Musings

Strolling into April

Beribboned cherub

Beribboned cherub. Welcome, April. We’ll see what this month brings…and I say that from the unprecedented perspective of these Interesting Times. Interesting and chaotic. Also rather quiet.

Fern fun

Ferns. With red azalea neighbors across the street.

Weed wall

Weed wall. The old definition of weed. Spring weeds, these are; the ones that come in the first flush of spring growth.

Just saw the March statistics from my activity device: 115.3 miles…just from “activities,” not from generic footsteps. Footfalls totaled 420,197, if you’re curious. Foot is doing sooooooo well!

Shrubs leafing out

Leafing pink dogwood

First pink dogwood I’ve noticed. As I recall, they often come after the white ones.

Leafing redbud

Leafing-out redbud…a very red-leaved redbud.

Leafing azalea

Fancy azalea, with less compact plant/branches, and longer blossoms. And, today, with leaves.

Weekend mechanic

Story photo: evidence of serious weekend mechanic-ing—all tires off to the shop—looks like, to improve the car’s racing form.

Read the fine print

Mushroom house

My hypothesis is there’s no pandemic in mushroom-house world.

Mi in GA

Reverse upward mobility of a sort…no?

Look down! Look up!

Gutter penny

Gutter penny! In these days of heightened awareness of germs, I let it lay.

Tulip poplar petal

I think of this as a tulip poplar petal, but that is not probably the proper name for the plant part to a botanist. Which I am not.

US flag backlit

I wasn’t only looking down today (so as not to trip). Perfect backlighting on this plastic US flag. It appears to be an all-weather flag, despite that proper flag code/protocol, as I was instructed anyway, means that when the sun goes down, a flag must be lit if outdoors….

Har har

Bulbs hangin in there

One more last-bulb-blooms shot….

Leaves emergent

Emergent leaves…and that means shadows…yay—perfect timing for the high-in-the-80s expected at the end of the week.

Free library dogwood

Dogwood’s is a scene-stealer at this free-library-with-reading-bench.

Azalea genetics

Interesting genetics.

For a palate cleanser (currrent events, ya know), we just watched a couple of “Republic of Doyle” episodes. Comedy in Newfoundland.

Topics of today

Petals aboard

Petals aboard.

Topics I spent time/energy on today, in no particular order….

Petals adrift

Petals adrift.

Stress…the basic physiology of it…from the what-happens-inside standpoint. This lead me to stress reduction…deep breathing techniques to calm the vagus nerve and reduce heart rate variability (aka HRV). My health tracker reports “stress” and HRV is what it measures. And my HRV numbers could be improved…so the lesson is: breathe differently. Well, how? Nasal breathing…for the inhale (new vocab: aka inspiration [haha; not kidding]), especially nasal diaphragmatic breathing, especially when exercising (expect a learning curve). Point of information: parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems—they work together/offset each other, and both are components of the autonomic nervous system—ANS)—you want to enhance the parasympathetic to reduce HRV. Somehow this also relates to fat-burning*. Man, this is a complex subject. Still learning/processing. Rather confused as the “breathing on the parasympathetic side” means increased HRV…I think. On the other hand, decreased HRV is not good as higher HRV is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality. Arrrrgh! Wait…a clarification: higher HRV with physical activity is fine/expected; it’s too-high HRV during rest/relaxation that is not-good.

Portrait coffee mug

Coffee mug, portrait/stage light. #computationalphotography

Ben Macintyre’s “The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War” (2018). True story. Read to learn about the KGB. For example…once KGB, always KGB…also: the KGB has been practicing effective “fake news” for generations. Are you thinking about the mental habits of VPutin? I am. [He joined the KGB in 1975, mind you.]

Fringe tree

Fringe tree, also portrait/stage light (iPhone 11 Pro).

Social distancing; life/love in the time of pandemic. Ancillary topic: soap is not detergent. Context: people keep saying wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Common phrase. HOWEVER, if the cleaner you are using is liquid, you may be using a detergent. [First-world whine, I know. Do not get me started on podium/lectern.]

Daffy front center

Magdalenian lifeways in the Paris Basin. [You KNEW archaeology would be in this list somehow, didn’t you?]

Hole in leg

Darning mushroom. I inherited one from Mom, but I think it’s up north, although I could use it now.

* Topic shelved for another day: fat-burning happens on exhale.

Rampant ’rona

Mailbox paint

Closeup of mottled paint on a mailbox.

Chalk art

Sidewalk chalk art.

The crazy, topsy-turvy, chaotic, yea dangerous times…a version of the blues…and blues in the photo selections…somehow these linked in my mind.

No Rolls C’n’ardly

Home mechanic ing

This is a very rare sight in our neighborhood. On the street, no less, and not in a driveway. A desperate driver/mechanic?

Crocus med purple

On the other hand: sun and flowers.

Title refers to a common nickname, albeit not unique, for my ancient Ford van. It was ripped from the vehicle’s taunt/description/jeer/catcall: “It rolls down one hill and c’n’ardly get up the next.” Also: slightly Cockney.

Birds and bees

Early sky

Early on, sunlight appeared, colorfully.

Grey Hugo

Then, things became grey and overcast. Never seen this stockinged grey cat before, yet he appeared today in my regular activity area. I heard his bell first. Tag indicates he’s named Hugo. More of a mule name than a cat name, but still okay.

No water birdbath

We must be due for rain; this birdbath (previously featured in this space, I admit), was totally dry. By an hour later: rainfall arrived…and is supposed to continue off and on until sometimes Thursday. Sigh.

Oh, the title…I realized as I walked that I was hearing more birdcalls, more calls and more species…even the one I call the Rarebit Bird, because the call sounded like that to me when I noticed it and I was, I dunno, four big years old…and still sounds to me like “Rarebit.” I did identify the species a time or two, then forgot each time, but I need to do so again.

Gnomish

And the bees part…I walked around a corner and could smell smoke, not dominant like a house fire, but more ephemeral, as from a fireplace. But the odor was a bit off for firewood, although I cannot describe it. I looked high for a white wisp; nope, but a movement caught my eye. A man stood on a nearby porch wearing a funny outfit, with a strange and lively box at his feet. I looked closer. A man in a protective suit with a bee-box…and on the opposite corner of the porch: a bee smoker. It all fell into place.

Color color color

Choc bunnies reflected

I’m hypothesizing that because today was rather gloomy (despite several shy outbreaks of sunshine), I was drawn to hyper-colorful visuals.

Chocolate bunny display at Tar-zhay.

Wee blues

Wee blue flowers (ground cover?) I can’t remember.

Camellia dk pink

Camellia. Portraited.