Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TRICK or Treat


It's Only a Paper Moon.

So, confession time...

While the story of the previous post was entirely true, the photograph was not.

Yes, we found the moon. And yes, it was nearly full. However, we would have had to turn the hay person 90° to get the moon in the photo with a front view. The moon wasn't orange, just white as it had risen in the sky so much it had lost it's atmospheric color distortion. And finally, I had to stand too far away from the hay person (to get the whole thing) for the flash to have any effect. Even the triple flash. It needed a timed exposure and I hadn't tried that with the digital yet.

So I thought I'd have some real life cut and paste fun and created the blog photo from three photos. The first was a cut out of the giant hay person from a daylight photo that I already had printed. The second was the actual photo I took that night. It was used as the background. Then I cut a pumpkin out of the daylight photo and added that. And lastly, the moon was from an online site that sells moon posters.

Here's the photo that I took Sunday night. Happy Halloween

Monday, October 29, 2007

Full Moon and Empty Arms*

We had made a decision. Sunday over our last lunch of the season at Ellen's we had agreed to head for Marini Farms after Amanda got finished at work. It was still nearly a full moon and the skies had cleared after several gloomy, cloudy, and fog-ridden days and nights. Sunday night was crisp and clear. The moon would be just high enough in the sky shortly after Amanda's 7 p.m. departure from Stop & Shop.

When 6:45 rolled around, my Mom and I wondered if we really had the ambition to make the trip. That might be best read as whether a long weekend of hard work had left me too tired to make the hour round trip drive in the dark. Oh, what the heck, I'd probably regret not going so....

We headed out in Mom's mini-van to pick up Amanda. On the 10 minute drive to Gloucester we kept looking out the van towards the east. We couldn't see any moon! In disbelief we bantered about the weirdness of the moonless sky. Where was it? On Friday night we had caught a brief glimpse of the fog and cloud streaked full moon as we finished our last supper at Ellen's, so we knew the time was near correct. How come we couldn't find it?

As Amanda left work and approached the van we asked her to look directly overhead. Maybe that's where the moon was hiding from us, being we were too lazy to get out to look.

Nothing. Moonless.

Okay, we thought, we'd head towards Ipswich anyway. Once at the top of the Piatt bridge we'd look again. Surely the moon would be visible from there. If not, we would exit the highway at Rte 133 and instead of continuing to Ipswich, we'd turn around and head home. We passed a police car parked in the center of the Grant Circle rotary. We joked that he must be looking for the moon, too. Up onto the bridge and.....

There was no moon in sight. We turned around.

Totally weird.

Oh well, I mused, it saved a long drive in a van that I hate to drive at night.

As we rounded the curve and crested Great Hill, just a mile from home, there it was! Huge and orange directly ahead. A quick turnaround and we were back on our way to Marini Farm.


It was a wonderful trip with the three of us joking around about being tailgated. Honestly, the guy was soooo close I couldn't see his headlights in my rearview mirror. I was doing just over the speed limit so he just had to wait. We decided that he should have "gone" before leaving the office LOL.

We arrived at Marini Farm. The entire area was in darkness. I pulled in to the gravel parking area and stopped. We got out quietly leaving the van door slightly ajar. I didn't want the owners, in their nearby house, to notice that we were there. We crept toward the biggest hay person. Everything was perfect for a spooky, moonlit shot. I knew that I would need the flash setting on the camera to get the hay person to show up in the dark. The night setting actually flashes three times in quick succession. I looked through the viewfinder to blackness. I looked at the screen to blackness. I just had to make a guess....flash, flash, flash.


A mad dash back to the van before we were discovered. We giggled all the way home! Happy Halloween Hay People!

*recorded by Frank Sinatra, 1945

Saturday, October 27, 2007


The end of a very long day. Today I hauled the completed workings of a 1950's player piano (pianola to you Brit types) up the bulkhead stairs from the workshop, loaded it in my pick-up truck and drove to Marblehead, MA to install back in the customer's piano. Only a few minor glitches to solve that unfortunately required removing half the top action once and the total top action once.

It plays well.

The major, enormous nightmare that I forgot....

It's the weekend before Halloween and I had to drive directly through Salem, MA to get to and from the customer's house. in The Salem Witch Trials, Nathaniel Hawthorne and The House of Seven Gables, as in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. I had to drive directly past the Witch Museum, the Salem Commons where an enormous outdoor food arcade had been set up, and then rounded a corner at the waterfront to find a carnival. I counted 17 full size tour buses within 6 blocks. The sidewalks were as crowded as the mall the last shopping days before Christmas! Traffic was barely crawling. Needless to say, I should have brought my camera.

It felt good to see the sun heading for the horizon. I should sleep well tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

3 R Sidebar

Announcing a new feature in my sidebar!

The 3 R - Recommended Recent Reads.

This spot will display the most current good read. A book that I enjoyed and heartily recommend to others. The recommendation will only be changed as I read another book that I feel can replace the current goody. Many previous favorites are already listed in my complete profile so feel free to check them out as well.

Also, if I remember, I'll include a link to the book or author in a post.

So, find out about Fatal Forecast and other books by Michael Tougias, including another of my favorites, Ten Hours Until Dawn, here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Annisquam Puzzler

A few weeks ago I was hired to repair a broken hammer shank on an old upright piano. The customer wasn't sure they would be home, so they gave me the address, said the front door would be open, and they would leave payment on the piano. The home was on the water in Annisquam. Annisquam is a picturesque, upper class section of Gloucester. Lots of old homes on private roads. Great, I thought, I'll take the camera!

I was amazed that I found the home on my first try. Weaving around narrow private roads that were indistinguishable from driveways, then down a steep winding narrow road to the end. What a view. Guess what? The husband of the client had just arrived home and waited for me at the gate that led to the front yard and door. I thought it best to leave my camera in the truck for the time being. After all, I'd certainly have opportunity for picture taking once I was leaving.

The job was simple, getting access to the spot in the piano wasn't. As I was working, Mr. Client announced that he would be leaving for their summer home up the street. Huh? Yep, they own two homes there. The summer home didn't have "deep water" for below freezing temperatures. This house did. Fine with me if he left. It would mean I'd have more chance for picture taking!

I finished the repair, fixed the piano case so that it would be easier to get apart the next time, and packed up and left. I was anxious to get to my camera! As I exited the gated walk, a car pulled up next to my truck.

Mrs. Client.

Then Mr. Client came back.

They chatted and chatted until I had to leave for my next job.

No pictures.


I went back about a week later with my Mom in tow. Just to tour around Annisquam. I took her down the winding narrow road and once we reached the bottom I was pleased that there were no other vehicles. Here's a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Client's view. All the way across the Annisquam River to Wingarsheek Beach and beyond to Ipswich.

While we were out driving about I took a few other photos. This is the back patio area of the Rockport Public Library. Mom had to drop off a couple books before we drove to Annisquam!

And here is a waaaaayyyyy cool tree growing out of the granite ledge!

Finally, this is the Annisquam puzzler for you all to solve. It's sort of an advance version of hidden picture.

The clues...there is one hidden object, it was to be the subject of the photo, I had to take this photo on the fly as the subject was uncooperative.

First correct answer wins the admiration of all those post readers who are still going cross-eyed or who couldn't be bothered.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Playing in My Sandbox

I'm going to try to keep this brief. I've met many wonderful people online and through this blog. I intend on meeting many more. Everyone is welcome to submit a comment on any of my posts. However, I feel it is only fair to publicly state a few conditions.

While comments are encouraged (there are some readers out there who don't, I know who you are!) , I will continue to moderate publishing comments.

General laid back conversational stuff is great.

Opinions are always read enthusiastically. I will even publish those that don't agree with mine!

I love "meeting" new readers and will ALWAYS check out any links that are a result of their comments. So, if you have a questionable content blog and want to comment on mine, you'll have to do so anonymously or with a different name so that the link to your blog does not appear.

That being said, I WILL NOT publish personal attacks on me or any other reader.
I WILL NOT intentionally contribute, even in a secondary manner, to the "rumor mill".
I WILL NOT allow links that I feel possibly contain offensive material. If this means that your comment is rejected, well, so be it.

I truly appreciate the folks who READ my blog because they ENJOY it.

The rest need not comment.

This is MY sandbox. Play nice with each other!

OH YEAH....I'm going to the other Cape for a day and a half to visit Dad's grave at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne and to visit my uncle at his new residence. SO...if your comments don't appear right away, don't worry, you haven't been banished! I'll be back Tuesday. (And I'm taking the camera)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gala Event?


If you remember a few weeks back I was invited to attend the 80th Gala of the Sandy Bay Historical Society. While being a specially invited guest saved me the $20 ticket, it cost me $91 for a suitable outfit! I guess I don't mind. Hopefully someday, before it goes out of style, I shall be able to wear it again. Seriously, it's not super dressy or anything. A nice pair of dressy black slacks and a pretty, lightweight, wrap sweater with a satin collar and side tie. And I got to wear my four inch heels. It feels strange to be tall! No, there will be no photos. I HATE having my picture taken. Besides, photos just remind me of how old I'm getting and I refuse to believe it.

The Gala was from 5:30 - 8:30 in the Grand Cafe of the Emerson Inn. Yep, we party to the wee hours here in Rockport. Since it is on street parking only, I got there a bit early to be sure I could find a close space. I can't walk very far in four inch heels. I sat in my truck watching some of the first arrivals. Two older ladies, an elderly man with a walker, a lady with a cane hanging on to a bent over man. Then came the lady with the pinkish hair and the ruby red pantsuit. She was followed by a couple that I know, the wife was also sporting a walker! And I was making an appearance with no accessories! Oh boy, this was going to be interesting. I got up my nerve and ventured from my truck to the entrance of the Emerson Inn. At least now I knew that there would be someone that I knew in attendance.

The Grand Cafe of the Emerson is a tastefully decorated period dining area on the first floor of the inn. For the $20 ticket, we were to expect fancy hors d'oeuvres. It was a cash bar. I picked up the professionally printed program of the evening and entered the main room. The curator, who had invited me, gave me a once up and down lookover. I smiled at her and said, "Yes, I can get dressed up you know!" There was a middle aged man playing "old favorites" on the Steinway grand, a table set up as the bar, and a small table with crackers, cheese, raw veggies and dip. Certainly this wasn't the fancy stuff? I grabbed a minute plate and loaded it with two cubes of cheese, two strawberries, a slice of cucumber, a sliver of red pepper and one cracker. It was full. I headed to an adjoining room where round tables invited my already tired, heeled feet. The couple I knew were already seated and I joined them. And to my relief, more food was brought around, on teeny tiny trays, by the waitstaff. The first tray had a dozen stuffed mushrooms. I HATE mushrooms. I just don't see the attraction of eating rubbery fungus, sorry. Still starving I anxiously awaited the next offering. As the little tray was presented to our table my heart sank. A dozen miniature open-faced sandwiches featuring some kind of ground up sausage. Nope, not for me. It's sausage-y and I don't do questionable cold meats.

Still starving at 6:30.

Another little tray was graciously brought to our table. This time it was microscopic quiche tartlets. By then I was desperate. How dangerous could a mini quiche be? I took one. Only one because, presented as they were, it would have looked hoggish to take more than that. My hungry stomach was nearly crawling up my throat for that quiche. With good etiquette in mind, I took just a small bite.

And nearly gagged.

Anchovy! Eeeeewwwwww, yuck.

And there I was with 2/3 a tartlet left in my hand, no plate, no napkin, and nowhere for it to go but in my mouth. I took a deep breath and held it, popped the rest in my mouth and hurriedly chewed and swallowed before exhaling. Gone.

But that flavor...

just lingered....

and lingered...

I had to get to the cash bar for something to wash the abhorrent taste down. A glass of wine sounded good, but I'd had next to nothing to eat since noontime so I didn't dare. I opted for my easy, non-alcoholic stand by, sparkling water with lime. It was served with lots of ice and an almond sized piece of lime in a small wine glass. It cost $2.75! When I returned to my table, the lady sitting next to me eyed my drink and inquired what it was. After I told her she asked, "Did you have to pay for that?" When I responded, yes, she told me her glass of white wine had cost her $6.00!

There was a little program presented by an ancestor of the founder of the historical society (twas founded 80 years ago, thus the gala) and a short talk by the curator (my host). We chatted at the table for a bit more and then called it an evening. As I was making my exit, I ran into another acquaintance. She was having a good time standing next to the piano singing. She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over. I was trapped. She wrapped her arm around my shoulder and indicated that I should sing along with her. I made good fun of it without actually participating! Then I grabbed my free candy sampler donated by Tuck's Candy and made my escape.

And so went the 80th Gala! In all honesty, I did have fun. Out for a bit socializing is nearly always fun. But, am I ever glad that I was a guest and didn't have to pay the $20! The historical society did a spectacular job with the invitations, printed programs, speakers and the exhibit (forgot to mention that they had a mini history of the historical society table). Even the piano player was good. I was less than impressed with the Emerson Inn's catering.

postscript - The candy was given to my mom. I'm not a big fan of candy. You may call me weird.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Frigate Friday

It's been over a century since the original plan. It's been 57 years since the last appearance.

What, you ask?

The Sandy Bay Harbor of Refuge.Yes, we were to be the home of the North Atlantic Fleet. The "Great White Fleet" of President Theodore Roosevelt. The 1906 photograph above shows a line up of battleships entering Sandy Bay from the north. Many large warships would come and go as the twentieth century began it's infancy, but by the time WWI came along, Sandy Bay had dropped out of the picture as the home port for the Atlantic Fleet. Annual stop-over visits by the fleet became the norm from 1896 until 1919. Then with the halt of the breakwater construction, subsequent years saw only visits by a single ship. This continued annually through 1950, with one ship making the visit to the Sandy Bay Harbor of Refuge. Then the visits ceased.

Until this year when Rockport Patrolman and Navy veteran, Roger Lesch, along with other interested parties including Representative Verga and Senator Tarr, arranged the first visit by a naval vessel in 57 years. This year we were visited by the frigate USS Boone. The hope is that once again a yearly visit will become a reality.

It all began on Friday the 12th. A miserably damp and windy day for the Boone to arrive in Sandy Bay. Here is the frigate at anchor just off Rockport. The arrival of the Boone coincided with Rockport's annual Harvest Fest so there would be a lot of people in town to see the ship. Many events were planned including a reception at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club, ship tours for the public, tours of Thacher Island for the Boone's crew, golf at the Rockport Country Club for the crew, a nighttime softball game at Evans Field with the crew pitted against the Rockport police and fire departments, a tug-a-war on Front Beach, and a kayak race. Here are some pictures from Evans Field. Seems the Rockport guys were playing much better than the crew. I didn't stay to the end because it got way too cold to be standing on a granite wall so I don't know the final score, but how much practice at softball can you get while stationed on a frigate?The Boone's crew seemed to have a fantastic time playing and watching the game. The town provided hot dogs and burgers and hot chowder and coffee for the game.

The crew was invited to tour Sandy Bay on local lobster boats, there was a public open house at the American Legion, and a concert by the Navy Northeast Show band at the high school. As you can see, our weather had drastically improved by Saturday!Sunday would be the last day for touring the ship and at 6 p.m. there was a VIP reception on the aft deck.What a successful weekend for Rockport. Town was packed with people for the Harvest Fest, sidewalk sales, craft fair, children's activities, concerts, games, and of course the visit of the USS Boone!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Really Shouldn't

be taking time to blog. I should get to bed and get a good night's sleep in anticipation of.....

The gargantuan amount of work that I've got to do.

I'm reaching borderline panic stage.

In some ways I hope that it slows down just a bit! Well, actually I'm thankful that the income is good but the timing could have been a little more evenly spaced. Here's what my job board looks like. Names have been altered (squiggled) to protect the mostly innocent. The black check marks show jobs that have been completed. Those are from the last couple weeks of September and the first week of October. Customer X from the last post has finally sent the money and his keys are being worked on. By the way, here's a picture of how customer X packed his keys. Now tell me, would you want your finished keys packed in that manner? Yeesh, I'll have to find a bigger box to pack them properly to avoid damage in shipping. Customer Y has paid in full. Customer Z still owes me. Another technician's keys were completed and shipped today. H.....'s keys arrived today and the rest (another four sets) are due to arrive on Friday. The Bo....job in the middle of the board is a big one. I placed one supply order for that job and I have to wait until the work arrives to order some more things that are custom sized. And still two in home service jobs tomorrow morning, the reed organ to finish and the player piano parts to finish and return to the piano in the customer's home.

All before the end of the month.

Must mention that there will be more key jobs arriving in the upcoming weeks to add to the load.

I told you that H's keys arrived today. H is a really nice customer. He sent keys for rebushing, does not need new keytops but wanted to know how to clean up the existing tops. They are made of pyralin and many are badly stained. I experimented with one today and steel-wooled the stains out and then carefully machine buffed the keytop. Pyralin will burst into flames with very little heat so buffing has to be swift and cautious. If you get a bit zealous, well.....poof! I'm going to surprise H with a cleaned up set of tops - no charge.

And while I'm doing a work related post I will include a "What's It?" This tool belonged to my paternal grandfather. I want to know what it is. The "handle/gauge/whatever" will slide up and down the incline and can be locked into place at any point along the slope. So are there any machinists out there that know the function? My grandfather was a machinist for McCall's magazine, maintaining all the printing equipment for the company sometime during the 1940's and 50's. And sparring partner for Jack Johnson on his (Jack's) voyages to Europe, and a no hit pitcher! Stories for other times. Anyway, show this picture to your knowledgeable friends if you don't know what it is, and get an answer to me.

Thanks and good night..............

Friday, October 05, 2007

Can You Spare a Dime?

There are some moments in time when lots of annoying things seem to collide. I guess this week was one of those moments. And it's not even a full moon!

Now, for those of you who don't know, as part of my business I do piano key recovering for the trade. In other words, piano technicians from around the country ship damaged or worn piano keys to me. I make them like new. A bit over simplified as an explanation but it will do.

I guess I'll attack this chronologically.

Customer X...Last July I received a set of keys from a new technician/customer. As is customary, he enclosed prepayment for the job. Only problem was that his prepayment was $15.00 short. Not a problem, I thought. When I shipped the finished keys back to him I put a note with the receipt that "current due" was $15.00 and included a copy of the price list/ad that runs in the Piano Technician's Guild Journal.

Customer Y...This past August I received a set of keys from a longtime customer. They rarely prepay and I usually receive payment within a couple weeks. I did the work and shipped the keys back with a bill.

Just over two weeks ago, another set of keys arrive from customer Y. He requests a specialty keytop that is $125.00 more expensive than the "normal". He also had some questions, so I called. During the conversation he remarked that he was sending the payment for the previous job. Okay with me. I did the special job, still hadn't received the arrears payment, and wrote a bill and included it in the return shipment of the second job. The bill showed the amount due on the current job as well as the amount overdue on the previous, and the total.

No money.

Customer Z...needs a piano tuned at a certain location where I am normally the "contracted" tuner. I tell customer Z the price and we agree on the date that the piano will be tuned. I go and tune and mail the bill to customer Z. That was over a week ago.

No money.

I email customer Y asking that he check on the status of my payment. He owes $410.00. He replies that the check was issued on Sat. 22, that he'll put it in the mail on Fri. 28. Huh???

Well, at least it's progress of a sort. Maybe, just maybe?

Still no money and....

A box arrives. Customer X has sent another set of keys. Packed so poorly that there would be no way to return ship in the same undersized box without the new key coverings being damaged. And a prepayment check, $15.00 short. I emailed detailing the problem. Arrears $30. No problem, he says. He was looking at an older ad, he says. Sorry, he says. Whoever unpacked the previous keys must have thrown the bill away, he says. A $30.00 check will be in the mail. He says. The next day I was getting ready to head for the bank to deposit the check that he had enclosed, albeit for the shorted amount. And guess what I discovered?

He hadn't signed the check. (Have you heard my screaming around the world?)

So I emailed again with a copy of the unsigned check attached. I told him I would not be starting on his keys until I had received full payment. And I mentioned the packing problem, too. So sorry, he says. He take care of it.

Yesterday we were out for the day visiting friends in Plaistow, NH. When we got home I headed for the mailbox, truly expecting to be disappointed once again.

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! A check from customer Y. I finally got it on Oct 4 (it was postmarked on the 2nd). For $135.00 too much. Now I'm sending him an overpayment refund check. How long should I make him wait?

Which leads to the even bigger question.
Why, oh why, do I enjoy being self employed?

Do you think this guy had the same problems way back then? Found in an old upright piano. Check out the little phone number!

P.S. Still waiting on Customers X and Z.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

His Honorableness

Judge Richard Mori has headed the Gloucester District Court for five years. He will now be working as a circuit judge, overseeing jury trials. This will take him from the district court here in Gloucester as it does not handle jury trials. He has been temporarily assigned to Salem District Court until his trial schedule is determined. Seems a strange thing to say, but, I'll miss him.

When the Rockport Police and the District Attorney decided to pursue criminal harassment charges against my ex-husband, I was asked by the DA's office to file a Restraining Order against said ex. I was told that they were asking for this as a precautionary measure in preparation for the time when he would be required to appear in court locally. I made my appearance in Judge Mori's court and with full understanding of the unique circumstances (my ex having returned to the UK), his honor granted the temporary RO and per law scheduled the hearing for 10 days later.

Well, the courts do not allow long distance phone usage for serving papers. No faxing! Therefore the RO would have to make it's way through the US postal system and the UK postal system to arrive at my ex's local police station. Once there, it would have to be hand served to my ex, a copy signed and dated by the UK police and that copy returned to the court here - before the scheduled hearing.

I can assure you it takes longer than ten days for that to happen.


I returned to court ten days later. No Judge Mori. There was a "fill-in". I'll refer to him as Judge JJ. Well, obviously the court had not yet received the "return" on the RO. Judge JJ was irate and asked why I hadn't seen to it! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He extended the RO for an additional week and told me to make sure the return was there by the next hearing. He had taken me by total surprise in front of open court. It was humiliating. I headed for the clerk of courts office and asked if I had been remiss. Was there something I was supposed to have done and not realized it? The clerk could tell that I was upset and assured me that Judge JJ had been out of line with his comments.

I was a wreck as I approached the next hearing so I checked with the clerk's office about the paperwork before entering the courtroom. The paperwork had been returned from the UK. And to give praise and credit, the UK police (Met) who had served the RO had called the Gloucester court to tell them when it had been served and to let them know that it was on the way back!


I walked into the courtroom just before the end of the first session. Judge Mori was back.

The second session started and I was first to be called. After I answered a few questions, Judge Mori granted the one year RO and scheduled a renewal hearing for the following year.

And then.

He did something that will endear me to him forever.

He apologized for the treatment I had endured from Judge JJ.

As Judge Mori moves to preside over jury trials I only hope that the next time I'm called for jury duty it is in his courtroom.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Short Takes from Lanesville 3

Well, I've delayed some in writing this story as I was hoping to come up with a photo to go with it. After about a week of on and off hunting, I have come up with....


So, without illustration, here's the story.

It's called "Stumped".

It was twenty-nine years ago this month. Doc and I had been living in the house for just over six weeks. We had been working hard, inside and out, to get everything ready enough for winter weather. With Halloween approaching, we had become concerned about practical jokers and worse. The house had been broken in to so many times over the years and as recently as two weeks before we moved in. Area teens had used it as a "party" house and we thought they may resent that "their" place was no longer available!

In anticipation of many dreaded possibilities, we decided that we should clear out some of the overgrowth surrounding the house. Years of neglect had encouraged the growth of many saplings. Mostly sassafras trees and straggly young oaks. We spent an entire week of free time with Doc brandishing the chainsaw and me hauling and loading the limbs into his truck. All the trees were left with the main trunk remaining about 2.5 - 3 feet above ground. Several dozen of them. This would provide the leverage to enable us to dig around the base, attach chain around the stump and to the truck, and pull the stumps with their roots. Stump pulling would have to wait until springtime when the ground would be soft and soggy.

We had visitors one evening shortly after we had thinned out "the forest". Not the invited type. It was coal black outside. Must have been a new moon. We heard a couple voices out back. Doc went into the kitchen to take a look out the window. Since the lights were off in the kitchen, no one could see him looking out. He said he could see two teenage boys climbing over the stone wall at the rear of our property. They were heading towards the house. We decided it would be best to just politely scare them off.

Doc opened the window a mere crack. Enough for his voice to be heard yet not enough that they would see or hear the window opening.

With a loud, stern voice he called out, "This is private property. You're trespassing!"

Their confident swaggers swiftly became panicked gallops as they headed past the house towards the front wall and the street beyond. But there was something powerful out there that they hadn't been able to see in the pitch blackness.

Those 2.5 - 3 foot high tree stumps.

The night awakened with yelps of pain.