Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’t

Have your read the interview with Rita Moreno in which she says “tough darts” in response to a question about how intimidating her presence might be at a rehearsal of West Side Story?  [Read here.]

I like this woman and immediately adopted TOUGH DARTS as my newest favorite way of saying: oh well, get over yourself, whatever.  It’s an old-fashioned version of “too bad, so sad” which is another one of my favorite sayings.

Anyhow, here’s the story.

On Saturday the sky was gloriously clear and I decided that we needed to go to a popular county park on the other side of nowhere from us.  We hadn’t been there in years and I remembered it as being a lovely tranquil place to walk while enjoying ducks on the lake.

And who doesn’t like watching some ducks do ducky things while you’re outside for a healthful walk?

Well, we found the park, but as we drove into the parking lot we were surprised by how few cars were around.  Beautiful day… warmer temps… Saturday afternoon… THIS DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.  Where were the people?

Come to find out after our Polar Vortex week the temperatures had gotten warm enough to create flash flooding that had left much of this park submerged under water.  When we set out on this adventure I didn’t know that, however once we got to the park we could see that the paths had debris on them or were muddy as heck or were still under water.

Thus our walk could not be.

But I had my camera with us so I took a bunch of random photographs of what I saw around me.  The following seven photos show you, my gentle readers, the ducky walk that wasn’t. 🤨

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Gorgeous blue winter sky behind sign indicating play area.

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An ark a la Noah, now muddy thanks to flash flooding in the play area. Oh the irony!

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Debris on this walking path for as far as the eye could see.

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Park bench, still muddy, having been submerged under flash flood water.

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Canoe & kayak launching area still under water. Green square is top of a trash can.

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Beginning of muddy path not taken, much muddier up around the curve.

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Two ducks that initially appeared to be in the middle of the lake who were sitting on top of the back of a park bench, normally by the side of the lake, now submerged under water because of flash flooding.

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#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A County Park On An Early Fall Afternoon

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so I can share door photos + a bit more.

I took these photos when we decided to stop at Miami Whitewater Forest, a Hamilton County Ohio park. The park is in southwest Ohio, close to the Indiana and Kentucky borders.

It covers over 4,000 hilly acres, features an 85-acre lake, and is named for a Shaker community that used to thrive in this area.

On the sunny day we visited the park we went for a look-see, moseying around, not intending to do anything in particular.  Here are a few photos of what we saw. 

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DOOR into ranger station office.

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Lake with docks as seen while sitting on bench on nearby hill.

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A small brown leaf… or is it?

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A butterfly that appeared where the brown leaf was!

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A deer doing its thing while standing in the scummy part of the lake.

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My pale scrawny Birkenstock-encased tootsies as seen by me whilst sitting quietly and watching deer doing its thing.

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DOOR, in the sense that a trash can flap is door-like, as seen on a trash can with a lovely lake scene behind it.

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Sunday Afternoon At The Nature Preserve: The Uneven Path Taken

On Sunday, for the first time in months, Zen-Den and I went to the Nature Preserve intending to wander around the flat easy path that connects the herb garden to the old farmhouse.

‘Tis a pretty path any time of year, and knowing what I was getting into, I wore shoes for that kind of leisurely walk.  A stroll.

However, somehow [let’s blame it on curiosity], we got [shall we say?] off course and ended up on a moderately difficult path that took us half a mile down a steep hillside to a creek, along the banks of the creek, then back up to the parking lot.

From this experience, I learned three valuable lessons:

  1. I will always in the future, regardless of what we say we’re going to do, wear hiking boots when going to the Nature Preserve;
  2. I will always in the future take one of the free maps, readily available in a display in the parking lot;  &
  3. When descending uneven, seemingly never-ending limestone steps down a hillside, my mind thinks about the worst that can happen.  In this case, it flashed to the scene in Grace and Frankie [Season 4] when we get a glimpse of Grace’s icky knee, complete with stitches and a long bloody-ish incision, after knee replacement surgery.  Oy vey.

And on that angst-filled note, here are some photos of the path we took at the Nature Preserve as we walked, trudged, and then climbed our way around it.

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Oh so pretty in late winter! Must see more.

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What a charming little path. I wonder where it goes?

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My goodness, this path suddenly looks old and not tended.

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Well, at least that little stone bridge up ahead looks sturdy.

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Oh look! What a nice flat rustic wooden bridge over a little dry creek.

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Oh dear, this uneven path just keeps going down, down, down to a large creek.

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Finally! What a lovely, relatively flat, stoney path by a large creek.

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Yes! Look at these civilized wooden stairs leading back up the hill to the parking lot. Hallelujah!

THE END

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Closed Trail Center On A Winter’s Day

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you the following door photos.

I took these photos on Saturday at the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center.  It’s part of the Little Miami Conservancy.

The Center is on a 78 mile long biking/hiking trail that starts in Springfield, OH [to the north], goes through 5 Ohio counties, and ends in Cincinnati, OH [to the south].

It being winter the Center was closed, but I did see a few cyclists riding on the trail.  And there were a few other people like me who were moseying around the trail– even though it was a bleak, boring day to be outside.  

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DOOR on the side of the brick building that is the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center.

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Look at these happy animals not drawn to scale, but featured nonetheless on this Little Miami Conservancy mural.

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DOOR on the front of the closed Center.

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Plaque commemorating the Lower Little Miami Scenic River: “To protect and enhance the river’s free-flowing character, water quality, & outstandingly remarkable values.” 

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Mural painted on a building next to the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center.  From what I can tell this mural has nothing to do with the Center, but considering that Valentine’s Day is almost here… let’s talk about love.

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As The Year Ends, Reflections As I Walk By A Creek

Went for a walk. Standing on a bridge over the creek I saw the waterfall down the way.

Noticed the beautiful bare tree branches reflected in the creek’s still water near the bridge on which I stood.

So calm. So pretty.

Continued walking.  Found the waterfall where the water was flowing over it.

Enjoyed watching as the clear water moved forward, not so gracefully tumbling over the falls.

Loudly. With enthusiasm and purpose.

Found myself reflecting on perspective and change. On always moving forward, appreciating peacefulness, but never allowing oneself to become stagnant.

Decided that the message was for me to let last year’s concerns float away, never forgotten or marginalized, but utilized as starting points so that next year’s plans can coalesce.

And on that bit of self-awareness, I shall wander off into the real world where busy people and half-finished projects are waiting for me.

To do that which I do.

And as for The Spectacled Bean, well– don’t expect me back here until mid-January when winter is in full swing.  I’ve decided to go on a brief blogging hiatus, if the fates allow.

Happy Christmas & Merry New Year, everyone.

See ‘ya in 2018.

Out For A Walk: “Love You, Annie”

IN ANTICIPATION OF A haircut appointment tomorrow, I’ve been trying to decide what to do about my graying blonde hair. “Gronde” as it’s known in hair salon lingo.

Out for a walk yesterday I was lost in my thoughts, contemplating this very important issue, when I walked by a property under construction.  There were men working on the outside of the building.

As I walked by I heard one of them shout at me: “Love you, Annie.”

This made no sense to me but I smiled, waved my hand at him, and continued on with my walk.

ABOUT HALF A BLOCK later it occurred to me in a hey-wait-a-minute moment that I may have misheard what the guy shouted at me.

That what the man shouted at me was: “Love you, Granny.”

Meaning that from afar I appeared to be, of all things, a grandmother.

Peeved and dismayed as I was by this disturbing realization that shook my ego to its core, it dawned on me that I had my answer about what to do about my gronde hair.

Hence, tomorrow’s hair appointment will include highlights, lowlights– and any other lights available– to reduce the grayness in my fading blonde hair.

Because Granny?!

Me thinks not.

No Horses. No History. Just Happiness Courtesy Of The Blue Sky Above.

When it’s a glorious day outside and it comes to finding something to photograph, I’m nothing if not persistent.

•  PLAN A: HORSES  I drove to the horse vet wanting to photograph the horses that are usually standing around in his fields. However, when I got there not one horse was anywhere to be seen, so I kept driving.

•  PLAN B: HISTORY  I drove to a tiny 200-year-old village that, when photographed while standing on its bridge over the river, would make for an interesting photo.  However, when I got there the river was high, the sidewalks were muddy, and the wind was gusting.  Standing on the bridge didn’t seem safe to me, so I decided to go someplace else.

•  PLAN C: HAPPINESS  Dreamed up on the fly, I decided to drive to the canoe rental place and walk the bike path that runs by the canoe rental place, using the opportunity to photograph the blue sky above and whatever might be underneath it.  As the following four photos show, this plan worked.

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