outdoors Photography Places

Shaw Nature Preserve

I spent a wonderful, non-computer, non-war day at the Shaw Nature Preserve about 35 miles outside of St. Louis. The weather was very warm and starting to show a little of summer’s humidity. I had a amazingly relaxing day, and managed to find some photographs, which I’ve posted in separate entries (including a scene I spotted at a strip mall along the way that was too good to miss).

Some of the photos have complementary poems, all of which are new for me, except for the daffodil one by Wordsworth. I swear, he’s the only poet that ever wrote about daffodils. And you have to check out the poem “Daughters, 1900″. A perfect poem for a lazy warm spring day. Hopefully you’ll like the photos, too.

In two weeks time, the fields of Virginia Bluebells will be in bloom and I’ll pay another visit.


outdoors Photography Places

Tower Grove: Field of daffodils

I knew that after the sun and rain this week that the daffodils at Tower Grove would be in bloom. All throughout the park were pockets of golden blooms, providing a bit of color — an end to winter and a promise of spring.

Today we walked about the park and looked at the spring flowers, and exhanged smiles with stangers who, like ourselves, are thankful for the gentle weather. At the faux ruins, we watched a couple of ducks make love. I called my roommate a voyeur. He asked, then, what am I? Duck pervert?

We had brunch at the Palm house — savory salmon lasagna, tender ham, and fresh fruit and delicate madelines, with a bit of bread pudding to fill in the corners. We ate outside on the patio next to the lily pond, alternately warmed by the sun and cooled by the gentle breezes. An elderly woman walked by with her old, old dogs and we smiled and said cute dogs. She smiled back, laughingly called them her ‘attack dogs’, as the one nearest came up to me, wheezing, to get a soft pat on the head.

I have an overwhelming desire to wrap myself in beauty and wear it like armor. Whatever anger I felt earlier in the week is gone, burned out. Now all I feel is sadness: for a continuing legacy; for those who have lost their lives too soon; and for those who are afraid. The sadder I feel, the more desperate I am for beauty.


outdoors Photography

Blue skies and lost trails

Today was beautiful weather so I took off to explore another new trail. This time, though, I had my roommate with me, which was a real treat. I usually hike alone, but sometimes it’s nice to have company.

The trail wasn’t that long and only a level three. Unfortunately, though, we zigged when we should have zagged and ended up in level four territory. Since neither of us was equipped for this type of hiking we backtracked for safer ground. Later, after the end of the hike, we found out the trail we had accidentally followed was red flagged as dangerous to both the forest and the hiker (fragile, rare mosses under foot). Somehow the marking got lost when the trail forked. However, no harm done to hiker or moss.

It was good to get away from the TV, more specifically the news on TV, but I need to work tonight. I want to finish adding existing stories to Paths so that I can begin adding the new stories. Oooo. Lucky yous.

I also need to finish final edits for Practical RDF, get these to Simon by Monday. I didn’t work on the book yesterday, because I wasn’t particularly happy with O’Reilly. I originally included the reason why with this posting, but then decided this may not be politic of me. Normally that wouldn’t stop me — you know me, write first, think later — but I find lately that I can’t sustain much of a burn. Such is life.

I did have a nice note from a professor in Singapore complimenting me on my Giant Squid article. Clyde Roper from the Smithsonian — the expert on the Giant Squid — is going to be speaking at the National University of Singapore and the gentleman who wrote me was looking for resources on the subject to pass on to his students. I enjoy getting these emails, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

And now, the photo. I know you’re probably tired of pictures from hikes in Missouri and elsewhere, but it’s become kind of a trademark thing for me — hike/pic, hike/pic. The world is unsettled enough nowadays without me changing my weblogging formula.

(Was this a traditional weblog posting? Seemed like a traditional weblog posting? Did I mention my cat? No? Well, darn.)



Nice walk

Weather was perfect today, close to 70. The hike was strenuous, but manageable. It was good to finish a hike without falling, tripping, or otherwise stumbling over my own feet. Of course, it helped to have my hiking boots and walking stick.

However, really tired and have a nasty headache. All my writing will have to wait.