May 14-17 – hard times

It’s been a rough week for me and for this project.  As noted before, I’ve been dealing with a heavy “indoor work” type workload, so haven’t been able to get out as much as I would like.  Then, on Tuesday morning, I was loading the tofu truck when I felt a tweaking, crunching sensation in my lower back, which steadily got worse throughout the day (and the next day, and the next).  Without going into too many details, let’s just say that the past few days have been pretty unpleasant.  I’ve been overworked, in constant pain, and feeling less motivated than I have been to keep up this journal (hell, I’m not really sure if five months in, anyone’s even reading it).

But for now, I’ll try to keep plugging away.  On Wednesday, one of the first really hot days of the spring, I went with a bunch of kids to a creek along the eastern edge of Shenandoah park, in search of cool clear water to swim in and rocks to climb on.  And we found plenty of both.  Here’s a photo of the creek, clear and cold and altogether more inviting than the muddy waters around Twin Oaks.Image

Our first “cooling off” spot of the day, just a few steps from where we parked the van.Image

It didn’t take long for the kids to start engaging in their favorite activity; rock hopping!Image

I’ve been to this part of Shenandoah a few times previously, and have always been impressed by the number of butterflies I encountered.  This time was no different.  In the parking lot, there must have been some sort of mineral or something that the butterflies need, as there was a cloud of them swarming around and landing in one particular spot.Image

As we walked up the trail alongside the creek, I discovered other similar spots, each with a resident population of butterflies.

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This was the best shot I was able to get of this particular tree, with purple bell-shaped flowers.  I’d never seen this type of tree before, and it seemed to be near the end of its bloom; the flowers were turning brown and growing deflated.Image

The first part of the hike was along a road that was, technically, open to vehicles, but you would have needed serious 4-wheel drive to get up it, and we didn’t see much traffic on this section, which followed the creek through some lovely green woods.Image

About a mile up, we stopped at an area with a deep pool to swim in, and plenty of suitably dangerous rocks on either side of the creek for the kids to terrorize me by climbing up down and across.  I’m starting to realize what I put my own parents tImage

The next day, Thursday, I spent pretty much the whole day inside being grumpy and injured and trying to work on my index.  In the afternoon, we were treated to a regular whiz-banger of a springtime thunderstorm, with high winds and sheets of rain.  In this picture, I was trying to photograph the tops of the trees across my yard, which were being violently shaken this way and that, trying to hold onto their leaves. All told, we got about an inch of rain in about 30 minutes, and if I had the time (and wasn’t injured), it would have created perfect conditions for hunting mushrooms today.Image

 

And finally, a few photos from this morning, as I let the chickens out into the yard at the beginning of another beautiful, unseasonably cool May day, which I am spending (like most of the days this week) in front of a computer with an aching back.  Grumble grumble grumble.

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2 responses to “May 14-17 – hard times

  1. I for one am thoroughly enjoying your blog! Might that tree with the purple flowers be a Catawba tree?

  2. Ditto here. I am reading! It is an odd thing the blogging milarky…I blogged for years without looking at stats, and I am glad for that. I wasn’t, and still am not, blogging for the numbers. But, sharing your thoughts to a resounding silence is something to make peace with huh?! It can take a year just to build a readership. Link in more to Running with scissors? I’ve just hired a designer for GrowMama…I never woulda thought i’d have that many readers. You never know. xx

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