Today is a vacation day for me because my daughter is taking the ACT. The test has become a Ohio graduation requirement for most high school students, so this is her chance to take it with a couple bonuses attached: no testing fee and a day excused from regular classes. She didn’t seem nervous at all about it, perhaps because this is actually her second time taking the test. I’m not sure which post-graduation goals she has in mind at this point (she will graduate next May). Her scores on standardized tests are consistently great, but her enthusiasm for school itself is lacking. She has mild autism and has had a few too many negative interludes with her classmates over the years, so at least there’s a rational reason why she doesn’t like traditional school much. She’s finishing school in an IT program at a local vocational high school, a setting which has been much more tolerable for her.
Her test left me free for the morning, so I took a walk around my neighborhood with camera in hand. There’s work crews on several blocks replacing gas lines, so I focused on some of the sights on the margin of our subdivision.
Everything was still frozen, but spring-worthy sunlight lit up the dormant plants nicely.
Yesterday I crumbled a lone cornbread muffin next to the ditch that divides my yard from a wetland preserve. If I had kept it as a leftover, it would have achieved the density of a hockey puck overnight, so I offered it to the various critters who cross through my yard. This evening a visitor came back inquiring if more leftovers were forthcoming:
I wish I’d had my camera handy while he was standing on our patio. As the sun was setting, I considered that the raccoon’s visit could be a good omen for a sunset photo walk, so I went to the wetlands briefly to see what I’d find.
I did encounter someone wild who would have been safer at home, if only he had one:
He is feral, and I could come no closer during our first encounter. His new cauliflower ear tells me he is not the only tom cat patrolling the wetlands. He is cobby with sleek fur that rivals an Abyssinian cat. If only he had born into an indoor kingdom . . .
The wetlands are still waking up to spring. We’ve had three inches of rain in the past week. I wore my oldest pair of tennis shoes to cross through the silt and ditches en route to the preserve.
Yesterday I ventured out on foot as far as my continued recovery would allow. Now that spring has hits it full stride, the light is more reliable and the plants more diverse. These two factors combine to make a photo walk worth my time. I wish I had been better when the earliest spring blooms had made their appearances, but, alas, this was was not my year to capture the bloom of early wildflowers like bloodroot and dutchman’s breeches.
I was pleased to get a shot of lilacs, which have had an early bloom this year. Typically the bloom of that bush coincides with Mother’s Day, at least here in northwest Ohio.