Friday, March 25, 2011


This is how I celebrate:

Swan Point 3/11

Friends from out of town, a momentary whim that caused me to take a bunch of jumping photos (thanks in part to this blog) and the trusty and fantastic camera that was given to me by my father a few years ago made for a perfectly lovely day hunting in vain for the tombstone of H.P. Lovecraft. Navigating by rare, unusual or otherwise notable trees, we found our way to his supposed location, to no avail. We did not let this bring us down.

Swan Point 3/11

It's as if that picture makes a sound, maybe of popping or of a spring being sprung. Weirdly, when I look at this, I am continuously afraid that he'll come crashing to the ground. I am fairly certain that that will not actually happen. I'll let you know if it does.

Speaking of spring: welcome to it. It's still a bit shy to emerge around here - it's currently about 29°F and we had a few snow showers in the last week - but winter is somehow, intangibly, definitely over. Maybe by the end of this next extra-fantastic-no-school-week, there will be some other flowers joining the sturdy little crocuses that are scattered about. I cannot wait for flora.
Until then, I'll enjoy my time off.

Swan Point 3/11

This is how I act my age.

Friday, March 04, 2011

South County

I guess I should say, however, "South County"; it's actually Washington County. Rhode Island has a whopping Five! Whole! Counties!, and the southernmost of those is most often referred to by its nickname. I don't know why.

(Other counties: Newport, Kent, Bristol, Providence. If I ever get picked up by Cash Cab, I hope this is one of the questions they ask me).

Geographical digression aside, there is some beautiful land in the southern part of the state. We went, specifically, to Arcadia Management Area, which holds the tallest waterfall in Rhode Island. The rain and swiftly melting snow made the waterfall swell, so it was quite monumental:

RI's largest waterfall

It is currently, apparently, twice the size that it was in summer. I can say, at least, that it sounded really big, and it was made a bit more exciting because of the snow and ice on the ground; the slight chance that the ground would give way to freezing, rushing water did give the experience an extra tinge of adventure. (Yes, of course, the location of the trees helped to indicate where the true banks were, but I played at adventure nevertheless). Thrill was totally superfluous, though. I mean really, check this out:

South County

There was nobody else out there, and it was beautiful and silent except for the water, and despite the fact that I am beyond ready for winter to sink into spring, this was like a fairy tale landscape after the previous night's few inches of snow. Time-wise, I couldn't totally afford to take this hike; everything-else-wise, I couldn't afford not to. Five and a half miles took about two and a half hours, so we were moving at just over two miles an hour; with the snow a foot deep in some places, that's actually not so bad. I was sore and exhausted in the best way.

South County

And today, though it's still very cold, the sun is shining and the snow is melting, and I actually caught the smell of grass and earth on the walk home. Spring officially begins in about three weeks, which reminds me: Brad says that once, in grade school, his teacher told the class that it was officially the first day of spring, so he asked her if that meant he should start wearing shorts. I laughed when I heard that story, but I am beginning to see some merit in it. Maybe if I start wearing springy clothes, spring will move in to accommodate me. Might as well give it a shot.

And a final unrelated note: every single teacher in Providence has been pink-slipped. Ultimately, the mayor expects only ("only") about forty percent of them will actually lose their jobs. "Only" = 800 teachers? So I guess approximately 24,000 students will have to fend for themselves from now on? File this under "Education: Who Needs It?"

Send luck. Until next time.