25 July 2014

Noticing

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, or so they said on the radio. Today is once again the hottest day so far. I hope that is the last hottest day we have this year! It was supposed to get to around 80 F. Not as bad as the summers I've been used to since we left Alaska a decade ago, but not my cup of iced mint tea, either. Since neither of us wanted to be out in the hottest part of the day, we went out to walk right after breakfast. We opted for a walk along the river both days. We had nowhere else in particular that we wanted to go and it is such a lovely walk--scenic and quiet. No matter how many times I take that walk, I never tire of it and there is always something new that I notice for the first time. Today was no exception.

I never noticed before that there is a tree growing right out  from the wall.
A closer look showed that the roots have moved the stone aside in an effort to reach the light.
It isn't only trees growing out from the walls.


Further along the path, we saw what looks like fireweed. There was just one little patch of it that I saw, but it brought back memories of summers in Fairbanks. We lived on a 3 acre plot in the woods and we had lots of fireweed growing there. It starts blooming from the bottom and gradually blooms up the spike as summer progresses. When it's flowering near the top of the spike, you know summer is almost over. There was fireweed in Maine, too, and every time I see it, I feel a little tug and I am reminded of a time when summer was not something simply to be endured, but was pleasant enough, in a certain way, and although it was intense with constant daylight, it was also short. When it comes to summer, short is good.
We stopped at the falls as we always do and we notice how it's changed. Now there is more vegetation and more rocks visible than there were a couple of months ago when we first started walking this path. The water level is lower. Today we saw some ducks paddling down towards a little island. Some of them swam toward the island and got out of the water (if you look closely, you can see one at the edge of the island). I thought they were going to sit in the sun.
But they ended up walking across the island and getting back into the water on the other side, swimming around it and meeting up with the ducks that had stayed in the water to continue on their journey.
The sheep are pretty smart--they were all resting up against a stone wall and in the shade underneath the tree in their field.

In the shade was the place to be. By the time we turned around to go back, it was getting unpleasantly hot and the shady stretches of the path were most welcome. Even though I was very uncomfortable and very ready to be at home, I could still appreciate my surroundings.
We also discovered that some of the blackberries are just starting to turn color.


Aside from our flat, this path by the river is my favorite place in town.


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