Flowers in our garden – Rhododendron

We have a huge rhododendron on the side of our driveway. The picture (above) doesn’t do justice to it. We can only reach the lower branches to prune it. Another strange thing about it is that, at a quick glance, it looks as though three different colored blossoms are growing on the same tree. This isn’t actually the case. If you look carefully there are three distinct trunks, the branches of which have all grown together. Below the red blossoms, and the purple blossoms. I don’t seem to have taken a picture of the third.

Taken with a Sony A77II and Minolta 50mm f2.8 Macro.

Flowers in our garden – Kalmia latifolia

Otherwise known as mountain laurel. It’s quite beautiful, but apparently highly toxic. Since we found out we’ve tried to keep our dog away from it – just in case.

According to Wikipedia:

Mountain laurel is poisonous to several different animals, including horses, goats, cattle, deer, monkeys, and humans, due to grayanotoxin and arbutin. The green parts of the plant, flowers, twigs, and pollen are all toxic, including food products made from them, such as toxic honey that may produce neurotoxic and gastrointestinal symptoms in humans eating more than a modest amount. Symptoms of toxicity begin to appear about 6 hours following ingestion. Symptoms include irregular or difficulty breathing, anorexia, repeated swallowing, profuse salivation, watering of the eyes and nose, cardiac distress, incoordination, depression, vomiting, frequent defecation, weakness, convulsions, paralysis, coma, and eventually death. Necropsy of animals who have died from spoonwood (Note: an alternative name) poisoning show gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

A day in the city

Above the Chrysler Building, probably my favorite NY City building.

I went into New York City the other day to have lunch with a friend and former colleague. We went to the Palm Too restaurant near where we both used to work. Excellent food and, in my case, maybe a little too much to drink.


The restaurant is known for the cartoons on the walls.


A closer view of some of the cartoons.


On the way home on the train I called my wife and we decided to have dinner at a recently opened restaurant in Garrison Landing. It’s called ‘Dolly’s“, because portions of the movie “Hello Dolly” were filmed there. The old Garrison Metro North station substituted for the Yonkers station, which was apparently confusing to the commuters because when filming was taking place they apparently passed through Yonkers twice. The gazebo used in the movie is still there, or rather an exact replica of it is, the original having rotted.

The food was good and the view across the Hudson River spectacular. The large building on the other side of the river is the US Military Academy at West Point.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.