On Today’s Walk: the Nightmare Before Christmas

My son-in-residence consented to walk around the neighborhood with his old mom today. We live in an interesting part of the city and always find something new to catch our attention. The neighbors did not disappoint today.


Mix of Halloween & Xmas decorations
There’s always something to celebrate.

Carved tree stump
Just hanging around in my jorts.

I should note the skeletons and tree stump art are not in the same yard.

A Poem and Yesterday’s Walk

The trees I saw on yesterday’s walk inspire me to share a poem I wrote.


Tree Envy

Instead of dreary gray strands threading subtly widening paths
about my head,
I desire blazing red 
for my autumn color
interspersed with patches of can’t-peel-your-eyes away yellow
and clusters
of an orange so perfectly sun-toasted
it holds its own as an independent hue
not remotely a blend of the other two.
I wish for the colors to burst
out all at once
so that people I meet
will feel their breath catch
at the splendor,
the glorious culmination of my maturity.



~~~

On Today’s Walk: All Shall Be Pandemic

A friend recently asked on Facebook, “What did we even think about before COVID-19?” What indeed? I’m trying to remember. Baseball, I guess.

I’m doing an okay job most days keeping my equilibrium, but it’s impossible not to ruminate on coronavirus when it’s influencing every facet of life. All shall be pandemic, and all shall be pandemic and all manner of things shall be pandemic. That’s how it feels at times. Anything and everything I encounter is now viewed in the context of one particular disease, even when I get a long walk on a very nice morning.

I mean… Normally, I would pick up trash, but hard pass this time.

I don’t play the lottery, but it’s when times are most uncertain that I’m tempted to. Someone didn’t win.

There’s something more dangerous than climbing.

I feel bad for families with young children who don’t have yards.

But it’s not all complete despair. This is part of a mural along the MKT Trail.

I will try to remember this.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” — Julian of Norwich.

On Today’s Walk: Local History

Since nearby nature trails all seem to be crowded enough to make physical distancing a challenge, I’ve been sticking to city streets and sidewalks. Today’s walk had an education theme, as I decided to traverse a portion of Columbia, Missouri’s African American History Trail. I did not make it to all 37 sites, but I found a few of them. Maybe I can make it a project to visit all of them before my workplace opens again.

Historic, and recently restored Blind Boone Home.

Blind Boone House, Columbia, MO

The rest of my photos from the walk are just informational markers. But it’s interesting information.



Here’s an article about the building from 2017.


On Today's Walk: Artistic Expression

Did a two-mile afternoon stroll this afternoon, under cloudy skies this time. I found some interesting art. People find all sorts of ways to be creative.

I’m drawn to rocks and rock balancing. It looks like someone had fun in the woody area next to their house.

A few more blocks and I found this:

The same yard contained an eye-catching rainbow pinwheel.
https://youtu.be/ATNdMKN8VSE

You don’t always need expensive or complicated supplies to create art that speaks to others.

On Today’s Bike Ride: Freakishly Warm Christmas

We had six inches of snow here nine days ago. Today, the temperature reached 68 degrees. The hubs and I took a leisurely bike ride together, and I was comfortable wearing leggings with a short-sleeved t-shirt. Many spots on my usual riding trail are soggy from snow melt, so we ambled around a little through town and the nearly-deserted university campus where the spousal unit works at his paid employment.

Everything about the day felt odd, from the weather to the dearth of people where there are usually crowds. I managed to stave off apocalyptic thoughts and feelings enough to enjoy the outing. It was relaxing, not having to worry much about traffic, as we saw only a handful of other folks out and about in that part of the city.

Bridge
Pedestrian and bicycle bridge
Street view through fence.
Street view through fence.
Bike parked on covered bridge
Frieda taking a break.
Fence and girders of pedestrian/bicycle bridge.
Another shot from the bridge.
Abstract metal sculpture
Artist: Ernest Trova. Abstract Variation, No. 5

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! To everyone else, wishes of peace and joy.

On Today’s Walk: Bird in the Bush

Bright red cardinal in nearly leafless bushes.

Even with most of the leaves gone, urban wildlife is able to hide remarkably well. I heard a lot of movement in the brushy area by the side of the road as I walked. I spotted a few squirrels, which all ran off before I could snap any photos.

Then there was a whole group of chickadees. I craved a photo of at least one, but hoped for the entire gathering. They kept flitting behind branches every time I pointed my camera and I got nothing. Amazing how quickly they can vanish from sight. Dare I hope there are more creatures left than we think. Maybe they’re hiding until we’re gone.

The cardinal I saw wasn’t so shy, though. Does he hope his beauty will save him? Or is he just brave? Or clueless about humans? Whatever the case, I thank him for posing.

On Today’s Walk: Artsy Fartsy Edition

I finally decided to try to learn what I’m doing when I’m taking photos. By great fortune, two of my co-workers decided to teach a class on smartphone photography. I didn’t even know I could have gridlines on screen while taking the picture until they pointed out the setting. I thought that was only when editing!

It was a basic, two-session class. Information in a classroom last week and a photo walk this week. When I came home, I deleted approximately 60 pictures, and kept a small handful.

Here are my four favorites:

I don’t know what kind of berries these are. But I like the color.

Unidentified berries

 

Catalpa leaves and seed pods, with tunnel in the background:

Catalpa and tunnel

 

I liked the shadow here:

Plant and shadow

 

Playing with editing. Feeling all noir:

Leaves and seed clusters

 

Thanks for humoring me.