A Day Off

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Maybe this is true everywhere but I think in places like this where we have four distinct seasons, there are days that just “feel” out of place.  Yesterday was rainy and humid and much more summer like.  This morning, the rain had blown the humidity out and there was a breeze from the north bringing in cooler and drier air.  Walking in the woods felt much more like a fall day than a day close to the first day of summer.  In the sun, it was warm but walking through the trees and shadows with the wind, it was really pleasant.  On humid days, the woods seems to hold in the humidity and the shade offers no real relief but today was different.

Back in the dead of winter, I walked through this stretch of woods after a snowfall and it was all black and white.  Now, it is all various shades of green.  Many of the trees have vines climbing around them so thick you can’t see the trunk but just a mass of green.  Some of those vines are harmless creepers and some are much more dangerous poison ivy.  (Walk in the woods much and you’d better be able to spot poison ivy)  It did make me wonder why a plant would develop chemical warfare.  And, if was so effective, why wouldn’t all the plants develop it.  But, then I think some animals are immune to the effects.

On the way back, a pair of bluebirds perched in front of me.  Confession time – I talk to the animals during these walks when nobody is around.  OK, that sounds a little weird but you see a bird or a deer stop and look at you and I can’t help but address them.  I have no idea what, if anything, they think of me.  I know the deer are more concerned with Rocco the wonder dog who would love to be released from his leash to chase them.  No, they don’t answer back.  I’m not that strange.

Also saw a butterfly fluttering down the path.  Which lead me to some other thoughts.  Most people squash ants with impunity and we swat flies and mosquitoes without a second thought.  But we leave butterflies alone.  They are all insects and yet we’ve made our groupings of “good” insects and “bad” insects.  Are butterflies that much better because they are pretty to look at and don’t really bother us?  Of course they are.  Again, I just find the variety in nature to be interesting.  Of all the insects, why would there be only a couple that are truly colorful.  I don’t think too much about these things because other thoughts soon come in and push those out but it does make me think.

I took both dogs first thing in the morning and then went a second round with Rocco after breakfast.  Dolly is 14 and doesn’t have the energy level she used to so I can’t take her as often.  My wife had a massage booked at 1 PM.  Despite the thing in my brain that said “Go somewhere and do something”, I decided to do next to nothing.  I took my nook out on to our deck and read for most of the afternoon.  Had to sit far enough away from the hummingbird feeder because they don’t take kindly to people getting too close.  So, I’d hear them buzz up every now and again.

What was I reading?  “An Ember in the Ashes”  Sorry but I’m hooked on this whole genre.  I suppose I’m not the target audience but I can’t help myself.  This one was fantasy rather than a dystopian view of the future US but the same general story.  Maybe I’m just drawn to a couple of themes.  People being pushed against their limits but still winning against all odds.  And characters who never fit in and seek to change the things they see around them.  The problem is that most of these books never have truly happy endings and there is lots of death and sorrow and I get invested in characters who get killed off but it is a serious guilty pleasure for me.

So I didn’t really accomplish anything but then I really don’t care.  Some days you just need to sit back and take it easy and that’s what I chose to do today.


  1. Wall – I don’t kill bugs unless I pretty much have to – ants in the kitchen, for example. There is a HUGE wolf spider in my garage. I call him Clyde. He’s about 3″ in diameter. Interesting thing is, he’ll be in one spot when I leave my condo and still there hours later, when I return. Guess they don’t move ’till they get hungry or frightened. Clyde inspired me to read up on wolf spiders, and also jumping spiders like Fred, who currently inhabits my bathroom. No, I don’t get a lot of company.

    Fred is a little guy, and gives me no pause at all. Would not particularly want to come upon Clyde in the sink.

    Anyway, wolf spiders live about 3 years, do not weave webs, and exhibit some interesting sexual behaviors. The females often kill the males with whom they mate, typically starting to munch on them before the process is complete. They store their late-lovers’ sperm samples in their bodies, eventually choosing one batch to fertilize their eggs. Inquiring minds want to know!

    1. If they are outside, I’m definitely in the “live and let live” camp. Inside is a different story. Although most bugs of any size end up being “toys” for Rocco so he’s the one who actually does the dirty work.

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