Earlier this month, as the impeding pandemic was just looming on the horizon in the US, my husband and I were traveling through Georgia. We stopped in Macon for an overnight stay, intending to continue on to Florida the next day. Ultimately we made the decision to turn around and return home the next day as news of the coronavirus’s spread intensified. We were however, fortunate enough to visit the Ocmulgee Mounds National Park before heading home. Fittingly, it is a testament to the resilience of humanity, as the park is home to a pre-historic American Indian site. Occupied by many different cultures for thousands of years, the Mounds were constructed around 900 CE, during the Mississippian era for tribal elites. Normally I would edit down the large amount of photos I take during a visit to a park or event, but since many of us are stuck inside and unable to travel, I decided to include more then usual, to create a virtual tour of sorts.
A lone Mylar balloon tangled in the branches over my neighborhood trail. A sign from the universe, perhaps?
Clover in my front yard. A symbol of Irish heritage, the three leaves represent faith, hope, and love. Since a four leave clover is rare, the fourth leaf represents luck, and four leaf covers considered lucky.
Over ten years ago I spent my final spring break in Hawaii for a two week study tour. The focus of the trip was on religion and culture, the course credits would complete my Asian Studies minor. I got to attend lectures at the University of Hawaii, and visited shrines and temples in the Waikiki area. The one that made the biggest impression on me was the Byodo-In temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. Set against the Ko’olau mountains, it is a replica of the original Byodo-In Temple in Japan. I was so entranced by the peaceful grounds, golden Buddha residing inside the temple, and elegant black swans, I still have the pamphlet from my visit.
Operating for over 200 years, Brattle Book Store is one of Boston’s original book shops. The first time I visited was my sophomore year of high school. I had just just finished the full 20 mile loop for Boston’s Walk for Hunger with my friends, and my feet were so swollen, I was limping. I just wanted sit on a bench with the Ben and Jerry’s bar the walk’s organizers bestow on everyone who crosses the finish line. But my friends convinced me to begrudgingly limp a little bit further, to check out a bookstore a few blocks away. It was worth it. I loved the creaky wooden floors, the narrow isles between shelves stuffed full of books, and the quiet of the third floor, reserved for rare and antique books. The best part, however, was the outdoor sale in the alley adjacent to the store. Everything was three dollars or less, and I wound up buying a hefty National Geographic photography book for two dollars. I still own it. I went back again and …
I love rainy days, perfect for sipping tea and writing. Which is fortunate, because there are usually a lot of them in March! This photo was taken from the terrace of the first apartment my husband and I rented in Charlotte. It overlooked wetlands and was great for watching storms.
It’s not everyday that you spot a Joshua Tree stamp in the mail stack. I’m tentatively planning a trip to California and Las Vegas this year, Hopefully I’ll see them in person!
Our neighborhood had a new clan move in this winter. A large flock of 30 plus turkey vultures, who have been moving from rooftop to rooftop and roosting in backyard trees. I can occasionally spot them on the branches of a dead pine tree in my backyard, and hear them rustling on my chimney in the morning. Occasionally they take up watch on our main road, two on each rooftop, dark sentinels watching us all drive by. Dispite their imposing presence, they are completely harmless. At least, that’s what the experts on the internet keep telling me every time I google “Do vultures eat pets?” or “Do vultures ever attack? ” I keep checking for one reason. These birds are not scared of people. They are not skittish at all, actually, unlike the red tailed hawks and barred owls that swoop away whenever I get too close during an evening walk. I’m assured that turkey vultures, who comprise the majority of the group, will never attack living animal. However, I’ve noticed a few black vultures …
I spotted this young five lined skink on a walk last Sunday. It’s the first one I’ve spotted since last fall, it’s nice to see little signs of life emerge ahead of spring. The bright blue and yellow coloring will fade to a uniform brown when it reaches adulthood.