Friday, December 30, 2016
New Yorkers can rightly be proud of Central Park, laid out within the city’s limits. It attracts millions upon millions of guests each year. It occupies 778 acres.
Indianapolis, too, has a number of in-city parks, the largest being Eagle Creek Park at 3,900 acres. Millions of people don’t know about Eagle Creek Park.
I walked there today. Let me show you a few of the 77 pictures I took.
Walkers can enjoy miles of trails, some of them wild …
and some of them tame.
A large reservoir, fed by Eagle Creek, is a bird watcher’s destination.
The cold weather didn’t seem to bother the mallards.
The bird sanctuary guide told me that more than 200 kinds of birds have been identified there this year, including the bald eagle. Here is a perch.
I canoed the reservoir one time and intend to do it many times more.
Today I settled for walking and snooping — two hours of pleasure.
I would be pleased to show you the park.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Today on my walk something guided my thoughts to dead stuff. Perhaps this site.
In the forest I can see three kinds of material — living, dormant and dead. What catches my imagination is that all three contribute to what we think of as the bounties of nature.
Early winter it’s easy to think that there’s not much to see in the woods. What’s there is gray and/or dead. But that conclusion is short-sighted. The forest needs the dead material for its future.
The stack of brush slowly decomposes.
The leaves slowly turn to mulch. Even what seems too big to decay will do so in its own time if allowed that time.
“Let your garden stalks remain for the winter,” says Terry, the neighbor. They provide protection for small creatures and nutrition for next year’s plants.
Let spring be spring, let summer be summer, let autumn be autumn, and winter a glorious time for dead stuff.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Today I met …
- my wife, first thing this morning and various times throughout the day.
- a daughter who is here recovering from a bug that is moving through our family.
- the doctor’s assistant (it’s De Quervain Tenosynovitis, a consequence of having laid a brick walk in October).
- the cashier at Starbucks (late morning I grabbed a Chai latte).
- the clerk at Fed Ex (who duplicated a number of photos for me)
- several passersby on the Monon Trail.
- the cashier at the bank (nice to deposit a check).
- and my sister in law who stopped in late afternoon.
Each of these people was cordial, in good spirit, courteous and humane in all ways of defining it.
Only one person, a guy in a banged up panel truck was unhappy that I, having had my turn signals on for four or five seconds when he was about forty feet behind, merged over into his lane. He wouldn’t let me do it and gave me what seemed a dirty look.
So the percentage of pleasant people today was quite high and that’s a good reason to have confidence that tomorrow the people I meet will be similarly gracious.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
F-Words associated with Christmas: family, family reunion, Father Christmas, feast, Feliz Navidad, festival, festive, fir, frankincense, frosty, Frosty the Snowman and fruitcake.
But don’t forget fireplace.
Your mind might jump quickly to mantel decorations, stockings and the mythical visit of Santa. I’m thinking of something else. Actually, I’m experiencing it now.
The evening fire is as old as the hills. The fireplace is contemporary. It needs tinder and logs and asks for little more. A medieval chant fits nicely although I prefer to hear a winter wind. Friends complement an evening by the fire. So does a sleepy dog. Yet I don’t mind solitude; in fact I like it. Wine provides spirits but so does Irish Cream.
By the fire I remember. By the fire I imagine. The early blaze excites me, the dying fire calls forth resignation.
I like to remain even to the dying embers (if the spirits let me). Then off to bed I go with gratitude, having experienced a purging of my soul.
Monday, December 26, 2010
I feel unworthy to tell you of our family gathering. We are blessed, immensely and fully.
On Christmas morning I posted in Facebook: “The universe has billions of galaxies. Our galaxy has billions of stars, one of which is near us.”
We could all gather excepting for Courtney who visited Adrian in Costa Rica, caring for turtles and their nests; and Jordan who lives in Salt Lake City. Lali invited us to her property and more specifically to the annex of her commercial kitchen.
Here we are at Christmas brunch. Clockwise, beginning with Annie in the foreground left: Joy, Sam, Lali, Ben, Lucy, Ingrid and Gretchen. Doug, unfortunately was in bed fighting the flu.
Of course food played a role center stage. Our Christmas evening meal was sushi whose taste the picture fails to record.
Together we enjoyed table games, ping pong, walking, drawing, seeing once again “The Grinch,” playing with the dogs, giving gifts and of course some cooking, dish washing and sleeping.
Now evening of December 26, we are again at home, in quietness and not a small amount of wonder!
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Interstate 70 truckers know that central Indiana can be icy. The more moderate temperature here, compared with Goshen in northern Indiana, can mean that the snowstorm in Goshen is an ice storm in Indy.
Such was the case this past week. A four-inch snowfall was followed by freezing rain, making a treachery of streets and sidewalks. Then came the blast of Arctic air that made an icy winterland.
Pleasant Run is a marvel. Yesterday’s zero temp set up ice capades. This morning I took several photos of the event.
One doesn’t feel the cold when walking through such an art gallery.
Monday, December 19, 2016
It’s a challenge, after centuries of celebrating the coming of light, to say anything not hackneyed or trite about the winter solstice and our fixations on candles, stars and the short day of the sun.
I shall not try to be elegant, but merely report that this year I/we have registered the daily shift toward darkness, beginning back in October. Why this has been our unusual experience I know not. We have felt the ever earlier dusk and later dawn.
It is now a bit after 5 PM. I already turned on the portico light. Soon the backyard light will be triggered. The birds and squirrels have retreated to nests. Kids aren’t outside playing football.
Irvington residents celebrate the season with a community-wide display of candles in white paper bags. This year I didn’t put enough sand into each bag; the wind knocked most of them down before the candle was spent. We stopped in at two parties. Had it been summer, we would have walked the streets in full light.
Of course it’s easy to understand why our winter myths make much of darkness and light. If there were no seasonal changes in light, we wouldn’t make stories of a guiding star or sing about brightness or light candles. Myths built their meanings from human experience; I’m pleased to join the celebration.