Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Little Portative Pipe Music, Please

A friend posted this on Facebook the other day and I was very impressed, Certainly I've never heard anything like it before. So I'm sharing it here with you.

Apparently no one knows for sure where the portative organ began. The air is supplied by a bellows at the rear of the instrument which the musician squeezes. Organs of various kinds were known in the Roman empire and spread across Europe during the medieval era, although the adoption of the pipe organ as a chuch instrument was comparatively recent. This music is by the 14th century Italian composer, Gheradello da Firenze:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dogs At Work (Again)

I've had some Saturdays off work due to the holidays, so the dogs have missed several Saturday opportunities to come to work and socialize. But here's some photos from our most recent "dog day at work," beginning with Wally:

After enthusiastically greeting the first few customers, the dogs grow bored with it all and begin napping. Little Clover certainly knows where to find a soft, warm place to get comfy:

Everyone is happy, relaxed and comfortable:

And Wally, who is losing his eyesight, takes his cues from the other dogs. If one of them barks, he barks. If they run forward to get petted, he follows their example and runs forward also:

This "dog pile" position is a customer favorite, and many folks run back out to their vehicle to get a camera or to bring in their wife and kids to see the display:

Daphne hasn't mastered the art of climbing atop Seamus like Clover does, but she certainly knows how to rest her weary head on Fergus' back. She just hasn't figured out how to lie down at the same time:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Snugly And Warm On A Cold Winter's Night

I snatched up my camera the other evening to capture a homey and memorable sight, most (or many) of my pets all safe and warm and comfy. How many can you count? There's five dogs around the chair, a cat to the left and a (black) cat next to the round blue bins:

Actually, all six dogs were in the above picture. Here they are again from another angle, showing that little Clover was positioned behind the chair. The taped up chair, by the way, is to keep Wally from again trying to exit through the slats in the back. The last time he tried that he got stuck. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't been home:

Shy Snoozey likes to keep to the floor and out of harm's way. But he also likes to feel like he's part of the family:

Rocky's favorite haunt is near the food:

Draco goes everywhere, but he's partial to perches near the ceiling:

Georgette stays alone at the top of the stairs most of the time but comes down occasionally to lounge in the little plaid doggy bed which came with one of my former foster dogs:

And Bramble is like a wisp of smoke, here one second and somewhere else the next. But he stationed himself up where he could watch to see what I was up to. We were all safe, warm and comfortable on a cold winter's night:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Albany In The Distance

It was a fine December day with very little snow on the ground and I was driving to Wal-Mart to do my weekly shopping. But when I saw the Albany skyline deep down in the Hudson River Valley below, I just had to stop and snap a few photos:

I cropped this photo so that you could see some detail. That boxy building on the left is the State Museum and towers are the Empire State Plaza, of which The Egg is a part. To the far right is a black tower and there's a white spot just to the right of it. That's Nipper, the RCA dog:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winter Beauty

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago in mid-December. Our roses had kept blooming due to our warm start to winter. But after an overnight snowfall, I found them still red and pink beneath their coating of wintry white:

These lovely buds were only inches from the ground after their branches were bowed down with the weight of the snow and ice:

But the hardy leaves were still growing and still green:

Rose hips generally persist right through even the coldest of winters, at least if they don't get eaten:

And they sure are pretty:

A few individual flowers just sort of fell apart. Some drooped, and some revived as soon as the snow melted. This has, as of this writing, sure been a mild winter:

My little potted mini-roses also stood right up to the snow and ice. They appear to be every bit as hardy as I'd hoped. I like to think I can move them up to the farm some day when I retire:

And that evening, just a block or so from my house, I caught the sun setting over Albany's skyline across the Hudson River:

It was a lovely and serene landscape, quite different than the wintry beauty one might usually find in mid-December. This world is filled with wonder and glory. We only need to be mindful to see it:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas. Here's Some Gifts!

I've taken you on a couple of tours of the Adirondack themed stores I explored but haven't showed you what I purchased. Now that Christmas gifts have been opened and there's no surprises left to keep secret, I'll show you what I found at those stores. For starters, I bought two quilted throws. This first one was called Bear Lake:

And a close-up of the bears of Bear Lake:

And the second quilted throw was called Bear Night. This is the top section (I couldn't get it all in one photo):

And the bottom section:

Adirondack stocking stuffers - a leather canoe key chain, a loon basket, a tiny frog and a tiny turtle:

A string of railroad lantern lights for that old time woodsy feeling any time, anywhere:

A hand crafted tic-tac-toe board, made entirely of birch wood and birch bark, an amusement for quiet evenings around a campfire:

A plush black bear:

Balsam incense in a tiny log cabin:

A birch bark picture frame crafed by a couple of guys who run an Adirondack store in Keene:

And ear muffs made of badger fur. Well, the tag claimed it was badger although now that I'm taking a closer look, it doesn't look like it, does it?:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Stop Keene Cemetery And Homeward

We were travelling though the Adirondacks after a weekend at the farm and I was still have trouble finding places to stop to let the dogs out. Although the roads were plowed and dry, none of the pull-offs had been cleaned and I was beginning to despair of finding anyplace for a doggy rest stop. But the Keene Cemetery had been plowed on our way north, so I turned in there once again and found it a perfect spot:

The snow was not as deep as at our last stop here, but it still was enough to keep the little and old dogs on the pavement:

The dogs got to run and to pee. I know that some dogs go for long periods without rest breaks, but I can't do it myself so I don't expect my dogs to either. Just for the record, I don't let them poop in the cemetery. I usually take them out back into the woods. We couldn't get there on this day, but no dog pooped. If they would have, I'd have cleaned it up:

And who could ask for better scenery?

But we had many miles to go before we arrived home, so I called them all back to the car:

And we continued on our way. This is the intersection of Routes 9N and 73, one of the most scenic spots in the high peaks region:

And from there we drove the rest of the way through the Keene Valley:

And up into the mountain passes by Giant Mountain and Chapel Pond:

I often loose my radio reception in this area because of the surrounding mountains:

And one last photo before we hit the Northway and began the high speed, monotonous leg of our journey home:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Route 73 Through The Adirondack High Peaks

I left The Raybrook Frog (see yesterday's post), passing beneath lovely old pines and past a chainsaw statue of a pioneer. The Tail O' The Pup BBQ was directly across the road with its giant red lobster. The dogs and I were on our way home:

There are cabins for rent along the road with mountain views and lake access. They're busy in the summer, but this was wintertime so I turned in to take a closer look:

And everywhere the Adirondacks framed the view:

These cabins were cute and looked inviting, but a winter pass-by is all I'll get to see of them:

And then we continued on along Route 86 to the town of Lake Placid and south on Route 73 through the high peaks region:

The turnoff for Adirondack Loj Road has always provided marvelous views as long as the peaks are not covered by clouds:

I hiked many of those peaks in my younger days and gazing at them now stirs up good memories:

But as always, I had a long drive ahead of me and had to continue on toward home. I'll post more tomorrow: