Spring! Spring! Spring!

Windows were open today and some spring cleaning has begun.  Things are really waking up around here and today’s (or this week’s discoveries) include:

– at least 21 of my BFFs are alive and well and swimming around (Best Fish Friends)

– at least 5 frogs have survived the winter including the original pair who have created the family we have — Yes Phinneas and Phillis are back!

– several daffodils opened today

– lots of day-lilies are showing thru the ground

– and hubby has found the first deer tick on his body!  oh boy, here we go again

And I did some “airing of the quilts”.  These are destined for the Hospital Avenue Housatonic Habitat homeowners.  A friend of mine has a friend who wants to do charity quilting for Habitat so she gave me 5 of her quilts.  They have been in this friend’s house since completion and the house has a big hairy dog.  So, I’m tumbling them in the dryer to remove dog hair and airing them out.  They now look and smell great!

Four Habitat Quilts getting their spring airing out
Four Habitat Quilts getting their spring airing out

Summer Saturday with Spitty by the pond

It is so beautiful here.

Our little bit of God’s creation is at its full splendor this summer Saturday.

After working in the pond trimming and fertilizing the water lilies with my BFFs swimming around my legs keeping an eye on what I was doing, I gave them an early dinner.  Also at the pond today was a baby frog (one of this year’s crop) that we’ve named Mini-Phini.  Hubby took a photo but the macro lens seized on a stalk of a plant for its focus and the baby frog was nothing but a blur.  So, this will be a mission going forward — catch the young one out on the back rock and get a good photo.   So, instead of a real frog — here is a photo of “Spitty”.

Spittin' into the pond

And my BFFs (Best Fish Friends)

Feeding time August 20, 2011


Spring Flowers, Fish, and Kitchen

So — work progresses here on the final stages of the big kitchen remodel of 2010/2011.  The tile back splash was put up today and will be grouted tomorrow.  The painter was back doing the outside work on the new bay windows and the new detached garage front that hubby installed a week ago.  And some spring flowers are blooming — irises in the pond, wild daisies next to it.  It was a beautiful, absolutely beautiful day here today.  One could not help rejoicing in the beauty of a perfect spring day.

The day in photos:

tile back splash
the view from my kitchen window -- painter's legs
wild daisy


Yes, it’s golf time.  I played 3 days in a row last week and by Thursday, my feet hurt.  But my game is coming around even though my handicap is going up.   I was part of a foursome that played at the ABC of Ridgefield (A Better Chance of Ridgefield) tournament on Wednesday.  My group placed first in the women’s division and won some money!  And I placed first in the closest to the pin contest on hole # 17 at RGC.  My tee shot was 26 feet away — not really too close, but apparently close enough!

Thursday was such a nice day weather-wise and the Ridgefield Gofl Course was beautiful.  I felt like I was on vacation the entire time we were out there.

Good thing I played a lot last week.  Looks like we have at least 5 days of rain here in a row.  So, not much golfing will occur.

Good news is that perhaps I’ll get some spring cleaning done!

Time for some fish and frog photos from the pond.  I call this one FISH FRENZY.  It’s fishie mating time again and they are all chasing one of the females around the pond apparently right up to the edge.  Some times I’m afraid they’re going to push Lady right out of the water and I’ll come home and find her on one of the rocks!

Fish Frenzy - May 2011

Happy Easter

Suddenly it’s spring!  At last!!!!!

Hubby fired up the pump on our pond yesterday and is running it again today.  The fish are loving their swimming time below the falling water.  This seems to have awakened our entire back yard and the warm (yes it’s ABOVE 70 degrees today) has caused spring to finally arrive.

  • The PJM azalea is ready to boom
  • The weeping cherry absolutely popped open this morning and is in full bloom
  • Our first frog appeared on a rock near the waterfall
  • The male wren is singing and carrying nest-building materials into the birdhouse
  • The new kitchen windows are open

All signs of spring — let the celebration begin!

Happy Easter !

Fish, wool slippers and hardwood floors

I am a musician so I often find myself humming or singing as I work around the house or drive thru town.  Often it is the song that I have just played with the choir or the one I am rehearsing for an upcoming church service.  But things that are going on in my day also often call to mind a song from the past which I find myself singing and occasionally writing parodies of on the fly.

Today’s song was inspired by the very exciting event of the past weekend — the first sighting of swimming fish in the pond as the snow has finally started shrinking here in our part of Connecticut.  Last Sunday, hubby saw the first swimming orange fish in the shallow end of the pond where the ice has finally receded.  There is a rubbermaid box with a light bulb in it that floats upside down (with the aid of some pool noodles) in the shallow end of the pond.  Its purpose is to keep an area of the ice open for oxygen transfer.   The bulb comes on after dark so it illuminates the water immediately under it.  Since for a large part of the winter the pond itself wasn’t even visible, let alone the floating box and the water under it, I have been really worried about my BFFs (Best Fish Friends).  But since Sunday night, fish have been visible slowly moving in the water below the box.  YEAH!   They made it through the winter!!!!!   You don’t know how absolutely happy this has made me.

So, today’s song is from the Beatles:

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter.
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces.
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here.
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting.
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear

Well, particularly that last verse has had me singing today.

Little fishies, it’s been a long cold lonely winter.
Little fishies, it feels like years since you’ve been here.
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.
Little fishies, the smiles returning to our faces.
Little fishies, it seems like years since it’s been here.
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.
Little fishies, I see the ice is slowly melting.
Little fishies, it seems like years since it’s been clear.
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.
It’s all right.

It’s more than all right, it’s wonderful.

I just finished a quilt for my guild’s challenge.  Several months ago, we each reached into a paper bag (without looking) and drew out three paint chips.  The challenge was to make a quilt using ONLY those three colors and a background color (either black or white).  We also could add one extra fabric but it had to contain ONLY those colors from our paint chips and could not introduce any additional ones.

I ended up making my quilt out of essentially solids since my randomly-drawn paint chips were an odd combination.  There was no possibility of finding an additional fabric to use because no fabric designer in their right mind would have combined the colors that I drew into one fabric.

The quilt was required to contain at least one flower and the creation had to be named.  Given the long, cold, lonely winter we’ve been having here, my quilt was named:

Out of the darkness, Light!  (or – Out of the darkness, tulips!)

And, here is a photo of the quilt, in progress, in my quilt studio with those blasted paint chips:

So, the long winter is almost over and I’m trusting the tulips, crocuses, and daffodils are down there in the darkness waiting to pop up as soon as all the snow melts, just like the fish.  Makes me wonder a bit about the fish and what they do during the winter in the very bottom of the pond.  I’m sure it was real dark down there, covered as it was by 75 inches of snow at one time.  No wonder they are up near the surface now seeking the light.

Oh yeah, and for the last two words of the post title — wool slippers and hardwood floors.

The construction project continues, but slowly.  Today the floor guy was back to fix 6 places on the floor, 3 with too much finish and 3 with too little.  The curing and waiting process begins — a bare minimum of 2 weeks before we put rugs and furniture back in and longer would be better if we can actually wait longer.  We’ve been waiting so long, what’s a couple more weeks?  Hopefully I’ll soon be taking pictures in the new kitchen that have bare feet in them rather than thick felted-wool slippers.

The color in this photo is way off.  Don’t know why and don’t have time to fix it.  Suffice it to say the slippers are a darker blue and the floor a more golden-red color.  Perhaps the camera was having an adverse reaction to taking a photo of the orange and red tulips in that quilt!

First fish feeding of Spring 2010

They’ve been at the bottom of the pond for months and only just recently, with warmer weather, out of the cave and feeding on algae near the top and sides of the pond.  My BFFs (Best Fish Friends) have survived the winter and are looking fine.  They do have a lot of algae to eat, but hubby thought it would be fun to see if they remembered what the feeding rock (the place I come to when I feed them) was for.  So, I got some of the lo-temp fish food and went out to the pond and, sure enough, they remembered.  There were lots of sucking noises as they came up and tried to be enthused about this very boring fish food.  My hands and fingers also got lots of “fish kisses”.

First feeding of 2010
First feeding of 2010

And another year by the pond begins today, with the first fish feeding of 2010 on the first day of Spring!

Fish Frenzy!

Fish frenzy in the cold water
Fish frenzy in the cold water

So, it’s hot here today — second day with temps over 90 degrees — and the pond temperature in the deep part had climbed to 84 degrees.  I turned on the hose to add fresh, cold water to the pond and you would have thought I was feeding them the best, tasty food they’d ever had.  They gathered and took turns (none too politely) swimming thru the stream of water, lifting their heads to the very top of the surface as the water poured on.  The ripples in the photo are only a small part caused by the stream of water (it wasn’t that strong) but mostly caused by the furious fish swimming in a frenzy to get some cold water on them.  Time to go out and check on them and give them some more, I think.

I played golf today and if someone had come out on the 15th hole and offered to pour cold water on my head too, I think I would have taken them up on it.

Mourning Hotlips

Our big white fish with red lips, Hotlips, is gone from the pond.  We came back from our vacation to find that sometime during the week something got to him and removed him from the pond.  I searched carefully when we got back and more thoroughly when I was working in the pond over the weekend, trimming the waterlilies.  So, we no longer have our gentle white fishie.   So sad.   And, of course, since we don’t know what got him, we don’t know how much in danger the rest of the fish are.  I’m keeping a careful watch and trying to make several appearances at pond side each day discouraging the local hawk if that’s what it was.  However, I cannot stay outside all night, so the fish are pretty much on their own then.   The photo below is the remaining four “big guys” and the little ones are in there too.   Hubby gave me a new camera for my birthday, so as soon as the battery was charged, I went straight out to the pond to capture some fish and frog photos.  Unfortunately, it’s about to rain so the light is kind of dim.  Frog photos to come soon — we’ve had a population explosion and can find at least 5 small/young frogs at the pond.

Fish in the lilies

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

It’s a beautiful day today here in Connecticut. These are the summer days the our area is famous for. Warm and sunny, not too hot, not too cold — as Goldilocks would say, “Just right!”. We parked the car in a lot in town and walked to and from church today and after lunch at a local cafe (out on their deck) we decided to spend some time beside our pond. The fish seemed to enjoy our being out there as they swam around near the surface of the pond biting at the bubbles that were floating around on top from the waterfall. There are several plants blooming right now so the camera came out and I photographed one of the floating water hyacinths and caught a few of the fish near the top. If you look carefully at the photo with the fish, you can see at least one small orange one — this year’s crop of baby fish. He seems to be a daredevil, spending most of his time right in front of the skimmer that contains the pump. The water is moving pretty good there and I am concerned he will be sucked in — but he is not afraid. How do I come up with these fish names?—- well this guy has just been named “Evel Knievel” but we’ll probably just call him “EK” for short.

Water hyacinthFish with this year\'s crop