Of Kudzu and poison ivy

Poison ivy is becoming more potent in warming climate.One weekend a few years ago, a friend needed some brush cut behind his house and I had a gas-powered weedwacker that needed exercise. I three-bladed through two-inch vines like a scythe through a hay field, working up a sweat scattering poison ivy chips all over that part of York County. Continue reading Of Kudzu and poison ivy

Neighborhoods and straight lines

Everything we think we know is in a book.Christmas brought me a book store gift card, and I had half of one left over from last year, and now I’ve got three new books and $4 remaining on one gift card. The young woman who tallied my purchase said I could use the money in the snack bar. She didn’t mention, but I’m pretty certain, there is about enough on the card for one cup of coffee. Continue reading Neighborhoods and straight lines

A thrilling ride, and it ain’t over

Willoughby Run wanders between woodlands and pastures on its way to Marsh Creek.This is the time of year for taking stock of experiences and places, and for celebrating having survived some of the riskier events.

Such as the time we left a four-engine airplane lying beside the runway halfway home from a U.S. Navy deployment to the Philippines. Continue reading A thrilling ride, and it ain’t over

Christmas memories

Wishing everyone could see Christmas the way that guy kneeling on the floor sees it.A dark-skinned angel with golden wings and a billowing white gown looks down on our living room from atop the fir. She Who Must Be Loved elevated the angel in honor of her – our – granddaughters, hers because they were here when I got here, ours because, well, they’re ours now.

Christmas is like that – a time for traditions. Continue reading Christmas memories

You don’t lose weight eating salad

Salad without bleu cheese is lettuce without purpose.I’ve had a weight problem most of my life.

In the early days, it didn’t show much because as a kid I was really active, swimming and wandering in the woods and building houses and gardens – things you do when you live three miles from a town small enough that it’s three miles from the post office to the nearest house outside town. Continue reading You don’t lose weight eating salad

Thanks for the starlight

Me and her sitting in a tree, K_I-S-S-I-N-G.“Life is just a collection of memories, and memories are like starlight: they go on forever.” (Aurora Borealis) by C.W. McCall. in a tale of sleeping under lights that have been traveling most of forever, and have forever yet to go.

Most of my best memories involve travel. It’s been said that it’s the journey, not the destination that counts – unless the destination is Gransma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. I have had a pretty fun trip, though there have been a few places where I’ve needed four-wheel-drive.

Continue reading Thanks for the starlight

High mileage means more potholes

More lanes simply mean more vehicles – good for car sellers, not so for ocygen breathing humans.Several Adams County bridges have been repaired or replaced in the past few years – our taxes at work. Specifically, the taxes derived from every gallon of fuel we purchase for our vehicles. Continue reading High mileage means more potholes

Bending birches among the dinosaurs

Erosion has exposed the mountaintop - a tor - and maybe a dinosaur or two.Some 66 million years ago, the last of the giant dinosaurs ended their 160-million-year reign as the giantist wanderers on the planet. But never fear; their bones became permanently encased in the future crust of the  aforementioned cosmic sphere, waiting for future young archeologists to dig them up. Continue reading Bending birches among the dinosaurs

The colors are coming, the colors are coming

The colors are coming, the colors are coming.Like the Redcoats of an earlier era, I thought I’d outrun them. Fortunately, I was wrong.

I went north for a couple weeks, and came home with fall at crescendo behind me, not yet visible in front. As I look out now to the South Mountains, it almost has caught up.

Time travel at its finest. Continue reading The colors are coming, the colors are coming

Wild mushrooms and youth afield

A colorful fungal display, eat at your own risk. Josh Akers photo.Wandering in the woods is good for walkers, and likely good for people who know walkers. Numerous studies over the past several years have credited time spent among the trees as soothing for mental injuries of rush hour traffic and high pressure deadlines. Continue reading Wild mushrooms and youth afield

And the best pie is

Under construction, the winning pie?I often compare where I live now to where I was raised. Both places are rural, mostly agricultural, and growing, which is not all a good thing, but on balance, better than some alternatives.

On the other hand, a friend used to maintain that he was glad for cities and the people who lived in them. There are things he likes that can only be produced in cities, and he was glad he could go fetch those things and return home. Continue reading And the best pie is

Sunrise on Muscongus Bay

Sunrise over the eastern shore of Muscongus Bay.At 6:30, more or less, each morning, the eastern horizon becomes a strata of pink and orange as the sun glows, then rises over the peninsula that defines the eastern boundary of Muscongus Bay. Within an hour, Ol’ Sol has risen midway from the horizon, turned the thin cloud stratus a translucent oyster white, and burned a widening path like a celestial version of the earth-bound lobster boats that leave their wakes across the bay. Continue reading Sunrise on Muscongus Bay

It’s not only the turtles …

It's more than turtles ingesting throwaway plastic.“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – from “My First Summer in the Sierra” by John Muir.

We often treat waste and recycling as issues distinct from the items contained within the packaging. Especially the plastic bubble that allows us to see the product, and is such a bother to remove when we get it home.

I bought a package of stainless steel straws the other day. They came, with a brush to clean them, in a plastic shrink-wrap I needed a sharp knife to cut open. The plastic, devoid of a recycling label, went in the trash. When we buy something, we also pay for the non-recycleable packaging we toss in our trash. In afterthought, I reckoned I should have left the waste at the store. Continue reading It’s not only the turtles …

Call us by our names

Honey bee pollinates a sedum bloom.Summer is nearly done, according to the calendar, the sun and the flowers no longer surrounding my abode. The Resident Decorator has busily been removing weeds and dead stems.

Trees are beginning to give up their leaves – their annual purpose accomplished, oxygen replenished, shade given, water cooled to provide comfortable abode for trout and minnows – to carpet the earth with next spring’s mulch. Continue reading Call us by our names

Searching for Marsh Creek

The map says Marsh Creek starts about here.Marsh Creek was around long before David Pfoutz showed up. That was 1791, when the 22-year-old arrived in the area of Marsh and Little Marsh creeks.

He built a fulling mill – fulling being the last step in preparing wool fabric for making clothing – near the confluence of Little Marsh and Marsh creeks. It was one of three mills between the head of Little Marsh Creek and its intersection with Marsh Creek. Continue reading Searching for Marsh Creek