It’s been kind of a bumpy ride the last few weeks, eh? I’m one of the lucky ones who can work from home and I started doing that more than a week ago. People here in Arlington–at least in the neighborhood I live in and the ones I’ve been through recently–are taking advice to stay in, stay six feet from people if you go out for a walk, and check in on folks who might need something.
The woods are full of bluebells (Mertensia virginica for those of you who immediately think of English or Spanish bluebells).
I’m a homebody and an introvert, so this is not difficult for me, but I have been calling friends to see how they’re doing and I have been to the garden to do preparation for planting. On Saturday, a new volunteer and I weeded the Plot Against Hunger garden (six feet apart) and today I got my own garden re-weeded and ready to plant. I may try to plant it this week, and if I do, I’ll take some photos. Everyone who was there was glad to see each other and talk from a distance.
I came back from the garden with a boatload of turnips. I need to find out whether AFAC is still taking fresh food.
Most photos I have were taken last weekend and the weekend before, except for the turnips. Last weekend a friend and I went out in search of trout lilies (Erythronum americanum) and bluebells (Mertensia virginica) at Roosevelt Island in the Potomac. It’s a nice walk from my place and we stayed out walking for three hours, it was so nice.
No Erythronum, but there were a lot of these beautiful and invasive Celandine.
I also went to Great Falls the week before. I needed to see the river. First I went uphill into the woods. Hardwood forests are so diverse. There was tulip poplar, various kinds of oak, maple, beech, holly, hickory, and more. It was lovely in there, with birds flitting and the pileated woodpecker hammering away at something.
Eventually I turned and went back down, in search of my quarry, the river. I scrambled up some rocks for a view of this still place.
You can see the rapids in that bright place, middle right.
Later I got closer to the falls. I have written about the Potomac River Gorge before. Three separate ecosystems come together in it, and the falls itself are the longest of any American River. It is always new every time I see it.
It had flooded earlier, and I came upon this bed of flotsam on my way to see the steep part of the falls.
I stood for a long time listening to its roar and watching it.
Then I detoured through a low area and behold! Mertensia virginica!
Those little broad leaved green things–the woodland floor was dotted with them.
There were far more of these at Roosevelt Island a week later. Lovely things.
By now, they’re in their full glory.
My walks will likely not be much more than around the neighborhood for the next few weeks, but I have joined up with Robin at Breezes at Dawn in a meditation and exercise challenge for the next 40 days. Have a look at Robin’s blog, which is inherently meditative. She also has links to places that might be helpful if you want to start a meditation practice.
Did I mention the geology of the Potomac River gorge? It includes quartzite.
So let’s all hunker down together and do our best. I have been thinking of a Mary Chapin Carpenter song from some years back, The Age of Miracles, and I offer it here in hopes it provides some solace. May our best efforts make a difference!