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!

More, more, more

More dogwood

More dogwoods in bloom!

More pollen

More pollen. And evidence we had overnight precip.

More iris

More iris.

Butterfly talk

Redbuds above

Glory days of redbuds.

Dandies

Redbuds little friends.

Stay healthy

Butterfly admonition: stay healthy.

In triplicate. Squared. Over and over.

Is it Sunday?

Redbud

The redbuds are opening! Strange and lovely photo, rather by accident.

Daffy emoting

I found it like an unusual Sunday afternoon: light traffic, considerable dog-walking, people playing with little kids outdoors, older kids playing on their own (shooting hoops, low-energy skateboarding)—much more than I typically see.

Ford moldering

This Ford (aka “Dorf”) is moldering in old age; I can sympathize in this time of ‘rona.

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.

Aroma evolution

Tree work

Focusing on local not global, today’s big news was some branch and tree removal. Not big trees, mind you, but smallish shoots and suckers and whatever. Most important were troublesome branches something like twenty feet up, which is more than a ladder task and a weekend chore.

Reflection pollen hood

I took this to illustrate the dots of tree pollen, but it became something else. Which is fine. This is the hood of a Mercedes sports car ($$$$)…behind an historic apartment building.

Blooming shrub

The name of this shrub is unknown to me. On this stretch of street, its scent obscured the fragrant Malus, and some Malus trees offered a scent that had a fungal backnote I didn’t detect yesterday.

And so it goes

Malus branchlet

As the unknowns mount, mostly beyond my control, I decided that as I walked I would focus on what I knew in the moment, and make that my stability.

I strolled and opened my awareness of my senses. Sniff. [Sounds hokey…but but but.] Sniff. I discovered I was bathed in wafts of the scent of blooming Malus. Substantial trees and high branches loaded with flowers emitted fragrance that permeated the air.

Lovely. Real.

Rosemary

I found rosemary blooming. I had to be close to get the scent.

Periwinkle group

Periwinkle aka good ol’ Vinca. Did not kneel down to nose these.

Azalea rebound

And this azalea was too far for my neck to stretch.

Many pop-culch associations with that phrase. I’m just thinking of the meaning, strictly speaking, and not the myriad ways it has been used. Kinda like focusing on scent while perambulating through a turbulent world.

Mmmmmmmm (zen)

Malus cloud infrastruct

I can almost forget the substantial stock market drops around the world when I petal-gaze.

Bald cypress knees posing

I also find zen in the quiet of still(ish) waters and bald cypress knees.

However, at the same time I find the water-green worrisome: is an algae bloom coming on?

Yellow in the green

Moss vibrant

This moss is shaded much of the growing season, so it’s getting a jump on its 2020 progress now that it’s warm enough.

Winter jasmine

Tricked once again: this is winter jasmine, not forsythia. With a holly-leaf background. Did you know there are twelve holly species native to Georgia? I read that somewhere…oh, in Athens at the BotGarden.