Posts Tagged ‘Monday walk’

One of the things I always do when visiting in Illinois is to walk in the park I enjoyed regularly when living there. As ti was early November, most plants weren’t at their best yet I managed to find color in a variety of place:

in the dawn sky,

in the sun hitting the trees and the leaves that remained,

in some vivid leaves still hanging on…literally,

in the still-leafy bushes,

and in the fallen leaves along a back trail.

Jo’s Monday Walk…sometime

After an enjoyable and educational day with Marsha (AlwaysWrite), Jodie (Jodie’s Touch of Style), Jodie’s husband (and photographer), and Leslie, one of her models, Marsha and I planned a museum trip for Friday morning before I headed home. Dicovering the museum was closed (opening, naturally, the next day), we changed direction, heading for the IOOF cemetery. What’s that you might ask? I guessed it meant International Order of Odd Fellows. Almost. The “I” stands for “Independent” rather than “International.” But cemetery it was either way and I do enjoy browsing through cemeteries, especially older ones where there are interesting headstones. Here are a few that caught my eye.

I’d guess that Petra was Catholic as this is a very Catholic headstone. You’ll see more of this type of presentation in European cemeteries.

I found H.C. Tyler’s stone intriguing. Was it made this way or did some part break off? Perhaps H.C. was a lover of rocks and stones. OK, probably not but you have to admit it’s not the usual, either in stone or lettering.

Marsha warned me that the cemetery wasn’t well-kept and unfortunately, she was right. Here’s an excellent example of that. Someone spent a lot of money on a beautiful mosaic remembrance and not only was it breaking up, it was covered with branches and dead leaves.

You can see from the inscription and the choice of a headstone that wasn’t the usual bland stone that Allie was indeed beloved.

As we walked back to the parking area, a small grave caught my eye. Even though it looks big here, it was at most a yard in length, not very wide, and almost hidden by bushes and the tree. Reading the inscription (following photo) tugged at my heart.

How difficult to buy a son less than two when he passed away! We have an almost 10-month old grandson now and I can’t imagine the grief we and his parents would feel were this to happen. If you have children or grandchildren, give them a hug if you can, send a text filled with love, call to tell them your love them, and thank God that you can.

We didn’t have a dessert after this but we did have an excellent lunch with Marsha’s husband, after which I drove back home. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. We were missing a couple of blogging friends, Lisa from Micro of the Macro and Donna of Wind Kisses. I did however have coffee and lunch with Donna on my way up, always a wonderful time.

Jo’s Monday Walk 1.16.23

It’s often clear in our part of Arizona but when there are some clouds, be ready for some spectacular morning color as on this morning last week. Sunrise doesn’t come until about 7:30 am these days so I don’t have to rush out to catch dawn and sunrise. Most mornings I have my devotions, Bible readings, and Norwegian lesson done before going out and I’m still out before the sun, just the way I like it.

Unusually we had an entire day of rain not long ago and, as our soil doesn’t absorb water very quickly, we were left with lots of sitting water. Made for some good reflections.

Presenting still life on the sidewalk. 🙂 The leaf had such a deep, rich color I couldn’t resist.

Naturally drop shots aren’t the norm either so I enjoyed seeing so many drops on this cactus pad.

We’re getting autumn colors now.

Orange color here might just come from…oranges. These are in someone’s yard but the neighborhood streets are lined with citrus trees and fruit for the taking. I just wish more of the trees were lemon trees.

Jo’s Monday Walk 1.9.23

We started our new year with, of all things, rain, rain, and more rain. After church we’d planned to do some weeding but that obviously didn’t happen. Did some reading, have beef stew in the crockpot, watching some football (American). A relaxing start to 2023.

Continuing our walk through Anderson Japanese Gardens will also give you a sense of peace as it did to me when my friend and I walked there in early November. Even the bridges were attractive as well as functional, something I’d like to see in more necessary items.

There were also beautiful views from this bridge.

We were not alone, although this creature maintained a stony silence while we were nearby.

I love this sort of path, one that invites, even lures you to walk farther. I would think children would love to jump from stone to stone.

In the best “Karate Kid” tradition, “Breathe in, breathe out” and welcome the new year in calmly. And if you still write checks, don’t forget to write “2023!” 🙂

Jo’s Monday Walk…1.2.23

Must preface this by apologizing for getting behind yesterday and not visiting many posts. Sometimes life happens.Nothing bad, just busy.

We have three more Popper sculptures to view before we leave Morton Arboretum, two today, the last tomorrow. Although this first might seem like “Split Personality” or “Two-Faced”, it is in reality nothing like either of those. According to the artist:

Recalling the inner rings at the centre of a tree trunk, Heartwood offers a lyrical meditation on the interconnectedness of humans and nature. While the work’s image might first appear fractured – with the bust of a woman cleaved in two – on closer looking, a resonant parallel becomes apparent. The heartwood of a tree marks its earliest growth and becomes, with the accumulation of annual ring, the plant’s spine; the wood dense and resistant to decay. 

The outer details are lovely too.

There were still a few flowers in bloom to go along with the autumn leaves.

You may or may not see the same meaning in “Basilica” as the artist did but even if not, it’s fine. Art is in the eye and heart and in the interpretation of the beholder.

Its title borrowed from the Greek word given first to places of gathering and later to those of worship, the work is an invocation to community and communion. While it may be without walls, with no ceiling but the sky, the artist lends Basilica’s two outstretched arms and the space they enclose the sacred resonance of a temple. 

On a very different artistic note, my husband and I have been watching lots and lots of rugby and one of the odd, funny things is that during or at the end of (or sometimes both) English matches and at least some of the 7’s tournaments, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” is played. It’s not just at rugby matches but the “good times never seemed so good” and the opportunity to belt out “So good, so good, so good” and “ba, ba, ba” has made it a favorite of a number of sporting events. That’s what I thought of when seeing this sculpture as it’s certainly reaching out. 🙂 My husband and I sing right along when whenever we hear it but I did not sing out loud this day. 🙂

Jo’s Monday Walk 12.12.22

Prior to my visit to Illinois, I asked Sue (Mac’s Girl), if she’d like to meet while I was there. We met at Morton Arboretum, in Lisle (pronounced “Lyle”) where the “Human + Nature” sculptures were on exhibit. Sue had been to the exhibit before but one sculpture had proved elusive so our mission was to find it. But today we’re starting with the first three sculptures we found.

Internationally renowned artist Daniel Popper created 15- to 26-foot-tall sculptures exclusively for the Arboretum featured in various locations across its 1,700 acres, leading guests to areas they may not have explored before. It is his largest exhibition to date anywhere in the world.

“Gingko.” I really like this one.

Flower season was past as in late October, but there was a seasonal display of color nonetheless. Decorative kale is so beautiful.

I believe this one is “Hallow.” Although this appears to be wood, it’s not.

The sculptures are constructed of glass-reinforced concrete, fiberglass and steel. They each weigh several metric tons. They are painted to look like wood.

From what I can determine, this sports the puzzling name of “UMI.” Don’t ask me. The sculptor chose the names and isn’t saying what they mean, asking each individual to determine what the sculpture and name mean. We thought this one might show the two-faced-ness of the world these days. Makes Janus and his two faces seem rather above board! Now that I think of it, this is what my high school students thought I could do. They couldn’t understand how I could see them doing things they shouldn’t. I never enlightened them as to what peripheral vision meant. 🙂 Better to let them fear my powers!

Finally, we have a never-before-seen selfie of the two of us: Sue to the left and I on the right. 🙂

Jo’s Monday Walk 12.5.22

(All quotes are from the Morton Arboretum website.)

Our friends in Illinois are having a house built in Northern Illinois so one day the two of them and I went there. It’s a beautiful spot. We left at 5 am so when the sun came up, we we were there to enjoy a lovely autumn sunrise.

It was cold, creating some lovely mist over a nearby lake.

It had warmed up by the time we got to this man-made waterfall. We didn’t stay too long as there were several groups of people having a good time and making lots of noise.

One of us spent the day manhandling a machine that chopped up everything in its path while two of us did a bit of sight-seeing. But we were all ready for lunch and a beer, the latter enjoyed at this former church now brewery. Unfortunately, they didn’t have their dark beer ready but I made do with an in-between brew. 🙂 All in all, it was a grand day. As you can imagine, none of us were up very late that night!

Jo’s Monday Walk 11.28.22

Walking Squares 11.28.22

Jo’s walking and Becky’s back with her wonderful square challenge. Life is good. I’m back from my vacation with lots of photos and stories to share, so let’s start walking.

This trip was all about seeing friends but there was a lot of scenery too, autumn colors that I’d been craving. On the 2 1/2 day drive, I’d passed through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri before crossing the state line into Illinois. Especially in Missouri I drove through hundreds of miles of thousands of trees in their festive bronzes, oranges, reds, and a few luminous yellows. The day after I arrived, my friend and I drove to downtown Aurora, Illinois for coffee and friend time, starting at Endiro Coffee. Although I’m mostly a tea person and my coffee drinks are mochas or cappuccinos, Endiro serves what they call African Coffee (or tea): Easy on the espresso or black tea, lots of steamed milk and light and sweet masala spice. Once when our younger daughter and I were there, she had the African coffee which I tried and loved. That’s what I had this time.

Downtown Aurora has a rather nice river walk surrounded by lots of old, repurposed buildings. I love that they haven’t been torn down but are used just as they were.

I got my autumn color fix too.

It was a propitious start to my two-and-a-half week visit!

Jo’s Monday Walk 11.21.22

Walking Squares 11.21.22

We’ve seen lots of interesting and beautiful sights so far but this is the Petrified Forest, so let’s get to the wood. Blue Mesa’s trail is only about a mile but it’s definitely not a horizontal one. Don’t get too close to the edge and yes, we are going down there. But look. Right in front of you is a petrified log.

Here’s another view from this point before we head down.

The way a tree becomes petrified is that the tree dies, then loses its branches and bark. It falls into the water where sediment begins to cover it. By this rapid burial, the bacteria and oxygen are sealed away so it doesn’t decay but groundwater full of minerals deposits those minerals as it works through the log. The log weathers out of the surrounding rocks where further erosion snaps the brittle fossil into sections. As you can see below, it often appears that some manic creature tossed logs everywhere. Look that big one perched atop the peak in front of you.

Looking a bit closer.

Just as there are Badlands in South Dakota, these are examples of badlands with their striations and color variations, variations due to minerals deposits. The blueish color that gives this area its name comes from bentonite clay.

Here are some colorful examples of petrified wood. No one broke or cut these but they’re both heavy and brittle so snapping is easy. Petrified wood is composed mainly of quartz. But, you may say, quartz is colorless. True, but trace amounts of other elements such as iron mean you’ll see a variety of colors. Manganese, copper, chromium, a/o combinations of them are present in the wood.

Petrified wood is found all over the world but the largest concentration is here in the park. You can buy petrified wood at various places around the park but all of it comes from private land. The petrified wood in the park is protected.

Have a drink of water, take another look around at where you’ve been, then into the van and off to our next stop. Sorry, no cake available but you can rejoice in the calories you burned off and didn’t replace. 🙂

for Jo’s Monday Walk 10.17.22

The sun hot, the beach not too crowded, time with friends and family, walking with feet cooled by the lapping waves…a lovely weekend morning.

Jo’s Monday Walk