Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Away From It All

I am fortunate to have a part-time job in a very humane company.  Once in a while I am asked to work 9-5 though, and on these days, being indoors, sitting all day, becomes a challenge for me. 

What gets me through these long days is my lunch break, when I can go outside and walk for a full hour. The building where I work is at the top of a big hill, so I can always get a challenging walk. 

One day, I discovered a "nature trail" just off the sidewalk, so I explored it.  It was a lovely little world, and I was having so much fun in it that I promptly got lost!  Within ten minutes, I could not see a building or hear a car. It took me several nervous minutes to find my way back to the corporate world,   but part of me definitely wanted to stay lost.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Being Otis Redding

One of the great things about living next to a big river (The Merrimack) that empties into a big ocean (the Atlantic) is being able to watch the tides.
 I get glimpses of the changing tides as I go about my day, and I always try to see how closely I can predict the time of the next high (or low) tide by watching the water and the boats. 
Here's what I saw as I  walked by my favorite kayak put-in this morning around 11:00.

Not "full" yet.  See the high-water mark?

The boats were kind of wishy-washy on their moorings, but still being pulled mostly upstream with the bows (attached to the moorings) pointed out to the ocean. (The current, which of course runs constantly out to the ocean, wants to pull the boats downstream all the time.  When the tide is coming in, it is even stronger than the current going out, so it swings the boats around on their moorings.)

The water looked pretty slack (not in a hurry going either way,) and I know that the water runs the fastest when it is about halfway (3 hours ) between low and high tides.

So I guessed it was about an hour this side of high tide.  When I got home I checked the tide table and saw that I was pretty close.  The next high tide today is at 12:30.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nature Imitating Art

Yesterday I went to see an outdoor sculpture exhibit at the state park in my town.  It was all about nature-inspired art (I think.)  This was among the pieces.....

Today outside the building where I work, I saw this:

Naure imitating art?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Urban Fossils

I noticed these "urban fossils" in the parking garage where I work.  The day the cement was poured, a few leaves must have fluttered down and become embedded.  Now their delicate images are there for  weirdos like me to enjoy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It IS the heat!

Humidity or not, it's been entirely too HOT here (for me) this whole month .....
Here is one cool spot I found this morning- standing on the Chain Bridge over the Merrimac, soaking up a streaming river of cool air. So what if it's only an onshore breeze? It was at least 10 degrees cooler than the air hanging over the town.

Plus, the bridge provided a little history lesson:

I like this older plaque better, though, because it includes the part about the oxen:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The island you can drive to....

This is the Plum Island River, without which Plum Island wouldn't even be an island!   There's a two-lane road from Newburyport to the island, with a small bridge over the river.  Nice place to get off your bike and watch the outgoing tide.

Not a nice place to be in the event of an "event" at the Seabrook nuclear plant up the road, though.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

If you have to use an outhouse.....

I recommend this one in Essex, MA.  It's at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, where they restore old wooden boats.

Side view.  Welcome to Essex!

It has a nice hand-crafted door latch,

and a counterweight on a pulley to swing the door closed.

This outhouse even has interior decor,

 quality reading material,

and a great view when you walk out!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Public Art

The town where I live can be pretty big on what I call "taxpayer art," which can sometimes be nice. 

.......but when I find something outdoors that was created by someone who just wanted to share it ... that really grabs me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No Parking

No Problem

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Few Ingredients

a map

a very nice boat

a beautiful summer day

                                             a  great friend

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Day (Looking) at the Beach

...and the marshes.  

Isn't this arctic tern beautiful?

Monday, June 7, 2010


....becomes pesto,

and a few ingredients from my kitchen become supper!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Going to Visit Maude

Today it was kind of hot and muggy in town, so I took a ride out to visit Maude.  She lives near the river, where I knew I would find shade and a nice breeze.

I have to admit, a big part of my friendship with Maude is about WHERE she lives.  I really appreciate her neighborhood- 500 acres of lush woodland and fields along the Merrimack River.  I wish I could live there!

Maude lives just inside the entrance of Maudslay State Park, so she's pretty popular.  She gets lots of visitors, but she always has time for me.