This Too Will Pass

Pikes Market Sunflowers

Yesterday, while we were performing our will signing ceremony, the water company’s road crew kind of crashed the party. Our mobile notary was late getting to the party, because he had to drive around the workers and he only barely managed to escape after the ceremony had concluded. Still, every cloud has a silver lining. Yesterday’s laying on of the asphalt represented the at least unofficial conclusion of this more than three month ordeal. Proving that if you just hang on all things will pass. Before I begin exalting too much, I should point out that there are still sizeable holes in the road, at both ends of the block and the workers could still return, for who knows what. Plus, the reason that there are holes at both ends of the block, is because all of the neighboring streets will have to eventually undergo, what we have already endured. Meaning that this work will continue to remain nearby for a long time to come. Still, for us at least, the floor show is over and we can once again park on the street. A little bit of rain last night has begun the process of washing the street clean again.

Meanwhile, Anne continues to make face masks. She mailed some out today, for her father and sister jane. Jane didn’t think that Harry would wear it, but that was before the CDC started recommending them. I imagine that peer pressure and the fact that Trump is refusing to wear one, might change his mind. She also made one for me, it is made with a very nice bicycle themed fabric. She keeps churning them out. She just keeps calm and carries on.

When I first retired, people would ask me what I planned on doing in retirement. I had a joke of sorts, I would travel, until I got tired of not sleeping in my own bed. Next, I would work on the house, until I ran out of money. Finally, I would sit around all day and make inane comments on Facebook all day. Well, the travel thing has now ended, just not the way that I had expected. I really don’t do Facebook anymore either. That just leaves home improvement. I think that I’ll start with the yard. Spring has advanced far enough that a little gardening is in order. I really can’t go any place. There is no where to go. So, I might as well start working on the house. A little puttering ought to go a long way these days. I already have some fertilizer and I can go ahead and order grass seed. The back porch needs to be stained again. This list could go on and on and on…

Fire at Will

Sea Nettle Jellyfish

Fire at will, free will, where there’s a will, there’s a way—Today, we had a party in our front yard. We invited Art and Caroline, our next door neighbors and some guy named Charlie. The water company’s road crew crashed our party. They were laying fresh asphalt. It kind of stunk. What was the occasion for all this frivolity? We were throwing a will signing party. Our neighbors were our witnesses, Charlie was the mobile notary and the road crew was just there. It was high time that we did this and while now might not have been the best time to do this, but if not now, when? There’s no moment like the last moment. 

Well the County is closing all of its parks today, like the sculpture one that we managed to visit on Monday. I enjoyed our outing to Laumeier. I imagine that the city will soon follow suit. We visited Forest Park yesterday, with its already restricted vehicle access, which was actually kind of nice. They had closed three main roads on the western end of the park that effectively closed our half of the park to cars. We drove close to the park and then walked into the park and then up and down these closed drives. Social distancing was not an issue. In fact, it was eerily empty. I’ve been in the park at five AM, in the dead of winter and there were more people about then than what we saw yesterday. I hope that they don’t close Forest Park. Eliminating golf carts has already made the park’s golf courses almost virtual, but I expect that our city’s crown jewel will soon be shuttered. I imagine that next week, like that British guy, we’ll be reduced to running marathons in our backyard and the week after that in our basement. 

Desert Trumpet

Desert Trumpet

Eriogonum inflatum is a plant more commonly known as Desert Trumpet, but is also sometimes called Indian Pipe Weed, Bladder Stem or Bottle Stopper. Its most salient feature is a prominent bulging of its central stem. Originally thought to be a gall caused by an insect infestation, it is now believed to be related to regulating the plant’s carbon-dioxide levels. It has small yellow flowers (not shown) that are a primary food source for the Metalmark butterfly. Southwest Native Americans once used the plant to fashion pipes for smoking tobacco mixed with mistletoe. 

It has an unworldly appearance. With its base of petal-like leaves, long sinuous arms and bulbous head, it could easily be reimagined as some alien creature. Imagine it swaying on the high desert plain, while being buffeted by the wind, its arms seemingly grasping every which way. It is the stuff of science fiction.

Goblin Valley Hoodoos

Anne photographed these Desert Trumpets, last year, on the occasion of our visit to Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park. Know for its maze of hoodoo formations, Goblin Valley is just the kind of place that one would expect to find such an unusual species. When we visited the park, it was high noon. The parking lot was situated on a promontory that overlooked the portion of the valley that we had chosen to explore. It had rained heavily the day before and there were still rivulets of water flowing in-between the myriad of standing stones. Running water in the desert is always an incongruitous sight. There were already people down there, as we descended to the valley floor, but they soon disappeared as the hoodoos rose up to meet us. The shouts and laughter of the nearby children was pretty much all that remained of their neighboring presence. 

We had left Moab that morning and still had a drive of several hours, before reaching Capitol Reef, the evening’s destination. So, we only had a couple of hours to explore Goblin, but since we had skipped it two years earlier, I didn’t want to miss it this time around. We used what time that we had to wander among the hoodoos, photographing them and marveling at their naked weirdness. All the while, I kept my bearings, by keeping an eye out for the parking lot promontory that we had originally descended from.

As we progressed across the valley floor, towards the gray topped ridge of rock that demarcated the other side of this immediate valley, we talked about further exploring the next valley over. That would have been nice, because the number of people that we could still occasionally glimpse had decreased markedly from the start, but thoughts of miles yet to go and then a campsite to erect cautioned us against such an endeavor. Besides, with the dwindling human companionship there was something a little spooky about the place.

In the next valley over, the promontory where the Prius, our home away from home, was parked would be out of sight. I feared us getting lost in another maze, without any familiar landmarks and then I further imagined us out after dark, lost among the hoodoos, with only a new moon and our iPhones for light. What if instead of seeing more of the just few foot high Desert Trumpets, we ran into their gigantic queen? Would she call out to us using the melodious tones of her trumpeter’s voice and in her siren’s song, demand we, “Feed me, Seymour!”