Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘landscape

Long Time

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It has been a long time since I did a jigsaw puzzle at home. After visiting Judy’s and Mary’s houses over the holidays and seeing their puzzles in progress, I felt a renewed motivation to get out one of my own again. Luckily, I had a very special new puzzle in my queue.

For the first time ever, I’m building a puzzle of a picture that I took. Elysa had this made for me as a gift after I mentioned that I thought the image would make a great jigsaw puzzle.

I’ve only spent a little time on this so far, but already I can sense the difference of studying pieces of an image that I captured. The location is a northern Minnesota forest on land owned by our friends, Mike and Barb Wilkus. We were hiking through the woods on a beautiful fall day and I stopped to snap a shot of the small lake surrounded by trees.

I’m going to love working on assembling this puzzle.

It will become a battle of wanting to make quick progress even though I also don’t want the project to end soon.

I suspect this will be a puzzle I have no problem assembling over and over again, although I feel it also deserves a turn or two up at the Wilkus cabin. Hopefully, both scenarios can be achieved over time.

That part of my brain that loves jigsaw puzzling is very happy indeed, especially because it’s been a long time since I’ve built one.

Maybe even more so, because I stood in this very spot.

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Written by johnwhays

January 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

Other Tracks

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Now that snow covers the land again we have returned to the winter phase of visibility for wild animal travel around our property. Cyndie contributed today’s image of tracks in the snow:

It’s always interesting to see the travels of a solitary wanderer making its way across our fields or down one of our trails. Apparently, these visitors have smelly feet, based on the intensity of interest Delilah shows to each indentation that we allow her to reach. She will bury her nose in every single footprint.

I wonder if she gathers any new information from each additional whiff.

While searching my old photo files for a different project last night, I was surprised to happen upon a strikingly similar image to the one above.

Two years ago, this same scene caught my eye.

Do you think maybe it was the same animal?

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Written by johnwhays

December 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

Autumn Mowing

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I don’t have any recollection of the lawn ever being so “June-like” this late in October. It felt totally strange yesterday to be cutting such long, thick, green grass with the air chilly and the sun at this uncharacteristic low angle.

In addition to the summery grass blades, the standing puddles of water left over from the recent rains were downright spring-like.

When I got done, the fresh-mowed lawn contrasted strangely against the golden hue of fall that the trees now provide for a backdrop.

It also seemed odd to be mowing the grass a few days after we had just received snow.

On my walk back to the house after I was done with chores for the evening, I stopped to take some pictures of the low sun beaming through the golden trees.

That carpet of leaves is a favorite of mine. I wish we could have layers of leaves that look like that as a ground cover, in place of lawn grass around our land.

Guess that means we would need to get busy transplanting more trees.

Spread the wealth!

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Written by johnwhays

October 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

Hearty Impression

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What might the message be from this tree with an old wound that it is growing around in the shape of a heart?

I don’t know, but I’d like to think it is something heartwarming.

When we were cleaning out the landscaping around the back side of the house over the weekend, I discovered that a tie holding a maple sapling to a support stake was too tight and had begun constricting the tree’s growth. What a sorry sight to stumble upon; an occasion where my efforts to help a tree had ended up hurting it.

Trees seem to grow slowly, in general, but at the same time, there is a dramatic amount of activity happening in relatively short time spans. I think the trunk of that sapling has doubled in size since it was tied. I would have liked to see a time-lapse of that progress.

Just a week ago we were digging out from beneath a huge snow storm, and yesterday, on my drive home from work, I could already see the tops of tree clusters developing a green tinge from sprouting new buds. It warms my heart to know the leaves will soon be making an appearance.

Ever wonder how many leaves grow on the branches of mature trees? There are a lot of variables, but an oft-repeated average seen in the results of a Google search is around 200,000. That number makes my heart flutter like the quaking leaves of our poplar trees.

At the extension class we took last month to learn tricks of identifying trees, (did I already write about this?) we found out the thing that makes some leaves oscillate in the wind is the square shape of the leaf stem. It isn’t round, it has four flat sides.

Fun facts for people who love trees. Hopefully, that includes everyone. How could anyone with a heart, not love a tree?

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Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2018 at 6:00 am

Flowing Water

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Our drainage swales are finally flowing!

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The largest ditch along our southern border was a babbling brook yesterday.

Eventually, the ditch narrows and meanders away from our property, wandering its way through our neighbor’s cow pasture.

The snow is leaving, and it will travel to rivers that travel to the Mississippi that flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

B’ bye.

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Written by johnwhays

March 29, 2018 at 6:00 am

Tattered

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

November 3, 2017 at 6:00 am

Snow Arrived

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As expected, snow showers blew in yesterday. Windy, wet, sticky snow battered the ranch for most of the day. For the most part, we were prepared. The rain gauge wasn’t doing us much good anymore, so I brought that in, after the fact. There are plenty of leaves on the grass that I would have preferred to have removed in advance, but that’s a trivial concern.

It was certainly beautiful to look at. Conditions varied from blowing tiny flaked drizzle to snow-globe gorgeous throughout the afternoon.

After Cyndie let the horses out of the barn, they stayed hunkered down under the overhang, except for individual brief sorties down to the waterer and back. When I was mucking out their stalls in the middle of the day, I would take breaks and lean on the half-door to watch them. I caught Legacy standing in a spot where his head was out from beneath the protection of the overhang. It looked like he was trying to wash his head and mane.

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Before heading back into the house, I walked the driveway and took a bunch of pictures as the flakes flew. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that one of the wet globs stuck to the camera lens, creating a blur in the middle of most of the shots.

The snow added a nice accent to our Halloween decoration near the front door of the house. Some people put up fake spider webs to make things look spooky. We have the real thing.

 

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Written by johnwhays

October 28, 2017 at 8:40 am