Playing with bubbles

A soul is but the last bubble of a long fermentation in the world.

~ George Santayana

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Thawing out

Water streaming under the snow

We’re having a winter warm-up here in the Bogs today.  There is still plenty of snow and ice to be found, but you can hear the water rushing downhill under the snow and ice.

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Sock skating down the hallway

A dragon's neck.

Because I knew it was supposed to be a gloomy day, I saved some photos from  yesterday to brighten the place up.  That’s not really a dragon’s neck up there.  Just a limb on one of the trees near the pond.  But doesn’t it look like it could be a dragon’s neck?

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190: Somebody come and play

(Playing in

The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty.  It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood, and its continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.

~ Walter Rauschenbusch

When I was, oh, about 11 or so, my youngest brother received a Sesame Street album (vinyl, in those days) for Christmas.  It was his favorite thing to listen to, and it got more play time than a #1 hit on the pop charts on the radio.

(The original, pre-Picnik, version)

While going through my snow shots from yesterday, I found some photos that begged for somebody to come and play.  I took them to via Picasa, and while I was playing I thought of the song “Somebody Come and Play” from the Sesame Street Album.  I have a thing for song lyrics.  They stick in my head.  And I’m almost willing to bet that I know most of the song lyrics from most of the songs on that album.  (That explains, by the way, why I can’t remember simple nouns, where I put things, and people’s names.  My memory is filled with song lyrics that refuse to go into the recycle bin.)  At any rate, the song is now firmly stuck in my head.

(Pine trees marching up the hill.)

I know it is customary to reveal the secrets behind the editing.  It’s not that I want to keep secrets.  I wouldn’t mind at all telling you what I did to arrive at the final photo.  Except…  it was play.  No notes.  No cares.  No worries.  Just play.  I have no idea how I arrived at my destination with each photo, but I sure enjoyed the getting there.

(Entrance to the woods.)

I’ve been invited to play something else, too.  Perhaps I should rephrase that.  I have been honored with, and incredibly flattered by, the gift of the Versatile Blogger Award.

Who? Me? Thank you!

Rapunzel/Christine and Holly (who are well-deserved recipients of the same award) have each honored me with this award.  Thank you, thank you.  I truly am grateful that you think so much of me and my blog, and appreciate the honor of having you share this with me.

Those who have been visiting my blog for a while know I don’t play by the rules.  Once bitten, twice shy, so the saying goes.  And I have been bitten by passing on an award.  Would you believe there are some bloggers who don’t like receiving blog awards?  It’s true.  They get grumpy about this sort of thing.

So.  I will not be posting or following the rules.  I have posted 7 random facts about myself so many times that I’m not sure there are any left to share that are within my sharing limits (some things are not meant to be blogged about in any way, shape, or form).  Just in case you want to read 7 random facts (or something of that nature) about me, here are a few of my past posts on that subject:

I am now going to bestow the award on all of my blogging friends and visitors because I happen to think you are all wonderful, versatile, bloggers.  Everyone has something different and special to offer, and it would be very difficult to choose from amongst such a great group (even if I were so inclined).  Feel free to pick up your award, and follow your own rules.

Thank you, again, to Christine and Holly.  🙂

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

…were mostly about doing chores and getting a little exercise.  The day started out gray with snow flurries, but the clouds have moved in and out giving us the occasional sunny spells.  It’s warmer than it has been, too.  In the 40s.  Heat wave!

(A pair of geese on the pond.)

P.S.  I see WordPress is playing today, too.  I love the little April Fool’s joke.  Did you catch it?  I’ll give you a hint.  Look at your Dashboard.

121: Let’s play

(Birthday gift, with special effects.)

It is frigid outside.  Seriously frigid.  The kind of frigid where the folks on the news tell you to stay indoors unless you absolutely have to go out.  What makes it all the more frustrating is that the sun keeps making big, bright appearances.  Everything looks so pretty.  But don’t let that fool you.  It is seriously cold out there.

(Birthday gift, without the special effects.)

It is the kind of  day when one should stay indoors and play.  I had to go out, of course, because of the commitment.  I procrastinated for a while, finding other things to occupy my time.

(Night in the living room.)

I played last night, too.  I’m reading a book about exposure and the best way for me to understand what I’m reading is to sit and play with the camera.  I’m a hands-on kind of gal that way.

Bitter, cruel, heartless and cold

Did I mention it is seriously cold outside?  Oh yes, I did.  And it is.  This is Old Man Winter at his worst.  He’s the kind of guy you want to stay away from.  He won’t just break your heart.  He’ll snap off your fingers first.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I know.  It looks so pretty.  What you can’t see is the wind whipping the snow around, tall dervishes of white powder twirling around in the trees, in the meadows, and across the pond.

(Coming in for a landing.)

I don’t know how the birds stand it out there.  Why doesn’t their blood freeze?  I was layered and bundled and still, the cold was biting my fingers and toes, freezing my nose, and turning my face blue.  Really.  It was blue when I came inside.  I’ve never had that happen before.  That particular shade of blue is not my color, that’s for sure.

(Playing with clouds and blue sky.)

Even the sun was no help.  There was no warmth there at all.  It was merely a light to brighten things up every now and then as it peered through the clouds.

(The cold, blue sky without the special effects.)

One of the reasons I dared to go out into this arctic cold (other than my commitment) is that we have a hike planned for tomorrow.  The temperature will be about the same, but the wind should not be as bad as it is today.

(Fresh, new snow.)

I guess we’ll make a decision about it tomorrow.  Right now I would vote for canceling.  But I may feel differently about it in the morning.  After I thaw out from today’s outdoor adventures.

(Sunbeams and clouds on a frigid day in the Bogs.)

How about you?  Got any plans for the weekend?

(Note:  The photos with special effects were altered and played around with in Picnik.)

A Saturday

Last week I blogged about supporting the economy by buying local and supporting your local businesses.  My lovely daughter-in-law stopped by with a comment and a link about The 3/50 Project.  I had not heard of it.  Thank you, Merdi, for the info and the link.  If you have not heard of it, or you have but you’ve forgotten about it, please take a moment or two to check it out.  Even better, participate if you can.  It’s a wonderful idea.

As you know, my weekend was filled with beans and the processing of beans.  But it’s not all work and no play around here.  Sometimes it’s a combination of the two.

The car was due for its 30,000-mile check-up/tune-up.  M scheduled it for Saturday morning.  I decided to go along to keep him company and because he enticed me with a walk in Kent and breakfast at Wild Goats Café.  It beats sitting around in the waiting room at the car dealership (even if they do have coffee and donuts, a large screen television, and plenty of periodicals to read).

The walk from the dealership to Wild Goats Café is exactly one mile.  It was a nice little walk mostly on Main Street heading into Kent.  The morning was sunny, hazy, and very warm but there are plenty of trees to provide some shade and there are actual sidewalks to walk upon (something we don’t have out here in the country).  By noon it was feeling more hot than warm and we appreciated the shady spots even more than when we started out.

After a delicious breakfast (with plenty of iced tea) at Wild Goats, we walked over to the Franklin Mills Riveredge Park which is only about a block away from the café.  The park follows the course of the Cuyahoga River through Kent and is named after the original settlement along the river.  You may have heard of the Cuyahoga River.  It’s famous for having caught on fire in the late 1960’s.  It was at one time known as one of the most polluted rivers in the U.S.

It has always been my opinion that the shortest, easiest, and least expensive communication with the invaluable back country would be to let the courses and the distances be taken to the mouth of the Muskingum and up that river to the carrying place to the Cuyahoga, down the Cuyahoga to Lake Erie.

~ George Washington

Cuyahoga River on a sunny Saturday in July

The name Cuyahoga means “crooked river” in the language of the Iroquois.  It is indeed a crooked river, as you can see from this map.  The water quality has improved over the years thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of hard-working people and, as far as I know, the river has not caught on fire since the 1960’s.  (For those interested in such things, Great Lakes Brewing Company has a beer which I think was named for the Cuyahoga River:  Burning River Pale Ale.  It’s an excellent and wonderfully hopped ale.)  Areas that were once devoid of fish now support 22 species.

(Kent Main Street bridge over the river.)

The park has seen a lot of improvements since we moved to this area ten years ago, including the bypassing of the Kent dam (something that was not without controversy).  One of the problems with the water quality in recent years has more to do with stagnation due to the dams along the river than it does with pollution (although I should point out that pollution continues with urban runoff and sewer overflows being two of the main sources).  If interested, you can read more about the Kent dam project here.

It’s a nice little park.  The dam, constructed in 1836 and having some historical significance (I read somewhere but can’t find it now that the dam is one of the oldest in Ohio), was left intact.  The waterfall was reestablished by pumping recirculating river water through a trough around the lip of the dam.

We enjoyed our walk.  There were other people out and about, enjoying the park.  Some were playing in the river, cooling off.

We saw several turtles sunning themselves near the dam area.  The water around the dam seems to suffer from some of the same problems we are having in our pond this year (pond weed and algae, oh my!).  In a way, that was reassuring.  It means our pond weed and algae problems are not unique to our pond and therefore not a result of something we did or did not do.

After exploring “Heritage Park” (the lower area that was “created” around the dam area when the dam was bypassed) and reading some of the interpretive signs highlighting some of the history of the dam and river, we climbed the stairs to the observation platforms and walkways.

I’m not sure how much more there was to explore as we didn’t stay too long or go too far.  One of the things missing in that area of the park is a public restroom.  I don’t know about you but if I drink lots of iced tea with my breakfast, I’m going to be in need of a loo at some point in time.  So we made our way back to the dealership (where they have restrooms for their waiting customers — a good thing to have if you’re serving unlimited free cups of coffee).

You can tell where the dealership is located by looking up for the giant flag.  I tried a search to find out why car dealerships fly giant flags but was unable to come up with a good answer other than what appear to be guesses such as to catch the eye of the customer in order to lure them in and to show their patriotism (which may be good guesses for all I know).  I wonder if they started flying those behemoths around the time “buy American” became a popular theme in car advertisements?

We picked up the car, went to Hartville Market to see what the farmers had for sale, and then it was back home and back to work.  M did some Project Patio work and I took on the rest of the beans.

(At the Hartville Market)

I think I would rather have been doing this:

(Summer scene:  Playing in the Cuyahoga.)

But then, the beans wouldn’t have gotten processed and we wouldn’t have had that gorgeous stir-fry for dinner.  It’s all connected in one way or another, isn’t it?

(Saturday’s sunset.)