Friday, July 31, 2015

When In Rome...

Yeah, yeah, yeah… you know the rest! Look who caught finner…
Real-TimeFriday iPhone Photo Credit to Joe

Thanks for the Beauty in My Life, Honey...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Busy Day in the Wild Kingdom

Y'all know the day's beginning, with Big Baldie on our neighbor's dock (previous post). What could possibly top that? Well…

At what seems to be the five p.m. bewitching hour for wildlife activity, I donned glasses and wandered over to my homemade aquarium to check out our resident tadpoles. Hmmm. Everything is in the timing, I've been told. Look at what greeted me…
So, the first one leapt to freedom. RIBBIT!! And almost simultaneously with my calling Joe to witness the Great Escape, he yelled to me… you know the drill…
He caught finner.

Now, every wild kingdom needs blossoms and blooms. As if to say, "Ahem, we're here today, too," our newly planted clematis decided to open the first purple petals on its fragile vine. Wowsa! We didn't expect this phenomenon till next spring, but who's arguing with nature? Gorgeous beginners are ready to color all four patio posts.
Here's to hot 'n' steamy, lazy and crazy July days, surrounded by the wonders of Nature.

This Eagle Likes Our Space...

At 6:30 this a.m., I said, "Good Morning, World," and looked out to see Big Juvenile Baldie sitting on our neighbor's dock, obviously having breakfast. Location? Right below yesterday's tree-stand! Hmmm… it seems this teenager likes the hood. He quickly took flight; I believe he sensed NIK et moi lurking in the background.
Photos taken through glass.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today's Treat

Late this afternoon, Joe and I had just settled in on the deck, when I spotted a juvenile eagle soaring above and behind the next-door neighbor's trees. About fifteen minutes later, he reappeared and settled on a nearby limb that extended well over Golden Pond. By then, Joe was fishing from the kayak and I was perched at our deck rail for an exceptionally lengthy photo shoot. His mottled color and partially white head and tail feathers tell us he's not quite reached five years old, as that's when brilliant white appears.
"Patience" was the name of the game for all parties. Joe caught just one little perch. Baldie caught nothing. (We thought he might be awaiting a larger human catch to steal.) For me, it was well worth the wait, as he abandoned the hunt and sailed away over the ridge that leads to Holiday Mountain. To think that we used to drive many miles for sightings such as this!!

Misty Mornin' 'n' LakeLove

Before moving permanently to Florida, lake-friend and neighbor, Klaus, shared with us his special feelings about this gorgeous environment. He loved the difference each day brought in lake views… every day special and unique on or near the water. This morning's hazy sunrise on perfectly still Wanaksink made me think of him. Spectacular LakeScape…

July Garden

Our flowers are looking gorgeous, I must say. But our elephant ear plant is nothing short of spectacular… and it's only just beginning! This year's was started from a ginormous bulb and took a while to start. For Zu, who misses her Bermuda variety…
While I'm on the topic, check out Mom's hydrangea, perfectly complemented by Dad's autumn joy, in the background…
And not to forget our amazing hibiscus that continues to thrill. Now, it's doing double duty. You see, after the kids left, I missed aquarium-watching. Sooooo, Joe fetched five more tadpoles and I built my own little tank. What's perfect for creating shade?? Why a nice, big and colorful tropical flower. Can you see one little guy atop a petal, peering out at my lens?? Not to worry… they were only in the house for a photo shoot… we do not want more escapees around here (post below).
How does your garden grow??

July's LakeKids

So, what else is new? July is zipping by at warp speed. The 28th, today, and I'm in disbelief! Since my last post, three of us turned a year older… Christian, Kelly and moi. We celebrated somewhere in the middle of our special dates, after which Hunter and Chloe stayed for a fabulous week. Needless to say, their cousins joined them for some fun… and… the weather cooperated. We had what was probably "the" week of Summer '15. Gorgeous and conducive to lake activities. Funny, but we did not once hear any one of the GrandLoves mention missing the pool. Things have a way of working out.

We did visit the Old Homestead, though, because our piano is still there and we needed to hear Hunter play. Brilliant. After all those instruments and all those lessons, it seems that a musician has finally been born to our gang. I'm chuckling. We hope he continues.
Joe is happy that both BoyLoves have taken to patient, peaceful pole, line 'n' lure fishing. It was cute to see H 'n' G out on the kayak, back to back, giggling like crazy. Okay, okay. Maybe "patient" isn't quite accurate, though, especially when the "lunker" keeps getting away. Let's say that finner instead of dinner never did happen. Not to worry, though, we plowed through food favorites, with more French toast, yogurt, watermelon, wings, pizza, burgers, mac 'n' cheese and huge salads with "Grandma's dressing" than one can imagine! I digress

Kids of all ages love netting or hooking little sunfish. The girls are okay with getting them out of a net.

Hunter mastered the art of unhooking them and returning them to life. Touching and petting their unusual texture is half the fun, once one has gotten used to squiggles. Or so I'm told. :-)
Our fishermen/women have competition. On a trip back from our lake's island, we saw a juvenile Baldie catching his prey… what a thrill to capture it with finner in its talons.

Oh, and did I mention that Chloe raised tadpoles? Yes. Taddy and Poley, found on the pool cover at Stacey. Thing is, Poley escaped his homemade aquarium. Ahem. IN THE HOUSE. It seems that when a tadpole has all four legs and a short tail, it's reborn to frog-dom. I'm just waiting for something to hop out at me… you know… when I sit on the couch to watch TV, at night…

When all was said and done, I had almost three hundred captures on NIK. I hope to make photo books for the kids. Please allow me share a few more, 'cause as Gavin's special gift to us says, "Life is better at the lake!" Yes, every picture tells a story.
We had a blast. The kids are truly what it's all about, "it" being love, life and happiness. Their glee at the tiniest little thing is grounding and inspirational.

Cheers, till the next twilight...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another Fish Story... Unfortunately Kodak-less

I wish. Truly. But it's not happenin'. "Wish what?" you ask. "For photo proof," say I. Here's a beyond-belief fish story:

The other day, as I sat on the dock (camera with huge lens close-by) and feverishly worked on Heather's blanket, I looked up to see Joe racing the kayak towards shore.

"DID YOU SEE THAT?" shouted he.

"See what?" I calmly responded. Frankly, I thought he was rushing towards my fresh cuppa java. :-) 

"You won't BELIEVE this. I had trouble taking a pickerel off the hook to throw back. By the time I got it, it was half dead and went belly-up in the water…"

Just so you know, it seems that pickerels have nasty teeth and white bellies.

"No sooner did it hit the water when an eagle-from-nowhere came swooping down to grab the fish in its talons!!!!!"

I wish! Truly. Photo op-of-the-week missed...

A July Run… and a "Finner" Recipe

No, not a marathon. Rather a "run" of glorious days. You know. Old-fashioned July days of summer. Wish I could bottle them, to be released during a January freeze. Yes. I wish. But since that can't happen, might as well enjoy every second while they exist. Herein, every picture tells the story of these special moments in time…
You've met our resident baby robins. Well, to say the least, their parents could not have chosen a more perfect spot to nest. The bird's eye (pun intended) view we were treated to also afforded me some pretty incredible photo ops. Saturday's above capture told us these babes were about to fly the coop. Lo and behold, on Sunday morning, we witnessed their flight. What a treat from Momma Nature!!
Mambo, in the meanwhile, was absorbing all sights 'n' sounds. Thing is, he got himself into some trouble with his humans, the other day. He never wanders from us. Well, make that "almost" never. Seems that while we weren't looking and as Neighbor Kyle and Pooch Gizmo went walking by, the Big M thought to join them. As Gizmo pulled and pulled on his lead, we're told that leash-less Mambo heeled next to Kyle for an untethered stroll. Thing is, he earned himself a nice, long rope attached to a tree, upon his naughty return. Lake folks don't look kindly upon unleashed, 140-pound canines strolling their streets. Well, except for Kyle and Giz; they enjoyed the company!
Moving along, Joe has turned into an obsessive fisherman, returning to his childhood love of the sport. Yesterday morning, he scored not one, two or three very large bass… but four, in total. We kept the limit and dined on the fattest one, last night. More in the freezer.
Photo above by and from an excited Joe who had just caught "Finner"
After texting the pic, Joe employed further modern technology by phoning me from the kayak to tell me the fish story.
Here's some of the weekend catch and a recipe for "Finner," following:
Joe scaled, cleaned and split fish. The largest weighed about four pounds, after all this beheading and such; it was quite meaty. I filled the cavity with scallions and added EVOO and lemon juice, after which I smothered the entire outside with oil and juice, as well. Spiced it up a tad  with fresh pepper and lemon zest. Wrapped and sealed in aluminum foil. Put on hot, hot grill for ten minutes and turned for another ten. The meat falls off the bones, but one still has to watch for tiny ones, while enjoying. Moving along…
We seem to have dinner pretty late, here at the lake. We're well rewarded for this new habit. Gorgeous sunsets often come with strange side effects, such as the cloud pictured above. But we haven't forgotten the beauty of the Old Homestead and during a short trip there, we treated ourselves to a homegrown bouquet.
Hope y'all are enjoying a happy, safe and healthy month.