On Today’s Walk: Dropped Veg Edition

Spotted while walking home on my dinner break, late afternoon — a whole trail of dropped veggies. Most items had already been snacked on by urban wildlife.

I feel sorry for someone. That’s a lot of mighty fine produce to lose. I’m puzzled how they didn’t realize and pick it up. Good luck for the squirrels, though.

 

 

On Today’s Walk: Sidewalk’s End Edition

Shel Silverstein warned me this would happen:

sidewalk ends

 

I’m spending a few days with my firstborn while he recovers from surgery. (He’s fine, thanks.) His apartment is located within a mile of just about anything you could want. There are several restaurants nearby, a grocery store four blocks away, two bookstores within a half mile, at least two department stores you can walk to in fifteen minutes, a skating rink! A large and amazing consignment store sits two blocks down the street. All of that just a quick walk from his home.

The rub is that nothing is engineered for pedestrians or bicycles. It’s all designed to encourage driving. I was walking to the convenience store up the street to get us coffee and the sidewalk simply stopped, requiring me to soldier on through a grassy field the rest of the way to the parking lot.

My son told me he walks to the grocery store sometimes, but getting across the major street where it’s located is tricky. “My strategy is sprint and pray,” he says.

For the planet to survive, we need to move away from car culture, but we can’t get individuals to do so on a large scale if we design everything to discourage walking and biking. I’m now even more grateful to live in a city that has invested in trails and seriously promotes active transportation.

On Today’s Walk: Surprise Lilies Edition

It’s that time of year. Surprise lilies have sprung from the ground all over the neighborhood. I’m half convinced they’re conjured by magic, two-foot tall stems with blooming flowers appearing one day where there was nothing yesterday. Some people call them naked ladies because the stems are bare of leaves when they bloom.

Surprise lilies

Surprise lilies

I found some that had a modesty cover. But I could see their heads peeking out over the top.

Surprise lilies peeking out.

Peek-a-boo!

 

Bonus for today’s post. Here’s a poem I wrote several years ago.

Naked Ladies (aka Surprise Lilies)

Tall, slender, topped in pink,
through the fence, naked ladies peek,
from my back yard corner.
My daughter delights in their color
and in their name,
points out more of them about the neighborhood.
She is six.
Her friends are sent
into spasms of giggles
when they are given
naked ladies to hold
on the walk home.
When I was six, I remember
my street was repaved.
I spent the summer asking
my brother, Did you burn your feet on the ass…phalt?

 

 

On Today’s Walk: Small Mysteries

These photos were taken while I was walking home from work on my dinner break (4-5 p.m.).

 

Small mysteries:

What made this hole in the middle of the walking path? And is the creature in there now? The hole is 3 to 4 inches in diameter. I’m not sure how deep. I wasn’t about to stick my hand in, or even put my face too close.

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Could it have anything to do with this mound of dirt a little farther along? The photo doesn’t do justice to the height of the mound.

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Last mystery — a single shoe. I’m always baffled when I see a single shoe lying abandoned.

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On Today’s Bike Ride -Tortoise and Hare Edition

I’m using some accumulated PTO from work this week. That means more bike rides!

In a previous life, a quarter of a century ago, before having kids, I used to ride a lot. I rode for transportation. And I took long bike rides with my husband. I liked cycling back then. But I’m experiencing a new level of joy with it now. Maybe because I’ve experienced a couple of decades of not being able to just go, of always planning even the smallest moves in my day around other people and their needs.

Summer has dropped itself on us here suddenly, as it does in Missouri. So I went out early (ish) this morning before it got too hot. I saw a fair number of bikers, runners and walkers on the trail, at least while I was still in city limits. I went out into the country a couple off miles before turning around.

Trail marker.

On into the wild.

I’ll tell you this about myself on  a bicycle — I’m not the fastest rider out there. I get passed by a lot of other riders. And I don’t care! That’s part of the joy of cycling alone. I don’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone. I set my own pace, stopping when I want and resuming when I want. I’m not competing with anyone.

I recently read a book by Jill Grunenwald, called “Running With a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack.” It’s a great encouragement for those of us who are winning no races, but are still doing the thing.

Anyway, while guys in jerseys were passing me this morning, I met a fellow traveler with whom I could sympathize.

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