Visitors

_C1_4935.JPGMore and more I wonder whether humans will survive themselves. Neo-Nazis, Puerto Rico, incomprehensible suffering in Myanmar and Syria, climate change and hunger, and then that nagging chance of nuclear war — it’s a damn matryoshka doll of global misery right now that is impossible to grasp. I’m fortunate to have a job where I can bring a little time and attention to some of these issues. It isn’t enough. Talking about the beauty and meaning in the world feels pretty trite and inadequate, and appreciating those things feels harder. I’m working at that appreciation and at my job. That’s what I got.

In that vein, last weekend brought a good dose of unabashed weirdness and occasional beauty from the annual Puppets in the Park at Fayetteville’s Wilson Park. The performance appeared on here once before. The show’s plot is always simple and wordless and political in some way. I was mostly there for the 20-foot white-cloth eagle and 10-foot sun getup, and the makeshift musical accompaniment.

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_C1_5025.JPGThanks for looking. Keep working.

Dan

Fall’s first days

_C1_4813.JPGThousands upon thousands of motorcyclists rolled into town this past week for Bikes, Blues and BBQ, but for the first time since I moved here, I mostly skipped it. The rally has an oversupply of photographable characters, not least one fellow in a Viking helmet who buzzed around on a scooter waving around a plastic hammer. But I wasn’t really feeling the earsplitting roars and smattering of white supremacist symbols that also tend to come with it. I hiked this morning instead.

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_C1_3497.JPGThe first time I walked around Lake Wedington, back in April, the lake and the waterfall draining it were overflowing with rainwater. I had to turn around about halfway down the trail because of it. Now we’ve gotten hardly any rain weeks, so I wanted to try again.

The water was mostly still, steaming in the early morning and disturbed only occasionally by a solitary circle of ripples. The trees have begun losing their green. A motorcycle occasionally drove by on the lake’s other side.

When I got to the end of the lake’s dam, suddenly there were a lot more of those ripples. Little black shapes hopped out of a quiet cove every few feet, one after the other. They disappeared so quickly that I’m still not sure if they were frogs or little fish, fleeing from a bigger fish or pouncing on prey. They popped up silently and constantly for at least the 20 minutes I sat watching.

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_C1_4765.JPGThe waterfall was a trickle, but I still couldn’t go any further. Spiderwebs more than a foot wide slung across the path. I knocked one down, made lots of noise when I walked into another, and saw yet another further along. You win.

_C1_4774.JPGThanks for looking, and happy fall.

Dan

County line

IMG_7985.JPGThe journey down the Razorback Greenway has finally reached Benton County. Almost halfway! Only 20 or so miles to go. I’d started to fear this quiet leg of the trail would be a relative bust for some fresh shots, but then Lake Springdale popped up around the last bend, right across the county line, and saved the day.

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This last one isn’t from the trail, but I have to share it. I was walking around my apartment complex a little before sunrise and looking up at the purple clouds when I noticed birds flying south. They weren’t in an orderly V formation like geese; instead they flew at least a hundred feet from each other, moving like black flecks of ash drifting from a huge fire. They filled the sky by the thousands, ranging from just above the top of the apartment buildings to the limit of my eyesight, tiny specks in every direction. And they were silent. I had never seen anything quite like it. I’d like to learn what kind of birds they were, but Google hasn’t cracked the mystery yet. An hour or so later they were gone, and the sky was clear.

IMG_8000.JPGEvery black speck here is a bird. They’re a bit hard to see here, so opening the photo in another tab might help.

Happy November! Thanks for looking.