September 24, 2004

Warmer winter?

I read in the paper yesterday that meteorologists anticipate the months of December, January and February to be somewhat warmer than usual in the Northeast, due to the effcts of El Niño (not due to global warming, which is another problem altogether).

For me a slightly warmer winter would be welcome.

September 22, 2004

Fall events in eastern Connecticut and Massachusetts

Walking weekends Oct. 8-11, and 15-17, 2004. for further information, see the Heritage Corridor web site.

They have a link to an Adobe Acrobat document with all the details. Unfortunately, such documents are not, as far as I know, open to users who rely on screen readers. Select the link to the printable version and pull up a word document with much the same information, but not images - including no map. For those who are familiar with eastern connecticutk, however, a map is not much needed to find the start areas.

There are dozens of walks with a variety focuses (ok, ok, foci -- but I speak English, not Latin!) for instance a leisurely walk through a bird sanctuary in Pomfret, an easy 1-hour walk with the City historian of Norwich; a visit to a dairy herd in Preston and a trek through a nearby corn maze (that would be the amazing 'maize' maze).

More than a half dozen of the walks are accessible to wheelchairs. On a few of them, well-behaved, leashed dogs (with well-behaved owners!) are permitted.

Riding the rails

Hey, for you railway buffs, there will be a fall railway excursion through eastern Connecticut on Oct. 2, 2004. It's sponsored by the Connecticut Eastern RailRoad Museum in Willimantic. I hope tickets aren't alreay sold out - seats are limited. Tickets are $50 per person, a little less for kids and senior citizens. There is a link to an order form on the website.

September 20, 2004


Saturday the weather prediction was a 50 percent liklihood of rain showers.

Instead, we had horrendous downpours interspersed with thunder and lightning. It rained hard most of the day, which is very unusual -- generally an all-day rain is mostly a light rain with an occasional hard rain. But, of course, it's hurricane season.

Often we get a rain and windstorm as a spinoff from southern hurricanes, but rarely do they do much damage. It's a way of clearing out the dead wood-- some tree branches fall, an ocasional power line goes down and some houses are without electricity for a while.

Actually, other than the hard rains, that's about all we had here. I never have lost power in my present location, though others in this city do now and then. Losing power seems to be more common in the countryside. A friend who lives in the outskirts of town lost power for a while.

I remember summers I used to spend at a lake in rural Maine, where frequently there would be a late summer thunder storm and we would lose power for an hour or so. Often I was preparing dinner at the time, so I was glad we had a gas range. I liked watching those storms-- you could see them coming down the lake, the dark clouds and the roiled water, making their way toward us. There was time to run inside, or to snatch the washing off the line before the rain began pelting down.

September 06, 2004

Too misty, and too much in love...

I love living near the Willimantic River on days like this. The days have been clear and sharp at midday, but misty in the early morning. My street runs downhill to a bridge across the river. Friday, about 10 a.m., I looked out the window and could see mist drifting up the street.

Historical accounts published by the local newspaper at the city's 100th aniversary recounted the complaints of a "miasma" wafting up from the banks of the river, sickening many who lived too close to its waters. But of course in those days, the banks were lined with factories up and down the river going through town, and they freely dumped untreated sewage and chemicals into the river.

Today in the mist, you can catch the aroma of fabric softener and detergent, which I suspect comes from a local laundromat possibly dumping into the river. But mostly, it's clean and rather lovely.

The mist rising from a body of water is mysterious and calls out from some forgotten past. My daughter has a lovely photograph of mist on a pond in Maine that I downloaded to my desktop. It's really nice.