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.

Outdoors in Akron (2)

(Nighttime in Akron)

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.  ~ Dorothea Lange

M and I went to Akron yesterday evening to see the exhibit Detroit Disassembled:  Photographs by Andrew Moore at the Akron Art Museum.  The photographs are amazing.  One of the descriptions of the exhibit mentions how Americans go to Europe to see ancient ruins whereas Europeans have been coming to Detroit to look at their modern-day ruins.

The photograph that amazed me the most was of a book depository for the Detroit public school system that had been abandoned.  The top floor was burned in a fire (“Birches Growing in Rotted Books”).  The books and the mess were left to rot.  No clean-up was ever done.  Over the years, birch trees started growing out of the clumps of decomposing books.  Trees growing out of what had once been trees.  Amazing.  One of the themes in the exhibit involves the way nature is reclaiming the city.  Some of the old manufacturing plant ruins have even been classified as nature preserves.  Imagine that.

For a few years M and I have been discussing going to Detroit.  We have friends who live there.  Detroit has a jazz festival that always gets rave reviews.  And we’ve never been.  Seeing Detroit Disassembled clinched it for me.  We have to go.

(Akron Art Museum)

If you’d like to learn more about Andrew Moore or see some of his photography, visit his website.

Since M and I both like to walk, we parked half way between the art museum and the place where we were having dinner (the museum and restaurant being in opposite directions).  It was a nice little walk and we once again got to explore the outdoor portions of the city (which fits in nicely with my outdoor challenge).

(Strolling in Akron)

One of the things that stood out for me last night was how many trees they have planted throughout the area we were in.  I’ve noticed them before, but they seem to demand a little more attention from me yesterday.  Perhaps it’s a result of seeing the photography exhibit and what happens when a city is left to fall apart and go back to nature.

(Akron Public Library:  Outside looking in.)

It was a lovely evening, all in all.  I always enjoy our visits to Akron.

For this morning’s adventure, I stepped outside to watch the moon set and the sun rise.  It’s a beautiful, warm morning with an almost tropical feel to it.  Breezy.  Humid.  But without the palm trees.  We don’t have palm trees in northeastern Ohio (except for the occasional fake plastic palm tree planted in someone’s front yard).

(This morning’s sunrise.)

I’ll be enjoying more of the great outdoors later.  Maybe.  We’re thinking of going to an Akron Zips soccer game this evening.  It depends on the weather.  There is a cold front expected tonight.  With the heat of the day (in the 90’s, they say, today) and the clashing air masses, that may well bring storms.  So, we’ll see.