Sunday, August 29, 2010

Waterlily Wanderings

Story: Greg
Photos: Trina and Greg

I will take some comfort in this fact: Much of the area near where I live was explored by a man with one arm. Legend (or history, if there is a difference) tells us that John Wesley Powell, one-armed Civil War veteran, traveled the rivers, canyons and mesas of the Colorado Plateau in 1869 and again in 1871. He and his party were the first of their culture to see many of the places they visited.

So... What? I am left with one useable arm and suddenly I think I'm on par with this famed explorer of the American West? That I am off to wrestle wooden boats down the Grand Canyon? Er, no. I admit some trifling differences between The Explorer and me.

The biggest one being, I suppose, that in a matter of weeks, I will once again have the use of my arm. And no matter how shriveled, white, weak and wormlike it may be when it re-emerges from this cast, its return will afford certain advantages that were forever lost to JWP. Powell, however, didn't have to give up mountain biking -- lucky him -- as his era preceded the advent of the mountain bike.

So with Trina's assistance, I have set out to stay active and to keep exploring the world around me as I wait around for my arm to heal. You have noted the mushroom hunts, I'm sure. And I've been riding my town bike since day one, and as the arm heals inside its cast, I've been upping the miles. Even worked my self up to an hour's riding the other day to a nearby town for a meeting, then back again. And I'll take any excuse to ramble around with Trina.

Like this day trip up the local mountain. Not exploration in the grand sense, but just the kind of little trip that keeps the sense of wonder turned up high, a combination of wading through the swampy fringes of waterlily ponds and sitting quietly to see what will show itself. Here are some of our pictures.

Waterlilies -- even before we left home.

Wild waterlilies.

Swamp rat-dog.

Marsh rat-dog.

The swamp tried to suck down Trina's shoe, and almost succeeded.

Cute little weasel that came by for a visit and who was stealthy enough that the dogs never seemed to notice.

Late summer flowers.

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