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In These Otsego Hills

August 22, 2013

Sharing love for nature while taking kids on a walk

(Continued)

Frankly, there are few things cooler than walking in the woods with my grandson dispelling notions of cheetah encounters! Every once in a while his 2-year-old sister would join us, although she spent much of the time riding atop her dad’s neck. But we did get to look at and talk about some neat ‘stuff’ together.

The forest floor was blanketed with several varieties of ferns, mostly common types, so we were able to identify them and, most importantly, touch them. I believe that “touching” nature’s stuff is crucial. Tactile images can be deeply embedded forever. I began my own explorations of nature years ago because ferns, so old, lacy, and immeasurably beautiful, ignited a fire within me that burns to this day. There were several stands of Interrupted ferns, which puzzled Grant a bit, as I needed to define “interrupted,” and then explain what it means to interrupt something and then explain further how it applied to the fern. He sort of understood, smiled, and then suggested we continue walking, keeping an eagle eye out for more intriguing stuff. I remember thinking how nice it would be if he stays this genuinely inquisitive as a teenager and then an adult.

Along the way we stopped to examine various mushrooms, peeled some bark off a yellow birch, plucked off a leaf from a striped maple, gathered up several blue jay feathers, and on the way back to the car, added a stem of jewel weed to what Grant now described as his ‘collection.’ As we walked along we heard several birdcalls. We have gone birding together before and one of his favorite things to do is hang my binoculars around his neck and search for birds when we hear them. Towards the end of the walk we heard a bird high up in the canopy. He stopped in his tracks and said, “That’s a woodpecker!” He lifted the binoculars to his eyes, craned his neck backward, and aimed for where he thought the woodpecker might be. We never saw it, but the sense of purpose and real joy that he felt in trying filled me with grandfatherly pride. I look forward to the day when we head out on a birding expedition together, tethered to one another by mutual love and a shared fascination with nature’s illimitable treasures.

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In These Otsego Hills
  • Bringing up a matter of poetic license Since we seem to spend time each week both reading and writing, we have always found the English language interesting to say the least. It seems that it always follows the rules until it doesn't follow the rules. Thus we found Jim Atwell's column "From word to phrase to sentence," which appeared in last week's paper, to be most delightful. But more importantly, it gives us something about which to write this week.

    July 31, 2014

  • Visitings with the Widge, Mare Bear This past week we found ourselves enjoying a delightful visit from the Ohio Ellsworths. And while our daughter-in-law Annie had to attend a conference at Hamilton College during part of the visit here, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. We were, of course, quite surprised to realize how much the granddaughters, The Widge and Mare Bear, had grown since we last saw them at Christmas. Obviously, their parents had not put bricks on their heads to retard their growth.

    July 24, 2014

  • Thoughts on traffic and roads We recently enjoyed a brief visit from Jon Battle, one of our late husband's college buddies, who always enjoys visiting Cooperstown and passing howdy on the front porch. And while the front porch is not as welcoming as it used to be since there are no chairs on it, we were able to pass howdy from the comfort of our family room. And during the many subjects that we covered in our conversation, the topic of potholes came up.

    July 17, 2014

  • Potholes and oversights bring bumps We have received a number of comments regarding our discussion on potholes in last week’s column. And most of them were in agreement that the potholes are indeed a problem.

    July 10, 2014

  • Potholes need place on village agenda We have long thought that the concepts of perspective and priorities have the ability to present problems for people. As we are inclined to say, getting one's ducks all in a row is often difficult. And as we have learned about issues currently under consideration by the Village of Coopertown it does make us wonder about their ducks.

    July 3, 2014

  • Summer unofficially begins with ice cream Although summer officially arrived this past weekend, we have long thought that the kick off event for the summer season in Cooperstown is the annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church on Pioneer Street.

    June 26, 2014

  • Splitting logs gives splitting headache We are happy to report that Woodside Hall is continuing with its presentation of programs which are open to the public. This evening at 6:30 p.m., they are hosting Glimmerglass Festival designers Troy Hourie and Erik Teague who will discuss their role in the company's summer production of Strauss' opera, "Ariadne in Naxos: Unplugged."

    June 19, 2014

  • Summer right for driving in the streets We have realized, having consulted our trusty calendar, that next Sunday is Father's Day. And thus this past weekend we were online looking for an appropriate printable Father's Day greeting card which we might send to the wee-we. Since we have been somewhat housebound this year, we have discovered the convenience of printable holiday cards. We used them rather successfully, we thought, when we sent them to the granddaughters for both Valentine's Day and Easter.

    June 12, 2014

  • June musings XXXXXXXX Difficult as it is to believe, it seems we have made it to June which always seems to be a fairly busy month. And this year is no different. In fact when we turned to our calendar to June we were stunned. We always hope to find we are entering a month in which we have little, if anything, planned. But when we turned to June, we quickly realized we were faced immediately with three meeting as well as four follow-up appointments with four different doctors at Bassett. And much as we would have liked to simply move right on to July, we decided that was really not an option. So we are plowing ahead with June.

    June 5, 2014

  • Presidential reading replaces viewing ince we knew we were not in a position to take in any of the festivities surrounding the president's recent visit to the Hall of Fame, we decided we needed to celebrate in another way. And, as luck would have it, we are currently reading the recently released biography, "James Madison: A Life Reconsidered." What better way, we thought, to mark the current president's visit by reading about a former president's life. It seemed perfect. Besides, it gave us a reason to spend the day with our nose in a book.

    May 29, 2014