Backyard

by ThomM 31 replies
I really need to invest in a good camera.
Here are a few pics of what was in my backyard at 12:15 today.
It's a small Buck with 6 in. long velvet antlers.
Also this is what most of New York State looks like.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e6780cf921
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomM
    Some older pics from a ride up to the largest state park in the lower 48. 6+ million acres of heaven in New York.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=0a98bd29f7
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    Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
    Getting old ain't for sissy's
    As you are I was, as I am you will be
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  • Profile picture of the author waterotter
    Thom,

    I'm getting "This content is currently unavailable" message when trying to view both links.

    Jody
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      I put in the wrong links, all fixed now (I hope).
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      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
      Getting old ain't for sissy's
      As you are I was, as I am you will be
      You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    Nice -

    I see your comments about a 'decent camera', Thom.

    I know = I see these huge ships pass by my window and whether it is zoom camera, digital camera or now an android phone camera - it makes everything too tiny and too far away to really show them.

    Yours are not too far away to see the beautiful forest though!
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Hi Thom,

    I didn't get any deer in my previous back yard but I did get plenty of these monsters!



    Unfortunately for me I have recently moved and now the closest thing I get to a turkey is a pigeon.

    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      Hi Thom,

      I didn't get any deer in my previous back yard but did get plenty of these monsters!



      Unfortunately for me I have recently moved and now the closet thing I get to a turkey is a pigeon.

      Cheers

      -don
      I get Turkeys out back on occasion. But they are mostly in the fields near me. Fox and Coyotes are common here also along with the occasional Moose and Black Bear.
      Just down the road from me a couple of Bobcats have been hanging out, though all I've ever seen of them are tracks and scats
      What many people who have never been to upstate NY don't get is how rural it is and how much wilderness there is.
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      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
      Getting old ain't for sissy's
      As you are I was, as I am you will be
      You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Looks nice there Thom. Like many I suppose, when I think of New York I think of people and buildings. Lots of people and buildings. The second set of pictures remind me of Pennsylvania.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
      Beautiful backyard Thom. I can see sitting out there smoking a fat one.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

        Beautiful backyard Thom. I can see sitting out there smoking a fat one.
        Thanks Tim. I've got some work to do out there, especially on that fence line where the deer is.
        It's impossible to tell with the growth, but there is a 50 ft. line of Concord Grapes there hiding. I usually keep it cleaned up and take care of the grapes, but it got ahead of me this year. With all the deer around I also have a problem with deer ticks so I try not to get to involved with brush removal in the summer, making it more of a winter job.
        To the left of those shots I have my red raspberry patch and two dwarf apple trees, to the right behind my garage I have my wildlife buffet or as it is known to most people my vegetable garden. I don't now or have never used any types of chemicals on the lawn so I'm able to harvest things like German Chamomile, Purslane, Puff Balls, and wild Oregano, from it. I've also got 4 Butternut trees on the property line, but I usually leave the nuts for the squirrels.
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        Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
        Getting old ain't for sissy's
        As you are I was, as I am you will be
        You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Nice backyard and nice visitor you had
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    • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
      There are a lot of deer and loads of other animals here, too. The fawns are so beautiful, but I've never had the camera with me at the same time any of them appear. Get your pics printed and blurbs in an album so you always have the memories.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        Speaking of Turkeys. I walked out my backdoor this evening and noticed a half dozen Turkey Vultures eyeballing me.
        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...3&l=5f13340987
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        Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
        Getting old ain't for sissy's
        As you are I was, as I am you will be
        You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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        • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

          Speaking of Turkeys. I walked out my backdoor this evening and noticed a half dozen Turkey Vultures eyeballing me.
          https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...3&l=5f13340987
          Be worried. Be very worried.



          I almost ran over a black bear cub crossing the road a couple of weeks back. Those turkeys we get a lot of as well. And we have a crab apple tree in the back that the deer love when the apples start falling. My golden retriever loves to chase the deer.

          I'm not in as rural an area as you are either.

          The joys of NY.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

    I really need to invest in a good camera.
    Here are a few pics of what was in my backyard at 12:15 today.
    It's a small Buck with 6 in. long velvet antlers.
    Also this is what most of New York State looks like.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e6780cf921
    Hey Thom,

    You think those birds were sending a message to you.

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

      Hey Thom,

      You think those birds were sending a message to you.

      Ken
      I wonder Ken. I see the vultures flying around a lot, but that is the first time I've seen a group of them setting it a tree like that.
      Yesterday was a strange day all around. I was out riding and got caught in a bad storm. Some areas near me had hail so bad it looked like winter. One road I was on was covered in mini lakes from the run off. Many of them had water that went above the floorboards of my motorcycle.
      One street in Troy that is a steep hill must of had holes in it's storm drain pipe. There where spots where water was shooting 15ft. in the air like a bunch of geysers.
      I saw the vultures right after I got home, put on dry clothes and was heading out for some food.
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      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
      Getting old ain't for sissy's
      As you are I was, as I am you will be
      You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Strange indeed! I think I would keep an eye on the turkey buzzards and lay off eating turkey for awhile. LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

      Strange indeed! I think I would keep an eye on the turkey buzzards and lay off eating turkey for awhile. LOL
      I have been eating a lot of turkey sandwiches lately Ken, you may be on to something.
      No sign of the vultures today.
      Signature

      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
      Getting old ain't for sissy's
      As you are I was, as I am you will be
      You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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      • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
        Banned
        One of the absolute joys of my life is getting to spend upwards of 5 or 6 hours a day out back, but this has been one on the strangest years since I moved here. The lack of wildlife has been at the lowest level ever. Starting this spring there were hardly any peepers. We had lightening bugs for no more than 3 nights. I have seen one hummingbird all year, when 10 a day is not uncommon. One eagle sighting. few hawks, no orioles, no cardinals, no jays, no buzzards, one box turtle, zero snapping turtles, one lone bull frog, no woodpeckers, one snake, zero skunks, possums, racoons, otters, hardly any dragonflies, hardly any squirrels, and hardly any insects at all, no horse flies, house flies, mosquitoes, wasps, hornets, hummingbird moths, spiders - it's actually scary. I guess it must have something to do with the very cool weather, at some level. I have only had to run the air conditioner a total of 5 days so far this summer and I have not been in the lake one single time. Even the young kids are complaining how cold the water is and they never complain. Usually by now the lake is as warm as a bath tub and you have to swim out 20 or 30 feet to cool off. The worst summer since I moved here, 18 tears, ago.

        I don't take many pics out back these days and I still have not un-boxed that new camera I bought a few months ago.

        Here is shot of one of the more interesting visitors to the property.

        Cheers. - Frank

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        • Profile picture of the author ThomM
          Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

          One of the absolute joys of my life is getting to spend upwards of 5 or 6 hours a day out back, but this has been one on the strangest years since I moved here. The lack of wildlife has been at the lowest level ever. Starting this spring there were hardly any peepers. We had lightening bugs for no more than 3 nights. I have seen one hummingbird all year, when 10 a day is not uncommon. One eagle sighting. few hawks, no orioles, no cardinals, no jays, no buzzards, one box turtle, zero snapping turtles, one lone bull frog, no woodpeckers, one snake, zero skunks, possums, racoons, otters, hardly any dragonflies, hardly any squirrels, and hardly any insects at all, no horse flies, house flies, mosquitoes, wasps, hornets, hummingbird moths, spiders - it's actually scary. I guess it must have something to do with the very cool weather, at some level. I have only had to run the air conditioner a total of 5 days so far this summer and I have not been in the lake one single time. Even the young kids are complaining how cold the water is and they never complain. Usually by now the lake is as warm as a bath tub and you have to swim out 20 or 30 feet to cool off. The worst summer since I moved here, 18 tears, ago.

          I don't take many pics out back these days and I still have not un-boxed that new camera I bought a few months ago.

          Here is shot of one of the more interesting visitors to the property.

          Cheers. - Frank

          That is strange Frank.
          Here it's been the opposite.
          I live in the house I grew up in. Since I was old enough to walk I've spent time out in the woods and fields.
          As much as I don't like the politics here I will say New York as always been very pro-active in protect it's wilderness and wildlife.
          When I was a kid you rarely seen many deer, never any Turkey Vultures and our Turkey population was almost gone.
          Now 50 some years later the wildlife population has exploded.
          I use to be into hunting, trapping and trout fishing. The real thrill for me wasn't in killing animals (I never shot a deer I always let them walk by) but was in seeing all the wildlife and just being out in nature. When I was trapping there where a few times I got so close to deer that I could touch them. I've sat in tree stands and had Owls land in the tree a couple branches away.
          Fishing was always a thrill, I practiced catch and release using barbless hooks and always worms. I figured I was feeding the fish more then anything else.
          Every time I'd come home from fishing I'd tell my wife about the Mink I had seen catching fish or the wild Columbine growing by the creeks or the eagles catching fish. She would ask me if I caught anything and I would have to think about it before I answered.
          I've got around a thousand pictures somewhere in a box of all sorts of wildlife and fauna that I took during that time.
          Just around here where I live there are mink, gray fox, red fox, eagles, owls, deer, the occasional moose, black bear, bobcats, coyotes, and just about any other animal you can think of that lives in the northeast. Keep in mind I live withing 10 miles of the state capital
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          Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
          Getting old ain't for sissy's
          As you are I was, as I am you will be
          You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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          • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
            Banned
            Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

            That is strange Frank.
            Quite - and I'm not much of an alarmist, but at a deep, personal level and I both mystified and scared.
            Here it's been the opposite.
            I live in the house I grew up in. Since I was old enough to walk I've spent time out in the woods and fields.
            As much as I don't like the politics here I will say New York as always been very pro-active in protect it's wilderness and wildlife.
            When I was a kid you rarely seen many deer, never any Turkey Vultures and our Turkey population was almost gone.
            I forgot to mention the turkeys. I am in an extremely rural area of NJ. Probably 90% of the area is farms and woods with a few residential areas. Of course Vineland, I believe, by land mass is the largest city in NJ, but it, too is mainly rural. As you drive through these areas you would see hundreds of turkeys. The only ones that I see now are road kill. Also, I failed to mention that there has been a single duck on the lake. Every year I would see a couple of adults with 10 or 12 babies trailing behind, but this year, not a single adult. As I think back I do remember seeing some adults last year, but no chicks (if that's what you call a baby duck). I live on the edge of the Pine Barrens and 3 miles from a spot where thousands of people congregate each year to witness massive clouds of migratory birds that flock to the water's edge to eat and drink. As I said, my yard is devoid of any birds. The Cardinals that have resided in my evergreens year after year are no where to be found. I put out high-quality songbird food and it becomes nothing more than a smorgasbord for the squirrels. I'm sorry, but this extremely noticeable reduction in every group of formerly ever present wildlife must be significant. I think that I am going to take a few days and do some research by contacting people at US Fish and Wildlife and some of the colleges with disciplines in this area and see if I am on to something or simply delusional. I believe a case can be made for both, but I loathe mystery, especially when it is so easy, by applying a little effort to gather facts.
            Now 50 some years later the wildlife population has exploded.
            I use to be into hunting, trapping and trout fishing. The real thrill for me wasn't in killing animals (I never shot a deer I always let them walk by) but was in seeing all the wildlife and just being out in nature.
            Yes - all of my friends were hunters and I would accompany them armed only with a Nikon FTn. Fortunately they were crappy hunters so I never witnessed any gore. I will confess to trapping muskrats in our local small creeks, but that was at a very early age, probably fro 9 to 12 years, and that was the end of my phase of killing animals.
            When I was trapping there where a few times I got so close to deer that I could touch them. I've sat in tree stands and had Owls land in the tree a couple branches away. Fishing was always a thrill, I practiced catch and release using barbless hooks and always worms. I figured I was feeding the fish more then anything else.
            Every time I'd come home from fishing I'd tell my wife about the Mink I had seen catching fish or the wild Columbine growing by the creeks or the eagles catching fish. She would ask me if I caught anything and I would have to think about it before I answered.
            No matter how long I live I will never get fishing. I have lived in a lake for almost 20 years and have never so much as put a line in the water. Lived in Key West for 2 years - never put a line in the water. Those were my SCUBA diving days and I will confess to catching hundreds of langouste and having a brief period where I enjoyed spearfishing for grouper, but that, too passed quickly. At the same time that I was trappinf muskrats I was enthralled by tying my own fly-fishing lures, which I gave to friends and never personally used. Can't explain it - can only relate it. To say I was an odd child is a true understatement. In those days my passions were fancy guppies and philately.
            I've got around a thousand pictures somewhere in a box of all sorts of wildlife and fauna that I took during that time. Just around here where I live there are mink, gray fox, red fox, eagles, owls, deer, the occasional moose, black bear, bobcats, coyotes, and just about any other animal you can think of that lives in the northeast. Keep in mind I live withing 10 miles of the state capital
            I believe we have everything on that list except moose, but I prefer to keep my ex-wife out of the conversation.

            I really am going to make some calls and delve into this mystery.

            I did solve one major mystery that has had me perplexed over the past week or so. I have spent the past few months nurturing a nice mix of tomato plants including some heirlooms. I have just started being able to get a half-dozen or so each day for my salads. Now I notice that just as they are starting to be perfect for picking, that they are disappearing. In the past it would be the squirrels wrecking havoc, but they would generally leave the fruit on the vine and just eat enough to destroy it and move on to repeat the process. The fisherman that tool by in their bass boats would never pilfer off anyone's dock, but I would not put it past the juvenile deliquent teens that love to cause a little trouble stemming from their boredom.

            So, yesterday, my sister who I have not seen in a few months comes over for a visit. The temps were moderate and the skies cloudy so rather than sit in the house we head out to the dock without worry of baking in the midday sunshine. After a couple hours of shooting the breeze while the dog had free roam of the yard, my sister mentions that she had never seen a dog eat tomatoes, before. WHAT??? Oh, yeah. Honey was tearing through those plants like there was no tomorrow in sight. Almost every fruit that was to be picked that day or the next was gone. I was incredulous - and quite pissed!

            Now, this is a dog that loves canteloupe, honeydew, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, watermelon, peaches, especially frozen and probably every fruit she has yet to try, but I think that scarfing down tomatoes is a bit much. I think I have the world's first fruitarian Pit Bull. So now I have to build a gate blocking access to the dock when I am not outside with her lest I go tomato free for the next couple of months and she gains 10 pounds.

            At least the mystery has been solved. I'll be happy when my girl is no longer a puppy. BTW - she begins her formal training to become a service dog on the 5th of next month. My goal is to be able to take her into our local veteran's home in Vineland and to some of the children's hospitals in Philly. She is a vey loving creature and I know that she will bring as much joy and love to others as she has to me. There's plenty there to go around. Her completion time should coincide with my formal retirement so I am going to need to fill all that time in some meaningful way lest I go stir-crazy. I think this should work out nicely.

            Sorry for taking so long to get back to your post. I needed a few days of total solitude for an attitude check. It's still feisty, so I'm fine. lol

            Cheers. - Frank

            P.S. Oh, almost forgot the saddest part of this wildlife observation. The Blue Heron that has lived here for as long as I have and could be counted on to visit my dock in the early AM at least once or twice a week has not been seen at all. I did see it a few times in the early spring, but not once since. I have always considered her visits to my yard as a good omen, even though I am not very superstitious. Nothing has me more worried than the apparent disappearance of this majestic creature that has been a part of my life sine moving into this house. I do believe that experiencing this noticeable reduction in wildlife is taking its toll on my psyche. It's a very sad occurrence.

            Now - it was 57 degrees last night when it should have been at least 77. :-(
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            • Profile picture of the author ThomM
              To outsiders I think NJ has the same image as NY. People think of places like Wildwood as being what all of NJ is like. I've been through the rural areas before and it is a very beautiful state.
              I wasn't much of a hunter myself, though I was into coon hunting for a couple of years and really did enjoy that. But the reason I stopped hunting and trapping was because of the killing part. That's why I got rid of all my guns also. All I kill now are certain insects. But because of growing up on farms and my love of a good steak and bacon, cows and pigs tend to get nervous around me
              I did my share of rat trapping, but the real thrill was fox trapping. With all the trapping I did it was very important to me to not deplete the population by very much.
              If I came across a pond with say 6 rats in it and I thought the pond could support more I would walk by and not set any traps. With fox it was more difficult, but because of that more fun. Going into a field and trying to figure out how many fox were using it and where they used it requires some skills. Then when setting the trap you are basically determining that a fox will set their foot down on a little two inch spot out of the whole field. Also I made sure that my fox traps were small enough to only grab them on the pad of their foot so it wouldn't cause them any pain till I got there. It was very common for me to find a fox sleeping with the trap on it's foot in the morning. But the real joy of trapping for me was just going out and walking through the woods and fields at sunrise everyday from the middle of October to the middle of February. A good day trapping for me rarely had anything to do with actually trapping.
              Trout fishing I looked at a lot like fox trapping. A couple of the creeks I fished had only native trout. You really have to sneak up on them to have any chance of catching them. Because of that it afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife in their natural setting doing what they do when people aren't around. I never would of been able to see Mink going into a stream and catching fish if not for trout fishing.
              By doing all those things I became very comfortable in the wilderness. Add in the primitive camping I use to do in my much younger days and I know I have the knowledge and skills to survive in the wilderness if need be. I also have a very deep respect for nature and understand how important it is.

              That's funny that your dog is into tomatoes. I wonder if the first time he grabbed one he thought it was a ball, then when he tried to take it found out it was a tasty ball.
              So far this summer the temps here have been much lower then last year. But then last year the temps were much higher then normal so I guess it all evens out.

              By the way I spent some time living in Fl. myself. I was on the Gulf coast in Tampa and spent a lot of time catching Blue Crab. Those I ate The keys to me are one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen and Key West is simply an incredible place. I quit drinking years ago, but when I'm in Key West it's a whole different story. One of my dreams is to get a small boat and try to visit and explore as many of the 500+ keys as I can.

              I've been thinking lately that I want another decent camera. I'm thinking a go-pro would be good as I could use it on my motorcycle rides, to record my drumming and to take pics out in the wild. I'm still looking into it all, but I do know the camera in my phone isn't cutting it anymore.
              Signature

              Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
              Getting old ain't for sissy's
              As you are I was, as I am you will be
              You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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              • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
                Banned
                Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                To outsiders I think NJ has the same image as NY.
                Well, I was born and raised in Philly. There - if you ever mention that you are contemplating moving to Jersey, you can rest assured that a close find will offer to just 'shoot you now and put you out of your impending misery.'
                People think of places like Wildwood as being what all of NJ is like.
                I spent most summers of my youth in Wildwood and even spent a few working on the boardwalk. Some of the best memories of my life and the place where I had my first 'true love.' I can still remember her name, address and phone number - 50 years, later. lol Those were some great days. It's precisely 30 minutes from my front door to the boardwalk and I still drive down a couple of times each summer.
                I've been through the rural areas before and it is a very beautiful state.
                It really is. Whenver I have to make the drive to the VA hospital in Wilmington, DE, I am always amazed at just how beautiful the area is.
                I wasn't much of a hunter myself, though I was into coon hunting for a couple of years and really did enjoy that. But the reason I stopped hunting and trapping was because of the killing part. That's why I got rid of all my guns also.
                No. There is no joy in killing anything.
                All I kill now are certain insects.
                I have even stopped killing insects for the most part. There is the annual ant invasion into the house that must be met head on or they will overrun the kitchen. They are devious little critters. Just one finds anything enjoyable and you will awaken in the morning to hoards of them try to cart off the cat. The only insects I enjoy killing now are mosquitos. When I lived in FL I relished doing battle with Palmetto bugs which are giant, flying cockroaches that will actually fly right toward your head. I'm convinced that these creatures were dropped off by alien visitors on the intergalactic travels as a joke.

                While were on the subject of insects I must add that there are no bees to be found. Granted, I did not plant many flowers this year but I have not seen a single bee in the few I have or any of the tomato flowers which are abundant. That is an unbelievable statement but I'm telling you that it is the absolute truth. I'm started to become obsessed with looking for insects. That said, I do know why there are no crickets. I have discovered that Honey has found them to be a real delicacy and she roots for them in the grass like a pig hunting for truffles. This dog is insane.
                But because of growing up on farms and my love of a good steak and bacon, cows and pigs tend to get nervous around me
                When I drive by a farm animals that I eat stampede in the other direction. I have recently started cutting my meat consumption by a good 75% and was hoping to go vegetarian for a few months but the siren song of bacon, and the sausage sandwich with peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, Buffalo mozarella, and Fra Diavolo sauce on fresh Ciabatta bread that I'm having for dinner are just to much to resist. I am a weak man and some things are genetically coded.
                I did my share of rat trapping, but the real thrill was fox trapping. With all the trapping I did it was very important to me to not deplete the population by very much.
                If I came across a pond with say 6 rats in it and I thought the pond could support more I would walk by and not set any traps. With fox it was more difficult, but because of that more fun. Going into a field and trying to figure out how many fox were using it and where they used it requires some skills. Then when setting the trap you are basically determining that a fox will set their foot down on a little two inch spot out of the whole field. Also I made sure that my fox traps were small enough to only grab them on the pad of their foot so it wouldn't cause them any pain till I got there. It was very common for me to find a fox sleeping with the trap on it's foot in the morning.
                Wow. I had no idea about that. When I started reading this section of you post I was appalled. lol
                But the real joy of trapping for me was just going out and walking through the woods and fields at sunrise everyday from the middle of October to the middle of February.
                The simple joys of life. You're correct - there is nothing better than a walk in the woods during those months. It's how I spent my youth.
                A good day trapping for me rarely had anything to do with actually trapping. Trout fishing I looked at a lot like fox trapping. A couple of the creeks I fished had only native trout. You really have to sneak up on them to have any chance of catching them. Because of that it afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife in their natural setting doing what they do when people aren't around. I never would of been able to see Mink going into a stream and catching fish if not for trout fishing.
                By doing all those things I became very comfortable in the wilderness. Add in the primitive camping I use to do in my much younger days and I know I have the knowledge and skills to survive in the wilderness if need be. I also have a very deep respect for nature and understand how important it is.
                BSA Troop 254. I earned every merit badge there was associated with the outdoors and spent my summers before Wildwood at Camp hart, a then famous Boy Scout camp, noted for wilderness and the ability to expose one to myriad types of wildlife, from the smallest to the largest. I was a salamander freak in those days. They were plentiful then. I doubt that there are very many to be found, now.
                That's funny that your dog is into tomatoes.I wonder if the first time he grabbed one he thought it was a ball, then when he tried to take it found out it was a tasty ball.
                I think the problem began when she saw me take a few cherry tomatoes off the vine and pop them in my mouth. We generally eat together and I think this was a cue for her that it was meal time. The mistake I made was turning my back on her. lol
                So far this summer the temps here have been much lower then last year. But then last year the temps were much higher then normal so I guess it all evens out.
                That's a whole other debate. All I know is that this is the coolest summer in 2 decades and I want to go swimming. I have not been in the water once and it is affecting my overall mood and general health. Lollygagging in the lake is very therapeutic, both physically and mentally.
                By the way I spent some time living in Fl. myself. I was on the Gulf coast in Tampa and spent a lot of time catching Blue Crab. Those I ate
                I lived in Tampa for a couple of years. My stint as a telemarketing manager doing membership development for Better Business Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce in 7 cities in FL put me there. I had some of my largest successes there as the Tampa office had a satellite office in Clearwater and the money just rolled in. Selling an 'intangible' product such as a BBB membership was some of the most interesting and challenging selling I have ever done. I still employ many of the techniques I learned there, to this very day.
                The keys to me are one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen and Key West is simply an incredible place. I quit drinking years ago, but when I'm in Key West it's a whole different story. One of my dreams is to get a small boat and try to visit and explore as many of the 500+ keys as I can.
                Well, I can tell you that for the most part, after the largest dozen or so, if You've seen one, you've seen them all. I guess that would be a fun journey, but you would be better served by just visiting the Dry Tortugas where you will find some of the best diving and fishing on the planet. Trust me, on this!
                I've been thinking lately that I want another decent camera. I'm thinking a go-pro would be good as I could use it on my motorcycle rides, to record my drumming and to take pics out in the wild. I'm still looking into it all, but I do know the camera in my phone isn't cutting it anymore.
                I finally took my new camera out of the box and got it set up. Not a bad piece of equipment. The image quality looks almost as good as my Canon 5D Mk II at about one-tenth the price. Also, the ability to upload the pics to my computer via Wifi is just a great thing. I'm going to try that, today.

                If you ride a bike a GoPro is the only way to go. The quality is superb and the prices are fairly reasonable. I'd check that out. When I recall my biking days riding through the New Hope, PA area and the trips to the Poconos I would have loved to have had the capability to easily capture those images. Fortunately, I have those images burned onto my brain forever and if I close my eyes and concentrate I can still here the silky roar of that 3-cylinder, 750cc Triumph Trident, in its day a superb British bike.

                Enjoy your day.

                Cheers. - Frank
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                • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  Well, I was born and raised in Philly. There - if you ever mention that you are contemplating moving to Jersey, you can rest assured that a close find will offer to just 'shoot you now and put you out of your impending misery.'
                  Don't need to tell you there's a lot of history in that city. Most New Yorker's feel the same way about NJ.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  I spent most summers of my youth in Wildwood and even spent a few working on the boardwalk. Some of the best memories of my life and the place where I had my first 'true love.' I can still remember her name, address and phone number - 50 years, later. lol Those were some great days. It's precisely 30 minutes from my front door to the boardwalk and I still drive down a couple of times each summer.
                  It really is. Whenver I have to make the drive to the VA hospital in Wilmington, DE, I am always amazed at just how beautiful the area is.
                  I've only been to Wildwood a couple of times. It was interesting, but not my cup of tea.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  No. There is no joy in killing anything.
                  I have even stopped killing insects for the most part. There is the annual ant invasion into the house that must be met head on or they will overrun the kitchen. They are devious little critters. Just one finds anything enjoyable and you will awaken in the morning to hoards of them try to cart off the cat. The only insects I enjoy killing now are mosquitos. When I lived in FL I relished doing battle with Palmetto bugs which are giant, flying cockroaches that will actually fly right toward your head. I'm convinced that these creatures were dropped off by alien visitors on the intergalactic travels as a joke.
                  No there isn't. Even if I had to kill for my food I wouldn't find any joy in the act.
                  I get the ant invasion here also.
                  I'm very selective on what insects I kill, to many of them are beneficial to us and the environment. Funny though I've never found a use for mosquitoes other then food for bats.
                  I declared all out war on Palmetto bugs (actually they are Florida Woods Cockroach) when I was living there.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  While were on the subject of insects I must add that there are no bees to be found. Granted, I did not plant many flowers this year but I have not seen a single bee in the few I have or any of the tomato flowers which are abundant. That is an unbelievable statement but I'm telling you that it is the absolute truth. I'm started to become obsessed with looking for insects. That said, I do know why there are no crickets. I have discovered that Honey has found them to be a real delicacy and she roots for them in the grass like a pig hunting for truffles. This dog is insane.
                  This spring I saw the first honey bees around here in a couple of years. They have been very scarce lately and that makes me very nervous. One problem is many of the plants sold at places like Walmarts and Home Depot are treated with neonicotinoids which can devastate a bee colony.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  When I drive by a farm animals that I eat stampede in the other direction. I have recently started cutting my meat consumption by a good 75% and was hoping to go vegetarian for a few months but the siren song of bacon, and the sausage sandwich with peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, Buffalo mozarella, and Fra Diavolo sauce on fresh Ciabatta bread that I'm having for dinner are just to much to resist. I am a weak man and some things are genetically coded.
                  I don't eat as much as I used to. Partly because I don't support factory farms so the meat I buy is local and a little more expensive. Though I do have a connection or two where I can get free range chicken and eggs free and also at times free goat milk and goat cheese. Last night I made an omelet with the free eggs and red onion, green pepper, and silver rose garlic from my garden. Meals that make you go ahhh I've said many times if not for bacon and rib eyes I would be a vegetarian, you can add fresh made sausage to that also
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  Wow. I had no idea about that. When I started reading this section of you post I was appalled. lol
                  Most people are appalled when I tell them I trapped. I can understand that, but I also understand that most people really don't know much about trapping except for what they have been told by the anti-trapping groups. I was taught how to trap by a man who worked for New York's environmental protection agency and who developed New York's trapper training and safety course. He focused on controlling target animal populations for disease control and to insure an adequate food supply. To that end he spent a lot of time teaching how to estimate populations and food supplies. He was also very big on being as humane as possible.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  The simple joys of life. You're correct - there is nothing better than a walk in the woods during those months. It's how I spent my youth.
                  The walk was always my greatest pleasure during those days. Like you I spent my youth out in the woods and fields around my home. I wouldn't trade my childhood or memories of it for anything.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  BSA Troop 254. I earned every merit badge there was associated with the outdoors and spent my summers before Wildwood at Camp hart, a then famous Boy Scout camp, noted for wilderness and the ability to expose one to myriad types of wildlife, from the smallest to the largest. I was a salamander freak in those days. They were plentiful then. I doubt that there are very many to be found, now.
                  I think my troop number was 146, When I left I was one merit badge away from Eagle Scout.
                  We had a brother team as scout master and assistant scout master. The scout master was a straight up pedophile who had molested more then one of the scouts. His brother on the other hand was an x Army Ranger. He was the one that would take us camping. Besides from bring us to the Boy Scout Camp Rotary during the summer, he would also take a select group there in the winter for learning winter wilderness survival and during the summer he would take the same group up in the Postenkill Mts. for summer wilderness survival. Another reason I'm so comfortable in the woods.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  I think the problem began when she saw me take a few cherry tomatoes off the vine and pop them in my mouth. We generally eat together and I think this was a cue for her that it was meal time. The mistake I made was turning my back on her. lol
                  The cat I have now will check out whatever I'm eating also. He may not eat it, but will still check it out.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  That's a whole other debate. All I know is that this is the coolest summer in 2 decades and I want to go swimming. I have not been in the water once and it is affecting my overall mood and general health. Lollygagging in the lake is very therapeutic, both physically and mentally.
                  Yes it is a whole other debate, that I have no desire to get into here. I'm not sure if this has been one of the coolest summers here in awhile, to be honest I don't even care. I'm just glad I don't have the heat on or have a need for A/C (which I never use anyways). Usually when it's real hot I'll just plop my butt in the creek. There are a ton of lakes around here but they tend to get crowded.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  I lived in Tampa for a couple of years. My stint as a telemarketing manager doing membership development for Better Business Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce in 7 cities in FL put me there. I had some of my largest successes there as the Tampa office had a satellite office in Clearwater and the money just rolled in. Selling an 'intangible' product such as a BBB membership was some of the most interesting and challenging selling I have ever done. I still employ many of the techniques I learned there, to this very day.
                  That's wild. I'm starting to think that almost everyone has lived in Tampa at one time or another. I liked the Clearwater beach, but my favorite was Dunedin Beach. At the time it wasn't well known and usually had every few people om it.
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  Well, I can tell you that for the most part, after the largest dozen or so, if You've seen one, you've seen them all. I guess that would be a fun journey, but you would be better served by just visiting the Dry Tortugas where you will find some of the best diving and fishing on the planet. Trust me, on this!
                  I finally took my new camera out of the box and got it set up. Not a bad piece of equipment. The image quality looks almost as good as my Canon 5D Mk II at about one-tenth the price. Also, the ability to upload the pics to my computer via Wifi is just a great thing. I'm going to try that, today.
                  Yep I have no illusions about all the Key's being unique that's for sure. Out of courisity what make of camera is your new one?
                  Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                  If you ride a bike a GoPro is the only way to go. The quality is superb and the prices are fairly reasonable. I'd check that out. When I recall my biking days riding through the New Hope, PA area and the trips to the Poconos I would have loved to have had the capability to easily capture those images. Fortunately, I have those images burned onto my brain forever and if I close my eyes and concentrate I can still here the silky roar of that 3-cylinder, 750cc Triumph Trident, in its day a superb British bike.

                  Enjoy your day.

                  Cheers. - Frank
                  Yes the Go Pro does seem to be the right choice. I'm still going to do more research (can't afford a new camera at the moment anyways).
                  Triumph is still a superb motorcycle. They have always been one of my favorite motorcycle brands. Never owned one, but always wanted one.

                  You enjoy your day also Frank.
                  I think it's kind of neat some of the things we have in common.
                  Signature

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                  Getting old ain't for sissy's
                  As you are I was, as I am you will be
                  You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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                  • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                    Don't need to tell you there's a lot of history in that city. Most New Yorker's feel the same way about NJ.
                    Yes - I spent over 10 years in Manhattan and it was no different than the things I heard while living in Philly except they were said in many different accents.
                    I've only been to Wildwood a couple of times. It was interesting, but not my cup of tea.
                    It's still mainly for teenagers, but I go to reminisce and get a boardwalk sausage, peppers and onion sandwich. Nowhere near as good as the ones I make, but sitting on a bench enjoying the sea air and the cacophony of the thousands of people streaming by add an element to the experience that you can't get at home.
                    No there isn't. Even if I had to kill for my food I wouldn't find any joy in the act.
                    Ditto.
                    I get the ant invasion here also.
                    An occurrence that is universal and as old as life itself
                    I'm very selective on what insects I kill, to many of them are beneficial to us and the environment. Funny though I've never found a use for mosquitoes other then food for bats.
                    Well, thanks for that. You just reminded me that I have not seen a single bat this summer. Nor have my dog or cat had a single flea on them and no treatment has been given to either.
                    I declared all out war on Palmetto bugs (actually they are Florida Woods Cockroach) when I was living there.
                    It's freakish how they will fly right toward your face. They scare the crap out of me. lol
                    This spring I saw the first honey bees around here in a couple of years. They have been very scarce lately and that makes me very nervous. One problem is many of the plants sold at places like Walmarts and Home Depot are treated with neonicotinoids which can devastate a bee colony.
                    I have started buying all my plants from a Mennonite farmers market. No pesticides used. They grow beautiful artisan tomatoes which I make a very colorful tomato salad out of. And they have Asian greens that I use instead of lettuce. Yummy. Now I'm hungry.
                    I don't eat as much as I used to. Partly because I don't support factory farms so the meat I buy is local and a little more expensive.
                    In addition to the Mennonite market we have 3 Amish markets in the area. Their meat is fantastic, but as you mentioned, quite pricey. The filet mignon was $16.79 a pound, last visit. YIKES!!! Since all the taste has been bred out of pork, it's the only place I buy pork chops. They taste like a pork chop should.
                    Though I do have a connection or two where I can get free range chicken and eggs free and also at times free goat milk and goat cheese.
                    Mmmmm. Goat cheese. I'm sitting on a cache. Think I'll put some in that tomato salad, tonight.
                    Last night I made an omelet with the free eggs and red onion, green pepper, and silver rose garlic from my garden.
                    I hope you had some home fries and a nice, thick slice of pan fried scrapple to go along with that. A little garlic toast would round that out, nicely. Do you see why I've had to lose over 100 pounds - twice???
                    Meals that make you go ahhh
                    They make me go - "ahhhl have seconds, please!
                    I've said many times if not for bacon and rib eyes I would be a vegetarian,
                    Bacon should be on our country's flag.
                    you can add fresh made sausage to that also
                    The Amish market has great broccoli rabe and garlic sausage and a unbelievable apple griller. Oh, God - please help me!
                    Most people are appalled when I tell them I trapped. I can understand that, but I also understand that most people really don't know much about trapping except for what they have been told by the anti-trapping groups. I was taught how to trap by a man who worked for New York's environmental protection agency and who developed New York's trapper training and safety course. He focused on controlling target animal populations for disease control and to insure an adequate food supply. To that end he spent a lot of time teaching how to estimate populations and food supplies. He was also very big on being as humane as possible.
                    Very, cool! What an opportunity and experience that must have been. You don't get opportunities like that very often.
                    The walk was always my greatest pleasure during those days. Like you I spent my youth out in the woods and fields around my home. I wouldn't trade my childhood or memories of it for anything.
                    It's funny. Although I suffer from profound memory loss, those images are mast of the few that remain from that time in my life. That's probably due to some survival mechanism in our psyche that allows us to shed the bad memories and retain the good - at least for me - luckily. I still get a heart-stopping rush when I recall what it felt like when you would step on a dead, dry stalk of corn while walking through the field and a pheasant would explode in flight from just under your foot. The pounding of their wings and the screech they would let out is a true, magical memory that is very hard to top.
                    I think my troop number was 146, When I left I was one merit badge away from Eagle Scout.
                    Far from my meager effort. Kudos!
                    We had a brother team as scout master and assistant scout master. The scout master was a straight up pedophile who had molested more then one of the scouts. His brother on the other hand was an x Army Ranger. He was the one that would take us camping. Besides from bring us to the Boy Scout Camp Rotary during the summer, he would also take a select group there in the winter for learning winter wilderness survival and during the summer he would take the same group up in the Postenkill Mts. for summer wilderness survival. Another reason I'm so comfortable in the woods.
                    My Uncle was our scout master and they were organized through the church. I honestly never seen nor heard of any hanky-panky - fortunately. Additionally, my uncle was the person that brought me a fry-laden female guppy in a Hellman's mayonnaise jar and set my life on a journey that was informative, wondrous and lucrative. It's amazing how a simple gesture like that can be so meaningful. That's one reason why we have always set-up aquariums in the local schools in the area for the teachers to help teach a wide range of subjects. The thank you cards that the kids send are priceless. I always wonder if staring into those tanks will help shape a child's way of looking at life and what direction they might dream that theirs would go in. You just never know how the things we do might impact someone else.
                    The cat I have now will check out whatever I'm eating also. He may not eat it, but will still check it out.
                    My cat is around 14 years old and looks at food as pure survival. I think if she had her way, she'd stop eating.
                    Yes it is a whole other debate, that I have no desire to get into here.
                    I'm pretty much finished debating it, for life. I'm tired.
                    I'm not sure if this has been one of the coolest summers here in awhile, to be honest I don't even care. I'm just glad I don't have the heat on or have a need for A/C (which I never use anyways). Usually when it's real hot I'll just plop my butt in the creek. There are a ton of lakes around here but they tend to get crowded.
                    Still at 5 days on the A/C and this coming week looks like another winter. I wonder if I'm going to make it into the lake at all. I bought a life vest for the dog so I can determine if she has any interest in the water or not.
                    That's wild. I'm starting to think that almost everyone has lived in Tampa at one time or another. I liked the Clearwater beach, but my favorite was Dunedin Beach. At the time it wasn't well known and usually had every few people om it.
                    Heard of it, but in those days I was working my butt off making money. That was all I thought about. lol
                    Yep I have no illusions about all the Key's being unique that's for sure. Out of courisity what make of camera is your new one?
                    It's a Fuji FinePix S9450W. I got it at HSN, but it's sold out. I have a high-end Canon, but I hate taking outside, especially on the dock. I like to keep my gear in mint condition. I bought the Fuji mainly to shoot birds. It has a 50x optical zoom and a 100X digital - which is basically wortless without a tripod or other support, I don't care how good the image stabilization mode is - that's just extreme.

                    Fujifilm S9450W 16MP Wi-Fi 50X Optical Zoom SLR-Style Camera Bundle with HD Vid at HSN.com

                    Yes the Go Pro does seem to be the right choice. I'm still going to do more research (can't afford a new camera at the moment anyways).
                    It will be Christmas before you know it. Time to start dropping hints.
                    Triumph is still a superb motorcycle. They have always been one of my favorite motorcycle brands. Never owned one, but always wanted one.
                    The only brand of bike that I have ever rode where I experienced Vulcan mind meld between me and the bike. You don't actually 'drive' a Triumph - you simply think it. (Insert your oil leaking jokes, here). Excluding the normal family stuff, I have no happier memories in life than the years I spent being totally immersed in the world of motorcycles and following the AMA road-racing circuit and covering the events for Motor Cycle Weekly. I actually got paid for that and I would have paid them for the opportunity.
                    You enjoy your day also Frank.
                    Well, I hate to end this on a sour note, but I must relate this to you. I feel as if I am in one of those episodes of the Twilight Zone where the guy wakes up and he's the only person left on the planet. I have been out back at least a half dozen times, today for periods of an hour or more. When I go out at 5 AM on a cloudy day I don't expect much activity, but there is nothing alive out there but me and the dog. Not a bird in the sky or alighting anywhere that I can see. The occasional cricket that the dog devours. There isn't so much as a breeze. I'm a few miles from on of the busiest local airports on the east coast. I've seen one plane that looked like it was surveying the area after a natural disaster or an crash site of a UFO. There has not been a fisherman on the lake, a child on any dock a big brown trout coming to the surface and rolling like a sperm whale. Nothing. Not so much as a ripple on the lake. If I hadn't gotten an email from my sister I would think there was a disaster and I'm the only person that survived. I know it sounds crazy, but I have lived here for almost 20 years and have never experienced anything like this. It is beyond spooky. To someone with PTSD - it's freakin' terrifying! There is nothing moving out there. I can't even find any ants. ANTS!!! I'm really starting to go off the deep end, here. OK - I don't see much of my neighbors, but I at least usually will hear some activity in their yards. NOTHING!!!

                    Please send help. I'm alive. Do you hear me? I'm alive and I want to be rescued. Wait a minute. On second thought, except for the lack of nature, this might not be so bad. No people. Hmmm. Let me think about this for a while before you send anyone in to get me. I'll get back to you, on this. lol

                    Still, I'll bet you can’t say that you have gone an entire day without seeing a single bird, anywhere. That defies everything I know about living here. Something ain't right and you heard it here, first!

                    Whoa! I just heard about 5 seconds of a bird chirping and the first peek of sunshine in 2 days is trying to break through the low lying clouds. We'll see what happens. I'm going out back to see if there is any sort of rebirth taking place.

                    Laugh at me if you so choose. The end of the world is going to come someday and today is just as good a day as any.
                    I think it's kind of neat some of the things we have in common.
                    If you discover that we have more than a few things in common, I would suggest that you keep that information to yourself while you seek immediate professional help.

                    I just saw a bird. Gone, already! Probably caught in a tractor beam and taken to the mother ship. (sad).

                    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and remember me in the Twilight Zone.

                    Cheers. - Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
    Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

    I really need to invest in a good camera.
    Here are a few pics of what was in my backyard at 12:15 today.
    It's a small Buck with 6 in. long velvet antlers.
    Also this is what most of New York State looks like.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e6780cf921

    Too cool, Thom!

    I also got a cool deer shot from my backyard the other morning. The quality isn't so good because I took it through the door-wall glass and screen with my cell phone.

    Anyway, it is a doe nursing her twin fawns. There is one on each side, although it is hard to see. You have to count skinny little legs, haha!

    Too cute!






    Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

    I really need to invest in a good camera.
    Here are a few pics of what was in my backyard at 12:15 today.
    It's a small Buck with 6 in. long velvet antlers.
    Also this is what most of New York State looks like.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e6780cf921
    I worked at this one place in Armonk New York. It was set back in a forest, and actually built so their cafeteria had a 180+degree view across, and you could look down into a canyon of sorts. NICE. They had deer, etc.... BEAUTIFUL city! They had ONE airport that was similar, but I often used one of the big three airports that were in CEMENT CITIES! JFK, laguardia,etc... THAT is what most think of when they think new york state!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      I worked at this one place in Armonk New York. It was set back in a forest, and actually built so their cafeteria had a 180+degree view across, and you could look down into a canyon of sorts. NICE. They had deer, etc.... BEAUTIFUL city! They had ONE airport that was similar, but I often used one of the big three airports that were in CEMENT CITIES! JFK, laguardia,etc... THAT is what most think of when they think new york state!

      Steve
      You don't have to go to far out from NYC proper to start seeing what NYS is really all about.
      Yes most people who have never been to NYS think it's all like NYC. They're really two different worlds.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    That deer won't eat those grapes will he? You need to rescue the grapes!!

    I'm also disappointed you didn't specifically take a pic of the raspberry bushes just for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      That deer won't eat those grapes will he? You need to rescue the grapes!!

      I'm also disappointed you didn't specifically take a pic of the raspberry bushes just for me.
      Which ones, lol.
      I didn't get the grape vines cleaned up this year. Because of the deer ticks if I don't get the weeds knocked down in the winter I don't do it.
      Because I didn't prune the vines this year there's not many grapes.
      On the other hand the red onions in the garden are growing like crazy. I also have a lot of wild purslane in the garden which is doing fantastic. In fact I've been using the purslane a lot instead of lettuce in my salads.
      Signature

      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
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      As you are I was, as I am you will be
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

    I really need to invest in a good camera.
    Here are a few pics of what was in my backyard at 12:15 today.
    It's a small Buck with 6 in. long velvet antlers.
    Also this is what most of New York State looks like.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e6780cf921

    Love the backyard. Nothing can beat having a home where you can walk outside and watch the wildlife and the trees and vegetation. ( btw, having trees has always been a must for me to be around anywhere I have lived )

    Nice.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by discrat View Post

      Love the backyard. Nothing can beat having a home where you can walk outside and watch the wildlife and the trees and vegetation. ( btw, having trees has always been a must for me to be around anywhere I have lived )

      Nice.
      Thanks discrat. As you probably already figured out I'm not a city person by any stretch I love being around nature and the wildlife that lives there, people, not so much.
      Signature

      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
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