61: Fear the Roo

Last night’s outdoor time was fabulous.  M and I went to Akron to watch the Akron Zips Men’s Soccer team play in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.  They beat West Virginia University 3-2.  But I gotta tell ya, I was worried near the end.  Akron was up 3-0 for the first 80 minutes.  WVU came in and scored in the 81st and 86th minutes.  It was (to me) a brutal game in that there was a lot of fouling going on, not to mention some injuries here and there.

Akron is unbeaten in its last 37 matches at home.  Let’s hope it stays that way as they will be hosting Indiana (who beat Tulsa last night) next Saturday.  If the weather is good, perhaps we’ll go.

(Fear the beach bird, especially when he looks at you like that!)

The Roo, by the way, is the mascot for the Akron Zips.  Zippy, the kangaroo.  To be honest, Zippy is more cute than fierce.  I met him last night at the game.  Nice Roo.  Funny Roo.  But fierce Roo?  Nah.  Maybe he has a more frightening side that doesn’t come out when he’s meeting and greeting the fans.  (The kangaroo pictured at the beginning of this post is not Zippy but a kangaroo who lives at the Cleveland Zoo.  I took the photo back in April of 2007 when visiting the zoo with my granddaughter.  If you would like to see Zippy, click here.)

Mascots are interesting.  I wonder if they’re supposed to be totems.   Click here to read about the kangaroo as an animal totem.  Somewhere else I read that kangaroos only go forward, never backward, and if the kangaroo is your totem, you will have the strength and power to keep going as long as you keep moving forward.  That one seems to fit the Zips soccer team pretty well.

(Today’s early morning view of the pond.)

Last night’s moonrise was incredible.  A big, pinkish-orange moon came up from behind the city buildings in Akron while we were watching the soccer game.  The weather was wonderful.  Breezy but not too cold, the scent of the air fresh and clean.  I did not have my camera with me hence I have no photos of Zippy or the moon.

(Pussy willow budding.  This shouldn’t happen until spring.)

I only managed to fit in ten minutes of my outdoor time this morning.  Just after I went out the wind began to whip and there was lightning and thunder in the distance.  Storms are coming, bringing winter with them.  It’s a good thing, too.  The trees have started budding and the buds on the pussy willow are starting to open.  The unseasonably warm weather has been confusing the plant life.

(A break in the clouds.)

The rain promised by the gusty winds, lightning and thunder never materialized.  Or hasn’t materialized so far.  When I went back outside this afternoon it was still windy and warm with a big break in some of the clouds that allowed the sun to come out.  I stayed out longer than planned.  I love this kind of weather.  It’s invigorating, crackling, almost breathtaking when the weather is on the precipice of a big change, the kind of change that causes the temperatures to plummet sharply.

(Sunlight breaking into the afternoon.)

About 30 minutes after I went out I felt the wind shift.  The warm air became cooler and cooler air.  By the time I decided it was time to walk back to the house and do a few chores, I almost needed a coat.

I saw a couple of frogs hop into the pond as I walked by.  I hope they hurry up and get themselves back into the mud so they don’t get caught in the freeze when it arrives.