rainy Memorial Day
Monday, May 26 2003
Today was Memorial Day, a day set aside for us to sit around and ponder all the Americans who died defending our country from John Ashcrofts and Richard Perles overseas. Typically such pondering is assisted by ample quantities of hotdogs and ice cold beers brewed by a preferably non-unionized workforce. But for those in the Mid Hudson Valley hoping to have the neighbors over for a big barbecue, the Lord proved unkind. He sent rain in great abundance relentlessly throughout the day. One wonders sometimes if our Creator really cares about veterans at all.
Despite the rain, I took Sally for a walk down the forest "stick path." The mighty Chamomile River was raging so loudly that I could hear it from the house. It might have been formidable, but it was still fordable. Of more concern were the numerous puddles throughout the woods that ponded in all the flat places, particularly the stick path, which mostly follows the contour just below the Ashokan Plateau escarpment.
The other day I began work on another trail which isn't so flat. It branches off the stick trail and climbs steeply up the escarpment past some moss-covered rocky cliffs to the plateau above. The trail is so steep that it requires stone steps, and I've been installing a few every time I venture through the region. There are plenty of flat pieces of bluestone strewn about that can be used as steps, and I can usually install them using just the digging power of my hands. Today the ground was softened by the rain, making the task even easier. I lost track of how much time I was out there, so beautiful were the mini-waterfalls cascading past the ferns on the cliff, and not even my raincoat (made out of a semi-waterproof fabric) could keep me dry. Sally eventually gave up on me and went back home. She doesn't like the rain, though she too can be distracted by forest projects (hopeless chipmunk unearthing attempts, mostly).
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