Sea Level

We were truly at sea level this morning, walking by the marina where I walked for 20 years. It was very exciting, because there were rumbles of thunder at the beginning and end of the hour’s walk. Despite the threat, we were not rained on.

It was such a disappointment that we missed Tom. Dennis told us he was looking for us, but we missed him by a hair. We caught up on Dennis’ news, and Dave pulled in. I loved seeing them again, my anchors by the water. They, Nancy, and Tom were the pleasures of my morning for about five years. Now Nancy and I have moved away. I asked John to touch the railing for Nancy. He was happy to do that for her, but his face reflected his I-don’t-like-my-picture-taken attitude. Be understanding, because that is a common pose for everyone who ever lived with me.

072715 JC touching rail for Nancy

Things in the village were mostly the same. One house was sold, and another is on the market. Extensive landscaping was in progress at another house, marked by raw earth and newly exposed plants. If you return often enough, you’d keep up with the changes.

I did notice one thing I would never have paid attention to before. Near the millpond were two shoots just encroaching on the sidewalk. Something about the vine made me stop. Golly! It was wisteria! I loved the wisteria along there on both sides of the road, but that was before I was responsible for curbing it. Knowing from my constant battle in NC, the wine can be vicious. I wouldn’t be surprised if it grew under the roadway. I stepped away quickly before the shoots could entangle my ankles.

Avalon Park was the same except for a new stone wall just across from the gristmill. That will be handy for tourists. I might have tried it out, but John was waiting for me. We went to the end of my old route before I suggested he go at his 3 mph rate back to the car where he could listen to his beloved NY radio stations. He knows his rate because of cardiac rehab. I suspect I walk at 2 mph, since I walk about two miles in an hour.

072715 New stone wall at millpond      072715 New wall at millpond

I stopped at the millstream to say hello to a black crowned night heron standing on one leg, perhaps one I used to greet all the time.  There is a stick over the rock on the left that enters the water just above the bird’s head.  It’s obvious I could use lessons from photography 101.

072715 Black crowned night heron

Lynching at J Creek

I’ve walked a mile to the creek approximately 167 times since we moved to NC. I’m sure I’ve seen at least one new thing on every walk. Today I was enjoying the lovely sound of water rushing over rocks when I noticed a bottle hanging from the bridge. It was swaying lifelessly in the breeze from its invisible tether. Curiosity compelled me to go on the bridge where I found a fine nylon string tied to a reflector. The lynching of the bottle was a deliberate thing. My questions are, “Why? What did that bottle do to deserve such an untimely end? Will it be left for weeks as a warning to other bottles?”

061515 Bottle hanging from bridge closeup              061515 Line to bottle tied to reflector

I stop to speak to the four sheep and a new lamb whenever they are close enough to the road to hear me. I checked twice and saw only four animals. Walking on, I saw the fifth in the next pasture. The lamb bleated, and the sheep I was looking at stopped eating and shouted bah-aack. I’m wondering if the lamb is being weaned.

My mother loved the pileated woodpecker she saw in the thicket behind our hous061515 Pileated woodpecker poses on poste in West Tennessee. I suspect she identified with it, being reserved and reclusive herself. Once she pointed it out to me when I happened to be standing next to her at the back of the property. Fast forward 60 years, and I had a clear sighting on our own post. John and I were eating breakfast inside when I saw the large bird land on the wooden fence. He checked out several sections before I scared him away trying to get his picture. Come to think of it, our family resembles that bird. Our son $ is as camera shy as the woodpecker.