sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 20, 2019

’tis a fearful thing
posted by soe 1:57 am

Stop All the Clocks, Cut off the Telephone
   ~W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Rudi’s best D.C. friend, Dave, was killed today while riding his bike to meet a friend for coffee.

Dave was in his mid-50s, had a wife and a daughter whom he loved tremendously, and if my Twitter feed is any indication, was known to and respected by pretty much everyone in our area. He baked delicious bread, did IT for a living, was generous with his time and his energy, and was an outspoken and tireless advocate for safer roads and cycling infrastructure.

That he died along a stretch of road that neighbors and cyclists had for years asked the city to improve in order to make it less dangerous and less prone to drivers speeding is a particularly cruel twist of fate.

My heart is breaking for Rudi, dealing with this devastating loss at home by himself. And my heart is breaking for Dave’s wife and daughter, because I can so easily imagine myself in their place, to be robbed in an instant of what they love best by the decisions of a selfish driver. And my heart is breaking for all of us, to have lost in such a stupid fucking way a kind man who should still be alive.

‘Tis a Fearful Thing
   ~Yehuda HaLevi

‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be —
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.

April 17, 2019

what’s blooming in d.c.: pre-easter edition
posted by soe 1:01 am

The cherry blossom season has mostly come to a close, although there are still some trees with blooms around the city. Dogwoods are currently flowering, as are the redbuds, which are particularly lovely this year.


Tulips are still out, but are starting to fade a bit. The irises are next up:


We saw wisteria and lilacs starting to flower yesterday, but they won’t come into their own until later this week:


And the azaleas will soon follow. I’m hoping to make it over to see the National Arboretum’s famed collection during peak bloom later this spring.

And, as I mentioned over the weekend, the violets are gorgeous right now. I’m crossing my fingers there are still some left in my garden by the time I get home next week from my visit to New England.

Category: dc life. There is/are 2 Comments.

April 3, 2019

peak bloom
posted by soe 1:06 am

I happened to have an event I was heading to yesterday evening down at the Wharf, which is right across the harbor from Hains Point. I’d hoped to check out some of the cherry blossoms, dock my bikeshare, and then take the jitney across, but there were no docks to be had, so I had to forego my admiring of flowers in order to keep biking to my end destination.

But before I did, I thought to take a couple of photos from the date deemed this spring’s Peak Bloom:

Peak Bloom

Peak Avenue

We had some rain this evening or I would have gone back then. I may try again tomorrow afternoon or may wait and go on Thursday instead. It should still look lovely through the end of the week, when there will start to be more petals on the ground than on the trees and when the leaves start taking center stage on the cherry trees.

I’ve heard the Arboretum’s cherry tree collection is quite lovely and they’ve really been pushing it this year to the locals as a less-crowded, longer-lived alternative to the Tidal Basin area. I may bike over there one day, particularly since I’ve never been, or I may wait until next month when their azaleas are apparently something to be marveled at.

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 31, 2019

spring saturday snapshot
posted by soe 1:25 am


This garden is how I judge that spring has well and truly arrived in my neighborhood every year.

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March 25, 2019

weekend flowers
posted by soe 1:51 am

I thought I’d share some of what’s flowering around D.C. right now, per today’s bike ride:

Flowering Quince

Flowering Quince


French Tulips (it’s still early)

and Cherry Trees

Weeping Cherries


Mostly those are the early cherry trees on Hains Point, which abuts the harbor, the Tidal Basin, and the Potomac River; peak bloom (the day when 70% of the flowers are open) won’t be for another week. Most of them look like this right now:


Hains Point

Is anything blooming in your neck of the woods yet?

Category: dc life. There is/are 3 Comments.

March 16, 2019

so close…
posted by soe 1:48 am

… you could taste it if your allergies hadn’t given you a stuffy head…

Cherry Blossoms

With only a handful of days remaining until spring arrives, the trees across the street have finally bloomed. My window is open. Birds are singing. (Okay, not right this second, but you know what I mean…) Pollen was recorded in record quantities today. Only 4.5 days to go…

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.