On rainy Wednesday, I was working in Springfield at the Monarch Tower.
In a lobby hallway between a bank of elevators, there is this:
Amelia, the Peregrine Falcon, lives on under glass. Nearby is a plaque commemorating the 10 year life of the most famous raptor in the valley.
The plaque reads "In Amelia, the residents of Springfield first focused their eyes and hearts on the Peregrine Falcon". Quite true. I remember when they first turned the cameras on Amelia's nest, high up on a ledge near the top of the Monarch Place Tower.
On Thursday, I saw that West Springfield (a.k.a "Westside") was having it's Taste of the Valley event. They're having rides, bands, games, and food. It's being held on their town green by the North End Bridge.
It'll be going on all weekend. As a plus the town green has a lot of beautiful tall trees and is very shady, which should help to alleviate the super high temperatures they're forecasting for the weekend...
I had to return my new hiking shoes a couple weeks ago. I had bought them a half size too small, because I really liked them, and that was the only size they had that would fit at all. I assumed there would be some stretching, and hoped for the best; but the best didn't come. They unfortunately went from kind of snug, to toe-crunching machines within two uses. After a thorough search of the area's shoe stores, I found that nobody, no-body, had them in my size. So I finally turned to the Internet and ordered them online, biting my fist for two weeks in anticipation of the UPS truck's arrival. At last they arrived and I immediately went for a test hike. Mt. Tom at the last minute.
As we got ready in the parking lot, a battle in the sky was brewing.
I always admire the bravery of the smaller birds when they chase off their far larger enemies. Though I suppose if they wanted to, the raptors would easily win the fight. But conserving energy and picking battles is a big part of the survival of the fittest in our natural world...
As humans, we decided to expend our energy and battle gravity, as we waded through a sea of Mountain Laurels at the foot of Mt. Tom.
The Mountain Laurels are just about ready to bloom, and their flowers are forming neat geometric shapes before they pop.
An ant and some kind of inch worm share a bloom and have a chat.
This image reminds me of a recent (near) drama that unfolded, over at Exploring Western Mass...
We picked our way to the main trail. Then to save some time, and really give my new hikers a test, we opted to follow a much narrower, much steeper trail that follows a power line to the top.
About thirty gut-burning minutes later, we reached upper edges of mighty Mt. Tom.
Somewhere behind the clouds the sun had set during our climb. We hung about as long as we dared, watching the street and house lights below light up. Just below us, the Log Cabin banquet facility was having some kind of graduation ceremony, or maybe a prom. I'm not sure, but there seemed to be a lot of tuxes and brightly colored dresses, from what I could make out through the binoculars. The sounds of laughter and jubilation rode up to us on the slight wind, just barely audible, by the time it reached us on our perch...
To the north, the low clouds hung over Eashampton, as it settled in for the evening.
We gauged how much light we had left, and decided we'd better head back down. We got back down to the car with just a few minutes of light to spare. And my toes? Well, I might as well have just taken a stroll barefoot through a fresh, cool, dew-laden meadow... (over-stating, a bit)...
Getting back home, I was flipping through the channels, when I came across this old classic, that sent me hurling back through time:
The clothes, the attitudes, the bad, bad jokes. The bad writing. The hair. Even just the footage of Brooklyn that they play during the opening and closing credits, with the old cars and the way people looked and acted. It's a window into the past. 1975 captured. Innocence captured. TV shows like that are time capsules, and just that fact makes 'Welcome Back Kotter' and many many other old tv shows like it so indespensible. (Not neccessarily easy to watch now, but indespensible, none the less...)
Up your nose with a rubber hose? Indeed, Vinnie, yes...indeed.