My thoughts on everything from albacore tuna to zebras
OK, so I've finally been convinced (read that strong armed) into doing a blog. Frankly I hate the name...|
It's simply amazing the things you can buy at the grocery store these days.
|Wow, thunder and lightning! Heck of a storm moving through right now. Slow mover. Gives you plenty of time to stand on the back porch and admire it. There's just something about thunderstorms at night. It's a strange mixture of the darkness of the night, the danger of the storm and the bright flashes illuminating the shadows just enough...but not quite enough, if you know what I mean.
Years ago, I used to take annual fishing trips to Canada. On a lake, in Central Ontario I was treated to a thnderstorm I shall never forget, and few will have the opportunity to see.
We camped on an island on that lake, in tents, in tents covered with large poly tarps. Our trips were pretty routine. pitch camp, drink beer, swim in the lake, explore the wilderness. Towards evening we would launch our boats and go fishing for walleyes. On a normal night we would come back to camp around midnight, drink some more beer and sit around the campfire watching the dancing flames. One year on the last night, when there were only two of us left, everyone else had broke camp and headed home, we were chased off the lake be an approaching storm. We got to the island, buttoned up the camp, grabbed a couple of cold Molson's and went out to the point to watch the show.
There were these great fingers of lightning that danced among the storm clouds and balls of light that would illuminate those clouds, showing there huge billowy grayness against the black of the sky. The wind blew warm at first...then turned colder and more vicious. All around us lightning bolts reached out and touched the ground. Huge thunderclaps followed the flashes almost instantaneously. My friend and I were so entranced by the show that we forgot all concern for our own safety and sat, riveted to the granite point taking it all in. The waves of the lake broke in two and three foot white caps against the shore below, tossing spray up into the lightning lit sky. Rain whipped across the lake illuminated by the almost constant light show. At times it could pass for daylight. Not high noon daylight, but the willowy first wisps of morning for sure.
The show went on for almost thirty minutes during which time not a drop of rain fell on us. In fact if you looked directly overhead you could see the stars in a clear circle of sky surrounded by the tumultuousness of the storm. It was, similar, I'm sure to being in the eye of a hurricane, only instead of crossing over us the circle opened and passed to either side of the island.
When it was all over, we sat there for the longest time
listening to the waves lap the shore and watching the crystal clear northern sky. Somewhere, off to the north, on the mainland a wolf or a coyote howled, breaking our moment of self meditation. Slowly we left our vantage point and made our way back to our tent, knowing we would never see such a sight again for the rest of our lives.
The following morning after breaking camp and motoring to the mainland we met up with my parents who were staying at a lodge along the shore of the lake. When I asked them if they enjoyed the storm, they said they never saw it. They heard some thunder in the distance, but that was all.
Still today, almost twenty years later I can close my eyes and see the whole scene vividly. I can feel the air, taste the ozone and hear the waves break against the granite. I know, if I'm ever lucky enough to stand once more on that granite point, I will search the night sky for just a glimpse of the majesty of that storm from long ago.
|Today was a good day. I spent the last couple of weeks tied to a PC, building a PowerPoint for my boss to present at a conference in Houston this week. He left yesterday. Today I headed out in the field, a beautiful Pennsylvania Autumn morning. Met up with an Inspector and a water quality specialist and together we spent the morning looking at wetlands and stream crossings. I got a chance to use skills in species and soil identification I haven't used in awhile. Felt good. Also felt good to teach the new guys something and the inspector taught me a few things as well.
I don't ever want to stop learning. There is so much out there, so much exciting stuff, so much interesting stuff, that sometimes I get sad knowing I will never have time to learn it all. Life is too short.
I get the love of learning from my parents. My dad is 90 and he still gets excited when he learns something new or finds the solution to a problem. My mom is 81 and beginning to suffer from the onset of Alzheimers. Still, I see her struggle to remember and to pass on the things she has learned and experienced in her life. They truly have been one of my major influences and inspirations. I know their time is short and I have been extremely lucky to have them in my life as long as I have, but I can't bear to think of not having them here.
The other major influence in my life has been my wife, Linda. We have been married 15 years, and while we have suffered some painful experiences in our journey, they have only served to make us stronger and more committed to each other. I did not understand what love was until I met her. She was the one that opened my eyes to life and love and who ultimately broke through the writing wall that I had been hiding behind for almost thirty years. I am lucky. More lucky that I deserve.
Boy has this turned sappy.
It was a good day. I saw hawks and deer and I laughed. Laughter is good. I am recharged now. Good night everyone.
~~Image #4000 Sharing Restricted~~
|OK, so I've finally been convinced (read that, strong armed) into doing a blog. Frankly I hate the name... it conjures up visions of '60's B horror movies with silly- putty like beasts devouring the local movie theatre. Hmmm, considering the quality of movies lately, it might not be such a bad idea, but personally I'd rather go with "The Night of The Lepus".
Why are we so wrapped up in acronyms and such? Why do we feel it necessary to add words, such as blog, and now I understand vlog (video blog), to the already overcrowded english language? Oh well, I guess we've been doing it for centuries and will probably (read that hopefully, though I have my doubts) be doing it for centuries more. In some ways I guess it beats grunting. I mean, a grunt could mean just about anything. Sure could lead to some confusion if you grunt to signal your constipation and some neighboring neanderthal takes it to mean you want his woman. Of course, the ensuing physical activity could very well solve the constipation problem.
See, it's dangerous in my head.
As a writing exercise I fully recognize the value of blogs and if the truth be known I'm more than a little envious of the folks out there getting their blogs (read that columns, and when does a blog become a column?) published on large scale internet sites. No offense Writing. com, but you have a ways to go to compete with MSNBC or USAToday. Still, I suppose, even here there are enough of us misguided miscreants clicking away that an occasional errant mouse click will guide an unsuspecting reader to my blog lair. If so, and you are one such beast, my apologies, for I truly have nothing worthwhile to say. That said I will endeavor to say as much about nothing as I deem worthwhile. Ouch, that gave me a headache. Until next time, keep your eyes sharp and your powder dry.