A box turtle eyes UD shyly…

… from beneath a bush in her new garden.

Soundtrack: Deafening early morning birdsong.

A student of Jerzy Soltan’s …

… (Soltan was UD‘s father-in-law) includes a sketch in the style of Soltan in a collection of the student’s work.

“I’m reduced to log-hopping,” says…

La Kid, of her covoid existence.

Margaret’s Nature Journal

All day long, amazing moments in UD‘s woods.

Early this morning, raking some paths, I watched the red fox with the enormous tail glide by behind the honeysuckle bushes.

This afternoon, I discovered bear corn under some old logs. Here it is.

This evening, back at the top of the property to finish clearing paths, I watched a pileated woodpecker go at one of our dead upright trees. It took its time, letting me stand ten feet away gawking while its powerful beak easily tossed off large chunks of bark. The moment was much like this, except this woodpecker works on deepening a hole, while my woodpecker (what a big bird!) moved from one area of sheared trunk to another, gulping bugs as it went.

Oh, and then I found a large deer antler – not an unusual event around here. I tossed it to the dog, who added her teeth marks to the many already on it.

The relentless green and black of…

UD‘s back deck. The deck features the newly-stained brown that both UDs, on seeing it completed, decided looked like diarrhea. They had already made preparations to have it redone when the virus postponed things.

In the time she’s been living with it, UD has gradually become fond of it… What wonderfully adaptive beings are human beings…

On a high branch in one of the very big trees in the distance, UD watched, yesterday afternoon, with her green and black binoculars, a Cooper’s Hawk. It perched there a long time. Good call. The name of the ground game chez UD is rabbit/squirrel/vole.

‘thesdan must-haves.


Svensk Buddhism

UD is not the first to notice something strange and soothing about the simple singsong flow of the Swedish accent.

She has lately, under plague conditions, also noticed that long sessions of Swedish (a language totally unknown to her) piped into her ear on clear quiet self-isolated evenings while she lies abed generate calm, and even occasional flashes of Bergmanian life wisdom…

The film she streams the most, however, isn’t one of his — it’s The Emigrants, which not only features infinite accent (the movie is interminable), but also, when you open your eyes and take a look at a scene, offers either Liv Ullmann’s childlike passive Swedish peasant eyes, or Max Von Sydow’s horse-heavy plough hopelessly working its way around boulders. Pure Ambien.

In expectation of a visit from friends…

UD sets out appropriately distanced Adirondacks.

Market Day Goes Viral…

… in UD‘s Garrett Park.

Panaeolus Something?
But most of that type grows on dung, and this grew on dead wood in UD‘s garden. She is pondering starting a victory garden.

Snapshots from Home: News from Garrett Park

UD‘s hometown newspaper provides updates on events and issues of interest.

[At the last Town Council meeting, a proposal was introduced] to construct a tunnel from the bottom of the hill by Beach Drive to Stillwater Avenue in Garrett Park Estates. This would eliminate all through traffic from the existing Strathmore Avenue, thereby making it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross.

The mayor then turned the presentation over to town manager Andrea Fox, who had done some research for the mayor. The average tunnel costs in advanced countries range from $200 to $500 [million] per mile (although the Second Avenue subway line in Manhattan has been much higher at $1.5 billion). Under the TFSN program, the federal government will cover 90 percent. Thus, if the tunnel works out to $500 million, the government portion would be $450 million, and the Garrett Park portion $50 million. The town would have to impose a one-time tax (perhaps spread over several years to lower the annual burden) of approximately $170,000 per household.


Join celebrated Garrett Park mixed media artist Horst Van Vliet at a reception and opening for his new Penn Place exhibition, Camp Jejune. Seizing the momentum of his devastating West Olney Arts Council show, Hammer and Popsicle, Van Vliet lashes out at the forces of banality in modern society with works of violent originality. “I wish to show with my art the staggering futility of our pathetic attempts to find meaning in the drudgery of human existence,” Val Vliet says. “Each of my paintings has a voice. Each of them cries out, ‘We are not people. We are plastic. It is we who belong in the recycling bin.'” Displayed works will include “Still Life with Glass Shards,” “Hair and Mud Collage No. 35″…

Potatoes: The New UD Staple.

As the three UD‘s hunker down, UD notes that the humble spud, in the form of oniony garlicky lemony hash browns, has emerged as queen of the kitchen. A glance at the potatoes coronavirus Google News page (CORONA SURVIVOR CREDITS GOD AND POTATO SOUP. FARMERS RUSH TO SUPPLY SPUDS DURING CORONAVIRUS.) confirms the new centrality of the plant.

My Niece (I’ve Never Met Her) is a Reality Show Star.

Which is only one of the fascinating things I’ve learned from a family member’s just-published report on the Rapoports. (UD‘s father, Herbert Rapp, was born Rapoport.) Harz, Motel, and six of their sons came to the States from Cherkassy Ukraine in the early years of the twentieth century and settled in Philadelphia. My grandfather, Joseph, was one of the sons.

Another sibling, who stayed in the old country, is presumed to have died at Babi Yar.

Although Joseph and his children look like a typical American Jewish success story (doctors and entrepreneurs galore), a closer look reveals a strikingly high degree of physical and mental infirmity in my father, his two sisters, and quite a few of the children the three of them produced. “Dad’s family,” concluded my sister Barbara, after scanning the report, “was a genetic nightmare.”

1948, Baltimore. Engagement of my parents (far right). My mother’s mother, Fanny Kirson Wasserman, far left. Her husband, Charlie Wasserman, is taking the picture. Middle: Reba and Joseph Rapoport.

Snapshots from Home: UD Sniffs Out a Situation.

At noon today I walked the block and a half to the post office, where the haul was a package of way-medicinal smelling hand sanitizer La Kid ordered from Etsy, and a special issue of the Economist, and I passed no one at all on the way. But as I approached the train tracks and the back of the little Garrett Park station (this image shows the front), I smelled really strong marijuana coming from inside the shelter.

No biggie – you can do recreational weed in MD. But since the only sign of life around the station was a white CSX truck with no one in it – there’s a work project happening on our stretch of tracks – UD (who is much too polite to have peeked) figured the tokers must be bored CSX workers, waiting for some equipment before they can get back to work. Or maybe that’s what they do on their lunch break.

Trimming the Photinia Villosa Planted in 1984…

… on the town right of way adjacent to my house, thank you for asking. The tree, beautiful and healthy, seems to have been ignored for thirty-six years, and UD decided it was time people got a chance to see it.

She has so far thinned and reshaped it so it looks like a tree rather than a tall wild bush (obviously she can only work on the first five feet or so); she is also contemplating removing various pointless little plants at its base. If you enlarge this picture,

you’ll see a weird broad bush/tree of some sort behind the photinia – I’ve tried getting rid of its many dead lower arms but some will need to be hatcheted, which I haven’t gotten around to.

And of course UD‘s doing far more outdoor work than this; but this has been her main activity today.

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