June 18, 2024

I do love the golden-hued early morning sunlight.


To travel is to live.

-Hans Christian Anderson


A heat wave is forecast to be coming through New England with temperatures approaching 100℉.  Fortunately, the lows are still going to be in the low 70s, so, if we get up early enough, we’ll still be able to get our walk in before it gets too hot.  After that, there are supposed to be some thunderstorms for a few days.  That’s the way things usually go here in the summer.  We get hot humid air for a few days, then a cold front comes through and lifts that moistness up where it condenses into clouds and thunderstorms.  It keeps things green.

I don’t think things are as wet this summer, at least so far, as they were last year.  I notice that the liverwort alongside the trail is not as prolific as it was then and the Japanese clover at my daughter’s house isn’t as robust.  There don’t seem to be as many ferns around either.  I remember last year that the rails on the fences were green with algae and I haven’t seen that yet.  Only a few flowers have been planted at the Covid garden and the poison ivy has only started to overgrow the English ivy on the ivy tree.  It’s amazing to me how much things change from one year to another, if I just pay attention.

Some things remain the same, though.  The Japanese knotweed stands as high and the grass is just as green.  The oaks, sumacs, black walnuts, trees of heaven and aspens are all fully greened out in their leafage.  The flying bugs and mosquitoes are just as bothersome (requiring me to douse exposed skin with bug repellant).  The birds are as vociferous as ever (I saw two owls the other day) and the squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits are plentiful and active (I saw a family of deer and a raccoon crossing the rail-trail today).  Nature seems to like to riff ripples of variations over her baseline display of magical wonder, maybe just to keep us interested.

Other things are not changing very fast.  They’re still pushing the dirt around at the landfill near Fort Meadow Reservoir where there is supposed to be a future park.  I can’t see any reason, yet, to believe that grass will be growing there any time soon; maybe by fall?  The construction at the beginning of the trail is creeping along.  It now stands four stories high, but the outside is still nothing but plywood.  I would think the thing will be built in a few months, but who knows?

Throughout all this, I’m distracted by my trip to Switzerland.  I’m leaving in a few days and will be gone for just over fourteen days.  I am subconsciously trying to cement in memory what the place is like so I can see how much has changed when I return.  It will be interesting to see change happen over a period of a couple of weeks as opposed to every day.

I can’t help but second-guess myself as to why I’m going.  I won’t be doing anything different there than here, except the plane trip to get there and the train rides while there.  I’ll be walking and looking and wondering just like I do here.  I’ll be treading on Mother Earth, and although the geography, fauna and flora will be a bit different, it’s not all that different.  I’ll be exploring different history, architecture and ways of doing things, and I’ll be speaking a different language.  But people are just people, with the same needs and desires and all those differences are just a variation on a theme.  I think the reason I go to all the expense of traveling is that I crave the stimulation that the difference engenders, although it’s not that earthshaking.

And, of course, there’s Waldo.  I’ve found a good place for him to stay, next to a lake with lots of wooded trails to wander down.  The fellow who will be taking care of him has his own dog and will take them out for walks several times a day.  Waldo won’t be going on any 6 mile walks, but given the heat, that may not be such a bad thing anyway.  I am sure Waldo will be well taken care of at Waldo Camp.  I just wish he could tell me about it when we get back together.

I will be talking his ear off on my return.


I am so going to miss Waldo…

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