Posts Tagged ‘Rocky Ripple’

They Paved Paradise…


A year ago yesterday I took my bike and my camera out on a foggy early morning ride and snapped this photo of the Butler University Athletic Fields. Though not necessarily the most beautiful place in the neighborhood, I always rather enjoyed riding or walking past these grassy expanses tucked back far behind even our little Rocky Ripple neighborhood that is in and of itself an entirely out of the way place to be. It always seemed like a lush green little secret that few were privy to.

Today, we walked past these same athletic fields while out and and about on a run. The grassy expanse between the softball field and the campus garden had transformed, at some point recently, into a huge parking lot complete with dozens of towering led lamps. There were many cars, but not a living soul in sight. We decided that the parking lot must not even be for the use of the athletic fields. It was simply an overflow lot for students because the university is expanding beyond its small urban capacity. These students now have to make a wide detour around their campus, through our quiet neighborhood, and into this remote (albeit brightly-lit parking lot) and then hike quite a distance to get to anything resembling a classroom or a housing facility.

I don’t get it.

I mean, I get it. They need more space for development and so they are using what they have. But it still hurts my heart a little to know that something I had once appreciated for it’s quiet beauty is now covered in asphalt. And it is irritating to think that my neighbors will now have to endure a steady stream of inconsiderate drivers up and down in front of their houses all day.

Change is an inevitable thing. Sometimes it is a wonderful thing. And sometimes, like today, it is a bitter pill to swallow. Development and progress is often a double-edged sword.

But in all this, I remind myself to enjoy the things I have while they are still around to be seen and heard and known. And I remind myself to take plenty of photographs along the way.


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I’m going to be taking a digital vacation for the month of April. That is, I’m going to be stowing away my laptop and focusing on other hobbies and interests for those 30 days. I have been spending far too much time staring at screens lately, and I need a chance to get away and let my mind wander. I need to chase down a little inspiration, and breathe some life back into this existence of mine. One can gather a lot of dust while sitting in front of a computer screen.

But before I go, I would like to post some final late-winter images before the world explodes with green growing things. The promise of a fresh start continues to creep up ever so slowly…

sycamore grove weed flowers new raspberry canes seedlings emerge DSCN2402

See you in May!

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We stepped out into the balmy air this morning to sunshine and birdsong. Runners and bikers populated the canal trail, and we had our first turtle sighting of the year! It was as if someone had flipped a magical switch saying, “Come on out, spring is here.”

Unfortunately, by noon the temps had dropped again, and we were driven back into the warmth of the house by biting winds and gloomy skies.

*sigh* Oh well.

Now all the kitties are curled up in fuzzy little piles, marking out all the coziest spots to bed down for a nap.

We will have to be content with hibernation for a little bit longer.


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In the interest of creativity, I’ve decided to begin posting (at least) one photograph to my blog each and every day. The only rule is that I have to take the photo on the same day that I post it. Here is the first: a lovely winter grande finale.Rocky Ripple Stow Storm

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Spring continues to creep up, almost imperceptibly. While out walking Moose on the canal I noticed small colorful waterfowl that hadn’t been there days before when I went out looking for manifestations of spring. And yet, here they were, returning much more surreptitiously than their noisy goose counterparts–wood ducks! I feel a special fondness for the diminutive wood ducks, mainly because I had never seen one in the Midwest until we moved to Rocky Ripple. They seem to like it here as much as I do. I was glad to see their funny little faces again.

Yesterday, I went out to play with Moose in the backyard on a rather gray and gloomy day. Earlier that morning I had had to scrape snow off my car windows before heading out to work. I wasn’t feeling very springy, but the temperature had mellowed out some, and I found myself poking around in the garden. I decided that it was about time I turned the compost pile. Lo and behold, I found dozens of earthworms deep in the thick of the pile, doing their work tirelessly while I thought the whole natural world was in hibernation. Thanks to them, I will have rich fertilizer to spread in my garden beds come May.

While the robins splashed in the puddle at the bottom of my neighbor’s (not well-drained) yard, I made further inspections, eager to spot the very first signs of new growth and promise of fresh food to come. I found several holes in the garden where some animal had pulled up the remaining carrots I had missed months ago. I found one last intact carrot, and was surprised to find that it still tasted great after months of freezing weather. I spotted a few new buds on my peppermint plant, and enjoyed the aroma as I did a little early pruning. It looks as though my peppermint intends to take over the garden bed as soon as possible this year.

I finally pulled up last years weeds and spaded the already-soft soil. Visions of seed packets danced in my head as I realized that I could easily begin planting lettuce, spinach, and more carrots as soon as I could make it to a gardening supply store and back. For now, I just feel refreshed to be getting my hands dirty again.

Spring seems to be coming along quite nicely I think.

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I didn’t make any money today. I didn’t get any painting done. I didn’t run any errands or do any housework or pay any bills today. But somehow it still feels like I got a lot accomplished.

I arrived early to the Cuddle Meeting.

I got some important research done.

I started my day with a balanced breakfast.

I engaged in important correspondence.

I photographed a friend.

I contemplated the yellowness of it all.

I stopped to smell the roses.

I made some abstract art.

I discovered a ghost ship in the mist.

I walked into a trap!

I appropriated a tomato.

I visited a real bees’ house. Luckily they were still sleeping.

I peeked in the windows of my dream greenhouse.

I rode up a grueling hill (yeah, that’s a hill, I promise).

I admired my photogenic steed.

I practiced scene appreciation.

And I decided that I live in the most wonderful place on Earth.

Not bad for a morning’s work!

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Jeff and I got back home from our bike-run (I bike, he runs) just as darkness was falling here in Rocky Ripple. I looked over in the dusk just at the right moment to see Evie execute a mid-air pounce on something. Something big. Assuming it was a bat, I picked up a stick and tossed it close to her, just enough to startle her away from the thing. This is my usual method of scaring the kids away from bats, which almost always allows the bat ample time to flutter away to their (and our) safety.

This time, however, I didn’t see anything fly away, so we approached slowly, peering intently at the spot where the creature should be. I was so thoroughly expecting to see a bat that I almost did not see the beautifully huge winged thing that was lying on its back in the grass and struggling frantically to upright itself. Beneath a shock of bright red legs and a red and white striped body as big as my thumb, were a good six inches of gorgeous black, gray, red, and white wings. We found out afterward that it was a Cecropia moth, North America’s largest native moth.

With a little effort we were able to wrangle the cats enough to give the clumsy thing a chance to get airborne. We watched as it flapped away over the neighbor’s yard, looking more like some large exotic bird than any insect we had ever seen. Evie looked on ruefully.

The wonders of Rocky Ripple never cease to amaze us!

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Now that we, Rocky Ripple’s Newest Official Residents, are (almost) comfortably settled into our new home, we’d love to share with you some pics from around the ‘hood…

The Flying Cupcake (guess what they sell here!)

Burkhart Community Garden

Canal Walk toward Holcomb Gardens



Canalley Cat *chuckle*

Some of the more subdued yard art.

River Houses

Floodplain Forest Preservation Site

Kooky mailboxes are a status symbol around here...

More Yard Art---in case you weren't convinced I belong here.

Yard Nessie

Skipping stones...

...on our beautiful bend of the White River.

Welcome to our new stomping grounds. I think we’re gonna love it here.

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