Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Monday, August 31, 2009


This afternoon is beautiful and cool and sunny - perfect late summer. There is a great feel of contentedness out there, as dragonflies zoom around hunting, and fluffy seedheads like thistle float in the clear air. "We've done our work," they seem to say, having laid their eggs or made their seeds. The leaves on the trees are full and dark green, soaking up what sun they can before chilly weather and shorter days slow down their photosynthetics. But this is not sad, for it is the continuation of a process, and annual cycle that has gone on for eons, and barring human foolishness will continue to do so for a good long time into the future.
I've always been an optimist, and I choose to believe that we can fix the mess we've made of the earth, and also that the earth is stronger, and will more easily heal, than many out there seem to think. We've made a lot of mistakes, sure, but out of ignorance, not maliciousness. Now that we know better, we can do better. Humans are only a small part of the earth, let alone the universe, and there is something much greater, in every sense of the word, out there. Every generation has done what it thought best, and we keep on living. Something must be going right.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

waning summer

Ahhh, the first cool in the air, brought in by Danny the tropical storm. And yes, summer is winding down - school starts Tuesday - but with all the rain this summer we have hardly seen any red leaves yet. I travelled a lot in August - hence the dearth of posts - and my last trip was to visit my mom, who still lives in the same village where I grew up, though not in the same house. The house she lives in now has beautiful views, and over 300 acres to walk over and admire. It is a wonderful place to see all sorts of wildflowers and wild animals. I saw a deer and a great blue heron on one of my morning walks.

This is the view from the porch off the kitchen. The place is named Arcady, which is a form of the word arcadia and suits it very well.

The swimming pond.
Here's where we swim in the summer and skate in the winter. There are eight or so ponds on the property, most dug to encourage wildlife - those are too shallow for swimming, but this one is great for a cool dip on a hot day.

This is one of the conservation ponds. Most of the property is under conservation restriction, so no other houses will ever be built there. Some of the land is hayfields, and some is woodlot - a typical upstate farm. There is even an abandoned apple orchard, with trees too old and too long neglected to feed anyone besides the wildlife that inhabit the hillside now.

All around are interesting plants. Here's a teasel - some varieties of this plant were used for processing wool in the old days.

And one more photo - of the marshy meadow full of goldenrod and joe-pye-weed, and jillions of other plants - and many birds also.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I've seen bald eagles several times up at Long Lake - so cool!