Still nursing an injured knee from last weekend, I did not play soccer this morning. Instead, I watched from the sideline as my teammates ran up an 8-0 score by half time. The final was 9-0, limited only by a desire not to further humiliate our opponents. The weather could not have been nicer so I invited Jeanine to join me on a waterfall hike. Pictured above and below is 45 foot tall Royalston Falls reachable by a steep 1.6 mile hike. It took us much longer than we expected given my bad knee and Jeanine’s still recovering calf muscle. Despite the slow going, the journey was well worth the effort. We also visited Doane Falls but I prefer the winter images I shot of it back in February to the ones I took today.
The field containing the trees pictured in the foreground has been fully inundated by the Sudbury River. The uniform and stark contrast between the water and trees makes for a rather compelling photo. Another interesting angle is from directly overhead. In another few weeks the trees will be covered in buds and the water will have likely receded creating an entirely different scene.
The South Bridge Boathouse is familiar to anyone who has rented canoes for a paddle down river to visit the Old North Bridge. Occasionally I pay the proprietor a few bucks to put my kayak in and take it out from their dock. Money well spent when I prefer to stay dry (most other put-ins and take outs along the river are wet). Currently the river is so high that there is scarcely clearance to paddle under a number of bridges on the river. In a few weeks the water level and temperatures will be conducive to kayaking and I hope to do more this year than last.
At this time of year few people are willing to brave the wind and cold to ply the waters of the Sudbury River. For those brave souls who are, the reward is having the river to yourself at a time when it is swollen with winter snow melt and spring rains. I captured this image with my drone minutes before sunset, the kayaker oblivious to its presence.
Our local deer have figured out that humans are not really a threat. This guy is one of a small herd that frequents the field behind our house. Today I ran into him, or rather, I did not run into him as he crossed ORNAC (Old Road to Nine Acre Corner) on his way down to the Sudbury River. They always cross the road in the same place so I have learned to slow down and remain very alert at that location. After crossing in front of me he lingered long enough for me to gather my camera and take a few photos from inside my car.
Between work and finishing my taxes there was little time today for anything else. I did manage to watch the elite women’s finish of the Boston Marathon during my lunch break at a local pizzeria. Even though I was only a mile and a half from the finish line, I had little desire to be out in the pouring rain, frigid temperatures and strong winds after enduring much of the the same in my soccer match yesterday. Congratulations to Des Linden, the first American woman to win the event in 33 years.
Jeanine has a special knack for stretching her birthday out for several days. This year’s festivities concluded with dinner at Alta Strada, a fine Italian restaurant in Wellesley. It is close to Olin College where we collected Maya to enjoy a four fifths family dinner. We will see Nicolai in a few weeks when we all travel to Colorado for his college graduation.
The weather today has been a wintery mix of freezing rain and sleet. The temperature was 33 degrees when my soccer match kicked off at 9am. Our opponents from Nashua, NH had to endure both the frigid conditions and a 0-8 drubbing. The win placed my team squarely in first place and on a good path to earn promotion this season.
Each spring, I obtain an open burning permit from the Town of Concord. With all the trees on our property there is invariably a sizable collection of downed branches which must be cleared. Typically, I only need to activate the permit for a single day. With the unusually fierce storms we had this winter, however, it took three days worth of burning to deal with all the dead wood. Jeanine and Kyle both joined in today to help complete the project. As we knocked off for the day, the small pile above was all that remained and should be nothing but ash by tomorrow morning.
Jeanine turned 55 years old yesterday and remains the beauty I met 33 years ago. Last night she celebrated with her book group friends and this evening she was all mine. We dined at Tango, an Argentinian restaurant in Arlington, and then saw Cooking with the Calamari Sisters, perhaps the funniest stage show I have ever seen in my life. When I purchased front row tickets, I did not realize (a) that several “volunteers” from the audience would be part of the show and (b) that the Calamari “sisters” were drag queens. Despite these non trivial oversights (fortunately neither of us were recruited to the stage), this may go down in history as one of my best birthday gifts for Jeanine. The show was positively hilarious, even more so for those with some insights into Italian life in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, home of the Calamari sisters and where my father grew up.
Today I managed to wrangle my boss into a portrait session for a new headshot to go on the updated Superpedestrian website. He has been super busy lately so I had to work quickly. Although I could have dialed the concept in a little better, I am pleased with the results. Now I need some help from his wife and my colleagues to convince him that the picture above is the best in the series. He favors a version with a more serious expression. Anyone that knows him, however, will tell you this is the guy we work for.
Today at work we had a celebration for one of our colleagues who is beginning a phase of semi-retirement. An early employee and key contributor to the company, we have convinced him to continue with us on a half time basis before fully retiring. We toasted him with Champagne and regaled him with stories from the early days. A nicer man and smarter engineer you will not meet.
The mating ritual of wild turkeys is an interesting dance. It begins with the gobbler displaying for hens. Out of the mix a receptive hen will parade close to her suitor. She will circle him, get his attention and once he becomes interested the two become locked in a beautiful ballet. It is the hen that initiates the actual breeding act. She will seductively wiggle her tail in front of the old boy and then lay down on her tummy. That’s when the gobbler approaches from the back, climbs on her and begins breeding. On my drive into work this morning, I noticed a rafter of turkeys just off the road and pulled over for a few quick photographs. Unfortunately the turkeys did not appreciate this invasion of their privacy and quickly moved off to the nearby woods.
The amount of effort necessary to get me involved with a photography project at work is next to zero. Today I fashioned a makeshift studio in the hallway outside my office where I took headshots of a number of Superpedestrian employees. They will be used to update the TEAM page of our corporate website. Our CEO has one of the least flattering portraits of all and I have set myself the goal of rectifying that situation. The second least attractive portrait is my own, something that will be more difficult to address.
Last season I played my first season in the over-56 division for the Lexington Eagles because my former team, Concord United, had not yet formed an over-56 squad. That situation has been rectified and this season I will be playing for the Concord United Veterans. Two thirds of my teammates are former Concord United players with whom I have played for the past 14 years. New teams are automatically placed in Division 2 which means our objective for the season is to secure promotion by finishing in first place. We got off to a good start with a 4-0 win over Sudbury. I had one shot on goal, a rocket from distance, but it was just wide of the net. More impressive, I managed to survive the match without sustaining any injuries, a goal not achieved by four of my teammates who all went down with various muscle pulls. Sad to say but soccer at my age is as much about survival as it is skill.
Jeanine and I decided to do a little house hunting today. We looked primarily in Belmont, Arlington, Lexington and Lincoln. The current plan does not have us selling our home until next year provided we find someplace that suits our needs. We are looking for a small footprint, premium quality home situated in a natural setting. This is proving rather hard to find but such outings help us refine what we are looking for and where we might find it. During our excursion we happened upon what appeared to be a sailing regatta on Upper Mystic Lake.