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Things I Saw Along the Way

Saturday, December 6, 2014

November 10, 2014. Seems like it was the last beautiful day I can remember. I used it well, with a long run along the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers in Marietta. We have a modest bike trail, growing a mile or two each summer, and boy does it get used!

I took a lot of photos, reveling in the last of the autumn leaves and flowers. I'm glad I did. For it's been unbroken gray and often rainy ever since. Bleh. It's nice to go back...

to the sycamore limbs, limned in low sun. A word meaning "illuminated," and one that I sometimes write but never say. There aren't many words like that. 

I don't know how many photos I have of these two limbs along the Harmar bridge. Many. They are spectacular.
They reach out and go on and on. I don't know how sycamores do that.

I was shocked to see a Dutch iris putting out a brave snow-white blossom in November. I wonder if that means it won't bloom in May? It smelled delightful. Front Street. Just noticed Smitty's Pizza in the right background.

A nearby hydrangea was not to be outdone. What a brave showing!

I was stunned by the beauty of this Japanese maple against the Potomac blue paint of its house. (I think of trees as part of the family, somewhere between pets and residents). Is there a more graceful tree? I think not. 

These maples are most beautiful when they're allowed to spread out and wave those baby-fingered hands wherever they want. It's a little tough along a city sidewalk. You have to keep them sort of trimmed. But these homeowners are doing a wonderful job. 

For stark contrast, a Japanese maple FAIL. 

Here is a haiku, by me, written about this tree.

No no no no no
No no no no no no no
No no no no no.

If the office manager comes to work one day and finds a gaping hole where this little tree once tried to grow, he or she should not be surprised. I would like to free it and bring it to Indigo Hill, let it grow the way it was meant to, beautifully, gracefully. Out. And Up. 
 This is not a yew or a privet hedge. This is a Cutleaf Japanese Maple. You BOOBS!!

I looked for seedlings in the mulch beneath, but found none. :(

I did find doggie tracks in the stamped, dyed concrete of the levee. I had always thought it was brick! Fooled me, until I saw this. Nice. I like the way the paddyprints have collected pebbles. I wonder if this dog is still with us? I always wonder that when I see prints in concrete.

Did you make them, DracuPug?

Never have I seen a more fetching underbite. Coupled with the potchy belleh, that's one kissable pugga. Little-known fact: I went into shopping for dogs intending to get a pug. After a little research and thought, I decided on a Boston terrier because I thought, having longer legs and muzzle and a more slender build, it would be able to run better. At that point (2004) I wasn't even running, but I hiked a lot, and I wanted someone who could keep up with me. The rest is history.

No underbite. Potchy belleh, check. Athleticism, check. Winsome expression, kissability, check. 

The romantic in me smells every rose, even landscape roses, which rarely have much scent. These were lighting up a November twilight near the bike trail. What a wonderful plant is the Knockout rose. Tough as nails. Mine all died to the ground last winter, and only one didn't come back. They were puny last summer, but they were alive, and that's saying something. The Japanese beetles left them alone. Maybe they all died last winter, too.

Sarah and Dandy, looking out of their stalls at the horsebarn at the Fairgrounds, casting some boffo head shadows.

 Girls board their horses there and ride them around little corrals and the racetrack. If I kept a horse there, I'd light out on the bike trail. But that's probably not allowed. I've never understood riding a horse around a ring. But then I don't get treadmills either. I have to go somewhere, see some things.

 I would make a very poor convict. So I try not to break laws. 

(Would rescuing a tortured Japanese maple constitute theft?)
Is there such a thing as justifiable theft?

A small part of the feral cat colony being fed and maintained at the Fairgrounds, handy by excellent riverine gallery forest habitat full of song sparrows, cardinals, Carolina wrens, eastern kingbirds, yellow-throated warblers and warbling vireos. Lots of delicate wild fare to choose from for the burgeoning kitty corps.

On to things that make sense to me...

A glorious sugar maple, somehow hanging onto its full raiment as every other tree drops its leaves.

I am stunned and amazed at its gold against the rare azure sky.

It's like an epiphany.

Back to town. There's a guy smoking out the back of our brewpub. I like to look for people smoking out the back of restaurants. I wonder why so many people who work in restaurants and bars smoke? And they're always so young.  It's quite odd to be asking your good old body to run 7 miles, and trotting past someone half your age, who is sitting there wrecking his nice young lungs on purpose. 

Two little apparitions in pink, chasing mallards down by the water. I can safely say I have never worn that shade in my life. Nor will I. Not even as a costume, or a joke, or for a cause. Phoebe says all my clothes are dung-colored. So be it.

It looks nice on them!

The geese put themselves out of reach.

Sunset on the Harmar bridge.

Walking the dachsies. Now there's a breed I love which could never make the athleticism cut. I grew up with a superb dachshund, fathered by a mini, with a standard mother. But a distance runner he was not.

Ended up with a little fro-yo with my boy at Whirl, where Phoebe worked last year. So good. I get the sugar-free stuff, then throw fresh fruit and Heath Bars all over it. :D I always misbehave, too, laugh too loudly, go for one too many samples, that kind of thing. It's tradeeshun.


I love limn also, tho autocorrect does not.

All I can say about this post is:

Yes yes yes yes yes
Yes yes yes yes yes yes
Yes yes yes yes yes.

Since I never say "limned" either - but like it when I see it - I just had to look it up in the dictionary to see if I even know how to pronounce it, should I suddenly decide to say it. It appears to be LIM, presumably rhyming with KIM. But more importantly it has a lot to do with painting, illuminating manuscripts and - in its obsolete usage - specifically painting with watercolors! So clearly it is your word and you are a limner. You limn with words as well as watercolors!

love love love love love
love love love love love love love
love love love

love love (get back up there on the last line dammit)

Beautiful! I'm grateful that we've had some days this fall to savor the changing seasons before winter finally makes its mark. There have been several days that I've gone out to walk in Columbus and thought, "This could be the last nice day" and lo and behold, today is another one!

Posted by Lisa Craig Morton December 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

OK, I just have to quibble with you on this- it has NOT been gray and rainy EVERY day because on Thanksgiving, you had the snow dusting and the fun deer pictures....(I actually got to go xc skiing one day by driving north 50 miles...).

Fro yo: original tart and raspberries...yes.

I wonder how many stopped to wonder at that glorious sugar maple, last hold out to FALL. I hope many.

Posted by Gail Spratley December 8, 2014 at 1:40 PM
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