Posted by: David | May 9, 2011

The Aisle of Wong

The swan remains on the beach. Everyone wonders where the ‘life mate’ is. Nesting nearby?

Sincere apologies, both for this post’s punny title, which malapropically connects to the previous post‘s silly title … and for the following ramble. Apologies. The sequence of recent events is just too much to process. Hence my general avoidance of processing. It is hoped that your visit here is in search of some respite from the maelstrom. Change the channel for other news of the world, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, judgement day, the comings and goings of dictators and terrorists, etcetera. And I’m already a week behind …

The beautiful sunset of May 1, 2011, while the president was learning the results of the SEAL team raid in Abottobad.

Earlier that first day of May the weather was great, so a bicycle ride was in order. To granddaughter’s house we go. The route took me past a swampy area not far from where we lived 20 years ago. There has been a great deal of work done there by beavers in the time since. I thought you might like to see some of the impressive works of the beaver, so I stopped to take some photos.

This is the beaver ‘lodge’, where the large rodents actually nest.

This view shows the dam they constructed, the same lodge in the background.

It’s amazing what they can do to the local hydrology by merely dropping and dragging trees around. They are, according to Wikipedia, the second largest rodent in the world, after the capybara. We see beavers fairly often around here, since there are many bodies of water and lots of trees. They can be spotted from a distance on a lake or pond by the large, smooth, V-shaped wake trailing behind what very little of their head is above water. No beaver spotted this time. I made some weird squirrelly sounds toward the lodge for a minute or so. Apparently beavers are nocturnal. They were probably in there watching the beaver equivalent of late night TV.

The beavers fell good sized trees.

I continued on down Newmarket road, and over one of Warner’s 2 covered bridges. There was a vehicle from Connecticut parked nearby and a few tourists fishing near the bridge. Trout are sought after this time of year. In Warner there is this cute house on Main Street I’ve been admiring for years, where the occupants have set up a whole bunch of stone cairns alongside the walkway to their front door. Being a long standing cairn fan, I finally grabbed a quick snap of this scene.

One of these days, when heading west and they’re outside, I’ll be asking the residents about these cairns. 

It was a beautiful afternoon. Perfect conditions for cycling. Brilliant clear blue sky and the light auto traffic typical of a Sunday.

Arrived at granddaughter’s house early afternoon. She’s moving around a lot more now. The guy on the TV is saying “Awwww! What a cute little baby!”

At 6 weeks it looks like her eyes are going to remain blue. Grandma proudly called this early on.

My stay was brief, but I did hold my granddaughter for a while and spent much time gazing into her expressive little face. So many grownups ask “So how old are they before they can actually see anything?”, and each time the question seems more ridiculous. Usually the response sitting silently in my skull is “Who knows?”, but lately I’ve been thinking the answer might be something more like, “Oh about 30” or “Recent studies have shown that some people go an entire lifetime without ever actually seeing anything.” Anyway she’s more and more alert each time, and she’s starting to pick up her head more, bobblehead style.

So that was last weekend, and the week following at the college is fondly called ‘Senior Week’. The underclass students finished up on Monday and left for the summer. Only graduating seniors remain on campus, and they’re also pretty much finished with their work and take a few days to adjust to the concept of the fast-approaching end of their college days. It’s a pleasant and mostly quiet week (for me anyway), where the whole campus shifts gears and the preparations for commencement go into overdrive. Conversations with students are congratulatory and reflective with a glance ahead, but not too far. Some have jobs and plans already, some just want to take a breath before heaving the ‘adulthood anchor’ overboard. Do my best to tell them there’s no anchor really. Or if there is, the rope broke on mine.

This senior was making portraits on demand to raise a little cash. She’s a good artist and a history major.

The commencement tent awaits Saturday’s ceremony.

On Thursday morning’s garden perambulation, usually taken while the car warms up for the ride to work, there was this odd looking white thing in the path next to the asparagus bed. It was  the remains of a helium balloon on which someone had written “HAPPY Birthday” in black permanent marker. It must have escaped the party and risen to its zenith, then burst in this weird shreddy way and came to land in our back yard garden. It looked something like a dried out jellyfish with all its fringe-tentacles.

It was something happy and sad to find one gray Thursday morning.

Commencement was great, as it always is, and well documented by so many of the participants. The following day was Mother’s Day. We spent the afternoon and evening, bet you can guess, at our family’s newest mother’s house. My son-in-law’s sister and her family(4 kids 7-12) came, as well as his parents, baby’s other grandparents. We had a little cookout, and, well, nobody got hurt or cried. Well not too badly anyway.

In conclusion, there is the end of the world. Apparently Judgement Day is the week after next, to be followed by the end of the world in October. I don’t know about you, but this kind of news just pisses me off. I’m not ready. I’m still imperfect, ignorant, and dammit, a little angry. But any who, I just want to say that it’s been nice knowing all of you and this blogging deal has been quite interesting.

Hope to catch you on the flip side. I’m clicking Publish now …


  1. This whole thing was/is just delightful. I have been thinking for days and days about all of the horrible, tragical, terrible things on the news, one after another, each more awful than the last, so many floods and hurrinadoes and things that how in the world can anyone even help or do anything its all too overwhelming. it must be what has me down, i cant muster the will to write or create. maybe deep down im thinking, what is the point, the comet is just a few weeks away.

    that is one seriously cute, beauteous baby.

    that balloon makes me happy too. what a funny, weird find.

    im going to try and go wight now.

    You leave some really nice comments Maleesha. Thank you. Judgement Day is Saturday after next, but the End of the World ain’t til October. Guess that means no more Halloweens. 😦

    I liked that the balloon landed in the asparagus bed. The asparagus bed is a sad thing though, gardening friend. I spent about $70 on roots last spring but I planted almost all of them too deep, so hardly any survived. Plus I disturbed my established roots in the process. And I thought I was being clever planting a purple variety so I’d know which were which. But really the purple variety was all the Agway had. So the balloon reminded me I gotta do something about that. We loves our asparaguses.

  2. That was such a long post I couldn’t read it all. Short attention span. Anyway, the snaps are lovely and the dam is damn impressive.

    Younger Brother is a college professor and has one of them funny hats. He also wears sun glasses with the robe and hood.

    I find it a bit odd you have jellyfish in your garden. Migrating?

    Yeah, sorry. At least I warned you right in the beginning. Ran over a thousand words. I count on the pix to break up the babble.

    The balloon shredded itself in a strange way. I figure it must have risen pretty high into the sky, where the pressure and temperature were low …

    • Can’t make fun the the baby. Wouldn’t be fair.

      But we can make fun of librarians doubling their definite articles, right?

      And soon the baby will be fair game for all sorts of teasing. Very soon. She’s already throwing her big noggin around like Donald Trump and she’s only 7 weeks old. Stay tuned.

      • Simple typo due to lack of time and excess caffeine consumption. Get over yourself. *snigger*

        Most of my typos happen from alcohol or fatigue. Touche! And though my wife emphatically disagrees, I ‘got over myself’ almost 20 years ago. Now I know the truth about my life, it’s awesome and meaningless, but it’s all I got. 🙂

  3. Do you make weird squirrelly sounds often?

    Only when trying to distract wildlife or pets. 🙂

  4. The photo of the baby’s little fists and the one of the baby sleeping his first sleep are the most beautiful. That was on another post, some days ago, and the baby had a great big sucker. The other day I didn’t say “sucker” because I thought it was some kind of insult. It still sounds like an insult to me, must have heard it somewhere as an insult.

    There is a little revolution going on here. It seems they want to change election laws on a national level. I think things are most awfully wrong on the local level.

    The “suckers” are known as pacifiers. They take up the slack for the baby’s desire to suck beyond the need for actual nursing from mommy. Suckers also get cutesy little nicknames, like “binky”. A sucker, as in fool, according to P.T. Barnum, is born every minute. In the USA anyway.

    Good luck with the revolution. I would have to say things are awfully wrong here on the national level, but better on the local level in general.

  5. Yes, I know. But what controls are there on the local level? Here there are none, and it is not possible to do anything about it, because the mayor has so much power that he easily buys off or scares all opposition. In Theory, in my town, there are 5 parties represented in the town government, but the heads of all these little parties receive their salaries from the mayor and those salaries include mostly large amounts of compensation for all kinds of expenses supposedly incurred on their job.

    In towns of similar sizes I expect that the same sort of corruption accompanies the application of power. Smaller towns have an intimacy and common knowledge that probably has a moderating effect on power madness, but let’s face it, this sort of thing can happen in the very smallest of groups: the couple. I don’t have an answer for you. Ask a sociologist.

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