Oak Leaf with Berries

Mt. Auburn Cemetery on Febuary 29.

Surprise in Ice

I had never been to Mt. Auburn Cemetery in the winter until I biked there this afternoon on a sunny, 30-degree day. Mt. Auburn became such a regular part of my life last year and it seemed like a shame to experience it in every season but this one. I didn’t know what to expect and at first I didn’t quite know what to look for. At first I began to pay attention to the transparency around me, the perspective that comes with seeing through through things, especially as the sun is approaching the horizon and casting shadows through the trees. I made my way to Consecration Dell to see what state the shallow pool was in, but with a thin covering of snow, there wasn’t much to look at. So I hiked up the hill to overlook to see what the view of Boston was like. It was pleasant, but I wasn’t finding anything in particular that caught my attention and I began to wonder if I would end this visit without any surprises. I wandered my way back down the hill to the ponds I normally stroll by on my back to the gate, and here again the snow

Beacon Hill Leaves

This afternoon proved to be a perfect autumn afternoon to stroll through Beacon Hill with a friend. After lunch at the 77 Pub, we wound our way leisurely through the narrow streets, exploring alleys and sidestreets as we came upon them, pausing in mid conversation to admire one mansion or another, taking everything as an excuse to prolong our meandering.

Birthday Leaves

This morning I took some time to myself and spent my first hours as a 30-year-old at Mt. Auburn cemetery with may camera and my walking shoes. After breakfast at Zaftig’s in Brookline and before heading back to BC for work, I lucky enough to find myself in Concecration Dell where I noticed the green film that had been accumulating during the summer now had a layer of new-fallen leaves embedded in it. Contemplating the leaves in a a garden cemetery seemed like a fittingly meditative way to begin my third decade –just enough momento mori to set a reflective mood without getting too morbid.

There are more photos from this morning in the “Leaves” photo gallery.

Rat Art

If you walk around Allston Village, the neighborhood of Boston where I live, you may notice the graffiti and street art that appears on walls, lampposts, sidewalks, and just about any other public surface. No doubt these contribute to the slightly dumpy feel the neighborhood has, but they also can provide ongoing, dynamic commentary on what it means to live in this particular corner of the city.

A few days ago, I was walking through my neighborhood and noticed this image of a rat spray painted on the sidewalk. Bizarre, I thought. Why would someone take the time to create a stencil of a rat and then spray-painted it on a random section of sidewalk? Someone clearly has too much time on his or her hands. Or this person’s sense of humor is just absurd enough to make them represent our neighborhood’s rat problem in this form.

Noticing this painted rat out of the corner of your eye fairly accurately recreates the experience of having a large rodent sprint across your path on a humid summer evening–a flash of dark movement, a gasp of surprised disgust, a quickening pace, a heightened sense of alertness. But in this case the surprise turns quickly into a chuckle as you realize, with relief, that it’s only an ironic attempt to represent the wildlife inhabiting this corner of the urban landscape.

Raspberry from Home

Before leaving Fargo, I pick the last raspberries from my parents patch along the side of the house. It brings back memories of my grandparents farm south of Fargo where the supply seemed unlimited. As kids we would pound down raspberries until we were sick, tear around the shelterbelt with our bb guns, and then come back for more. Today I’ll just enjoy the last handfull and savor the lingering tartness as we head east to the Twin Cities.