Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

American City Building

This work in progress at the American City Building, overlooking the Lakefront, made for an interesting scene over the weekend. I later learned that they are dealing with water damage from burst pipes.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mango Grove ~~ celestial conjunction

Last night's Mars-Venus-Moon conjunction as it appeared at sunset over east Columbia. Only one of the planets is visible at this point. I found out later that a second planet was supposed to be visible, too -- perhaps, more visible when it got darker.

Columbia has several fine Indian restaurants now. I've been enjoying the Mango Grove Indian restaurant in east Columbia more often recently and had another wonderful dinner there yesterday evening. Currently, they have a lovely seasonal bread delicacy with fenugreek leaves in the dough, posted in the inside cover of the main menu. (The name of it escapes me.) Also, try the badam sheera semolina and almond pudding on Mango Grove's dessert menu -- compares favorably with a similar carrot pudding at Royal Taj. Mango Grove is mainly vegetarian and southern Indian cuisine, but they have retained the Mirchi Wok menu (which includes meat dishes) from their former location.

We like to joke about the parking lot views at our local shopping strip restaurants. Mango Grove certainly has that, but the booths at the back of the restaurant enjoy a view of an office park pond and are situated perfectly for sunset views.

Mango Grove is in the little mostly restaurant strip on Stanford Boulevard off Dobbin Road, south of 175.


A rare planet-moon-Geek Squad conjunction was visible from the Gateway Overlook center last night, too!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Giant and Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies ~~ summer vacation memory

These photos of large lepidopterans (and a smaller one) were taken in the garden at Whistlewood Farm Bed and Breakfast, outside Rhinebeck in the Hudson River Valley. Summer of 2013.
Butterflies are on my mind now as I anticipate helping other volunteers in the Howard County Bird Club with counting butterflies for a continuing survey.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Lake Kittamaqundi today. There is a surprisingly large stretch of unfrozen water in spite of this weekend's chilling temperatures. Some diving ducks and mergansers seem happy with the situation.

Addendum: I posted another photo of the lake on the Celebrating Columbia Facebook page. Someone explained that the high winds the night before kept the water moving and slowed the freezing process.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The bald eagle...

-- or one of the bald eagles -- which have been seen around Lake Kittamaqundi and Wilde Lake recently. These photos were taken last weekend.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bonaparte Breads status, Savage Mill ~ photos

A nod to the HowChow blog for the alert about trouble at Bonaparte Breads. There were rumors of at least the Baltimore location closing. I just visited the location at Savage Mill, and it is open for business, apparently after a temporary closing. But there is a change in management, and it seems that only the Savage Mill location will be operating. See the letter posted on the bakery entrance...(Click open for a larger view.)


Thursday, February 5, 2015

new camera test .... Lake Kittamaqundi beaver

Above: towards the north end from the path in front of the Sheraton. Below: zooming on the new bridge from the same spot (and I could zoom a little closer, too).

The beaver in the creek from Wilde Lake to Kittamaqundi yesterday evening. Zoom shots taken from the path.

 The den in the bank, under a tree felled by the beaver. In all my shots here, the animal is located where the creek flows into the lake. It's just visible under a fallen tree at about the center point of the right edge of the photo.

For some color....

(The cat is not mine, in case it looks like Gracey.)

The new camera is a Canon PowerShot SX60 with 65x zoom. Another point-and-shoot, but quite upgraded -- a bridge camera, as a photographer friend called it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Around Lake Kittamaqundi lately...a memorial tribute (?)...arts...wildlife

I took this photo at the Lakefront yesterday. Speculation on the Celebrating Columbia Facebook page suggests that the red scarves are a tribute to a beloved, admired and much missed member of Hocoblogs and the Columbia-Ellicott City community. Remembering Dennis Lane, aka Wordbones. (I may have missed any notification of the scarf tribute on Hocoblogs, if this is correct. hocoblogs@@@ )


"The School Ball" by Anna Kostina, 1957. This is one of several paintings donated by Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz for permanent display in the lobby of the Horowitz Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College. This is a fine group of paintings to enjoy while attending events at the Center, which was busy last Saturday night with Candlelight Concerts and Rep Stage hosting events in adjacent theaters. It's also worth checking to see what's on exhibit in the Center's two galleries.

For dinner before last Saturday's concert, I found Curry and Kabob Indian and Nepalese open for business while reconstruction continues at the Wilde Lake Village Center. Most of the center still looks like a construction site, but a couple of new buildings are finished and occupied by businesses.

At the monthly reception at the Columbia Artists' Gallery on Friday night. Wood artists, carving and finishing spectacular decorative vessels from mostly reclaimed wood, are the featured exhibit for February. The gallery's painters, photographers and ceramic artists also have more works on display. (See the links in the blog margin for the Artists' Gallery.)

Meanwhile, in the animal kingdom, the redhead duck and friends were still on the lake earlier this week. With the lake almost completely frozen again yesterday, they had moved in search of more open water....I managed somewhat clearer shots of the pileated woodpecker (it's a female) than last weekend, albeit from an awkward angle. Not feeding this time, she was very noisy, cackling in the fashion that might suggest Woody Woodpecker, and flying around more. I last spotted her heading into the trees along the path below Oakland Manor. Could the woods here be supporting a new pileated woodpecker family, in spite of quite audible traffic noise and presence of people?