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winter float trip

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m waiting for a friend to come over and then we’re going to go see a roots rock show at the Blue Fugue. I’m impressed with myself for still going out even though I’ve had a long day. Pretty much took a day off the campaign trail, though I still slogged through an hour and a half of sorely needed follow up calls and dealt with some electronic correspondence. Most of the day I spent out on the Big Muddy with Trevor, Eric and Andy. We drove out last night and stayed at the the East Wind(or something like that)  motel in Glasgow. Very quirky, divey kind of place but the owner was really sweet and hilarious. Gave us chocolates and walked us to our rooms to show us how satellite tv worked. It was a nice start to the trip after allowing myself to get a little frustrated with the little delays and driving back and forth across town that group floats always seem to inspire. Just tired.

We had a really great time on the river. My friend Trevor beat me to blogging about the day. He includes pictures. We shuttled our vehicles and Andy and I waited with the canoes on Stump Island. We hiked around and I read the interpretive sign. Lewis and Clark took a rest day there. Wind was out of the Northwest like today but they were heading up river (a much less chanellized and slower river, I might add) and we’re heading down of course (we do float trips here in Missouri, in Michigan we call them canoe trips). They’d had 2 days of rain so they dried their shit and played the fiddle and had a good old time. They all journaled, a great activity.

Julie just called, she is running late. I said I would add more detail. Trevor and Eric finally made it back and we were ready to embark. They had stopped to pick up breakfast burritos at the Glasgow bakery so well worth the wait. Eric makes cold pressed coffee concentrate so we had caffeined up before leaving the hotel. A little hot breakfast was a bonus.

It was a beautiful day on the river for February. Brisk for sure, but that thins out the crowds. Only saw 2 fishing boats, no other canoes of course. Plus in the winter you can see through the woods and get a better feel for the country. The highlight though were the bald eagles. Must have seen 5 or 6 plus some hawks, ducks, and a flock of cardinals on the way out. It was really amazing. There’s a number of eagles nest south of Stump Island (named by Lewis and Clark because it was island with a lot of stumps. Now its no longer an island and pretty much stump free.) so not a bad place to go and check out the big birds.

We had a pretty fun time, taking our time. We only did 14 miles and there’s a pretty good current. We stopped and tossed around the Frisbee and explored some sand bars. The currents are tricky in some places. The Big Muddy is fun to float because it is very easy until its not. Its wide with a channel and if you pay attention you can easily avoid hazards but there’s some bits can get tricky around sand bars and such.

It was a good environment with good company. We packed up with only a little less misadventure then loading the boats to come out but I was in much better spirits. I dozed some on the way home. Picked up Fido from Ashley, he was happy to see me. He’s been sleeping so I don’t know if he did at Ashley’s. First time we’ve been apart since Dad died. I missed him. I’ve become one of those people.

Ordered pizza as I’d thought we’d stop for dinner. Did my follow up calls. Got through a bunch and will do the same tomorrow and hope to be completely caught up by the end of the day. Eager to read my newspaper coverage. The Chamber of Commerce endorsed my opponent. I thought I got some good coverage though I came in last. Was on the front page though. Don’t forget to vote for me in the poll, I’ve fallen 2 votes back.

Tomorrow its back to door knocking. Olive, Fido’s buddy is coming over and I’m having breakfast with Amy and Michael. No Walking Dead this week, Harry has to work. He will DVR it and we’ll get a double feature next week. Well I should let the dog out before Julie gets here. Goodnight faithful reader, sleep tight.

Categories: coffee, dogs, friends, nature, politics

Good News for Chimps

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I just saw a story that the NIH is getting rid of almost all animal testing on our closest cousins chimpanzees. I’ve got a soft spot for chimps and grant them a certain level of personhood. Its not complete but its pretty close. Now we need to protect their habitat and keep extant their natural culture and genetic diversity and start building from that. I was all fire for chimps back in the day and wrote this song that kind of speaks for itself

Chimp Poem

Out in the jungle were some chimpanzees

Eating some fruit, swinging through the trees

Minding their own business, not hurting anyone

Raising their babies, and having fun

Until that fateful day when they were nabbed

And shipped to the States for a research lab

They were poked and prodded, separated from their mates

Ninety five percent of chimps shared the same fate

But our superior intellect the scientists say

Gives us the right to do what we may

Torture the dumb chimps in our quest for knowledge

Because that’s what the ethicist taught us in college.

Driving through the suburbs in their SUV

Was an upper middle class American family

They were driving to Junior’s first soccer game

On that fateful day when the aliens came

Sucked up to a saucer by a tractor beam

They were sent to another world by a teleport machine

They were poked and prodded, separated from their mates

Ninety five percent of humans shared the same fate

But our superior intellect the aliens say

Gives us the right to do what we may

Torture the dumb humans in our quest for knowledge

Because that’s what our ethicist taught us in college.

Believe it or not half of this tale is true

And you know you wouldn’t want it to happen to you

So keep in mind the Golden Rule

And don’t use chimps as your research tool

The wild chimps should be left alone

They need habitat to call their own

The research chimps should all be set free

To be the wild things God wants them to be

To be the wild things God wants them to be.

#######

Categories: nature, poetry, politics, primates

used to read full time

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been getting a lot more “likes” on my posts from other poets and that has been flattering. Its also inspiring me to blog more. I was talking to a co-worker about a clinical issue and mentioned I had recently read of a study in Europe more definitively linking marijuana use with psychoses and she looked at me funny and said “how much do you read in a week?” I thought for a second and said “not counting Facebook and stuff, probably twenty, twenty-five hours a week. That’s down a lot from what it used to be when I was knocking out two or three books a week. (I certainly didn’t tell her about Summers as a teenager when I was knocking out a book and a half a day. Anyway, she said “twenty five hours? That’s like a part time job”. The funny thing is up until I bought the house I used to read full time. I also didn’t mention a fair chunk of it lately has been Fantastic Four comics (I’m coming up on the mid 80s, Sue Richards has this spiky mullet, a new low and the time I was coming of age, how sad).

Today it was beautiful out. A gorgeous day for any season but with the coming of winter a precious thing. My COD group talked me into taking the show on the road and took the group on a walk. It was nice to get out on the trail and there was a universal uptick in mood and a couple of total shifts. Mine was improved and I was feeling none to shabby to begin with. Walks are such a no brainer on a beautiful day with a stir crazy bunch who really need to learn the benefits of walking and being in nature. The downside is you get less direct teaching and there’s a lot of stuff I know that could be helpful so I usually keep ’em in the classroom or at most take the conversation outside. Today we walked and it was good.

After work I shoveled the last of the horse manure on the cold frame and started the surplus pile. Might finish it tomorrow if i get an early start and Fido doesn’t want to hang out at the park too long. I’ve been steady on every other day walks most to the dog park. Olive is coming on Sunday so I’ll get a freebie. I’m going to make a chicken. I was going to roast it but with thanksgiving coming up I think I will cut it up and barbecue it.

Today I planned on cooking for myself. I had thawed cube steaks I needed to cook and tomatoes have been ripening on the counter so I put two and two together. I scalded all the tomatoes that were ripe or mostly ripe. While the water was getting hot I fried 2 pieces of bacon. I poured off half the grease and let the bacon soak out some grease in a newspaper (you can’t do that with the internet). I fried up a diced red onion, 1/2 green pepper, 3 thai chile peppers drying on my window sill in the bacon pan. I added tomatoes when the onions started to carmelize about 3/4 of the cast iron skillet and boiled that down, adding some Mrs Dash & Agave nectar to bring down the bitterness of the fresh tomatoes.

I browned the cube steaks 4 pieces, maybe a little more then a pound and patted them in whole wheat flour. I took rest of the bacon grease and sauteed another red onion, this time chunkier, green pepper 1/2 slices and a few baby portobellos I think and browned the steaks. Added all that to the now pretty yummy cooked for an hour tomato sauce and let that simmer for 40 minutes or so (another hour wouldn’t hurt, could have gotten by maybe ten minutes less, it was gooood).

I made a salad with red lettuce, thin sliced yellow squash and shredded carrots. Probably grand total the meal was literally 97% local topped off with Kevin bringing Uprise sour dough whole wheat and cookies for desert. I also had a Boulevard Wheat when cooking. Sweet.

Well in the never ending quest to get more poetry on the web here is a poem I wrote in Creative Writing back before I could write poetry but I was a little clever and got by. This one is about fungi and is in the 5-7-5 syllable format but doesn’t have a seasonal nature so its not quite haiku:

Ascomycetes

What in the world does it mean?

I know I don’t know

no title

Watching the American League Championship game 1 and its no score in the 2nd Verlander is on the mound. At least it was, Rangers take a 1 run lead. As always baseball is pretty slow and gives me a chance to update my movements. Its been a pretty good day got up and drank a light/medium roast Guatemalan. Pretty yummy. Harry came by and I made another pot.

We went to the market and had breakfast burritos and listened to some accordion music. The guy had some kids out doing kids songs it was fun. It was a nice market and picked up a variety of peppers, some white sweet potatoes (i’d never had those), some organic sirloins, baby bok choy, turnips, some black maters and white onions both on the small side and a few other things. We decided not to brave downtown to go to Artrageous because of Homecoming.

We hiked instead and went out to Finger Lakes where there was a new trail to an alleged waterfall. We hiked out and enjoyed some Fall color. It seems a couple weeks pre-peak but it got me thinking that pre-peak might be the best color because there aren’t the bare spots you get when most leaves are peaking. Looks like the cotton woods are peaking first and it was pretty. We hiked on a mountain bike trail and it seemed like they packed as much trail in the space as they could so it seemed circuitous for hiking. There was a nice patch of tiny blue asters and it was a pretty enough trail. The waterfall was a bust though, dry as a bone. Must have been a while ago when the reporter did the trail.

Harry dropped me off and I took John’s offer for a haircut (short and looks good) and I got on some yard stuff. Turned the compost, maybe a couple weeks out from getting some. Might make some tea with it though. Dug up by the roses and cleaned out those beds and planted some crocuses. I got this giant variety, though I’m sure they’re still pretty small.

After that it was time to cook. John had gotten some cube steaks so I marinated them in fresh squeezed lime juice, diced garlic, & turmeric. I made my fire with cowboy charcoal and added some red bud pieces when i spilled the coals out of the chimney. I made a packet out of the white sweet potatoes that i peeled and diced with raisins, local honey, black walnuts from Michigan, and some fresh grated ginger with some extra pads of butter because Mrs. Selierman said the taters where dryer then the regular kind.

I also did up the turnip greens with a couple baby bok choy, green onions, white onions, a red poblano pepper, my own garlic. Fried up the hard stuff in bacon grease, then the garlic, then the greens which i then added malt vinegar, sesame oil & bitters and put a lid on it. Served with cottage cheese and hot bread & butter pickles. Pretty yummy.

Now if my tigers can come back it will have been a pretty good day.

Categories: baseball, friends, gardening, nature

Another Friday Night…

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Killing time before the Tigers game comes on. I have to work tomorrow so don’t know how deep I’ll be able to get into the game with it not coming on until 9:00. They have a chance to clinch the central division and its nice to end the season strong. I like our chances. Spent some time after dinner weeding the strawberries. They really took it on the chin in the heat wave (probably should have watered them more) and a lot of grass came up in the newly opened space. I especially wanted to get the fox tails, last thing I want is one of this bristles stuck up one of the dog’s nose. Cost my brother like a thousand bucks when it happened to Smokey. Also need to mow, but tired yesterday, and kind of wet today. Got some wild flowers blooming, wish i knew all their names, but the asters by the mail box are especially pretty. Saw more then a few of those in the Nantahalas along with fancy goldenrod, phlox, and a bunch of other stuff  i couldn’t ID or can’t remember. There were a lot of these orange pitcher flowers by our second camp site. Even though it wasn’t a legit dispersed site in the National Forest (too close to both a paved road and a picnic area) I was glad we stayed a second night because a beautiful little hummingbird got comfortable enough with us to feed on the orange flowers. It worked its way through the little jungle of them for quite a while. There’s always something magical when they stop by and I am looking to get more flowers in, in front of my picture window and in the back to draw more in. I’ve upgraded to black sunflower seed instead of the cheap mixes and it has drawn a better class of birds. John got me a squirrel guard, a plastic dish that tilts when you put weight on it  that has kept out the squirrels and of course the dogs help. Fido has them all running out to the feeder whenever someone opens the back door or yells squirrel. I trimmed up Fido some tonight, straightened up his mustache and got some long spots and some spots that were matted and worked out from his pre-vacation cut. They had been annoying me the whole trip and I was glad to get it done. I had left his little penis hair but it was getting to be better then 2 inches long and John was teasing me so I trimmed that too. He doesn’t care for the manscaping and I can’t blame him after what happened to his balls. I wanted to share more about my vacation but after being back a couple days it already feels far away and long ago. I didn’t take a computer and instead had this great idea of blogging in a book instead. The links are hard but its really revolutionary. I realized I don’t self-censor as much here as much as I thought as my writings for myself weren’t much different, although I would be lying if I said they were exactly the same. Over-sharer that I am I still hold a lot back for the general prevue. I may share some excerpts or use it as a draft maybe this weekend. I have to work a half day tomorrow so no market. I will probably go to Wilsons to get at least some local produce. I was going to wait until Sunday and go to the art/vegetable market at bus station but I want to make barbecued beef and need some sides. Maybe I’ll do carnitas instead and go to the grocery store. its not a bad idea anyway the cupboards are, if not bare, have some room and the fridge is bare. I did make it to the market last Saturday in Franklin North Carolina. It was small but friendly and we got some local tomatoes (not as good as home), a jalapeno, pimento, green beans and okra which livened up our tuna and noodles and our canned chinese food (man that stuff has really gone done hill). We also got a little zucchini bread which was not as good as the ones i get locally (or make for that matter). that would be a good weekend activity, i’ve got a brown banana in the freezer. Franklin was a cool little town though. Caught breakfast twice at the City Diner. Had the Gypsy Omelet which was hash and swiss, pretty yummy and it was cheap. We drove past a place in a strip mall that didn’t have any customers on a weekend and found the City Diner with a lot full of pick up trucks. Pa Miller taught me that was the way to find good eats in the country, god rest his soul. There was also a cool indian mound with some history that it had been an important city of the Cherokee before they got f*cked and they kept the village center on the mound. It was an important battle(the battle of echoe) there where the Cherokee won one year quite handily but got beaten decisively a year later. Would have liked to check out more Cherokee stuff when we were out there, but we stuck to the woods. Looks like its time to call Harry and tell him can’t go to the market and watch a few innings before hitting the hay. Good night faithful reader and sweet dreams.

potpourri with hummingbird

September 12, 2010 1 comment

Its an extremely beautiful day, high 82 low 58. Its dried out some from yesterday’s rain. a hummingbird comes and eats at one of my flowers out front. just magically beautiful and i am still inside. lions and tigers and bears oh my. orioles as well. couple of one point games. i also have pumpkin stuff (my front yard volunteer pumpkin, fresh ground cinnamon, allspice, clove, star anise, and nutmeg, pet milk, bake at 300 for an hour, sprinkle with honey and bake another hour) in the oven plus a mess of hot peppers roasting to be frozen for winter consumption.  That with the load of laundry on the line its alright to be inside. after the games and the oven planning on biking my overdue books back to the library. I rode to the market yesterday. I was observant to how it was different then driving. I bought have as much stuff and spent more than twice as long there. I was more thoughtful in how much i wanted something and conscientious not to forget anything. Sarah rode her bike over and we rode together and we walked our bikes til where our paths separated. Rode back along Again Park and it felt good to be riding again. I’m 7 miles towards getting my recumbent.  If I can demonstrate I am going to ride a lot it would be better for my back. My most thoughtful physical therapist thought bike riding was how i bulged those two discs. i also don’t want to put out the money and space and then not ride.

I haven’t finished the tale of the detroit trip. On Labor Day the neighborhood came alive, there was a union headquarters near and a lot of folks with signs and t-shirts showed up for a while and we realized we were there on the one day a year trumbul comes back to life. We got the great coffee and i had a pretty authentic ham sandwich at Le Petit Zinc. The bees were back but bothering others. Tre’ and Jeff enjoyed their crepes.

We drove down Trumbul to the Trumbulplex. No one seemed around and the flyer about the political poster exhibit didn’t have times. Trevor flagged down a hipster in black leather pants and matching lipstick who claimed to be a neighbor but said she would get somebody. Somebody turned out to be Ashley who had met Jeff at the bakery (Farmington anarchists is a small pool, I think we had both of them present). The NIRS no nukes bumpersticker caught my eye and took me back to the ’95 fermi protests, I remember picking and dropping off stuff here, might have caught a show but i don’t think so.

The exhibit is cool. An Emma Goldman flier is probably my favorite. Ashley is very friendly, the only resident involved with the theater. she gives us the garden tour: bees, chickens (used to be more til a bunch got heisted), there’s a huge rain catch (500 gallons?), and a great garden plot, orchard, more garden plots. I have an apricot. its yummy but a little early. Ashley’s plot looks great. Awesome cruciferous veggies, better than you can grow in como.

After the tour we drove back grand river to hang out in farmington. met the littler kids and chilled out a bit. learned a friend is an internet meme (note to self: need to check on that). relaxed. walked down and got ice cream. said goodbye.

pleasant flight back and goodbyes to trevor at the airport. some shuttle mishaps but am finally delivered to my truck. on the road home, what a great trip.

The warning lights that had come on in the drive out were on and stayed on. In Wentzville the old truck lost power had it on the floor 65, 60, 55…on the side of the road just in front of a junction to another highway. I tucked my laptop behind the seat (key broke off door at KC airport & can’t lock it anymore) and took my backpack. I walked up the highway and then along a fence until i could squeeze under the fence near a washed out area.

I walked towards a motel not begrudging my lack of a cell phone. adds a little adventure to life. I walk into the lobby the desk is unattended. there is a note to ring bell or call a couple of numbers. I ring the bell. no one comes. I ring again no one comes.

I walk out on the service road weighing my options. I start walking west on the service road it curves away from the highway and i take the first right and walk in the dark country road. I walk 4 miles and get to a gas station. she lets me make a local call on her dieing cordless and gives me the number of a tow company.

He picks me up and takes me to my truck. He grudgingly lets me make a call on his cell and i leave a message for dad asking him to pick me up in Wentzville if he gets the message. He tows me to Dan’s Foreign Auto and I write out a note on what happened and he drives me to the Super 8. He declines me a second call so i don’t tip him. The hotel clerk begrudgingly lets me make a long distance call. Dad is enroute.

We get home late and I am glad I took the next day off work. Slept in and mowed the lawn. was glad to be home where its not so cold and the landscape is not so haunted with sadness and loss. after some days Dan reports he can’t find anything wrong with the truck. Dad runs me out there right after work on Friday and we are rushing to beat the 6 o’ clock close time. We make it and talk to Dan. The warning lights come up and Dan has me show him. Its the alternator brushes. That’s why it comes and goes. i am now rushed to get it home before dark so because the car is questionable with the lights on.

I drive. I am uncomfortable with my rush of thoughts with the abbreviated overwhelming work week. I risk some radio to share the cab with NPR. Until the warning light comes on. then i am left alone with wild thoughts. I note my 20 oz pepsi impulse buy. it was for comfort in a maybe the truck will make it maybe it won’t. I think about neil stephenson’s comments on sugar water in “Anathem’. I decide to write and come up with:

I’m going to drink a bucket of sugar water

And yak into my new jeejah,

And drive my old fetch across the highways of life

Remembering the fuel trees.

And when my journey is finally over

And I am safe at home at last

I’ll think about the present future

What the world will be when it’s past.

Will our numbers keep on growing

While our resources start to where thin

With less and less of god’s creation

And more and more with sin.

I like the start of it and hope i can go further with it. The lions just lost a heart breaker, should’ve been a game winning touchdown. At least the tigers won there’s. win or lose its time to wrap this up and get out and enjoy some perfect day.

Categories: cooking, friends, nature, travel

old dog, new dog, feel alright

Its been a strange time, very busy lots of changes, lots of talking to very bright people whose first language is not english. it stretches your mind, as does the new job at work, as do the canine changes at home. Wednesday I met Belen downtown and we went for icecream at sparkies. it was good i had a wafflecone. we stayed for 4 hours talking about psychology and metaphysics. its been ages since i’ve had such an intense talk about stuff. i didn’t get home til after ’10 and if you know me lately that’s my bed time. going to bed at the same time is one of the things that keeps me sane, but sometimes there are higher purposes than mere sanity and i headed for bed at 11. i was devastated to see oni had pissed in it. thursdays my long day, jamming from 7:30 to 8:30 and i don’t mean an hour.

i stripped the wet stuff off, the good news badnews was she had hit the comforter, and tossed it in the hall, grabbed a flanel sheet and closed the blinds in the living room and laid down on the couch. sometimes when i can’t sleep rather than do progressive relaxation i take the easier route of zoning in front of the tv to manage rushing thoughts. but after asking dad to turn down the tv and turn off his lamp i explained his dog had pissed my bed. he seemed mad at me about it and turned off his movie right before the end and went to bed.

said he was taking oni to the humane society and i didn’t tell him not to. just tired of it. lowering the quality of my life. it had come that close so many times before i couldn’t get up the motivation to give her a final farewell goodbye but knew it was happening so i said something. “take care now” or something.

they were both gone at lunch. didn’t mean anything. enjoyed the quiet.

after the day job dad was subdued. dog was nonexistent. i was apologetic and sad. for 10 minutes and then i had to go. i was already 10 minutes late. my life is too hard.

group was alright but last week had been super great. therapeutic and meaningful, cool because we had an intelligent observer who gave good feedback, a therapist from Taiwan in a PHD program in an exchange program. this group was not quite perfunctory but more educational and less deep. but had made it through a long day.

friday, work was work. its new reality is do one thing after another from the time until you leave and leave some things undone. jamming all day. home, change clothes, weed the garden for 10 minutes and go downtown for the 100th anniversary of the wabash station. toured the artrageous gallery 1st floor which had been a storage building for supplies. its a cool old building with a neat rehab into studios. train art and toy trains. no tour of old underground train repair space in the catacombs as promised. there was a ’26 model t, they had three petals i learned from dad and an old dude who’d wandered up. brake, clutch and shift. never noticed the windshield was two small windshields on pivots. i added the fact they got better gas mileage than the ford explorer.

we met amy and some friends of hers at sycamores, we sat at the bar. christina was one of them and we talked about her friend the harvard professor whose study that showed happiness and sadness followed disease models of contagion (you’re 11% more likely to be happy if you have a happy friend, twice that for a sad friend). more people showed up and there was a shortage of bar stools and a surplus of weirdness so we split. probably should have just got a table.

dad and i were going to go to the casino but we had words and i said i didn’t want to go and didn’t. mowed the lawn and ordered pizza and felt a little bad. i was deadheading the roses when he arrived and pointed out the beautiful sunset i was oblivious too and what it was doing to the tiger lillies til he mentioned it and asked to take a picture. i said “sure, in the sweet light”. and we talked about that, the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise when light comes in obliquely and makes for better photos. softer, less glare. he hadn’t heard of it but had sorta discovered it. sweet.

today was up and do dishes. drink coffee with sarah and talk about sociopaths. i think its a curable condition if they’re motivated. we went to the market. they’re awesome this time of year. melons are out and got a nice little watermelon, plus peaches, concord grapes, this and that.

home to meet the new dog. dad had found one in the free classifieds. a cockapoo four months old. named him fido. he’s barking at the cat right now, first peep i’ve heard out of him. he’s a little black and white fuzzy guy with big paws and goofy eyes. shy and charming. i put away my stuff and left (after having swapped vehicles with sarah) to pick up the girls from taiwan.

we went out to devil’s ice box trail at rockbridge state park. more of its open and everyone enjoyed climbing down to anderson cave where it was cool and very cool. watching the little ones play, the real little ones sitting down on rocks because they didn’t want to cross the underground stream.

after stopping by the Pierpont Store we went back and hung out while dad smoked a pork loin and grilled some chicken breast on the grill. we had the watermelon as well as red potatoes and corn on the cob. they took almost as many pictures of the meal as they did the cave.

needless to say i was bushed and coasted through the evening. through it all i’ve been re-reading neal stephenson’s anathem. brilliant book, i’ll post on it.

Categories: dogs, feelings, friends, nature, work

Walking in the Rain

Last night I was restless and a little angry and took off on a walk. It was a good decision. It was raining and I can’t remember the last time I took a walk in the rain. It had been coming down hard and when I got to Bear Creek it was roaring like its namesake. I’ve never seen the tranquil little town stream so big and ferocious. The trail was flooded but I walked on (tivas have their uses). Dusk came early because of the heavy cloud cover and an owl flew across my path, his feathers were ruffled and he was of good size but i couldn’t see his head to know what kind. A good chunk of the trail was water covered and their were crawfish, frogs & toads enjoying the shallows. The water in the woods was flowing like a giant brown stream in some places. Of course I had the trail to myself, best thing about rain is it clears out the crowds.  Down by Garth the trail was flooded where I had to lift my shorts and their was a current. I could see getting swept away. I couldn’t find the path that led up to the road I was going to walk home on but just plunged up. There was a lot of pale cone flower still holding up their little heads in the now downpour.

Categories: feelings, nature

Canoeing through the woods

June 24, 2010 2 comments

Staycation 2010 rocks on. I have been doing a terrible amount of gardening. Most of the place has been cultivated, I planted all but one of my new wildflowers, and I got in three rows of okra. I am experimenting with putting them pretty close in a square foot garden approach. Yesterday I harvested half of my mixed greens. They were getting tough from the 90+ degree heat so i made wilted lettuce and it was quite delicious. I set aside some bacon grease for another round later this week, then no more backyard lettuce until fall. I was also able to host a little breakfast thing around the world cup which was fun and an exciting game with the usa coming back in the end to advance. I grilled a nice sirloin with paprika, dried aromatic basil, and garlic powder with some baked red potatoes from the springfield market (i suspect they were last years).

In the evening Jared came by and we drove out to Overton  Bottoms and canoed around the flooded wildlife refuge. There was supposed to be a group but no one else showed. We offloaded the canoe and ran over to Woolverton for a six pack of Redstripe. Of course their was a client in the parking lot, that always happens on the rare occasion I buy alcohol. Coming back in I got the truck stuck parking off the side of the road. We got ‘er rocking and with Jared driving and me pushing out of the flooded ditch we got ‘er out. I was covered in mud but relieved not to have to call for rescue. Getting stuck makes beer taste good.

We canoed around, first through some brush and weeds and it felt very evergladey. We then moved through the woods which was pretty cool, i’ve never canoed in that kind of situation. We went down the flooded road and explored a parking lot to read the informational signs. Jared spotted a tree frog clinging to a lonely dry reed. I broke it off, loaded him on to the canoe and carried him to a large tree. He hopped off happily.

We were going to head to the river to see the transition from flood to river but the weather turned ominous. We instead had a mad dash back to the truck as lightning struck along the horizon. It was coming in a few large drops and not a minute after we had the boat strapped down it came down in buckets. A beautiful trip and the end to a really wonderful day.

Categories: gardening, nature, travel

beautiful spring days

Thank god for beautiful spring days. sarah came over for coffee before we went to the market with harry. there was more of a crowd even early and everyone was loving the beautiful days. got eggs of course, the big bag of spinach, brats, goat cheese, everything else i still had from last week. sarah got flowers for amy’s bridal shower and i donated a tulip and a prettier than theirs daffodil. Sarah was impressed with how much stuff i had going when we did the grand tour.

I couldn’t turn up my proof of personal property tax so i went down town to see if i could get a copy and couldn’t. While i was downtown i grabbed some Kaldi’s beans. Got a relationship Brazilian light roast (excellent} and a sumatran. I tried the relationship Montserrat and it was good. Kaldis really knows how to roast a bean.

I also had gotten bacon at the market but it was frozen so i offered to get everyone breakfast at Midway Truckstop. Had the french toast, fair. Dad had the hamburger steak and eggs that i usually get  but wasn’t hungry enough.

After breakfast we went out to the Overton Bottoms and checked on the trees we had planted (oaks, pecans, and other hard nut trees, with the idea over the next 3 or 4oo years the trees would mature and the nuts would wash downstream to propagate along the river banks. The Bottoms are a cool area that got protected after the big flood of ’93, thank you slick willy, and are going from pasture/farm land to wooded wetland. We checked on our trees, the switch grass wasn’t out yet so we couldn’t check in on that and then looked fruitlessly for morels. the dogs enjoyed meandering around the forest. Myrtle soaked in the Big Muddy but Oni wasn’t having any of that.

Since we were shroomless we filled our bags with garlic mustard. Its a pernicious problem there and I had volunteered on a pull last year. There was less of it but the seeds take two years so it was to be expected to be back in force, and it was.

Came home and dad watched the tigers beat the indians, harry finished digging up the spring bed and planted lettuces, mesculin mix, and arugula. I mowed the front yard. Yea. The push reel works with my impaired arm. i felt like i could have mowed the back but decided to be cautious and wait until tomorrow.

Instead i painted the black stripes on the rain barrels. They are closer to being done, on two of them we are going to run the pipe straight into them. One bush will have to be trimmed. On the southwest corner we need to do a flex pipe so we don’t have to move the garden gate. Dad thinks its going to be frost free. He started cutting on the red bud stump but it was thicker than the saw and it still stands. He wants to pull it over with a chain and his truck. We swung the axe at it some. Its fun i couldn’t cut my french toast with a fork but i can swing an axe. weird.

In between those last things i cooked some supper. I cooked up a good size batch of the mustard greens with some local bacon. I fried the bacon in small pieces, threw in red onion, and then the garlic mustard in the water that clung to it when i washed it. I added malt vinegar. When i tried it it was pretty bitter so i squeezed in the juice of a key lime and added some braggs, it turned out good but i wouldn’t want a steady diet of it. Harry is going to try some with ham bone and great northern beans. I also made a pack of the brats pulled in a third of a Mickeys with the rest of the red onion and some amy’s mac & cheese with garlic powder and basil.

We’re finishing up the evening with a little 2o12. Neutrinos shaking up the earths quest. doesn’t bold well with my perennials. I do like me some apocalyptic fiction though.