Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘sky

Outstretched Arms

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As if reaching for a hug or stretching to embrace the world before me, arms wide and heart open, I stand and gaze up toward the sky with lyrics from all my favorite songs strolling around in my increasingly foggy memory bank.

Can it be so hard
To love yourself without thinking
Someone else holds a lower card?

Free to Be, 1977 Bruce Cockburn

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Holding a sense of wonder has got to be one of the great secrets of living an enlightened life. Hah! Brings to mind the great darts episode of Ted Lasso:

“Be curious, not judgemental.”

In which the main character apparently misattributes the quote to Walt Whitman.

What does the world hold for me today? It’s mostly blue sky now but that’s changed twice already since I woke up a half-hour later than usual this morning. As I was getting Delilah into her harness for her morning stroll through our woods, the sun was shining brightly into our front entrance. I grabbed my sunglasses and off we went into the not-too-cold morning air.

Halfway through the woods on our way around toward the barn to feed the horses, I fumbled to stash my sunglasses in a vest pocket. The sky was filled with clouds.

Now the clouds have disappeared again, about as fast as they had shown up a couple of hours ago.

Last night’s weather forecast for today promised high winds but they haven’t kicked up here yet. I’ve left the barn doors closed in anticipation of avoiding the dusty turmoil that blustery days can kick up in there.

Here’s to being open to whatever insights the universe happens to provide for our further enlightenment on a sunny Sunday with no firm commitments demanding our time or attention.

I’m feeling a certain pull to lay down and stare up at the clouds while listening to a random shuffle of my music library.

Imagine that.

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Written by johnwhays

September 25, 2022 at 10:38 am

A Speck

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Cyndie has wowed me with another sky pic. I have cropped it to exclude the ground, leaving a spray of thin clouds smeared across the blue with a half-moon all lit up in broad daylight.

But there’s more.

Up near the top there is a speck that she hadn’t noticed at the time. I tried to brush it off my screen.

A high flyer soaring almost out of sight.

For as inconspicuous as it is, I think it disproportionately adds a lot to the image composition. Even though that dark spec barely catches my eye, knowing it is there provides added depth for me.

Or, I’m just thinking too hard. I simply like the image she captured. Down to the last speck.

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Written by johnwhays

July 11, 2022 at 6:00 am

Driving Home

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In a rare change of routine for a weekend at the lake, we stayed overnight Sunday and drove home yesterday a little before noon. Why? Basically, because we could, although the added benefit of avoiding typical Sunday traffic returning to the Twin Cities was a welcome bonus.

It was a bit of a surprise to see a new inch of snow had fallen while we were gone. By the time we got home, the temperature had climbed into the 40s (F) and the snowpack was morphing from individual flakes into one smooth slushy.

Some short-legged critter left a trail of footprints in the deep snow by our labyrinth. In stark contrast to the mini-labyrinth among the trees at the lake, our circuit at home hasn’t been walked for months, making the path mostly invisible beneath the white covering.

Around the corner, we found an even more interesting pattern melted into the snow in the shadow of the fence of the back pasture.

Somehow, the lines of the wires were clearly reflected on the surface of the snow. I’m guessing it had to do with the angle of the moving sun aligning just right with the wires as it made its way across the sky.

By the time we got there, the sun was being obscured by a rather distinct change of cloud cover in the sky.

Near the bottom of that image, tiny specks of what happens to be our four horses can be seen hanging out in one of their favorite areas of our fields. As we made the last turn toward the barn, they started their journey up to the overhang for the afternoon feeding.

We were happy to find things in good order after a long weekend of care by the very capable horse person Cyndie found to cover for us when we are gone.

It was a wonderful weekend away, but as always, we are really glad to be home again.

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Written by johnwhays

March 1, 2022 at 7:00 am

Realized

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

November 19, 2021 at 7:00 am

Contrasting Visuals

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I’m so happy that Cyndie carries her phone on walks and shares the views she captures. This first one has the cool effect of blurring around the center focal point that adds energy to the scene.

We have reached the time of year when there are a lot more hours of darkness than light but she didn’t let that stop her and I love the murky mysteriousness of this next one.

There is a lot of action in some of those tree trunks. I don’t quite understand the source of light behind those clouds. Was it really just the last traces of sunlight so many minutes past sunset? I cannot confirm.

A couple of other shots she showed me from the night walk revealed the snowflakes that were blowing around at the time.

It was brought to my attention that this happened seven years ago:

That was when Cyndie rolled the old farm pickup just a few days before she had hip replacement surgery. When responders fretted over her painful limping, she had to tell them that was how she walked even before the rollover.

In contrast, now I’m thinking about what we’ll be taking pictures of seven years from now and how different it might look.

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Written by johnwhays

November 12, 2021 at 7:00 am

Spectacles

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Sweaty Horses

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We are on our umpteenth day in a row of high-heat weather and the stress on growing plants is getting visible. Overnight Tuesday we were awoken by a brilliant flash of lightning with its associated crack of thunder that one would assume to equal rainfall. We received no noticeable moisture from the atmosphere.

Where we haven’t kept up with watering, our plants are suffering.

Our animals all seem to be tolerating the heat, but the horses are a sweaty mess. They almost look like they’ve just finished running a race. [slight exaggeration] To add a little flamboyance to their appearance, they take turns rolling in the dusty dirt to create a little mud pack that seems to provide some protection from the hot sun and biting flies.

The chicks don’t seem to care about the heat because they have those fabulous grassy courtyards covered by shade where they can romp all day long. We are in the phase of chick-rearing that requires forcing them back into the coop by hand because they haven’t properly developed that natural instinct of going inside on their own for the night.

Chick wrangling is not one of my favorite tasks. They don’t make it easy.

When we finally got to the last couple of the older bunch, they actually chose to run up the ramp themselves instead of succumbing to the grasp of our scary hands. It inspired me to next time devise a method of corralling them into an ever-shrinking space that funnels directly to the ramp so they can practice getting back inside without being grabbed.

By the time all the chick chasing was done, it was the humans who were sweaty.

We chose to pass on the rolling in the dirt thing.

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Written by johnwhays

June 10, 2021 at 6:00 am

Looking Around

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Our neighbors appeared to be having a pretty big barbecue last night. It was curious because we couldn’t see or hear any human activity around the vicinity of that rather large bonfire. Thankfully, the gale force springtime breezes of the previous few days had calmed significantly.

Between sessions of pounding down fence posts yesterday, I tinkered around with the Ritchie® waterer in the paddocks to see if the last few days of dry weather had dropped the groundwater level below the valve lever. I haven’t been able to turn the water back on and I suspect the valve is seized in the closed position by corrosion.

The problem with solving this conundrum is that the valve is below and behind so many obstructions that it involves a blind reach that would be best facilitated by having one or two additional joints between my wrist and my elbow. When I finally achieve a grip on the lever, the fact that it doesn’t easily turn leaves me frustratedly defeated.

Yesterday, I took a fresh look with a bright flashlight to see if I could figure out a different way to approach the challenge. What the flashlight revealed was that my previous attempts had sheered the line off just above the valve. At this point, I’m really glad I wasn’t able to open the valve the last time I tried.

Time to have the original installer visit with his tools and we will lift the upper portion off the base and repair the valve and water line when it will be easy to reach.

As Cyndie approached the house last night after closing the coop and barn doors, the dark silhouette of the house was nicely complimented by the fading color in the evening sky.

 

I was already inside, watching a bit of NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball. How ’bout that Minnesota kid, Jalen Suggs’ overtime buzzer beater 3-point desperation shot for the win last night! Spectacular.

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Written by johnwhays

April 4, 2021 at 9:38 am

Morning Sky

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The sky that morning before the horizon rolled over to expose the sun showed no intention of revealing what kind of day lie ahead. 

It’s as if the view was just one more manifestation of another pandemic mask.

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Written by johnwhays

April 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

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Warmth Visits

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We are enjoying a welcome break from the harsh depths of the gripping cold that commanded all attention for the previous two weeks. Cyndie said snow and ice sliding off the roof throughout the day created startling noises that jostled sensibilities. Delilah would react with equally startling barks of her own in response.

Walking our trails in the winter, one clearly experiences the dramatic influence the snowpack exerts in holding the temperature down. Think: walking the frozen foods aisle in an otherwise comfortable grocery store. There is a noticeable chill. Walking our trails in the winter when the air temperature rises above freezing is like walking on a refrigerated carpet.

The cold radiates up from below, overcoming the natural order of cold air falling low.

The two pictures above were captured by Cyndie on Saturday as we drove to Pepin. The bottom one could almost be interpreted as being over water instead of the snow that was really there.

Or, maybe that just a reflection of my response to the visit of this February thaw.

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Written by johnwhays

February 23, 2021 at 7:00 am