Friday, October 3, 2008
When I look at clouds on a day like today, such a blue-and-gold day, I begin to find shapes in them, faces even. You might not see them, but I notice a man and a woman staring eye-to-eye in this cloud. Their noses seem to be touching, as if they are about to kiss and are having trouble getting around those obstructions. I refer to days like this as blue-and-gold days because in my silly, romantic head I remember days like this one when Hubby and I first met in college. The days were crisp and cool, and the sky always seemed blue.
And I remember touches of gold in that long-ago landscape, like this goldenrod (Solidago) growing at Rend Lake. Today, hubby and I took a lunchtime walk there on the trail we usually visit. If you walk without a camera and walk too quickly, you will miss the change in the guard, the subtle shifts in bloom from the violets of spring to the hibiscus and milkweed (Asclepius) of summer...
to this fine specimen of what looks like blue lobelia. I found a picture resembling it in a book I bought at the Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge Visitors' Center. Don Kurz, the author of the book, Illinois Wildflowers, writes that the "Mesquakies (tribe of Native Americans) finely chopped the roots and mixed them into food of a quarrelsome couple without their knowledge. This, they believed, would avert divorce and make the pair love each other again." Fortunately, Hubby and I are getting along pretty well these days, so I hope no one sneaks any lobelia into my dinner, at least not in the foreseeable future. I do enjoy looking at them, though.
One thing I do not like to see is a locked bathroom. There are not too many still open around Rend Lake this time of year. I could not help but think of Katarina's post about her dry privy and laugh. Oh, to be dry!
By the time we had walked about two miles from the parking area--after consuming lunch and tall glasses of water--to the beach, locked bathrooms were no laughing matter, at least not for me. We had to walk those same two miles back to the car.
Looking at that big expanse of water was not helpful either. I believe that a person can achieve a certain mind-over-matter control of certain situations like locked bathrooms. Sometimes, you have no other choice.
No, I am not considering what you might be thinking. Hubby and I are getting along just fine right now, thank you very much.
After taking this video of some action on wild asters and becoming entranced by the dance of the bees, I did feel a bit woozy. You might call it a blue-and-gold daze.
...White and golden Lizzie stood,
Like a lily in a flood,--
Like a rock of blue-veined stone
Lashed by tides obstreperously,--
Like a beacon left alone
In a hoary roaring sea,
Sending up a golden fire,--
Like a fruit-crowned orange-tree
White with blossoms honey-sweet
Sore beset by wasp and bee,--
Like a royal virgin town
Topped with gilded dome and spire
Close beleaguered by a fleet
Mad to tug her standard down...
--from Christine Rossetti's poem "Goblin Market," 1859--