I've always had mixed feelings about fall, the main drawbacks being the afflictions of ragweed allergies and the awareness of ever shortening hours of daylight. September is usually the worst on both counts, ragweed pollens being high and early sundown being suddenly, alarmingly noticeable. By October, we've gotten used to the idea that summer is really over. Overnight frosts begin to kill the pollens and the gorgeous colors of autumn on crisp sunny days cheer us up. By October, we've put away our sandals and flimsy clothes and replaced them with sturdy shoes and cozy sweaters. The joyful tastes and smells of apple pies and pumpkin ravioli await.
Tonight marks the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere. In the Boston area, we're in the midst of a brief warm spell that belies the turn of the seasons. But it's coming. We'll know it for sure in October.
We see lots of cute dogs in the city all the time. Alas, this isn't one of them (kidding!). I think one of the chief reasons we keep pets is that they make us laugh - with their antics, if not for the goofy expressions on their faces. They are the element of comic relief in the drama of our lives. I no longer have a pet of my own, but I get to enjoy everyone else's - from the joyfully tussling dogs in the playground I pass in the morning on my way to work to the fashionable city dogs trotted about in the Back Bay on weekends. Some of them just beg to be photographed.
[Outside Breaking New Grounds coffee shop, Portsmouth NH; 3/20/10]
The first day of spring was warm and sunny, so we drove up the seacoast to my old stomping grounds. Much is changing - I kept pointing out new shops, construction of condos and businesses, and renovation at longstanding restaurants. I also missed a few old places (and my favorite dockside eatery is still closed for the season), but many of the old standbys are still there, including the Breaking New Grounds coffee shop on the corner of Market and Bow streets. The shop moved a few years ago from a tiny storefront on Bow to take over another longstanding coffee and pastry shop that had been on the corner, gaining space indoors but mainly gaining the enormous brick square out front where people love to sit and gather from spring through fall.
As usual, the tables outdoors were all occupied, but we snagged an open table in one of the front bow windows where we could enjoy the sun and the view.
I can't remember which year I took this - maybe 2002, maybe earlier probably late 1990's. The photo was inspired by one my friend C sent me from Colorado when she lived there - she all decked out and her partner in tuxedo in front of the foothills in Boulder, champagne in hand. I came across doggie tuxedo outfits in some pet store and then the occasion presented itself. I was lucky to have tolerant and well-behaved dogs who put up with such nonsense from me.
I'll be heading out with D this evening to a dinner party, and staying in the city with him for a couple of days. A big change from last year, and lots of changes in my life since this photo was taken. I met another friend last night for dinner and realized we'd met up at the same restaurant the last two New Year's Eves, as neither of us was seeing anyone. This year we'll both ring in the New Year with our respective significant others. I no longer live where this photo was taken, the pups are long gone, and C, who inspired the photo, is no longer in Colorado but back here in New England. The wheel keeps spinning.
So a new decade begins. Wishing you the best for your new year and the coming decade!
The pooches at the Pampered Pooch like to sit in the front windows watching the goings-on. It's an amusing distraction when I'm sitting at the light in the morning on my way to work. I never have my camera then, but on Tuesday evening I got stuck at the light on my way out to meet friends for dinner - perfect opportunity to snap a pic of a cooperative pooch (and the ever-cooperative stuffed companion), no doubt waiting for his/her ride home.
I can hear my mother's voice singing, "How much is that doggie in the window?..." I was a very shy child, but there was my voice on tape singing bits of it with her.
K and her boyfriend were out of town for a few days and asked me to dog sit. So I've been going by twice a day to take Ingie out and feed her. Plus today I went up at lunchtime, just to get out of the office and hang out with her up on the old porch. K's back tomorrow evening, so I'll have just the morning to go by, but I may sneak out again at lunchtime, too.
She's getting on in dog years, walking a bit stiffly when she gets up. But this morning she was tearing around the apartment the way she's always done. And she still loves her duck.
The dog walkers were out in force when my friend L and I walked around at the Arboretum on Sunday afternoon. It's a popular place for that. But this little one in particular caught my eye because she's adorable and because looks much like my old dog Silke when she was a puppy. Both the owners and Lola were sweet enough to indulge me in a snapshot. Although, being a puppy, she didn't hold still for long.
L brought her dog, Mel, who, being more experienced with these things (and a bit vain, but don't tell her that), dutifully sat still for her portrait once she saw the camera pointed her way.
[Mel with purple beautyberry at the Arnold Arboretum]
In the midst of my crankiness about a number of things, thankfully there are many curatives such as these.