Tag Archive for rancho obsesso

Sprucing up the Rancho

With the landlord’s blessing, took a patch of grass thatch by the house and did THIS! The sad-looking lying-down ones are irises that a friend gave me. I’m hoping they’ll perk up. Everything else is doing fine, thank you, including the Queen Anne’s lace liberated from the side of the road. Please note the clematis already climbing the trellis. Now I’m sitting on the porch having a Negroni made by the house guest. (House guests at Rancho Obsesso have to work!)


Early morning at the Rancho

Well, not exactly at the Rancho. On the causeway nearby. Went for a sunrise walk, and can report we are rich in egrets this year. That must mean the marsh is rich in fish. Also was dive-bombed by some smaller shorebirds I can’t identify, but this also happened last year when I walked too close to their nest. (How come you nest so near the road, guys, when you have the whole marsh to choose from?) All the osprey nesting platforms are full, and a few telephone poles have been colonized with those big, sloppy nests osprey build. We have robins, redwinged blackbirds, catbirds, sparrows, cardinals, house finches, some kind of warbler I can’t identify, starlings, crows, Baltimore orioles, and woodpeckers (don’t know what kind, have heard but not seen them) in abundance but no wild turkeys, of which last year we had two broods marching around on their route from house to house, chowing down. The butterfly bushes I planted last year are just starting to bloom, so I’m expecting hummingbirds when we come back next weekend.

#resist #rememberwhatyou’refightingfor

Opening weekend at the Rancho

Inaugural dinner. Swordfish and onions on the grill. Jim making it happen, with kibbutzing from everyone. (“It’s done!” “It’s still raw!” “Take it off!” “No, just move it to the side!”) Summer has begun. Photo by Susan Chin.

Saying goodbye to summer

This is the last weekend at the Rancho. Until next year, North Fork!



Afternoon at the Rancho

Breezy here, which is great, because it’s hot. I’m on the porch watching the whitecaps roll around on the bay. We have only a tiny slice of water view, but it’s framed by branches and quite lovely. The rocking chair beside me is going as though The Invisible Man were also enjoying the afternoon. What’s a zephyr where I am is apparently a strong wind higher up; the trees are tossing their heads. An osprey with a fish in its talons just headed across the sky above the yard, struggling and pitching until it found a current it could ride. For some reason unknown to me, the ospreys don’t seem to fish where they nest. The ospreys from the beach to the north will fish in the water to the south, and the birds with a nest to the east —  I have an almost-irresistible urge here to break into

The Vessel with the Pestle

but I’ll give you Danny Kaye instead.

When I got here I filled the birdfeeder, and though I had no customers in the hottest part of the day I had a house finch and some sparrows later on. Four crows were roosting in the neighbor’s apple tree. They’re a family; for the last two weeks the young ones followed their mother around making weak little “feed me” caws.  That’s over now.  One by one, they flew from the apple to the maple on the other side of the yard, feathery black shapes across the blue sky each with a small green fruit in its beak.


Thirty-first Saturday, from Rancho Obsesso

Hatchlings fledged and flown.

Early summer’s bird riot

Calmed to indolence.


White slash of sailboat

Rocking over wrinkled sea

Under rounded clouds.


Orange trumpet vine

Tangled in green foliage

Against brown shingles.

Small town 4th of July

On of the small North Fork towns read the Declaration of Independence aloud after the parade.  A kid sang God Bless America, kids did the reading, and then the last reader was a local bigwig who asked “all citizens of the United States” to stand and repeat the last line together, the part about “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”  Gotta say, it was pretty cool.


Kid singing God Bless America.



Kid reading (very dramatically) a section of the Declaration of Independence.



Patriotic pup.



Patriotic kid.



Winners in the bike decoration contest.



Blasè tweens are everywhere.


New month, new Rancho, new blog

Okay, we had some technical glitches here at SJR Central, but we’ve persevered, overcome, vanquished all obstacles, and by “we” I mean my webmaster because Lord knows I have no idea how to do this stuff.  But we said a few months ago the blog will be moving over here and here it is!

The reason for moving to WordPress is largely the technical ease of inserting images, something Journalscape didn’t offer.  There are a few other bells and whistles over here, too, and all together they makes the switch worthwhile.  I want to tip my hat to Kenny and the folks at Journalscape for hosting me since 2003.  They set up the free site as a way to pay forward to the cyber-community and I benefitted greatly.  Thanks, guys, and I wish you well.

So it’s July, and my buddies and I are occupying yet another new Rancho Obsesso here on the North Fork of Long Island.  We’ve been together as a summer house for twenty-one, yes that’s 21, years and we’re a pretty tight bunch.  Our problem is, houses keep getting sold out from under us and every three or four or five years we have to get used to yet another house.  I thought to celebrate — well, and to test out — the ease of posting photos to the new blog, I’d show you the latest incarnation of Rancho Obsesso.



This Rancho is on a hill so here I am peering up from below.


photo 3(1)

Roses climbing up porch.


photo 2

Fabulous long porch.

The birdfeeder outside the kitchen has already been visited by sparrows, cardinals, house finches, catbirds, robins, cowbirds, and a squirrel.  So much for “squirrel proof.”  I was, of course, rooting for the rodent.  Ospreys with fish to feed their chicks have passed by overhead three times that I’ve seen, and an egret and a blue heron crossed paths just above our roof.  And we only got here yesterday.

Oops.  In publishing this I notice the comments section is closed.  As I say, I have no idea how to do this magic.  I just emailed the web genius, because I certainly, as always, want to hear from you!  Soon…  Happy fourth!

(Web Genius says: Please, the title is capitalized. Please review your contract.  Comments are fixed, assuming commenters can do simple math.  SJR sez: Of course they can, my commenters are polymaths!  Little joke, see what I did there?  Web Genius says:  Also, a new subscription form is there to be tested. I’m sure we’ll hear if it doesn’t work. If it does, it’s magic.  SJR sez: I love it that my Web Genius can also do magic.)

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