We’ve had plenty of rain in Upstate New York this summer, so the countryside is lush and green.
A steady stream of storms hanging over our heads. A summer flooded with talk of swollen swamps, mushrooms and clouds.
And now, talk of mushroom clouds.
The sound of running water fills the damp woods, and I’ve been taking photos of pretty rivulets, graced with ferns and arching tree limbs.
But yesterday, while listening to the news about Korea, I saw this shot, of black shale in an unnamed stream, and it suited my mood.
A geology website informs us that this little waterfall runs through a “dissected plateau” – – layers of shale, sandstone, and limestone.
“Dissect” always has an unpleasant connotation to me, of high school biology class.
Personally, I like my frogs live and hopping.
The rocks are dull-colored and lifeless-looking, but if you pry open some of the layers, they’re teaming with fossils.
The ancient creatures embedded in the rock, probably thought things were going ok, and went about their business, but in some layers, the density of their remains, speaks of mass die-offs.
These were lower lifeforms, I guess they never saw it coming.
Sounding a bit downbeat! So what to do?
I suggest…go take a walk. Enjoy the green woods and the sound of waterfalls.
One of my favorite presidents, Harry Truman, used to walk two miles every day.
Following his walk, he then had one shot of bourbon.
If you feel an affection or need for clubs, ok, do your walking on a golf course.
Harry did not play golf. He just took a brisk little hike, and shook hands with people he met.
He used an old-fashioned word to describe his walk: his morning “constitutional”.
These are clearly winning concepts: Take a walk. Take a drink. Shake hands. Constitutional.
I don’t think there’s too many people, after more than sixty years, who care deeply about MacArthur’s dismissal. If you’re not a student of history, MacArthur was our top general, when we were fighting in Korea. Truman decided he’d gotten too big for his britches, and we couldn’t have a military leader who was arrogant, contemptuous, disrespectful and reckless. Korea was a bad place to be reckless.
And Harry sent him walking.
A walk in the woods today, turned out to be a macrofungi field trip. Still very damp, even mucky in places, after getting eight inches of rain in recent weeks. All these pictures, with the exception of the second one, were taken within a few hundred feet of each other.
Some towns to our west, in Cayuga County, have had flooding recently. Eight inches of rain over two weeks, and the woods are filled with fungus. I know little of wild mushrooms, so no one should rush out to eat this on my say-so, but I think this is what the old folks call “sheepshead”. You can get an idea of size from the oak leaf in the top right corner, of the first photo. Kind of sloppy ground for walking, but also kind of neat. So many fungus, almost glowing in the dim woods, it struck me that a coral reef was taking root. While I was away last summer, there was a drought, and everyone reported on all the little streams that pretty much dried up, but they’re now going full tilt.
Wishing a very Happy 4th of July,
to all those who believe in democracy
the ideals of the American Revolution.