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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The hangers-on

Not in any negative sense. Today, during the last third of November with possible snow on its way, I kept discovering flowers that have not quite figured out that their time is supposed to be past. It was no surprise to see a few asters near the library, or mums under a sugar maple,

but I wish I had had the camera with me to capture the blowsy pink roses blooming away next to a downtown church. Arriving home, I was delighted to find a few more plants that did not know when to quit. One is a potted hydrangea

 while a few hardy survivors have kept going in the lawn strip, among them a defiant salvia

and a few bedraggled rudbeckia blossoms.

 Some of the leaves are also hanging on, not only the usual suspects like oak, but several neighborhood Japanese maples that insist on continuing to be spectacular beautiful, like this "Bloodgood."

Okay, it's not a native plant, but how could anyone not love those leaves--just a few days before Thanksgiving?

But the best news was not that fall is enjoying a long, slow fade but that spring is indeed coming. The lawn strip is full of the ridiculously adorable seedheads of sweet violet, promising a purple carpet spangled with the pale pink of spring beauties in just a few months.

Cue happy sigh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quite mad

That's what the world has been these days. Of course there are the horrors in Paris and Beirut, exotic places that I have never visited but the suffering of which reminds us that the world is indeed a small place. There is the predictable horror of unthinking violent reaction (Close the borders! Deport all the Muslims! Send in the troops!), followed (usually, unless one is Donald Trump) by more considered reactions and a return to our better selves. But the madness is present on a smaller scale as well.

  • At a meeting to present the Forest Service's process for determining whether or not to lease an area for drilling, FS security personnel were wearing bullet-proof vests. Did they really think that landowners interested in selling their mineral rights, or old ladies concerned about water quality and wildlife habitat, were likely to smuggle Kalashnikovs into a college meeting room? The two groups did not generally speak to one another at the gathering, but there was no undercurrent of about-to-ensue violence.

  • The projected need for four million gallons of water to fracture a single gas well and the permanent disruption of "only" 121 acres per well is considered acceptable by the manager of our local National Forest.

  • The college at which I teach is concerned about loss of enrollment, but the only two classes available for students in a particular area of emphasis have already been canceled for the spring semester, with four weeks of registration left. Any students in that program will have their graduations delayed a semester, which does not seem the best way to retain them.

  • The CNN website lists the announcement of People's "Sexiest Man Alive 2015" as a top news story.
Time for a butterfly picture.