Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This morning, I woke up with the uneasy feeling of being stranded.  It was like I had been in a filled stadium, but now the people were gone and the bleachers were empty.   It reminded me of standing in the cold rain, wondering if my ride was ever going to arrive.  The feeling was strangely familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on any time in my life where I was stranded.  Then it occurred to me, it was the same feeling you get when you don't know whether a school bus is late or you missed it.  I spent many years waiting for school buses.  It was odd how the feeling came over me and lingered.

When I scroll through Facebook, I am reminded of the need to get the American public to think critically about what they read.  That is one of the objectives of the Common Core.  On Facebook, I've found Einstein quotes that were not his quotes.  Recently someone posted that a Chinese figure skater had tested positive for homosexuality, so none of the Chinese could compete at the Sochi Olympics.  It was ridiculous, yet some posters fell for it.  They responded about how awful that was and that it wasn't fair.  Others questioned it, but they didn't seem to know how to determine if it was accurate or not.  The first thing I looked at was the source of the quote and it was some crappy unreliable website.  Common sense also comes into play--there is no test for homosexuality.  It is absolutely imperative that we do our best to get the public to think critically, especially about important issues that have been clouded with misinformation.  Think climate change.

It irks me when I see empty idling cars.  A week or two ago, I walked into town and saw two with no sign of the drivers.  Next time I go walking (today), I'm leaving anti-idling brochures on windshields of idling vehicles.

Since the temperature has returned to bitter cold, I've decided to post my icicle collection.  The icicle is the same in all photographs, but the vantage point and light differ.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Laurel Marsh Trail, Manchester

The trail started out well.
In the writing world, often times I reach for a peach and wind up with pomegranate seeds.  There is still something to be gained--or at least I thought that was the case.  I was going to post a photograph of pomegranate seeds until I realized the seeds in the back of my fridge were moldy.  So much for that point.

A hill overlooks the marsh.
On February 1st, I hiked the 3-mile Laurel Marsh Trail and managed to have a 6-mile adventure.  If I had a GPS it would have been screaming, "OFF ROUTE!  OFF ROUTE!"  Thankfully, I had my iphone and used the app called MapMyRun to find my way back from Manchester Community College.

A landfill was in the distance.
The Laurel Marsh trail crosses a river by connecting to a short segment of the East Coast Greenway (on the map as "paved bikeway").  Don't make the mistake of staying on the Greenway.  I did.  I don't know who designed this bike route, but atmosphere was obviously not a consideration.  I trekked (at breakneck speed) on a long, enduring section alongside Interstate 84 with nothing but a chain link fence separating me from 65-mph traffic.  It was just lovely.  The bike route from Hell was open and deafening.  If that wasn't bad enough, just when I thought I was done with my highway march, I found myself hiking alongside Interstate 384.  When I got to the college, I found this amusing sign.   
You know you're in trouble when the trail you started on isn't even a choice.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hammonassett Beach State Park

At the end of the beach, near Webster Point, reddish sand was likely rich in iron.

This past weekend, I started an experiment.  I shut off the computer all day Saturday and Sunday.  Sometimes I feel so drawn to it, like there is a magnetic force luring me in front of the screen.  Often I keep on working and pushing right through the weekend.  If I'm not writing or doing research, I'm thinking about them.   I wondered how I'd feel without the computer.  Would I be frustrated at the inability to work and type?  Would not moving toward my goals make me spiral downward?  Would I become more creative?   Would my life be richer with a break?

 I found a scallop perfectly balanced on an oyster shell.

This first weekend, I found myself doodling on my brother's birthday card, turning the "O" in his name into a sinister looking Mr. Potato Head.  If it was warm, I would have gone outside to sketch with a pencil.  I picked up two nonfiction books and read quite a bit, but I didn't do anything connected to writing.  I was kind of hoping the time away from the computer would put some magical thoughts in my head about how to creatively approach two projects, but it did not.    

Driftwood that looked like an eel

I don't know whether it was pure luck or not, but I managed to nail an ending in one day instead of the three days it normally takes me.  It may have been because I started jotting down phrases and brainstorming instead of trying to write full sentences.  Next time I need an ending, I'll have to give this method another try.

Skate egg case
With a mother of a snowstorm expected tonight, I thought I'd better post these photographs from Hammonassett Beach State Park before the place turns into a winter wonderland.  At this time of year, skate means something entirely different.