This past weekend was rather dreary around here but we had one impressive sunset that almost made up for all the cold and wet.

As a point of fact, Jan and I are crazy about sunsets. We have taken hundreds of sunset pictures from Germany to New Zealand and plenty in between. If I’d shot all of them with my newest camera then I’d consider doing a picture book of sunset shots. Anyway, here is the one from this weekend.


Note: I’ve reduced the amount of JPEG compression on this shot. Hope it has fewer artifacts and is still okay for those without highspeed connections.

New Camera

After coveting the Nikon D80 digital SLR since it was announced I finally took the plunge. Actually it was as much Jan’s decision as mine. I got the ‘kit’ with an 18-135mm zoom lens. It seems to be great for both wide angle and telephoto and focuses as close as 18 inches at all zoom levels. No image stabilization on this lens but the higher ISO of the camera makes up for that somewhat.

I’ve only spent one day playing with it, reading the manual and taking some test/practice shots but I already am in love with it. The camera has so many options and modes and I have only just begun to explore all its features. Right now I’m sticking to the automatic mode but will try some of the other options as I get acquainted with them.

Here a a few shots to give you an idea of how it works.

Hot Tub

(This is old news but I thought it might interest some readers)
When we were avid skiers one of our apr├Ęs-ski delights was a soak in a hot tub. Soon after we moved into our current house we decided we would get one of our own. Where to put it turned out to be a minor problem. Finally we decided to turn an unused attic space into a room specifically for the hot tub.

First it was necessary to reinforce the floor below the room to carry the weight (approximately 1 ton) of water the tub would hold. Next we finished the room with sky light windows, a vent fan and water resistant floor, paneling and sheet rock.

The big problem was: How to get the tub into the room? As you can see from this picture, it’s pretty large. Bigger than the door to the room and even too large to carry up the stairs.

Hot Tub


Jan woke me up early this morning, telling me not to let the cat (Itty) go outside today. The reason; She had spotted two foxes in the yard a few minutes before. She was able to snap a hasty photo though the critters were moving rather quickly and the light was dim.


Signs of Winter

Less than four weeks into the Fall season and already the signs of Winter are showing. Our walnut trees have lost almost all of their leaves, along with a bumper crop of nuts. The maples are in various stages of color change and leaf loss. SnowThis morning I was greeted with an unwelcome (though expected) sight – a dusting of snow on the lawn. It won’t last. The ground is too warm, still it is an early notice of things to come.

But I’m not ready for winter! I haven’t cleaned the chimney, put away the hoses, shut down the pond, raked leaves, split firewood or any of the other tasks that need to be done before Winter really arrives. It’s so easy to put those things off when the calendar says it is two months before Winter arrives. No doubt next week it will warm up and we’ll have some more of those wonderful Fall days. I’ll probably go back into denial and procrastinate more.

At times I envy those who live in places where the change of seasons is not so pronounced. But when I visit the warmer places I realize how much I would miss the yearly pageant of change. I still enjoy all the seasons too much and I’m not yet ready to become a Snowbird and flee Winter.