Archive for August, 2018

Autumn is on the Way!

Shumard oak acorns, Quercus shumardii

How do I know this? My computer is an upstairs room with a skylight for a window and just now the ping of falling acorns is catching my attention. Some years there are more than other years, but I think this year will be heavy….

And goldenrod is budding. And there are lots of butterflies in my yard, though mostly the white cabbage ones. But I see Monarchs (not as many as I would like, but more than one) and both Swallowtails and Tiger Swallowtails.

And it’s all making me smile inside.

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September was when my generation began school, sometime after Labor Day. Usually the Tuesday after Labor Day. But those days are long past. Last Tuesday was the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year for my grandchildren and yesterday three of them with DD Em came for dinner and were quite enthusiastic about their new teachers.

Stephen was with them because Alice and Mike and again won a lottery for two $10.00 tickets for Hamilton. Alice and Nathan went to one performance earlier and full price was paid for their somewhat distant seats. Yes, $100.00 each for the very top of the balcony…But they loved it all, every minute of it. And actually since then, with Mike and Alice each entering the lottery every day, they have won three times. However, and sad to say, Mike did not notice his win until the day after. But Alice’s first win were box seats and her second win gave them first row seats where they also had a good view of the orchestra. These tickets cannot be given to anyone else because of the danger that someone would sell them for a high price. Otherwise, Alice might have given them to her sister. But they are very grateful and happy for the times they have been able to see this  phenomenal theatrical event.

Well, that was a digression, wasn’t it. Sorry!

To end the summer on a high note, Alice, Emily and their four children, along with many cousins and their children (eight cousins including my daughters and fifteen “kids” though one is twenty now) drove to Algonquin Provincial Park and camped on an island on Lake Opeongo, a traditional place for our family and thousands of others, I’m sure. They kayaked and canoed a lot and fished and ate fish every day! Cousin Frank asked Alice if he had her permission to teach Stephen how to use an ax and he and Marton, a first cousin once removed, spent a few hours giving a lesson with lots of safety rules for using an ax.. In the end, Stephen was able to chop trees down safely. All these older cousins and most young ones are in Hungarian Scouting. Stephen got a  real ax of his own for a souvenir and when home again talked his mom into letting him chop down a medium sized tree way in the back of their yard.


Alice aug 2018 alg 2

alice aug 2018 alg 7

The photo above is at Stephen’s home, out beside their little barn.

Alice aug 2018 alg 3

alice aug 2018 alg 5

alice aug 2018 alg 6

No wonder our family loves this place so much!








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A Whirlwind Trip

Chautauqua cottage may 2018


Last Friday at six o’clock in the evening, Emily and I left for the cottage in upstate New York.  And by four o’clock the next afternoon we were back home in Ohio. It was a crazily short journey! We went for the annual meeting of the Point Chautauqua Historical Preservation Society. We are supposed to sponsor an educational event every year and it takes place at this annual meeting. Twan Leenders, the director of the Roger Tory Peterson Natural History Institute in Jamestown, NY, was the speaker and the program was quite enlightening.

You can read some of his articles here:  https://rtpi.org/author/admin/.

He spoke about “What’s in Your Backyard”.  More than I was aware of, to be sure, even though I’ve always been interested in nature. I grew up in an era when our teachers often took us on nature walks. My grade school was on several acres and there were many things to see. But Jamestown is an IBA, or Important Bird Area, which I had not known. A number of birds breed in this area, species which are on the decline such as Chimney Swifts.

Roger Tory Peterson was the man who initiated the idea of field guides, beginning with the one for birds which came out in the depths of the depression, in 1934, and has never been out of print since. You can read about him here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Tory_Peterson

The Institute in Jamestown (his birthplace) is well worth visiting. It has been many years since we were there and I think it’s about time for another visit.

Emily and I both enjoyed the talk but she had to return to Ohio because she was leaving for New Orleans on Sunday for the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting.

ESA 2018 new orleans

And today I’m getting ready to have my two granddaughters for dinner. Life is good.




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