I enjoyed my Leap Day hike yesterday… thinking I will make it an annual tradition!

sign with atrow saying Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center 8 miles

O to walk the greenway fair
When meadows all are grassing—
The birds singing their morning air,
And sewer pipes off-gassing

I think that we should all strive to swear more colorfully. The trouble with the casual use of certain words once held in certain circles to be unutterable is not that they are coarse but that they are boring. As an alternative, I have been trying to use woodworking-specific oaths when I screw up or cut myself, such as “Mother Ann’s knickers!” The challenge is trying to remember it in moments of extreme distress, so like any new habit of mind you may want to practice it when you don’t really need it. It’s these little changes in ourselves that make the world a better place, you know?

Currently reading: Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman. It is about the Battle of Stalingrad in the sense that War and Peace is about Napoleon’s invasion of Russa, so the incendiary bombs start falling on about page 550 of 1000. It is one of those books I wish I were reading with someone, so I could talk through what I think about it.

Bought these from a guy who looked oddly like Harvey Korman.

packet of seeds labeled Eggplant: Thai Green Frog Fingers

The Met is hyping a new opera that is a “searing exploration of the psychological pressures of modern warfare.” It may be quite good, but do they describe La Boheme as a “searing exploration of the devastating effects of poverty on relationships”? They do not. One suspects there is a reason.

At long last, a new post on The Road to Jockey’s Ridge: The Greenway in Winter. A mostly harmless walk in which, as it turned out, I did need my towel.

marshland, frost on the dead grass, water reflecting blue sky, bare trees

When I search the internet for images of bumblebees (looking for reference photos for potential carvings) all I get is robots. Literally, pictures of robots. I believe this may be not entirely unrelated to various of our present environmental crises.

The maples are blooming in Johnston County. (The horizon was level in real life, but it’s hard to get the phone squared up when you’re standing on a bridge with cars whizzing three feet behind you.)

maple tree blooming red, bare trees in background, blue sky

Speaking of trout lilies…

chip carving of trout lilies with legend Trout Lily