Thursday, April 17, 2014


A couple days ago, I parked and walked on Lane Allen, a hilly road I've grown fond of on recent visits to Lexington. It has a tree-canopied section — the most treacherous of all, of course, no shoulder, no sidewalk but on the north end some trampled grass, the pedestrian's makeshift sidewalk.

On this particular walk I turned and looked behind me, back to Parker's Mill, an even hillier, sidewalk-less road, and noticed that the field behind St. Raphael Church abutted property I thought was along my usual route.

Yesterday I tested the theory. This involved tiptoeing through a backyard, scaling a fence, crossing a  creek and almost entering a horse pasture by mistake. But eventually I found my way to the church property (they won't mind trespassing, I reasoned) and over to Lane Allen.

 It was a small discovery, but it made me unreasonably happy. Now I can take a beautiful walk without driving to it. Now I know the real lay of the land.  I'm that much closer to being a walker in this suburb.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heedless Birds

The birds woke me this morning. Well, not really. But I was conscious of them at an early stage of awakening. I was thinking about their bravery. They have no choice but to be themselves. And that, as we know, is not always easy.

This time of year birds are heedless. It’s springtime and they’re taking chances. Bumping into windows, buzzing cars. They are high-wire artists, full of song and derring-do. They have mating on their minds, of course. They will stop at nothing to find their lady (or gentleman) loves. They may as well be deer dashing across the highway. But if I ran into a bird I wouldn’t dent the car.

So add to the list of spring marvels the madness (and madcapness) of birds. They flit, they soar, they perch on electric wires. They throw their slight bodies gladly into the world.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dean's Ravine Today

Yesterday there were balmy breezes, scented air. The wind scattered petals over greening lawns.

Today it's cold and snowy. The daffodils hang their heads. The red buds are coated in white.

It's all part of the process, I know, two steps forward, one step back.

But it's chilling — in more ways than one.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Mrs. Dean's Ravine

Mrs. Dean has been gone more than two decades now, but her garden is still thriving — a legacy for its current owners (who have lovingly cared for it) and those who live nearby.

It starts off innocently enough: daffodils and forget-me-nots.

But it soon slopes down a steep hill into a bowl-shaped parcel studded with red bud and dogwood. It's a secret garden, a natural ravine designed to look as wild as possible. I'm glad I could see it as it's just coming alive to spring.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blue Grass Stakes

The Kentucky Derby is the first Saturday in May — but in Lexington it's the second Saturday in April when all eyes turn to the track.

That's when the three-year-old Derby hopefuls race in Keeneland's Blue Grass Stakes. Yesterday's winner, Dance with Fate, may not race next month, but that didn't dampen turnout — it was the second largest crowd in history. The 77-degree temperature didn't hurt.

So there were picture hats and tailgate parties and that familiar damp smell under the grandstand. There was the fine dirt flying up from galloping hooves down the back stretch. And there was the crescendo roar from the crowd when the thoroughbreds crossed the finish line.

Not that I was there. I'm just imagining it.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Cherry Blossoms!

It was the end of a long day, a long week — and it was a long walk, too. But I left the office yesterday a little before 5, cruised through Judiciary Square, the Penn Quarter and onto the Mall. By that point the mood was decidedly celebratory.

And even though I said I wouldn't do it again, I walked all the way around the pink-petal-rimmed Tidal Basin, joining the throngs on one of the first warm days in the nation's capital.

It's worth noting that unless you want to rent a paddle boat, strolling is the only way to see the cherry trees in their glory.

So I did. As did everyone else.  Babies in prams, bikers in spandex, bureaucrats in blazers — we were all ambling for one purpose: to see the cherries in peak bloom and welcome the spring.

It has been such a hard winter ... but now it's over.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

After the Deluge

The pipe burst on Friday, the day after I sent the magazine to the printer. I was working at home, but colleagues noticed water seeping under my door and puddling on the carpet. They called facilities, which sent personnel, shop vacs, large fans, drying machines. My desk and file cabinet were put on blocks.

The hard work paid off.  Other than a few water-damaged boxes (which I've tossed) the place looks better than it did last week.

The waters came, raged and departed.

They left behind a stiller, calmer world.

(This may not look still and calm, but compared with last week...)

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