sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 25, 2020

discovered at dusk: no ducklings, but deer
posted by soe 1:20 am

I went for a bike ride this evening in Georgetown. I had meant to go to the pond at Constitution Garden to visit some water fowl, but instead decided at the last minute to see what the Potomac River and C&O Canal had to offer.

They are several years into construction on some of the locks closer to the mouth of the canal, which means that several miles of the canal upstream from downtown Georgetown have been allowed to grow fenny. I knew they’d become overgrown, but hadn’t understood exactly how solid the ground now was until I saw deer walking in the canal itself.

First I saw this young buck on the far side:

Young Buck

I had a hard time getting the camera to focus on how very velvety his horns looked.

Maybe half a mile down the towpath, I spotted a doe’s head poking up from below the bank on my side of the canal. I hopped off my bike and walked back, speaking quietly to her, because clearly she’d seen and heard me already.

Doe in the Canal

While she kept an eye on me, she just seemed more wary than worried. In fact, she started walking even closer. (These shots are not zoomed in at all.)


Sometimes, you just have to scratch that itch on your head, no matter who’s watching, right?

After that, I headed home. No duckling sightings today, but up-close deer are just as good.

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May 24, 2020

yes, please
posted by soe 1:18 am

Wear a Mask. Save Lives.

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May 23, 2020

long weekend planning
posted by soe 1:41 am

Who's Winning?

I’ve spent the past forty-five minutes musing about the temerity of time in introduction after deleted introduction. It seems about right for the place in which we find ourselves as we head into this traditional start to the summer season. In the end, none of it matters while all of it matters, and I add it to the tally of things I have let go over the past three months. With a sign of resignation, instead I’ll turn to face forward again and consider how I’ll spend this long weekend:

  • Reading. I’ve got a couple audiobooks that are likely to wrap up, as well as Chasing Vermeer.
  • Knitting on the shawl that never ends. If I wrap it up, that means there’s hope for the rest of this, right?
  • Baking. I want cookies or bars or something. And scones. And bread. And waffles. (Apparently, my supper has worn off. Regardless, I’m hoping to make something tasty.)
  • Talking to loved ones. Karen and I have agreed we should phone. The details will sort themselves out, history has shown.
  • Going for a bike ride. Rudi tells me baby wildlife is out and about and that if I can get myself down to the waterways I can ogle baby ducks at the very least.
  • Putting away winter. It’s strewn about the apartment, with winter coats draped on the coat rack and sweaters still in my drawer. The spring has been cool, and I love having the window open, which means it’s been chilly in the Burrow, but this week’s forecast suggests weather got the memo that we’re heading into summer, and it’s time to have tshirts and tank tops more accessible.
  • Tending to the garden. Rudi picked up stakes and twine at the hardware store this morning and I was able to spend some time this evening getting the peas upright again. We invited many of our garden slugs out for a final happy hour in a capful of beer, and the word of mouth spread like we were holding a kegger on the beach in a teen movie. We’ll only slightly apologetically refill the beer tomorrow. (I’m not really heartless enough to be a successful gardener, but the slugs are out of control with all the rain we’ve had this spring.)
  • Painting my nails. While my toes are still fully covered, my spring manicure is down to a glittery dot of varying size on each finger. It’s time to wipe off this polish and decide on some new colors to adorn the digits.
  • Carefully breaking some rules. There is an abandoned gas station a couple blocks away that spent last summer as a paid parking lot. They have some rose bushes along their sidewalks, and I think that as long as I cut a few blossoms from the station side, as opposed to the side that faces the apartment building across the street, that no one is being hurt. Similarly, I may consider taking a lawn chair to the circle that I walk around or maybe the 19th-century cemetery nearby and sit outside for a little while if it seems like not too many people are about. My local park is too crowded and even the large park by the garden tends to attract a lot of people. If there were a way for me to get a little sun, without the stress of being near people who still can’t be bothered to wear masks, I think this subterranean dweller would feel so much better about things.
  • Write some mail. Because if I can’t give hugs in real life, at least I can send some paper ones.

How about you? What are you hoping this weekend holds?

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May 22, 2020

spring harvest, artwork, and breakfast
posted by soe 1:23 am

Dupont Love

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The first strawberry and peas from my garden (as well as more greens).

2. Rudi is friends with his fifth-grade teacher on Facebook. (If you know Rudi IRL this will surprise you not a bit.) Anyway, she paints and she was giving away some of her prints, and she sent this one to Rudi, which arrived on his birthday eve:

Green Door Art

3. I had spent my last cash on quarters more than a week ago, which meant while we had clean underwear, we haven’t been able to buy bagels. I stopped by the atm yesterday and Rudi ran out first thing this morning to the bagel shop to buy two bags of day-olds and two fresh-from-the-oven everything bagels that I got to wake up to the aroma of.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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May 21, 2020

pre-memorial day unraveling
posted by soe 1:49 am

Pre-Memorial Day Unraveling

I’m feeling a little bored these days, as one rolls into another with little interruption. If my life were a body of water, it would be a cow pond. (This is fine. I will take a cow pond over the ocean during a tsunami any day.)

But I decided the way to spice things up was to finish a couple lingering projects. I started Chasing Vermeer over the winter at some point, back when we were still allowed to linger in cafes with other patrons. I hadn’t quite made it to the 50-page mark when I put it aside, probably for work travel, and it got buffeted to the edge of my attention span for a while. I decided to restart it tonight, in part because I could make up the read pages pretty quickly, and also because while I remembered the broad strokes of the set-up, I didn’t recall the details with the accuracy needed to solve a heist mystery. I’m enjoying this second take at the novel and expect to speed through it quickly.

The knitting is my lightning shawl, which I pull out every year, swearing this will be the time I finish it. But this time I mean it. When I last worked on it, I remember I’d reached a point where the transition between yarn scraps stood out too much. I’ll need to look at it more carefully in the morning to see whether I ripped it back and went with a different transition (which is what I think will have happened) or if I still need to pull out a few rows and carry on. But either way, there is probably a good amount of indoor time during this three-day weekend, and I have several audio books I’m working through, and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of the possible if I commit to knitting instead of napping that I could bind this project off before June rolls around.

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are reading and crafting as we head into the traditional start to summer.

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May 20, 2020

midweek music: ‘and so it goes’
posted by soe 1:49 am

“And So It Goes,” off Billy Joel’s fantastic Storm Front album, is a beautiful song when crooned by its songwriter. But it lends itself especially well to an a cappella version, here performed by the Stay at Home Choir and The King’s Singers.

I’m tired of boxed singers performing, but I’m so grateful that they do.

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