Art: I recently discovered a paper maker by the name of Dard Hunter. He heavily researched traditional methods in paper making and printing, writing many books on the subject, was the first person known to create his own book from start to finishing being involved in every aspect from writing, to type setting, to assembly. Lastly, he was a huge promoter of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The dude is just all around awesome and I can't wait to read some of the stuff he has written.
Wildflowers: Spring is definitely here, and with it, the spring flowers. For boring reasons that I won't go into, my plans for a small wildflower patch in the backyard have to be scrapped. It's a little disappointing, but life is like that sometimes. Dala and I have still been able to really enjoy the wildflowers this year. We have so many kinds speckling the lawn, blues and purples, yellows and whites, tiny little things all of them. They're not loud and showy, but small and subtle, where spying individual little buds is like a little surprise, and a collective patch, is like a tiny splash of color against a green background, easily overlooked.
As great as it's been in our yard, it's even better at the park where we walk the dog. There's even more flowers there, in variety and volume. They're really something to behold and I'm kind of sad that in about a week or so, the majority of them will be gone until next year.
Windows: The weather has been so nice lately that, barring rain and and no one being home, we've had the window near the couch where I sleep open pretty much all of the time. The fresh air has been amazing, and as I'm typing away, I'm listening to the songbirds in our yard, the sound of traffic just up the road, all occasionally punctuated with the sounds of a crow cawing or a neighborhood dog barking. I told my wife that when we finally get our own place, if the temperature is between 60-90 degrees and it's not too humid out, the AC will be off and the windows will be open.
Birds and Snakes and Assholes: Yesterday we were at the park, walking the dog, and admiring the sights around us. Said flowers, songbirds flittering about, and we even got to see a vulture perch in a near naked tree, not more than thirty feet from us. It was an amazing walk all around and I think for the first time, I had more fun being at the park than my dog (that dog loves the park).
At one point as we were walking, we came across a robin struggling with what at first seemed like the biggest, fattest worm ever. As we got closer though, it was quickly evident that what the robin caught was actually a baby snake. Thinking that there's no way this bird was gonna be able to eat this snake, and wanting to save said snake, I walked towards the robin to shoo it away.
Giving the dog leash to my wife, I decided to get a little bit closer to the snake, not too close, about two or three feet, to get a better look. It was coiled up in a striking position, which I should have paid attention to at the time, but I didn't because I was too curious. It looked like a baby rattlesnake, about six to eight inches long, but we didn't seem to be in the right area to come across one, so I wanted to take a picture of it to confirm. I turned around to walk back to my wife to borrow her phone to take a picture, at which point she informed me it lunged at me and then slithered away. I looked up local snakes this morning, it was indeed a baby rattlesnake.
Necessary Edit: Reading more about the snakes in my area tonight, it's a bit on the small side for a baby rattlesnake. There's a very real chance I mis-identified the snake. To further complicate things, there are a few non-venemous species that'll mimic rattlesnakes, because let's be real, that's actually a pretty good defense strategy. Now I really do wish I was able to safely get a picture.
Edit aside . . . If you look up "assholes" this morning, you'd probably find a picture of me. I didn't respect the fact that the robin and the snake were doing what nature does, and instead of leaving things alone, I injected myself into the situation. While I didn't get too close, I didn't respect the snake's personal space nor did I respect the fact that it was clearly agitated at just escaping a harrowing situation with an animal much larger than it and it probably wasn't too pleased that I was close by. Lastly, baby snake or not, venomous or not, I did not respect that this thing could see me as a threat and try to defend itself and I put myself in a risky spot, even if the risk was very minor. All in all, I let my personal feelings and curiosity overtake any common sense and respect for nature and from start to finish, I handled that situation very, very poorly. I literally know better and I didn't behave to the standards I hold myself to and today, that makes me a bit of an asshole. I'd like to think next time I'll do better, because I usually do, but I'm frustrated with myself for behaving like I did. For anyone reading this, don't be like me, don't do what I did, animals deserve their space.