11 November, 2018 “All true living is face to face.” – Albert Schweitzer
My brother Kevin and my brother Shane’s wife Kristin both finished the Anthem Richmond Marathon half marathon yesterday. Over seven thousand people were in the race. And Kristin and Kevin finished twenty-four seconds apart!! That is astounding – I’m sure they never saw each other the whole race. If you’d like to know which one was twenty-four seconds ahead, you’ll have to step up and do some true living and ask them face to face! Or you can be a computer nerd like me and google it.
Shane and Kristin and Wesson and Teagan and Tara stayed at Kevin and Jenny’s house in Doswell, but they came to town and had pizza with Evelyn and me and Mackey and Turner and our friend Ariel and her dog Yuki. Who you may recognize as the handsome white German Shepherd who goes to Pony Pasture with us on Sunday mornings. It was hard to wrangle those seven people and four dogs to get a picture, but here’s one attempt:
That picture is of most of the humans and dogs that were here yesterday evening. Shane set the camera up with the timer to get all of us at once. Wesson (on my lap) pressed the timer button and sprinted back just before shutter clicked. He’s the quickest and the most nimble and he threaded his way through the dog and furniture maze in the nick of time. Just like his mom Kristin and his uncle Kevin, that guy is fast!
I recently finished a book called The Library Book by Susan Orlean. At one point she’s speaking with a librarian and he says “Well, my hero is Albert Schweitzer. He said, ‘All true living takes place face to face.’” That line really jumped out at me. Even more when Shane and Kristin and their family and our friend Ariel and all those dogs were here yesterday – face to face!
A friend just posted a perceptive (IMO) observation on her instagram page. It had a pretty picture with it, but not as pretty as this one. I’m going to post the picture (taken at 11:00 this morning at Pony Pasture) and use her quote for the caption:
We hiked nearly four miles this morning. It was so beautiful and cool and fresh, none of us wanted to stop. We crossed Charlie’s Bridge at one point; I asked the dogs to stop for a minute so I could take this picture:
Mackey knew Charlie but I don’t think the other two ever met him. Charlie was a serious dog guy and that scene would have made him real, real happy. Fortunately I’m also a serious dog guy and that scene makes me real, real happy!
The place my love of nature most often helps me find beauty is hawk hunting on my travels around the Richmond area. A Red-shouldered hawk nests near the place I work in Glen Allen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. I don’t get this bird (or its mate) every week, but it’s generally a reliable bird. I apologize that this picture has a little smudge in it. I got a crisper picture of this same bird (or its mate) Monday morning but it’s sitting on a building and not a branch. I shoot tons of raptor pictures on man-made structures, but give me a perch in a tree any day:
That (Wednesday) was a three-hawk day. I took the preceding picture at 9:00 AM. I left Glen Allen a few minutes later and was driving east on Patterson Avenue near St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at 10627 Patterson. There is also a moderately reliable Red-tail that perches above the swamp across the street. I pull into St. Bart’s parking lot, walk to the edge of Patterson Avenue and photograph the bird perched on a snag just over the guardrail:
Wednesday was a good day for hawks. I went home after photographing this Red-tail and did a bunch of work at home. Later in the day – still Wednesday – I looked across the street at the powerline near Freeman High School and saw this male Red-tail keeping his eye on the area:
I took a “pano” at the river this morning. I haven’t had a ton of success getting these to work in the blog, but let me give it another whirl here:
I voted Tuesday; I hope you also made it to the polls.
Before I forget – one more picture from yesterday’s small collection. Tara was hidden in the last picture; Shane’s holding her here:
Evelyn still has our plants flowering – in November! I took this picture on Election Day. It’s a Pineapple Sage:
I hear a lot – a whole lot – about how spectacular the leaves are in Shenandoah and on Skyline Drive. It’s all true – I’ve seen them every year since I was around thirteen. But remember my friend’s quote from Van Gogh that I used with the river picture up there? I’m going to use it twice this post – it’s the caption for this picture too. I took it at 6:45 Wednesday morning on my way to work:
Speaking of truly loving nature. I ran into a post on a sled dog facebook page this week. I understood the sentiment well:
“IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO FIND JOY IN THE SNOW, YOU WILL HAVE LESS JOY IN YOUR LIFE BUT STILL THE SAME AMOUNT OF SNOW.”
That is a good, good, good idea to remember. For snow, but for a lot of other things you might choose to not find joy in.
I hope you find joy in pictures of my cat Dash, or at least can tolerate them. It’s hard not to take pictures of him sometimes. Here he was Thursday evening. When he’s not eating he wants either the fire or somebody’s lap. There were no laps available at this time:
I haven’t mentioned flying and my passport this week but I got three new stamps, bringing my total to ten. Only 56 left! That is a lot of stamps. One of the airports we flew to this week was KGVE in Gordonsville. This is a classic old country airport:
Every airport has a “Welcome to Virginia” sign:
I’m getting carried away! Let me close it up. On the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors program web site, there’s a list of places you can find stamps if the airport is unattended. A lot of these small airport don’t have full-time staff, so the stamp is in a mailbox. Here’s the stamp inside at KLKU Louisa County airport:
Come back next week! Enjoy yourself! All best,