Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cold is Creeping In and I Just Want to Wield Heavy Tools

Well, after several spates of warm October weather, the cold is finally sinking in. I have sheets and blankets on my garden (does that mean I have put it to bed?) and we might have a hard frost tonight.
I had my last (so far) outdoor swim for the season on October 19. It was a lovely warm day, so I took my SUP paddle board out on the Ashland reservoir, and at the far end, slipped into the water in my shorty wetsuit (and rash guard shirt and hood, cap, socks, and gloves) and dragged my board most of the way back down lake, but when I felt like getting out of the water, I stood back on my board and wasn't cold at all.

Today was one of those crisp days, 40 degrees at 9 AM when I set out on my bike for my yoga class. I dressed for the weather, and it was a lovely ride. When I came home, I had a short rest in the warmth of my sunroom, and headed out with saw, clippers, shovel, and mattock. I guess I am going to have to take pictures of these tools. I hacked away at my burning bushes, which are tall and unwieldy, to try to tame them back into small shrubs. I will have to at least take a photo of these.

There are plenty of other photos I missed taking recently. Once was of what I discovered to be "Dog Vomit Fungus" or "Dog Vomit Slime Mold" a bright yellow puddle of a mushroom in the back of my yard, near where my neighbor guides his actual dog to do her business on my property.

What you will see here are lots of photos I have taken of what interested me since the last blog post. I have a stone family at the shore of Walden Pond featured below (there are more photos of these in the main stream), photos of Walden Pond and a photogenic poseur of a cormorant there, reflections into a jeep from a restaurant, a fall trip up and down the Blackstone River Bikeway, poets Major Jackson and Reginald Dwayne Betts, singer-songwriter Kirsten Maxwell, and more.

A Stone Cairn Family Lamenting the Drought

Walden Pond

At Walden Pond, in Autumn, you can still see how low the water is. I went out on my SUP and saw this cormorant that so many folks were taking photos of, I had to come back with my own camera. The cormorant was just sitting on the same rock for what appeared to be more than a hour. The rock was covered in guano. In addition, I saw the builder of the stone family, so wanted to come back and take photos of them too. When I arrived at the family, the builder had gone, but I was able to photograph from behind, and then came ashore to photograph them properly. 

Blackstone River Bikeway, RI

When we were driving back from Lee, MA one Saturday, we passed the northern portion of the Blackstone River National Corridor. On reading up on this, I found out it is the nation's newest national park, founded in 2014. I seemed to remember there is a bike path within it, and when I looked it up, I found that there is about 10 miles of paved bike path along the Blackstone River in RI. We decided to go there the next day, and as we were leaving, we noticed the electric car was going to be very low on charge when we returned, so I searched for charging stations near the park. We lucked out, and the phone navigation brought us directly to a rest area off Route 295, where not only were there rest rooms and parking, but there were two electric vehicle charging stations, and direct access to the bike path from the rest area! How perfect was that? And it was beautiful, crisp fall day, just after two days of torrential rains, and we had a lovely day of riding along the river and tow path and by historic mills. An attendant at an exhibit/museum house (the Kelly House) on the route told us that three days prior, before the rains, you could not see the water going over the dam, the river was so low.

A Visit to the Normal Rockwell Museum

That Saturday that we went out to Lee, MA, turned out to be quite a rainy day, so our hopes of going for a nice hike were dampened. Instead, we spend a few hours at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Sturbridge. We also popped into his studio, which is now located on the same property, and has a nice view of a river. 

Swans of Ashland

I took the first of these photos at the Ashland Reservoir, in Ashland, MA.The final photos I took from my car driving back from the reservoir.

Common Stinkhorn Mushroom

I found these coming up in my side yard one day and had to photograph them. I haven't seen common stinkhorn in my yard in years.

I planted a sweet potato that had started to root and look at the yield from my garden!

Reflections from the Restaurant Window

When I took this, I could see the people eating at the table next to us reflected in the window in such a way as to appear that they are in the car, which was located outside of the window. 

An AMC Bike Ride through Sherborn, Dover, Medfield, and Natick

Here you see the Charles River in Dover, and the riders I lead on October 10, 2016. Much of the ride followed the upper Charles River.

Claude, on his Birthday

We took a nice walk on Claude's birthday in Carlisle. The leaves were peaking.

Putting the Garden to Bed and Trimming the Burning Bushes

Here in my garden, ghosts, sheets and blankets to protect the garden from frost. Have I put the garden to bed? And, too, you can see my raspberries, still here October 27, 2016, and autumn colors in my yard. Finally I have photos of the hedge of burning bush I trimmed back, and one I haven't yet trimmed. 

Asleep at the Wheel

I had the opportunity to see Asleep at the Wheel, and they were pretty entertaining. I was also intrigued by the Italian shoes of one of the art center volunteers.

Kirsten Maxwell and the Lincoln Library Tarbell Room

I attended an open mic at the Lincoln (MA) Library. It takes place in the beautiful Tarbell Room there. Kirsten Maxwell was the featured artist that night. On the carving on the left, it says "While I was musing, the fire burned." On the right it says, "These hoards of truth, you can unlock at will."
The first of these is from Psalm 39:3, and in the King James version of the bible, is extracted from “My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.” The right-side quote is from The Excursion, by William Wordsworth, and this prefaces the following: 

          And music waits upon your skillful touch,
          Sounds which the wandering shepherd from these heights
          Hears, and forgets his purpose;--furnished thus,
          How can you droop, if willing to be upraised?

So fitting for a room used for song and poetry.

Major Jackson and Reginald Dwayne Betts

I had the opportunity to listen to poems Major Jackson and Reginald Dwayne Betts read from their work. The former, at Brookline Public LIbrary, and the latter, at Framingham State University. The second photo in the bunch is a couple of FSU profs, posing in an interesting manner. I also like RDB's shoes. Both readings were very enjoyable.

RIP Betsy Anderson

This month, I attended a memorial for Betsy Anderson, who was a friend of mine from the YMCA, who also starred in one of my Go $$olar! documentary videos. Here is a link:

I Voted!

This is the first year in MA we were able to vote early. I hope you all get out there and vote.