it's fading beauty and awaited the snow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pennsylvania Barn

We spent Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law in Pennsylvania. This old barn is across the street from her place, and I loved it.

Hay's ready for winter, but the tractor, and maybe the roof aren't.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Two Things Challenge - Hand Pink

I like to enter the Two Things Challenge when I can. It's been a while, though, since there was a challenge. I guess Janet has been having too much fun in Europe, but now the challenge is Hand/Pink.

The Hand: Kristina's, right after she became a new mom last April.

The Pink: Mason's tiny little feet when he was only twelve days old. He's now eight months old and quite a bit bigger.

The Photo: Priceless.