Sunday Morning Walk

It was warm and humid this morning. The dogs and I went down to the creek, and they watched while I did some yoga. Then we took off across the creek and up into the woods. The underbrush is full and makes it a bit of a challenge, but it’s a challenge worth taking. Early in the morning the people upstream are still quiet and all you can hear is nature. We heard a deer blowing down the trail, but never caught sight of it. Lots of birds were adding to the chorus and the creek provided the background music to the morning’s soundtrack.

The spider webs were plentiful. Twice I had to stop and clean my glasses off, and that’s with my walking stick clearing most of them out of the way. The nice thing about being up in the woods is the nettles don’t grow there. If you’ve ever run through a patch of nettles you know where the word nettlesome originated. If you get poison ivy you have to be careful where you walk, but my Dad blessed me with an immunity to poison ivy that I thank him for every day. Keep moving and the bugs aren’t bad. It was a good morning for a walk in the woods.

On the way back we cut down to the creek and waded along the gravel bars on the west/south bank. With the big bend it starts out the west bank, but it’s the south by the time we get back home. The water’s starting to get a little low. There’s still places you can get in deep, but there’s more rocks showing then I’d like. We need some rain. The last rain we had was a week and a half ago. They’re predicting some tomorrow and I hope we get it.

If nobody shows up to pick berries by this afternoon I’m going to hit the patch with a pail. I don’t want to clear them out if someone’s coming, but I hate to see them get too ripe and drop off. That would be a terrible waste!

Got some pictures while hiking. I just wish I could capture the sounds and scents for you too.



Friday Pictures

Just click to see the full size pictures. Later…

My Yoga Rock

I’m still doing yoga. Not an hour-long set of asanas, but every morning I get to walk down to the creek and do 10 or 15 minutes of standing poses. Move it or lose it I say.

I have a nice flat rock where I can stand and face the west. It’s about 18 by 30 inches and the surface is covered with little fossils. Yesterday it was still under about half an inch of water, but it’s in a creek after all, so a little water isn’t a bad thing. I’ve cleaned the moss and the mud off my rock, but every time the creek comes up I have to work on it a little more. Nobody wants a slippery yoga rock 🙂

The view I see when I open my eyes depends a little on the weather. Yesterday it was blue sky, green trees, and a lazy creek wandering by, but even when the weather’s gloomy the view’s great. The sound of the riffles is something to focus on and clear my mind. The sun at my back, and some days a breeze in my face, just add to the sense of peace. Standing or sitting on my rock to meditate is something I can do any time of day. We all need a peaceful place like my rock.

If I look up over my head, say while doing a standing back bend, I see a mighty sycamore stretching up to the sky. Who needs a yoga studio?


Restart The Creek

It’s much later than I intended when I last posted here.  That was back on May 1st, 2011.  In March of that year I was part of a reduction in force (RIF) that took away the job I’d had for over 27 years.  My attitude went in the toilet about that time.  I decided if I kept blogging it would become ugly, so I just stopped. Nobody needs to hear me bitch and moan. I’ve got it pretty damn good and I just needed a while to focus on that.

I’ve had over a year to mellow back out. In that year I’ve had a new granddaughter, who’s name I can’t spell or pronounce, I’ve had several free lancing jobs, I’ve got a customer service gig with Arise, and I’m starting to sell some health/nutrition products over the internet. Still the same old creek though. I’ll do my best to keep it positive and keep the words flowing.

Aaliyah My granddaughter Aaliyah was born on 07/19/2011. She’s a real cutie. Here’s a fairly recent picture. Jessica and Chris have three rugrats now and their names all start with ‘A’. They’re collectively referred to by me as the triple-As, and A3 is way simpler to remember and spell than Aaliyah. Don’t tell Jessica I said that though. A3 makes a total of 11 grandkids.

July is the busy month for me. My dog Lucky, my son Doug, and now four of my grandkids were born in July. Then there’s my daughter Rachel’s anniversary, a niece’s anniversary, and two more nieces’ birthdays. Break out the wrapping paper! Not to mention the Hannan Family reunion the first weekend in July, and it’s at the creek. Lots to do to get ready for that.

Can’t finish this restart without a picture of the creek this spring. Still the best back yard I’ve ever had. Oh yeah…I stopped cutting my hair about the time I stopped blogging 🙂


Wading Wear

Even when I didn’t live right on a creek I made a point of wading in creeks or rivers  or just puddles when I had a chance.  There’s something about water running over your feet and between your toes that feels good.  But to wade requires some special gear.

You’re going to need some footwear you can get wet, unless you like taking off and putting on your shoes all the time.  Two words — Chaco sandalschaco sandals on my feet I got my first pair in 2003.  I was taking a “yoga for special needs kids” training class in Evanston Illinois with my daughter Cortney.  She dragged me into a store to get some sandals to replace the shoes I had to take off and put on before each session.  I wore those Chacos out and have purchased several pairs since.  They fit so well I’ve even played full court basketball in them.  Of course that was a lot closer to 2003 than the present.  They even come in camouflage  🙂

Depending on how deep you’re going to wade you need shorts.  It’s a drag to want to cross the creek and have to go change pants first, so I wear shorts pretty much year round.  I only wore long pants on two days last winter.  It was below zero those days so I had a good excuse.  Just in case you fall, your shorts should be lightweight enough to dry fairly quick.  The stuff in your pockets better be able to handle a dunking too.

You’re going to want to take some pictures while your wading. This means you need a camera that is light and preferably water proof.  I carry a Sony DSC-TX5. It’s waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof.  Mine’s been dropped, rained on, knocked in the snow, and carried in my pocket when I was soaking wet.  It’s still going strong.  I really like this camera.  No camera is perfect for everything, but the DSC-TX5 is good for almost everything I want to do with a camera.  I always have it in my pocket and it can take a dunking.

That said, there are three things about this camera I’d change.  The first and most bothersome thing I’d change is the touch screen.  Sometimes when you open the camera, if you don’t move your fingers fast enough you put the camera in a strange mode.  More than once I’ve found myself taking video when I meant to take a still picture or putting the camera in the mode to view pictures instead of take them.

The touch screen, frequently covered with finger prints and pocket lint, is then expected to double as the view finder.  Yikes!  More than once I’ve had to assume I have the object I want to photograph in the viewfinder because I couldn’t see what the camera was pointing at.

The second thing I’d change is the automatic macro setting.  I want to take close up pictures from time to time.  This camera doesn’t focus as close as I’d like and using the touch screen to get to the manual close focus setting is non-trivial.  And with the viewfinder being a touch screen it’s problematic telling if your subject is in focus or not.

Finally, the 4X optical zoom is not enough.  I have a couple of other cameras with long lenses, but I don’t carry them in my pocket all the time.  I wish this one had a better zoom.  Yes it does have some digital zoom, but anyone who is serious about taking pictures knows that digital zoom is basically marketing hype.

You’re going to need a good walking stick of you plan to do a lot of wading.  I have a whole collection of sticks I’ve picked up in the woods or along the creek.  My favorite is a little cedar sapling that I found and cleaned up.  It’s light, strong, and feels good in my hands.  It’s the stick on the right.  The middle stick is a musclewood sapling, also known as hornbeam.  It’s very distinctive looking and the heaviest stick I have.  Next to that is another cedar.  This one was only dead for a season and you can still smell the cedar when you whittle on it.  My oldest stick is a hard maple sapling I collected in 1975.  I got this stick while I was going to Purdue and running a trap line for mammology class.  I still have it.  I got it the same year my daughter Rachel was born.  Whoops!  Did I just give away her age 🙂

You need a good stick to be your third leg when you’re wading and the creek is running out fast and the rocks are slippery.  Around here the creek is not always running fast, but the rocks are always slippery.  I put a loop of string through the tops of my sticks so when I must have two hands, for things like taking pictures, I can just loop the string over my wrist and let the stick dangle.

And of course you need some friends to wade with.  If you fall they’ll keep you from drowning and call for help if needed.  I have Lucky and Chili.  I’m working on the rescue and call for help thing.