Somehow, 2 weeks have gone by without me posting.
Falling behind in my goals, once again. (What’s new?) I haven’t exactly been cracking under the pressure, but the constant strain of the news cycle has certainly been wearing down on me.
I haven’t managed to work on my next essay for the 52 essays project. Honestly, the news of the travel ban knocked the wind out of me. One blow among many coming from this new regime, but one that hit hard, because it affects so many issues that I care deeply about. It affected so many lives. I haven’t yet found the words to write about that yet. Or I haven’t yet managed to gather all the words I’m finding into a coherent group of words.
But I did want to post something. It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos. I’m not feeling quite cheery enough to post cheery photos. Looking through my collections, I found I had a lot of photos of cracks. Somehow, my eye is often drawn to breakage..
I find beauty in the irregularity of cracks. I am drawn to the imperfections.
I chose these from among dozens of related photos as they show a range of materials: wood, stone, brick, asphalt and concrete. All of them hard and solid, used to build walls or roads. Yet all of them still susceptible to the forces of time and weather.
And all have gained a more interesting story to tell than the original unblemished whole.
After many long years without pets, our home is once again graced with the pitter-patter of (not-so-little) paws. I have enjoyed not just hearing these paws, but observing the prints they make outside.
Of course, the puppy isn’t the only creature to make tracks around our house. The wild turkeys leave a delightful pattern of arrows in the snow.
It’s time of year when my phone fills up with photos of ice. This time of year is, naturally, close on the heels of the time of year when my phone fills up with photos of leaves.
It may not shock you to know that in this transition from late fall into winter, I sometimes also take photos of leaves and ice together.
The puddles on our driveway and paths can be treacherous when they freeze, but they can also provide a gallery of fascinating shapes and pattern. These are a few of the many photos I took today. (I took several photos in the morning, and was surprised that the ice hadn’t melted by afternoon.)
This summer we had an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in this part of New England. The little buggers were especially partial to oak leaves, and left the oak trees in some neighborhoods almost completely defoliated. Other trees were more mildly affected, whether by the gypsy moth caterpillars or other critters. Come fall, the leaves that fell from these trees displayed a range of damage, sometimes creating quite fascinating designs in the remaining bits of leaves.
Living in a wooded area, I often run across plants that catch my eye. This plant is one that I’ve seen along roadsides, with its shiny black and purple berries and bright magenta stems both catching my eye. A google search informs me that this plant is known as pokeweed. Happily, the plant has not poked me in the eye while catching my eye.
Happily also, I have never been tempted to try the berries, as they (along with the rest of the plant) are “highly toxic to humans.”
Clearly, as evidenced by this berry-less stem, something likes to eat the berries. It seems that several types of birds and non-human mammals can eat them. And, a bit more poking on the web (as well as some info that my daughter learned in a summer camp class) informs me that pokeweed can also (in spite of being poisonous) be eaten by human mammals: “Pokeweed is one of the signature edible native plants of America, with a strong role in Native-American, African-American and Southern cultures and cuisines.” (Read more about pokeweed, aka inkberries, aka poke salad on this post.)
Now that it’s December, the pokeweed around here is dried up and shriveled. (But I still found the leaves and black berry stems to be interesting to look at.)
Most of the brightly colored leaves have dropped in the last few weeks, but a few trees have stubbornly held on. I had hoped that these little Japanese maples would hold on to their leaves for a few more days to welcome my California guests with a display of New England fall color. However, a heavy rain storm brought most of the remaining leaves down in short order. On the bright side, the fallen blanket of red leaves still looks pretty, as do the sparse remaining leaves clinging to the branches.
Once again, I am without time and energy to enumerate my gratitude. I guess I’ll need to serve up a triple helping tomorrow…