Sunday, September 24, 2006

Daily Walk

I live in a small hamlet of a few dozen houses and for exercise (of the body & soul) I often walk the country roads that are to the East of town. Today the wind was blowing with gusts to 55 mph and thunderstorms were forecast. I decided to take my walk before the storms arrived and set out on a 4 mile route past the beaver pond on Old Market Rd.

As I walked toward the pond with the wind at my back I had no need to swing my walking stick forward. Each time I lifted it from the ground, the wind took care of that for me. I passed the pond and headed to my turn-around point. As I approached the last hill a clap of thunder sounded off to my right... downwind. No need to worry. That cloud bank is being blown away from me.

On my return past the pond I stopped to admire the sky. The cloud bank was now to my left, curving across the sky, bright white on the top and Southern side shading to dark blue grey beneath. The right half of the sky was a brilliant blue. If the leaves of the trees on the far shore had been wearing their autumn hues the scene would have made a great photo but so far this year the colors have been very muted.

I was startled from my thoughts by a large flock of geese which took wing to resume their journey South. In the strong gusting winds they had difficulty assembling into flying formation, repeatedly breaking up into smaller groups headed obliquely to the Southwest wind they were trying to fly into. One goose, unable to reach any of the groups, struggled directly into the wind only to find itself moving backward in spite of flying as hard as it could. Finally it started tacking into the wind like a sailor and managed to join one of the groups which ended up going only about a quarter mile to another wetland across the road before surrendering to the wind.

Another dark cloud approaching convinced me to continue on my way but about a mile from home it began to rain. I was glad I had brought my raincoat. A bit farther on a neighbor offered a ride but I was out for exercise so I declined and thanked her for the offer. It was a beautiful day for a walk.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Logic? What's that?

Yesterday I was listening to a talk show (On-Point) about the Saddam links that the current administration made to Al-Qaeda. One person was quoting evidence that the administration knew prior to making their claims of a connection that the sources they were relying on were not credible while the participant who was defending the decision was arguing that since they didn't *know* for certain that the information was wrong, they had to assume it might be accurate and act upon it in order to protect the American people. So if some flake says that another country has a nuke aimed at us, even though we know he's a flake and/or a liar, by this logic we need to take out that country just in case it might be true. I guess they consider it 'erring on the side of caution'.

I wonder why the administration doesn't apply the same logic to global warming? In fact they apply exactly the opposite to the possibility (a majority of climatologists would say "probability") that global warming is going to do bad things to the whole world if we don't act to limit our contibution to the greenhouse gasses. When it comes to global warming, a lack of total, absolute and incontrovertable proof is quoted as the reason for *not* taking any action. Could it have to do with the fact that friends and supporters of this administration are making big bucks from federal contracts resulting from the war but steps to curb global warming would cost them money? Or am I just being cynical?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lean-to Trip

I adopt a lean-to in the High Peaks area of the Adirondacks and yesterday I went in to do one of my maintenance trips. Basically I just inspect the lean-to for damage, make minor repairs, refer the larger repairs to D.E.C. for the rangers or trail crews to do and clean up the camping area. Picking up the trash is much less of a problem since they banned campfires but there are still a fair number of campers who insist on 'doing their business' in the woods rather than the privy, then leaving the TP lying about. I carry disposable rubber gloves for the clean-up part of the job. The largest piece of trash was a wine bottle by one corner of the lean-to. It had about 1.5" of yellowish liquid which may have been wine or something else. Some people do strange things in the woods. It was firmly corked and I carried it out without investigating to determine what it was.

The register was missing so I'll have to make another trip to replace it. It was in a zip-lock bag with pencils and one pen. The whole thing was gone, bag and all. Someone must have decided to take it as a souvenir of their Adirondack camping trip. When they are full I return them to ADK where they are kept in a archive but I had one stolen once before when I was tending a different lean-to

It was a beautiful day to be hiking. Mostly sunny with temperatures in the high 60s/low 70s. After the clean-up I wandered up to Scott Clearing and took some photos that I haven't downloaded to the computer yet. My hard drive is too full. I need to do a major back-up and cleaning of the HD before I can do any more work on my photos.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bicycling encounter

I went out for my bike ride this afternoon. Lately I've been riding a 21 mile route that is a loop within a loop over mostly country roads. On Tuesday I set a new personal best time of 77 minutes. That is slightly more than 16 mph average. :) Today I had a different experience. I was riding along through a reforestation area and saw something on the road ahead near a clearing. At first I thought it was a dog (there is a house near there) but as I drew closer I realized it was a doe. She had her back to me and I was downwind from her so she neither saw nor heard me coming. I waited until I was about 20 feet from her then said "you'd better move". She turned and looked at me then bounded into the woods. There was another doe just in the woods and the 2 of them disappeared into the forest together. I didn't set any speed records today but I'll probably remember today's ride longer than I remember Tuesday's.