Life Beyond Boating  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

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The regular arrival lately of this young Cooper's Hawk at the banquet table brings a new meaning to "feeding the birds." Though the smaller birds scatter upon his appearance, he doesn't scare the squirrels. One raced out and chased him off the branch moments after I took this shot.  (Dec. 23, 2009)

Christmas Eve at Barbara's house wouldn't be complete without Bob Katzen's traditional visit. Unfortunately, this year he was accidentally punched in the nose by me. Just as I jabbed for him to watch the scene from the TV classic Boston Legal episode, "Dances with Wolves," he twisted down to pat the cat -- and his nose connected with my hand, ouch.

Barbara (left) and Katzen recovered (right).

Christmas Day was relatively balmy for late December, in the high thirties; like last Christmas another good opportunity to grill our dinner outside. This year, instead of store-bought filet mignon steaks I grilled a venison steak my buddy Ace Miller provided after his successful Maine hunting trip.

Jinx, our neighbor Don's golden retriever and lately a regular visitor whenever he gets loose, stopped by. Fortunately he arrived just after the meat went into the grill, not while it was unattended on a plate sitting on the grill's side wing, or our dinner would have been inhaled.

My Christmas gift from Barbara -- a hooded sweatshirt from Patriot Post -- came in handy while outside grilling.  (Dec. 25, 2009)

Today I picked up Chip Ahoy's Honda outboard from Ryan Marine Service, where it was winterized and tuned-up. The call that it was done came much earlier than usual -- usually not until spring. I had to make additional arrangements to get it home and stored away until spring.  (Dec. 30, 2009)

Finding a boat up on the seawall this afternoon wasn't surprising after yesterday's weather and last night's near if not hurricane force winds out of the east-northeast. Branches and limbs are down all around, everything not battened down -- like our trash barrels -- were blown helter-skelter. Chip Ahoy fared well under its secured tarps, but a trap was blown off the wood racks across the lot. The wind was so strong it blew out the shrink-wrapped plastic over my air-conditioner inside my office window -- a first ever. Had the rain instead been snow, the experts said we'd have received about two feet.  (Feb. 26, 2010)

See:  Rogue Aground

When I looked out today I thought I was hallucinating either the shed or I was listing. The support beam beneath it had rotted and collapsed. It's in overall pretty rough shape, but does the job. I'm going to have to find someone who can lift it and run another support beam; Bob Donovan thinks he can do it with the forklift on his Bobcat.  (Apr. 30, 2011)

After a hard 2010-11 winter, a raw, miserable monsoon season ended just yesterday. The dandelions if little else but mushrooms sure do thrive in our monsoon climate.  (May 22, 2011)

Spring arrived just in time for the Memorial Day next weekend. It was time to uncover the picnic furniture. A bit dirty, its finish is still in decent condition; won't need treatment this year.  (May 25, 2011)

Next, Barbara's hammock came out and and was set up.  It didn't take her long to test it out.  (May 26, 2011)

The turkeys continue to visit though less frequently. According to neighbor sightings a lot of turkey chicks have hatched, though we haven't seen any yet.  (May 28, 2011)

With family arriving for a cookout this afternoon, after polishing and waxing Chip Ahoy I moved on to the picnic furniture, cleaning and waxing. It cleaned up nicely.  (May 30, 2011)

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