sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 19, 2021

the highways of virginia
posted by soe 1:45 am

I got in the car this afternoon, intending to drive out to the library in Arlington. While I did reach Arlington, I did not make it to the library, instead finding my way to an entirely different county.

I have long argued that the highways in Virginia behave rather like some of the staircases in the Harry Potter series. You may get on a road that you’ve taken to the library any number of times, but that doesn’t mean it’s where it leads today. Tomorrow I could take that same route past the old bike shop and it will deposit me at the library without issue. But today, it chose not to. Sometimes it happens on the way back from the airport, which is in an entirely different section of Arlington. If I come back from the nearby farms with Sarah (which would be the only reason I’d take that route), if I am driving, it will send us further into Virginia, rather than back over the river to D.C. where we were headed.

It’s inconvenient, but no longer surprising. I mean to me, of course. Other people routinely seem surprised that I can’t get the four miles down a road and over a river without an unplanned detour after living in the same place for nearly two decades, but they seem to believe this remains in my control.

I’ve just learned to recognize when I have bypassed where I needed to go and look for the next place to reroute the car. I can always get either where I wanted to go or to someplace I recognize; sometimes it just takes a bit.

Yes, I know there are such things as phones and apps and gps. And if it’s super important to reach a destination in a timely fashion, I will employ such muggle technologies (or direct another party to drive). Otherwise, it’s best just to embrace the ride.

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April 18, 2021

late bloomers
posted by soe 1:00 am

Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin get all the glory, but for beauty themselves, I actually prefer the Kwanzan cherry trees.

Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms

They bloom a little later than their Yoshino cousins, which also means you are way more likely to get a chance to see them without having to duck crowds.

Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms

The pink ones are part of a grove on Hains Point, near where I showed you the shot a few weeks ago. The white ones were next to the Potomac.

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April 17, 2021

weekend planning
posted by soe 1:00 am

I have a couple things on the agenda this weekend:

I won a drawing for being among the people who visited the farmers market every week this winter. (Adhering to COVID travel restrictions meant I was here, and I’m not really deterred by crummy weather — or, apparently, threats of insurgents.) I have to go pick up the gift card (to a vegetarian sausage maker) at a new-to-me farmers market Saturday morning.

Sarah and I are going to head to the Wharf in the afternoon for an in-person event put on by the Quebecois government where they’re going to be giving away samples of maple snow candy. We are both big proponents of maple syrup and it would be unneighborly not to sample Canada’s if they want to share with us.

If it’s not raining, I may suggest to Rudi that we go the Rock Creek Kings show at one of the local parks in the evening, but he has a charity bike ride the next morning, so he may want to spend some time inside.

Sunday, I may try to get across the river to the library there to pick up a hold that’s ready for me, and, if I’m lucky, some of my spring greens should be ready to harvest from the garden. I don’t know that I have enough for two salads, but we’ll see.

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March 3, 2021

flowers in february
posted by soe 1:38 am

While I was out and about on Saturday, I noticed the sure signs that spring is coming: flowers were popping up, in border beds, in the wild, and in the park:


Early Yellow Wildflower

Purple Ground Cover

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February 28, 2021

out and about
posted by soe 1:43 am

Rock Creek

Today ended up being a very pleasant afternoon, with the sun emerging periodically. I took the long way home from the Cleveland Park neighborhood through Rock Creek Park and captured this shot along the way.

(As best as I could tell where the beam of light hit did not contain pirate treasure.)

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February 24, 2021

heading outdoors . . . i think
posted by soe 1:47 am

I’ve decided that this spring I might be willing and ready to play outdoor volleyball again, in part for the mental health benefits it offers. I’ve emailed my former teammates to see if any of them are interested, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of them might be available.

A couple of my teammates played outdoors last fall, and the report I heard after the first couple weeks was that the league was was relatively good about mask wearing and social distancing from other teams and on the sidelines. Volleyball is one of those sports where there you do end up in close proximity to your teammates and some competitors, and some contact with teammates can happen as you’re chasing after a ball and trying not to knock each other down. So it’s not without risk. But it’s also not basketball, where it can’t be played without automatically coming into contact with everyone else on the court. And being outdoors definitely helps lower the risks of spreading disease.

How are you thinking about risk management as we move into year #2 of COVID? Will you continue to stay home and isolated? Were you never paying attention to those recommendations to begin with?

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