AVOID BORING PEOPLE

31 July, 2016            AVOID BORING       PEOPLE

There is no such thing as boring when you hike with this pack, as I did at Pony Pasture this morning:

Yuki in front, then Turner, Mackey, Lola and Luna. The first three are males, the other two are females.

Yuki in front, then Turner, Mackey, Lola and Luna. The first three are males, the other two are females.

I was feeling smug when I ordered this book. I found it in the attic recently. Look carefully at this picture. Then scroll to the bottom of this post to see the lesson in humility I learned. According to my Amazon account I bought it in November of 2007.

AVOID BORING PEOPLE James D. Watson, 2007

AVOID BORING       PEOPLE
James D. Watson, 2007

Meanwhile – ever mindful that the potential for boredom always lurks on the near horizon – I photographed this bright green fly on our trashcan this week:

It's hard to like flies. But this is an attractive animal.

It’s hard to like flies. But this is an attractive animal.

If you’re of a certain vintage, that picture may call to mind this 1970 classic by Sesame Street’s inimitable Oscar the Grouch singing I Love Trash. It only lasts two minutes; it’s a very, very good use of that brief part of your life.

The original title of this post (before I found that book in the attic this week) was Definition of a nerd. Here’s the dictionary I consulted:

The American Heritage Dictionary - Fifth Edition

The American Heritage Dictionary – Fifth Edition

And here’s the definition:

1nerd01

1nerd02

I started thinking about my own nerdy behavior when a Red-tail landed on a light tower across the street for the first time in several months. My enthusiasm was startling even to me; I immediately thought you are such a nerd! But I couldn’t resist a couple of pictures, even though I have hundreds of similar shots from last year. I’m just always enraptured by raptors:

Young Red-tail on the lights in right field at DS Freeman HS

Young Red-tail on the lights in right field at DS Freeman HS

It’s a youngster. Here’s one of it crying, I suspect in forlorn hope its parents will bring it one more mouse or chipmunk. I also suspect that now that it’s full-on summer, its parents are encouraging it to catch its own mice and chipmunks. Which, if it wants to obey its evolutionary mandate and pass its DNA to a new generation, it will:  

I believe this is a young Red-tail, crying for food. I'm not positive, but I think so. It fits with the data.

I believe this is a young Red-tail, crying for food. I’m not positive, but I think so. It fits with the data.

I had a terrific hike (see first picture today) at Pony Pasture this morning with my dogs Mackey (black) and Turner (brown with pointy ears). We also brought along our regular Sunday morning hiking buddy Yuki (all white). And today we had unexpected guests (but old friends) Lola (brown with floppy ears) and Luna (black and white). I’m solidly in the more-is-better camp when it comes to dogs, but five is about my limit as a solo dog walker. It helps if you have two like Mackey and Yuki in the group; you can practically think about what you want them to do and they do it – they’re easy keepers. Turner’s improving all the time, but he thinks Pony Pasture is no place for whitetail deer, and believes it’s his responsibility to chase them all out. Maybe he’ll calm down. When he’s nine or ten. Three handsome boys and two pretty girls, stopping at the edge of the river for a dip or a sip, depending on which dog it is:

Mackey, Turner, Luna, Lola, Yuki

Mackey, Turner, Luna, Lola, Yuki

When they all bunch up on this narrow walkway, it’s easy to get the impression I have some control over them – they look so organized. Be assured nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is this is after an hour of hot hiking and they’re considerably less wild than when they first get out of the car. When their leashes look like black nylon spaghetti:

Don't they look well-organized? Fat chance. Never trust a photograph.

Don’t they look well-organized? Fat chance. Never trust a photograph.

These have been blooming on the edge of the James River at Pony Pasture for a week or more. Evelyn tells me this is a hibiscus. My dictionary (on my Mac, it just says “Dictionary Version 2.2.1”) says this about hibiscus: “…a plant of the mallow family, grown in warm climates for its large brightly colored flowers…” 

There’s always just so much life down there, especially at this time of year:

I think this is a Marsh mallow. There is just so much activity there.

This is some lovely variety of hibiscus. There is just so much activity there. 

I spotted a nice looking damselfly this week too – not a blue fronted dancer or an ebony jewelwing!:

I know not everyone loves insects. But it's difficult to see this as anything other than lovely.

I know not everyone loves insects. But it’s difficult to see this as anything other than lovely.

 There are still plenty of pawpaws at the river – more every day – but I’ve posted plenty of pictures already. When they’re edible – very soon – I’ll post another one. Maybe a week from today! 

Have a great week (and don’t forget to look at the bottom of this post),

Jay (and Mackey, Turner, Yuki, Lola and Luna. And Dash! (our cat, not shown in this blog post))

===========

I was, as noted earlier, feeling a bit smug when I ordered that book – I come and go on feeling smug. My goal is to never feel smug but I still catch myself from time to time. I thought “ahh, James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, I’ll bet he knows how to avoid boring people.” I didn’t know – I’m so happy about that now – that this was the whole title until I began reading it – see the reflected word in the middle? It changes everything:

See the third word? AFTER "boring" and BEFORE "people"?

AVOID BORING OTHER PEOPLE

It’s really a book about avoiding being a boring person. Always a humbling message for a person like me who often needs humbling.

===========

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, James River, People, Pony Pasture, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to AVOID BORING PEOPLE

  1. Barbara says:

    Hi Jay, It’s in the Hibiscus family and it’s called Rose of Sharon. Cheers, Barbara

  2. Marcia Broxton says:

    Jay, this was a stellar blog! Truly enjoyed it.

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