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Five Hour Energy

Thursday, June 26, 2014

There was a fluky little 60's song by the Small Faces called Itchycoo Park, with the refrain, "It's all too beautiful..."Sometimes that sticks in my mind as I move through these landscapes, helpless to stay home in the morning. How can I stay inside when the chicory is showing the knapweed, with flowers the color of faded underwear, what blue means?

When the sun finally peeks out and slams silently across this hayfield, turning it into a Landseer painting? It's all too beautiful. I want to paint it. But I settle for grabbing it in click after click, taking it home in my pocket, and sharing it with you.

Today we'll do a six mile run, beyond the church, then back to it.

I've been upping my mileage because it feels good. I try to run at least 4.5 miles each morning. Then sometimes more. Nothing hurts. I've shrunken. It works. It keeps me on the earth. It looks good on Chet, too. That's a 9 1/2 year-old dog there, with a shiny tuxedo and a waistline, trotting smartly. Dogs last longer if you get out with them every day.

As I go, I often pick up litter. It ticks me off that people litter, but I do like to read the labels on what the litterbugs are eating and imbibing. Without exception, they throw bottles, cans and wrappers of things I would never consider putting in my mouth. I like a good IPA, but Bud, Busch and Miller Lite? Life's too short. Ding Dongs, Little Debbies, Slim Jims, Dr. Pepper. The wrappers that get thrown in our hayfields and ditches do not come from health food. And as a latent anthropologist, the litter I find tells me a lot about the segment of humanity that's tossing it.

I found this one interesting. I've always wondered what makes up Five Hour Energy. Let's see...You could run every morning, and feel great throughout, and be full of good thoughts and energy and have 30 beautiful pictures in your pocket when you get back, or you could just tip this neat little bottle into your cakehole.  8,333% of your MDR of Vitamin B12, 2000% of the MDR of B6. That sounds like a good idea. I tried taking normal B vitamins when I was in my 20's because some doctor said it was a good idea, and I broke out in zits and was jittery as a flying squirrel. Not a big believer in vitamin supplements. I think you just pee your money out. I believe in food. 

Oh, and in addition to your just sublethal B vitamin overdose, it's got caffeine comparable to 12 ounces of the leading premium coffee. We don't have to tell you how much that is. Is that like 12 oz. of Starbuck's darkest roast? A couple hundred mg of caffeine? Dunno, but go warned: it just might cause nervousness and occasional rapid heartbeat. Oh, and there's the Niacin Flush to watch for. I'll pass. If I drank this stuff I'd be up until sometime in 2015. You don't put caffeine on crazy.

 I open the top and take a furtive sniff. It smells like a wildberry urinal cake. 
W. T. F.?? People drink this stuff?
Yes, let's drink this. And then toss the bottle in the ditch when we're done. Ready for our day, and we've added our little touch to the landscape while we're at it.

 I gather the trash and hide it at little waystations, then pick it up later when I pass by in my car. 

I like this landscape as it is, unenhanced. I see paintings everywhere I go, in fleeting atmospheric changes, the skeins and veils of mist, the mackerel sky and the old asphalt shingles. In the simplicity of a shed, built innocent of flair or grace, but settling into a grace all its own as it ages.

In the pitted patina of its beautiful latch, edges shining with age.

There is so much to see.

Suicide note of a dusky slug, Arion subfuscus, the last loops of his slow cursive reflecting the morning sun. He will write no more on this good asphalt.


My hat off to anyone who can employ "Itchycoo Park" in a blog post! ;-) Boy does that song take me back...

It is because some people can't see that they have to resort to monetary feel-good stuff? Or do they just need training?

One of the saddest sights I've seen was a pair of cars that stopped just down from where I'd spent two hours with bighorn sheep that grazed towards me - finally only about 20 feet away. The people poured out of the cars and took many pictures of themselves against the background of the beautiful landscape but never noticed the twenty rams between me and them.

I'm with you on your comments regarding litterbugs. I pick up trash on the beach all the time and almost weep because I find it so upsetting. Plus, as I pass through school bus stops twice a day with my dogs I pick up all the litter the kids toss. Talk about gross, processed crap. First of all it's horrifying that their parents supply it to them and even more shameful that they don't teach them to never litter.

One of my favorite memories of my brother was when we picked up tons of trash left by campers along a beautiful lake shore the day after a summer holiday. We were so disgusted by the refuse left behind that we decided we would clean up our area. The park rangers were thrilled to give us trash bags. We worked hard, proud that we were preventing so much trash from winding up in the lake, and were alone until one couple arrived with their boat. As they watched us piling up bags and bags of trash, I whispered that they probably thought we were some sort of prison clean-up gang. My brother waited til they passed us and waved. "Not bad work for $500 and a year's free park pass!" he yelled. We laughed about that the rest of the day.

Hate litterbugs...can only imagine how their own neighbourhoods and homes look...

The pic of the trees in the little valley at sun-up is definitely a painting. I would love to run for 5 miles a day but my knees are cranky. I believe I'm your age, so what gives? I've always been a fit person but I started having knee issues within 3 years of jogging many eons ago.

I've picked up bags of human feces, dirty diapers and bottles of pee.

Posted by Anonymous June 26, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Oh dear, I'm laughing and sighing a bit sadly at the same time. Seven comments and almost all about the litterbugs, not about your day's running trip with that sleek seal of a dog--the rural scenery you capture so well. Somehow LITTER was what people focused on. Anyway, these photos do my heart good. The lighting is incredible. Thanks for rising early and going out for a visit with nature so we can share the beauty with you. I so love that you can take the fleeting scenery home in your pocket for future use/viewing pleasure. And yes, about litter: I was brought up NOT to litter. Ever. I can't imagine doing it. Not everyone gets good parenting. That's the tragedy to me. And I've tried 5-hour energy drink--I didn't stay up until 2015 (LOL) & I didn't get jittery. The ingredients are better than some energy drinks, but even for occasional use the price is way high. This company is rolling in the dough--fact. Billions. ack. Go buy some kale, or grow it. Maybe I'll take up running again. You are an inspiration as is Mr. Chet!

Ah, Mollie. Thank you. My favorite thing is the slug's deathnote, but you never know what will hit readers, and it's all OK. We who pick up after slobs have a special righteous indignation. We quietly burn inside as we clean up their messes. The only thanks we get is more trash. We need to vent.
Cowango, I wish I knew why some knees hurt and some don't. I have a touchy ankle and it doesn't happen to hurt right now. When it does, I despair and wonder... I feel for you.

Whether we pick up physical or emotional trash, the work is the same. "The only thanks we get is more trash".
But we mark the slug's deathnote. I grieved the Snapping Turtle's demise in the road this morning. Want to save them all. Can't, damn it.
How many people are truly alive, awake, aware, not sucking in 5Hour Energy, Mountain Dew, Little Debbies, nicotine, cannabis, video games, TV, drama? This is the Zombie Apocalypse.

What Amy G. said reminded me of that old Pogo comic strip, and the famous line "We have seen the enemy, and they are us." The Zombie Apocalypse has happened... and they are us. (Not US, per se, but humanity in general. Everyone seems to be wrapped up in their little technological gadgets and doesn't see the beauty that is right in front of them... if they would only look up!)

Posted by Anonymous June 26, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Gosh but I love your writing. You really take me there and just slay me. Thanks, I needed that.

"Dogs last longer if you get out with them every day."

I think it's a two- way street.

Your quote should be a mandatory label for every new puppy.
... not a tattoo or anything ... that'd be weird.

I loved the comment " I see paintings everywhere." because since I started painting with watercolors, I too see paintings everywhere. Just wish I could get them all out of my head and onto paper. You have been an inspiration to me in many ways. Thank you Julie!

Seeing your increasing appetite for longer runs, I wonder if a bicycle might be in your future?! (For only those days when Chet Baker needs a rest, of course.) Feeling that same yearning to see what was beyond ever more distant horizons, I transitioned from short runs to long runs to eventually cycling. The bike gives one’s exploration of the countryside so much more reach, at a pace still slow and noiseless enough to allow taking in all the sounds, scents and sights of nature. Very addictive - and easier on the knees and ankles. : )

Love the comments here. Amy Girten, my soul sista. Mimi Manderly, exactly. LOOK UP. PUT THE DAMN PHONE DOWN.
Angel Dean, glad to oblige.
R. Powers, you deploy your dogs as they were meant to be used.
Sharon, you bet. Someday maybe I'll paint some of these incredible landscapes. If I did them in oils people might buy them. You never know.
Larry, you are eerily prescient. I did an 11 mile bikeride last night and thought I had seen the future. Checked my bluebird boxes, took a bunch of photos, yeahhh. Got home not exhausted. Expanding the reach. Helps the yearning to see more, for sure, and the ankles too.

Amen to the bike riding! Am 73, and long since given up even jogging,but find 10 miles on a bike doable most days. Love your photos and prose. The chicory was one of my favorite plants when we lived in Fairborn 30-odd years ago. Thanks again for your lovely posts. Linda B

Posted by Anonymous July 1, 2014 at 12:54 PM

My Mom says, "It's amazing how they drink an energy drink and then don't have any energy to carry the empty bottle to the trash can."
My Mom rocks.

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