sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-06-12 11:59 pm

Where I've been with myself on my way

Today the heat was brutal, so we waited until near sunset to leave the house and its marginal shelter of air conditioning; then we walked down to the river, which was new territory for [personal profile] spatch and familiar to me only insofar as I had learned to catch the 95 bus from the stop at the foot of Temple Street. We crossed beneath the overpass with its murals of wildlife and shipbuilding and the old dams of the Mystic River (I had no idea the Amelia Earhart Dam was a thing) and found the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, where no one seemed to care if I walked out onto the floating dock and watched the rowers sculling on the far side of the river. The water looked black as coffee, the sun lying on it like dust. Frilled rosettes of water chestnut twisted up to the surface—a wildly invasive species that I wish were locally acceptable to harvest in season, since its spiky caltrop nuts are edible, although a different species from the crunchy white slices that come in cans from H Mart. According to the poster on the chain-link, we had just missed National Learn to Row Day. We followed the footpath up to the bridge at Route 16, counting fourteen swans as we went; they glided majestically among the waterweed and tipped forward to root in the silt with the no-warning of physical comedy, up tails all. Either some passerby had tried to feed them hot dog buns (which were now sinking slowly all around them) or they had recently murdered a hot dog vendor. I could see it going either way. Seagulls kept swinging overhead; sometimes they looked exactly the size of the low-flying planes out of Logan. I had not realized how much a little blue heron looks like a great blue heron with the aspect ratio wrong. There was a park on the other side of the river, with a wooden observation tower and a meadow full of rabbits at leisurely silflay. We climbed the tower to watch the rabbits: it looked like it was built of telephone poles and reminded me of the long-vanished climbing structure on the lawn of the Cambridge Public Library that always smelled like a sailing ship after rain, silver-weathered wood and creosote. The sky in the east had turned the light-holding space-blue of summer evening, in the west the sun looked as fiery as Florida. Neither of us counted the rabbits. It was probably unkind to refer to them as Hasenpfeffer, especially since some of them were so small and delicate-eared that we decided they were only a Hasenpf. We only came down from the tower when the midges found out where we were. The rest of the walk was somewhat less amateur naturalist, following the Mystic Valley Parkway past the part-demolished Meadow Glen Mall and the commercial-residential strip that did not exist a dozen years ago when Rob worked for roadside assistance. We came home across the river on the Fellsway. I had a strange moment in Ten Hills when I could have sworn that the sea lay beyond the slant of the houses, the crumbled violet of the after-sunset sky. In the nearly two hours it had taken us to circle back to Temple Street and Mystic Avenue, the City of Somerville had moved in a road work crew that was doing something with jackhammers and floodlights. It was loud. We came upstairs and made sandwiches for dinner, because it is still too hot to cook; Rob went to read about Whitey Bulger and I sat down next to him and wrote this. Autolycus helped by continually trying to interpose himself between my hands and the keyboard. It was a good evening.
asakiyume: (far horizon)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2017-06-13 04:22 am (UTC)(link)
You're right, this is a lot better for the blood pressure, and your mention of the rabbits at silflay reminds me that I saw one today too, a little bunny, so tiny! at the exact same time--who knows, maybe the same moment--at the lovely Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. At that place, there are narrow causeways you can walk or run on, so on either side of you is water, with fish if you look, and turtles, and yellow water lilies, and--no swans, but Canada geese. And red winged blackbirds. It makes me very happy to think you and Spatch were experiencing similar loveliness at the same moment of skygold.

I am sure those swans did do in a hotdog vendor. They don't feel guilty about it, either.

I think I can hear Autolycus purring all the way over here.
moon_custafer: (Default)

[personal profile] moon_custafer 2017-06-13 10:40 am (UTC)(link)
and tipped forward to root in the silt with the no-warning of physical comedy, up tails all

Waterfowl feeding always remind me of people searching through steamer trunks.
swan_tower: (Default)

[personal profile] swan_tower 2017-06-13 07:06 am (UTC)(link)
the sun lying on it like dust

That's a beautiful image.
shewhomust: (Default)

[personal profile] shewhomust 2017-06-13 08:37 am (UTC)(link)
I enjoyed the walk by the river. I could almost feel the heat.
lost_spook: (cat)

[personal profile] lost_spook 2017-06-13 12:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw, I do hope the heat eases off a bit soon. :-/
gaudior: (Default)

[personal profile] gaudior 2017-06-13 03:11 pm (UTC)(link)
That sounds really lovely!
alexxkay: (Default)

[personal profile] alexxkay 2017-06-13 03:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you. Reading this makes me feel good.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-13 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
This is lovely. -- Good Lord, how hot is it there?
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-13 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)

(today's high here is like sixty-five F which is a big part of why I live in Seattle)
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-06-13 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I grew up in NM, and T in IA, and after that we had both had quite enough of extreme weather. Altho the summers here have been getting a lot hotter, which sucks because there's virtually no A/C in the whole city.
pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2017-06-13 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
This made me exclaim aloud with delight. So many perfect phrases: the "light-holding space-blue of summer evening," is something that we get here as well over sufficiently open spaces; and oh, "the crumbled violet of the after-sunset sky" is also something I've seen, though rarely. And the ineffable goofiness of swans when they abandon elegance. Canada geese also upend themselves abruptly and it always makes me laugh, but the contrast between their upright and inverted selves is not so pronounced.

choco_frosh: (Default)

[personal profile] choco_frosh 2017-06-13 06:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Frilled rosettes of water chestnut twisted up to the surface—a wildly invasive species that I wish were locally acceptable to harvest in season

Why isn't it?
(I mean, I'd worry about whether it was safe to eat, given that I don't know how clean the Mystic is...*)

Neither of us counted the rabbits.

Another species that I wish it was socially acceptable to harvest!
I am glad you had a good walk.

* "'ve been suffering from a bacterial disease previously unknown to science - congratulations...and an amazing variety of precancerous polyps on and around your liver and kidneys, which I'm assuming were the result of the high levels of heavy metals and industrial waste products we found floating around your bloodstream." --Dr. Ithis, A Closed and Common Orbit
Edited 2017-06-13 19:00 (UTC)
ethelmay: (Default)

[personal profile] ethelmay 2017-06-13 08:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Apropos of nothing in particular, I am partway through watching Pimpernel Smith, and was quite taken aback when I heard the mysterious whistling of the tune I know as "Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes."* It took me some digging to figure out that Smith would likely have thought of it as "There is a tavern in the town."

*I also found out upon digging that some people, obviously not I, sing "Head and shoulders..." to the tune of "London Bridge."
ethelmay: (Default)

[personal profile] ethelmay 2017-06-14 02:26 am (UTC)(link)
Aaaand now I've gotten to the part where gur Anmvf svther bhg gur ghar. NEVER MIND. (Though I'd really like to see them all doing "Head and shoulders" now.)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

[personal profile] davidgillon 2017-06-13 08:55 pm (UTC)(link)
The water looked black as coffee, the sun lying on it like dust.

Oh, my.

I've basically spent the day asleep, so yours was more productive than mine, but there may just be time to squeeze in my daily waddle before full dark...