May. 12th, 2014 @ 11:34 pm abandoning ambitions of big post
I had a huge post planned about life, the universe, and turning thirty, but then it became too big to hold in my head and it certainly wasn't getting onto here. Instead, you get some random things I have noticed outside recently.

There is a hedge on my walk home that is full of snakes. I'm not very good at spotting them before they spot me, but I'm up to six or seven garter snakes a day. Gorgeous, stripey, just sitting there in the sun, and then they streak out of sight in a way that completely fails to suggest motion. I love this. I want a hedge full of snakes.

This led me to looking up hedges (again) and to the Great Hedge of India, which seems to be a particularly British situation. "Hey, the people we're colonizing are resisting imperialism with black market salt! We shall defeat them... with a HEDGE!" And yet.

Also notable are the dead grackle lying there on the sidewalk with its oilslick feathers gleaming, the Cooper's or sharp-shinned hawk near Twain, and garlic mustard in my own and other front yards. This is not okay, people. I can now identify garlic mustard and I want to go through the woods with a Hefty bag full of something sticky so the seeds don't escape.

I have only twice in my life been able to identify poison ivy, and by 'identify' I mean 'tell which plant my companion is pointing to saying, "Poison ivy looks like this."'

Mushroom hunting might end badly, yes. I don't know if I even like morels. I certainly haven't found any.

This evening, I went outside at exactly the perfect time. I walked to HyVee as the storm had passed, as the clouds to the east were an even, featureless slate gray and the west had gleaming silver. By the time I reached the store, the sun was out, the shadows were sharp, and the trees-- bright, perfect spring green leaves well lit by the sun with dire evening sky behind. I wish I could capture those colors together. It was amazing.

Then there was a rainbow on the way back. Not a big one, but still.

Now the mugginess has broken-- I'm not looking forward to summer heat and humidity, no. But this breezy cleansed air is lovely. If only every day could be the night after a storm.
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From:initialdescent
Date:May 16th, 2014 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, I want a hedge maze...with snakes! (Instead, I get gopher rabbits. I dread mowing the lawn today.)
From:diatryma
Date:May 16th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Doesn't everyone want a hedge maze with snakes? Except mine would have to be a proper hedge, the kind of thing that lasts a century and develops its own ecosystem. Plus gratuitous garter snakes.
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From:mrissa
Date:May 16th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
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Re: poison ivy: if you have doubts, go ahead and leave Virginia creeper alone too. I was camping (very few stories start with this sentence, yet here we are) with my best friends the summer after sixth grade, and my friend Becca came up with a double handful of leaves. Quoth the Bec: "Hey, guys, is this Virginia creeper?"

And lo. It was not. And she refused our advice to wash off in the stream as soon as possible. And she touched her face. And she started seventh grade with such a bad poison ivy rash that people thought she had some congenital malformation, which is not, it turns out, how most 12-year-olds want to start at a new junior high.

Moral of the story: leaves of you have no idea how this rhyme goes, go ahead and let that be, too.
From:diatryma
Date:May 16th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
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It took my mother years to realize that the reason she always went to college with poison ivy on her face was 'parties in orchards'. I've never had it, through luck and lifestyle. I hope not to discover if I inherited Mom's sensitivity.