Just a few photos this time, and just a few words. The environment’s on a lot of minds these days, thanks to a papal encyclical on climate change and some wacky worldwide weather. One thing I hope to convey with all of my ramblings is that “the environment” isn’t a far-away thing in all of those forests and rivers and national parks. It’s also the air you breath in cities and the dirt you walk on in yards. The veins in the purple elephant ear leaf above are as much a part of the natural system as the streams and rivers they resemble.
Anyway, that’s enough didactic-ness for now. Please enjoy this photographic sample of the life cycle of butterflies and moths, including the most massive caterpillar I’ve ever seen, courtesy of Springfield’s Butterfly House.
Thanks for looking!
Have a good one,
I couldn’t tell at first that the tan, four-legged, tailed creature wandering around the middle of the golf course in the distance was a cow. Dusk was dimming, it was too far away to photograph or see, and for a surreal, stupid moment, I thought a lion had escaped some local zoo in the flooding — I’d read about something along those lines recently in southeastern Europe. This flood wasn’t a hemisphere away; this was Springfield, Missouri, last Friday, in the aftermath of then-Tropical Depression Bill. I was up for Father’s Day weekend to see my dad, also named Bill, and the rest of the bunch. We took off to see the water as soon as I got there.
These first few are from Rivercut Golf Course, inundated by several extra feet of the James River after days of rain. The water broke a record more than a century old, and it attracted an audience. Onlookers drove and walked past here and other swollen rivers and lakes in the area all weekend. The cow ended up OK, if you’re wondering, but for the night it was stuck on an island of green.
We drove around past sunset, and from the car I also caught an abstract little scribble of the crescent moon and a fainter Venus above it in the sky.
The rest of these photos have to do with water, too — little demonstrations for myself of how beautiful and powerful it can be. Egyptians have had the right idea, I think, accepting and celebrating their main river’s periodic flooding. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to control our rivers and building golf courses next to them; every now and then they remind us how they once were.
My obsession with fungi is getting a little out of hand, but how can I resist these delicate, translucent beauties?
The same James River that was running over the golf course goes down to Table Rock Lake; the river picked up a little more steam on the way down.
It was a good Father’s Day weekend up there; I hope you can say the same where you are. And happy summer!
Thanks for looking,
Home, for me, has long been a complicated word. We moved from Springfield, Mo., up to Nebraska before my third grade year. A decade later, I went down the road to the University of Nebraska. A month later, my family moved back to Springfield. As I deepen my roots in yet another state, I realize the day before college was the last time “home” was singular.
This is a time of many returns for me, though. I went up to Springfield this past weekend and remembered something I always forget — how nice it can be to come back to board games and cookouts and three-hour conversation. Life is flowing back with the spring, life I breathe in from each breeze and storm. And in a couple of weeks, I’ll be going back to Nebraska for the first time since August. This a good time for me.
Having three homes is tough. They wrench time from each other. But they amplify each other, too. Nothing helps boost appreciation for something like losing it, even for just a while. In a way, I think, life has been a chain of losses and returns. The loss sure sweetens the taste of returning. Sometimes I think one home would be nicer, but with each loss I value each home with greater intensity.
On a lighter note, the same delight in returning applies to spring. I’m a broken record, but man, I’ve missed it.
However many homes you have, whatever form they take and whatever takes you away, I hope you get to return.
Thanks for looking,