November 2009 Misc

Thanksgiving Turkey

The kids are back for Thanksgiving and it is nice to have them home.  We had the usual turkey dinner, probably for the last time.  I don’t mean this is our last time together (hope not) but we decided that nobody really likes turkey that much.  Next year we will have something else.  My favorite parts of the meal are the potatoes and stuffing with some corn on top. 

We see wild turkeys down at the farm.  I read that they are elusive.  They don’t see very elusive, just dumb.  Sometimes they just wander onto the road.   The return of the wild turkey is one of those unlikely ecological success stories.   They were rare just a generation ago.  Some experts said they could never come back in large numbers because they required larger ranges than they could have in a settled modern countryside.  Turns out that nature is much more adaptive than that and that turkeys can live and prosper in close contact with settled civilization.  

Taking a Different Way

My walk down 23rd St. from Foggy Bottom Metro to the State Department is less pleasant than the trip I used to make along the Smithsonian.  The sidewalks are a little narrow and you have to jostle with lots of other pedestrians.  There also seems a surplus of smokers getting in their last drag on the way to work.  It stinks up the sidewalk, even in the open air.

But it is easy to avoid this.  All I have to do is walk one block down.  It is quiet and uncrowded.  It adds less than five minutes to the trip.  Sometimes solutions are easy.  

But it still isn’t as nice as Smithsonian walk.  One of the little things nice about walking along the Mall is the tactile and auditory pleasure of walking on a firm gravel path.

Nutty as a Fruitcake

I don’t know why so many people make fun of Christmas fruitcakes.  I like them and I am happy to see them on the store shelves this time of year.  They are packed with nuts and packed with calories, so I have to be careful not to eat too much, however.

Maple Leaf

The Japanese maple in the front yard turns differently each fall.    The leaves tend to hang on well into the cold weather, but the colors are different.  I suppose it depends on the weather and when the first hard frost comes.  A couple years ago we got an early frost that killed the leaves before they were ready to let go.  The colors weren’t very nice, but some of the leaves persisted until they were pushed off by the new growth in the spring. This year was cool and rainy, but we haven’t had a hard frost yet.   I think that is why the tree is such a bright red this year.