31 December 2010

Birdhouse in the bushes

On a morning walk on Christmas day, Sully and I stepped out our front gate to complete silence.  Until then, I hadn't noticed that there's a pretty consistent hum of cars, trucks, and people in our neighborhood.  I stood and took it all in while Sully had her morning pee.

We headed across the street and I spotted a birdhouse hanging in the bushes.  I didn't get a chance to get a closeup look until today. 

Our apartment is in the orange house on the left side of the frame
A flock of sparrows or starlings, depending on the time of year, can often be spotted flying around and through the bushes.   Now they'll have a cozy place to rest during the cold winter months, thanks to one of the bird lovers in town.

22 December 2010

Icy brook

If I take the way to work that takes me past Brook's Bend's sheep, I drive right along the Connecticut River further down the road.  There are lots of scenic New England-y vistas, but this has been my favorite this week.  It's a brook that runs alongside the river if water levels are high enough - otherwise it's dry. 

The river's water level must have risen, the brook froze, then the water level fell again.  This has created something like those sidewalk puddles that freeze over then are stomped on by passersby, but on a bigger scale.

Every time I drive by, I want to stop the car and stomp around on the ice...

16 December 2010

2nd Street Baking Co.

2nd Street, TFMA

I try to make breakfast and tea at home to save money, but every once in a while I find myself without anything on hand.  When this happens, I often go to Turners Falls' trusty baking company (it's the first building in the photo with lots o' Christmas decorations).  In the two plus years that we've lived in town, the bakery has gone from a one-room cafe with a couple of cases of baked goods to a two-room cafe and lunch place with countless (I could count them, I guess) cases of baked goodies.

My most-visited cases are the savory croissant case (the morning pictured here I got a spinach and goat cheese croissant) and the breakfast pastry/muffin case.  My most memorable muffin purchase was a tasty peanut butter and banana concoction.  My most-often-purchased is probably the almond croissant.

The bakery was recently caught up in the whole Cooks Source debacle.  They hastily revoked their sponsorship of the local magazine, which was caught plagiarizing all kinds of articles and recipes, thus gaining 300 Facebook friends in 3 days.  Which is a lot for a bakery in a small town like ours.  All these new friends wanted to send them money for being so great with the whole thing, but they suggested instead that donations be made to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.  They also have different donation jars from week-to-week in lieu of tip jars.  Good people and good food.

12 December 2010

rainy December day

As of last night we had a dusting of snow in some spots.  As of this morning, we have a thin layer of ice on the ground.  And it's raining...

Michael, Sully, and I are bumming around the apartment, listening to records - a little Emmylou Harris earlier.  Jason Molina's Pyramid Electric Co. right now, which fits this rainy day just right.

10 December 2010

little flakes of snow

It either started snowing right when I left work today, or I just hadn't noticed that it had started while I was working.  It's a pretty light snow with tiny flakes which are starting to cover the ground just a little bit.  Sully's face was shiny with melted flakes when we came back from our after-work walk, on which we met a pug in a sweater who "barked" a little like this when Sully started being a jerk to him/her...