This tree is in a park near my house. Maybe someone else can identify the kind for me. I like to think of it as a survivor tree. At some point in the past, it fell over on its side. But did that make it give up? It did not!
It pushed some roots down from one side of its trunk and branches up from the other. It’s thrived like that for years now. I like to visit it for encouragement when things get difficult. It reminds me that life can knock you down, but that doesn’t always mean you can’t survive or even flourish. It reminds me not to give up, but to look for new alternatives, to adapt when faced with changes beyond my control.
Incidentally, the branches on the right side of the photo were propped there by someone recently. There’s a nice space in the middle, the right size to for a small child to sit in. Hmmm.
I was using some vacation hours today to work on a personal writing project, so naturally I took a three-mile walk. I assumed the day’s theme would be fall colors, but assumptions are often wrong. Also, the world around is full of astonishing finds if you pay attention.
First find, two doors down. A new resident in the neighborhood? You can’t tell from the photo, but this figure is BIG. I estimate at least seven feet tall, maybe more.
This gentleman has a polite request for us:
Whoa, how did these two get trapped here? Was it when the veil parted on Halloween? I nearly walked right over them without noticing! They’re not drawn on. They were put into the original sidewalk design when it was poured as far as I can tell.
I don’t know who Joe and Betty Wood were, but it seems they’re fondly remembered. Hi, Joe and Betty.
And finally, I did see some colors, too. ‘Tis I, Autumn.
It’s an unusually warm and idyllic day for November, and I have to work. The silver lining is that I get an hour for lunch and live close enough to walk home. I encountered one of nature’s wonders casually crossing the street. The iNaturalist “Seek” app on my phone informed me this critter is a marbled orb weaver spider. I almost said “guy” instead of “critter” because further research revealed that the females tend to stay hidden in piles of leaves, except when retrieving food from their webs. However, even more research tells me the size of this one indicates it’s a female. I’m going with “I don’t know.”
According to the Insect Identification site, these spiders are common in wooded areas near water.Aha! The road I was on runs alongside a park, and the park has a creek running through it. Common or not, it didn’t look familiar to me. Maybe because they’re usually hanging around in the brush and not out on the asphalt. It sure is eye catching, isn’t it? And nothing to worry about. They are neither aggressive nor venomous.
This one was trucking right along and seemed to have an agenda. Whatever its destination, I hope it arrives safely.
Today’s walk took me to my polling place, exactly one mile from my house. It was sunny and 48 degrees, perfect voting weather. We have one issue on the ballot — whether to renew a tax that funds some parks and rec projects. My town has a pretty good trail system, but it needs to be expanded into a couple of underserved neighborhoods. Passage would help fund that, in part, as well as possibly reopening a couple of local playgrounds. As is obvious to anyone who reads my blog, I love walking/biking trails and make frequent use of them.
On my way home, I met a new friend. I felt it was another civic duty to engage with them:
Speaking of civic mindedness, I’m blessed to live in a neighborhood abundant in little free libraries. Here’s one I hadn’t noticed before today: