Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Poem for Thursday and Huntley Meadows Wildlife

A Sunset
By Ari Banias

I watch a woman take a photo
of a flowering tree with her phone.
A future where no one will look at it,
perpetual trembling which wasn’t
and isn’t. I have taken photos of a sunset.
In person, “wow” “beautiful”
but the picture can only be
as interesting as a word repeated until emptied.
I think I believe this.
Sunset the word holds more than a photo could.
Since it announces the sun then puts it away.
We went to the poppy preserve
where the poppies were few but generous clumps
of them grew right outside the fence
like a slightly cruel lesson.
I watched your face, just out of reach.
The flowers are diminished by the lens.
The woman tries and tries to make it right
bending her knees, tilting back.
I take a photo of a sunset, with flash.
I who think I have something
to learn from anything learned nothing from the streetlight
that shines obnoxiously into my bedroom.
This is my photo of a tree in bloom.
A thought unfolding
across somebody’s face.


Wednesday was a rainy, dark, gloomy day until just before sunset, which always makes me sleepy, and I was sad about Christine McVie. Fortunately I got to chat with two of my high school friends around lunchtime, and the sky cleared just as we went out to take a walk, so we got to see a spectacular twilight. We ate dinner early so I could watch an episode of Rings of Power with a friend, and I could hear and see flying squirrels eating suet on the deck all the while.  

The Masked Singer season finale was on Wednesday night, a two-hour extravaganza that was probably too much, but we hadn't watched the beginning of the season because I was still mad about Rudy Giuliani last season so I finally got to see William Shatner and Eric Idle. I knew who the Lambs were but I wasn't positive about the Harp until the end, so I was very happy with the conclusion. Then we watched the Marvel episode of Lego Masters. Animals at Huntley Meadows last weekend: 

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Poem for Wednesday and Mystic Seaport

The Ocean
By Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.

The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.


I had ambitious plans for Tuesday that involved starting holiday cards, finishing laundries, and various other projects, but I ended up spending an insane amount of time deleting Giving Tuesday emails, rescheduling a doctor's appointment, and burying a dove that died on our deck, so a lot did not get finished. I was also distracted looking at the awful images from the fire at Mystic's marina, which thankfully spared the Mystic Seaport museum and ships, so some photos from our visit a few weeks ago:







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With my Tuesday night group, I watched Voyager's not-good "Extreme Risk" -- third of three episodes in a row this season in which a major female character has a major mental health crisis with no meaningful support, surely someone on the writing staff could have called a mental health professional for minimal advice? Then we caught up on the two Masked Singer episodes we missed during Thanksgiving week, which were huge fun, great music this season, and I could actually guess from clues for a change.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Poem for Tuesday and Kidwell Farm

From 'The Pet Lamb'
By William Wordsworth

The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty Creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
A snow-white mountain Lamb with a Maiden at its side.

No other sheep were near, the Lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,
While to that Mountain Lamb she gave its evening meal.

The Lamb while from her hand he thus his supper took
Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure shook.
"Drink, pretty Creature, drink," she said in such a tone
That I almost received her heart into my own.


Monday was a much nicer day than Sunday, though it was a strange one in this county: a small plane crashed into a power transmission tower, and the (successful) rescue operation left 120,000 people without power, many traffic lights out, schools closed, hospitals on generators. By the time we left the house, the passengers had been rescued and power had mostly been restored, but it felt like an extended weekend day. 

Our kids' flights to Seattle were around 5 p.m., so before heading to Dulles, we went to Frying Pan Farm Park to see the animals at Kidwell Farm. I hadn't expected piglets and lambs so late in the season, but there were both, plus some calves, many goats, chickens, ducks, and lots of other animals. The airport was less of a post-Thanksgiving mob scene than we thought it might be, so we dropped them off and they headed for SeaTac. 

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We came home, started the first of many laundries, had soup and peanut butter crackers for dinner because we ate so much over the weekend, and watched the season finale of Andor, which went from enjoyable to my favorite of the Star Wars TV shows and ahead of several of the movies. That put us in the mood to watch Rogue One, which I absolutely love and which holds up perfectly, though it got me behind on laundry!  


Monday, November 28, 2022

Greetings from Home

It rained most of the day on Sunday, which was okay because a lot of our plans involved people who needed to do laundry while board games were played and football was watched -- well, it was kind of hard to see the Ravens on the phone while playing Wingspan and maybe that's why they blew it. Adam played the guitar for us and we talked briefly to Daniel's girlfriend. 

We watched some more football with my parents before Thanksgiving leftovers, though the Seahawks lost and the Commanders won. Then we came home so Daniel could finish his laundry, and now we're watching Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, just as funny this time, while much of the county has no power because of a plane crash so we feel very lucky. A few photos of the weekend: 

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Greetings from Hanover and Frederick

On Saturday we went to visit Paul's parents in Hanover, driving up past farms and pretty shops in Westminster. We took them out to lunch at Blue Koi, which has excellent Thai food, and stopped next door in the Red Barn Boutique, where I bought a beautiful hand-painted jewelry box, then went back to visit with them for a while and listen to Clair play the violin while Maryland beat Rutgers and Michigan trounced Ohio State. 

We came home through Frederick so we could see Sailing Through the Solstice, the beautiful display of lighted miniature ships representing local associations and businesses in Carroll Creek. Most of the shops and museums were decorated for the season, too. Adam had plans with his high school friends in the evening, so the rest of us watched DC's League of Super-Pets and had breakfast stuff for dinner because we were so stuffed from lunch! 

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Greetings from Huntley Meadows

We had thought about going to Calvert Cliffs on Friday, but it rained and the ground was muddy enough near home that we were afraid it would be extremely muddy hiking to the Chesapeake. So instead we went to Huntley Meadows, which we haven't visited in over a year. The beavers have been busy -- whole sections are flooded which weren't before, while the water is shallow enough in other places that on a warm day like today, turtles were on the fallen logs. 

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When we got home, we watched the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which was...cute? I don't like Christmas specials and I've had to listen to the internet trash Thor: Love and Thunder for family stuff and jokes that didn't quite land when this one had a lot more of those (and not nearly enough Nebula). Then, after dinner, we watched the last episode of Limitless, in which Chris Hemsworth and his wife are adorable together, and played Azul.  


Friday, November 25, 2022

Greetings from Great Falls

At Adam's request, we (minus Daniel, who slept very late) spent Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy's parade -- mostly on NBC, though we switched to CBS for the number from Six. Afterward, we had bagels and went to Great Falls, where we saw deer, a great blue heron, some ducks, and even a turtle sunning himself. 

We were responsible for cooking the tofurkey and Paul made his annual decorated cookie cake (previous years here), which we brought to my parents' where my sister and her family had already arrived. An enormous amount of food and some crazy conversations later, we came home for the end of the day's football! 

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