243/365 – Curb your enthusiasm

DSCN2817Not sure why I find this string so fascinating.  Care to guess what’s for before I tell you?

There’s obviously some sort of construction or destruction going on, probably a driveway, so there has to be a curb.  Well, there’s a great big curb-extruding machine that comes along, gobbling down wet concrete on one end and sort of pooping out a perfectly shaped curb and gutter from its other end.  And the only thing that guides this behemouth is that little string.  The machine has a tiny extension arm that rubs along the string.

I think our conscience is guided in a similar manner, not by a chain or a forbidding wall, but by the merest whisper of advice, a gentle and constant reminder of the true path the happiness

242/365 – Back to the trail

DSCN2872It was a sunny Sunday, and I wanted Dearest to see the section of the Ice Age Trail I had learned about through my volunteer work.  The picture is from the very start of the trail section, simply mowed through prairie.  It then winds up and down moraines and through woods.  (See more shots here.)

Don’t who thought of building a trail along the terminal moraine of the last glacier, but I love it.  So ambitious, so interesting, so educational, so much fun.  We’re both former feral children who lived outdoors most of the time and explored every tree, brook, and bluff, so sharing this was great.

The dog loved it all, too.

241/365 – Mad beauty


Stuck in traffic (due to some bicycle event that took up half the downtown in Madison), I veered down a random side street, and as I waitied for the light, a flock of gulls caught my eye.  Then I saw the lake, and then the sky, the green of the grass and trees.  “This place is beautiful!” I thought.

These sorts of views are in abundance in downtown Madison, because the city sits on an isthmus between two fairly large lakes, Mendota and Monona.  But we get used to what is in front of us every day, which is a shame.

240/365 – I’m a rocket man

DSCN2861Nothing brings out the boy in a man like a rocket launch. Who would have thought in the staid, stolid world of lawyers and laws that so many of us were rocket men?

The unalloyed glee, the shared excitement and suspense, the plummeting arrow that deployed its chute at the last second — it was a day like the best of childhood.

I didn’t get my rocket finished in time for this first session, which freed me for recovery duty.  A nearby corn field ate one rocket, but I managed to track down another one that strayed there.  In two weeks, my bird will fly.

239/365 – Down with invasive species!


Never met a buckthorn bush before, and I’ve got to admit they’re attractive: small leaves, red berries.  I can see why people planted them in their yards.  Of course, they spread like rabbits, and if you want southern Wisconsin to look like it did before we effed it up, the buckthorn has to go.  What will be left is burr oaks with grassland around them – oak savanna, in ecological terms.

 As part of the United Way’s “Days of Caring,” I did a few hours of cutting a hauling, making huge brush piles I might revisit this winter when they set them off.  Here are some pictures.