This is mainly a housekeeping post, but I’ll kick it off by mentioning what I did this morning before work: ski. And in fact I skied exactly where I skied the last time I skied: Porter Fork, which I last skied (and blogged about) on April 2. So that’s exactly 7 months and 4 days off skis, and my reaction is: Wow, that was a fast 7 months.
When I started this blog, one of the selfish goals I didn’t explicitly state up-front was that I hoped by paying attention to what was happening in the world around me I might subjectively slow down time. By forcing myself to blog about things I saw, did and learned I’d somehow prevent another year from racing by. It didn’t quite work. In what seems like just a few weeks, the world woke up, blossomed, exploded into life, and languished in the heat for a bit before seeding, storing and going back to sleep. And while so many individual things that I did and blogged about- biking in Skull Valley, exploring out in the Newfoundlands, and my Monocot-Week-Boondoggle/Adventure- seemed like they happened years ago, it somehow also seems like just last week that I was stuffing skis in the car before dawn and heading up Mill Creek. This whole blog-project has probably made this Living Year my most satisfying, but sadly, not really any longer-lasting.
When I skied back down, I got that same feeling I get every year when I get on skis the first time: Oh yeah, this is what skiing feels like… this winter thing might not be so bad after all…
Tangent: Porter Fork lies in North-aspect PLT forest. But alongside the creek are numerous small Box Elders, which though now leafless, are still loaded with stealth-fighterish samaras. Why do they hold onto their samaras so late in the season? Can’t find any clues online; I’ll have to noodle on this one some…
Housekeeping – Three New Blogs
I’ve added a couple more blogs to the blogroll, and the first one is awesome.
When I stumbled across Foothill Fancies a few weeks ago, my first thought was, “This is the blog I’ve been trying to write…” A naturalist living in the foothills West of Denver, SLW writes about birds and plants with a passion similar to mine, but augmented (I suspect) by some formal education on the topics she writes about. We’ve even blogged about some of the same birds. The only flaw with her blog when I found it was that it had gone “dark”, with no posts since May. But just this week she’s back online again with a wonderful post about a Northern Shrike in her yard.
I also have a soft spot for Foothill Fancies because I recognize the views from her home, and so know that she lives within about a dozen miles of where I lived in Colorado in the early 90’s. Reading her blog, my heart is warmed by the thought of a kindred spirit with similar interests clear on the other side of the Rockies. You can think of her blog as my blog in Colorado, minus all the extracurricular baloney about bike racing, my rants about air travel and European toilets, and of course my lame graphics. (Oh and she actually knows what she’s talking about, too…)
The second blog I found via Foothill Fancies’ blogroll: Botany Photo of the Day. Hosted by a couple of botanists at the University of British Columbia botanical gardens, this blog features a photo and interesting description of a new plant (or sometimes fungus) every weekday. Short, sweet, informative, and consistently on-topic (so not at all like my posts.)
The last has nothing to do with botany or the natural world, but I’ve been following it for a few weeks now: Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity. This blog is sort of ongoing diary of a mid-30’s high-powered DC lawyer making big bucks who’s decided he wants to drop out of the rate-race, and is gradually figuring out how to extricate himself from mortgage, debt, lifestyle and parental expectations. I like blogs that are “going” somewhere, and whether or not Jack winds up with the simple life he seeks, he’s definitely going somewhere.
Tangent: I’d planned for a week or so to add Jack’s bog to my roll, but nearly choked at this post, simply because I can’t stand “The Alchemist”, which has the distinction of being the longest book I’ve ever read in Spanish.
Nested Tangent: I followed up by trying to read “Love in The Time of Cholera” in Spanish, which completely and utterly defeated me. (I retreated to the English translation, which I thoroughly enjoyed.) Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Spanish is the elegant, sophisticated and nuanced Spanish I dream of speaking in my next life (as a Mexican botanist) and unfortunately, light-years beyond my basic Travel-Spanish.
I found “El Alquimista” almost unbearably smug, preachy and ham-fistedly allegorical, like so many “New Age” writings. But I’m continuing my theme of trying not to be quite so snotty and know-it-all, so I’m getting off my high horse and adding Jack to my blogroll. And in any event, it gave me an idea for an upcoming reading list post of my own, which will give my readers a chance to get all snotty and dismissive about what I read…