Just Like Newport

A king time ago, for about a year and a half, I taught at a college in Newport Rhode Island. Classes were held in a building between Ochre Court and the Breakers.  If you’ve never been to Newport you should check out the summer cottages.  Parts of the Redford-Farrow version of the Great Gatsby were filmed inside the Breakers which was owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt.  I bring all this up because I would arrive at school at around 8 am to the sound of a fog horn in the distance.  The school was right along the cliff walk, which ran along a bluff above  Easton Bay that led to the Atlantic. Not that you could see the water. More often than not it was socked in with genuine pea soup fog.  The kind that gives you a New England accent if you live heah long enough.

The Bridge to Frog Island.or, Maybe, Dyke Marsh

This morning I left the house in a dense fog.  At times visibility was nearly nonexistent.  My glasses kept getting wet and I had to use my index finger windshield wipers to see.  By the time I made it to the Mount Vernon Trail some of the fog had lifted but you can see that it was still pretty thick.  As long as you have flashing lights and lots of reflective gear bike commuting in the fog is pretty safe, at least at the speeds I ride.  It’s a total pain in the ass for car commuters because they’re driving too fast to see what’s coming,

I put my camera away to protect it from the damp.  About 10 miles later, I passed under the Memorial Bridge.  There along the river bank was a huge great blue heron. He was walking along very slowly,  I spooked him a bit so he raised his wings for a second and, then, relaxed.  I had gone by and he was safe to creep along the water’s edge on his backwards legs.

The Tree that Won’t Die

The ride home was uneventful.  The plan when I got home was to pull out the lawn mower and use it a bit until it ran out of gas.  This way I could change the oil and put on a sharp blade on Saturday.  I thought I would conk out after 10 minutes or so, but the damn thing ran until I had mowed the entire yard.  So next week I’ll do the maintenance on the mower.  I celebrated by taking a picture of a weeping cherry tree in our front yard. Somehow this tree has escaped my wrath.  Only about 10 percent of what I plant lives.  I think my gardener father is up there having a good laugh at my expense.

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