Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 18 May 2003

[Photo of trail]

No writing today. We went and lifted weights, then went hiking and had a picnic, then came home and watched a video.

The video was Wisegirls, and was actually rather better than I'd expected. A young woman gets a job as a waitress at a mafia-connected restaurant. She runs into the problems you'd expect, but there are twists I did not see coming. Above average, for movies that had no expectations of.

Lots of movies these days are alleged to have "language," which I take to mean that they're not aphasic. Others (those rated PG rather than R) just have "some language." So far most of them have been in English, which I guess is some language, but we're always hoping for something more interesting. If it was just going to be in English, it hardly seems worth warning us about it.

The hiking and picnic was at Fox Ridge State Park.

There are other places to hike. Allerton, Kickapoo, and Forest Glen are all closer. The attraction that draws us to Fox Ridge is that it isn't absolutely flat, the way most of the rest of the region is.

We brought our picnic in the fancy picnic backpack that my Dad and Katy gave us for Christmas, so we had a fancy picnic with plates and glasses and a tablecloth with matching napkins. It was very civilized.

After the picnic, we hiked to the Eagles Nest, a platform at the end of a high ridge with a view of the Embarras River, except that the tree cover is too thick to actually see it in the summer. (So, no pictures from Eagles Nest.)

There are a lot of trails, and they're connected so that you can put together quite a long hike if you want to. We started at the trail head for Acorn Avenue which goes down a steep staircase to a fork with signage offering two routes to Eagles Nest, one rugged and one moderate.

[Photo of trail switchback]

As an aside, I've been places where the trail descriptions were ridiculous--flat, paved trails marked as "moderate" and "rugged" seeming to mean "not handicapped-accessible." We took the rugged fork and it was an honest rugged, with climbs steep enough to need switchbacks.

[Photo of purple flower]

It's a bit late for wildflowers, but we saw a few. It's hard to get a good picture of purple flowers. Film (or, in this case, the CCDs in my digital camera) always seems to miss the exact ratio of blue and purple. Chicory, for example, looks very blue to the eye, but comes out almost magenta if you photograph it with ektachrome. These pictures look okay, at least on my monitor.

[Anther purple flower]

I'm not sure what any of these are, although the yellow ones look like some kind of composite.

[Photo of yellow flower]

Want to sound just like a real botanist? Here's a tip for you: all the white or yellow daisy-like flowers (with a disk-like center and then petals arranged around it) are composites. There's a bazillion of them, and even serious botanists don't know most of them. So, all you have to do is say, "Oh, it's some composite," and you'll sound just like a real botanist.

Great weather for the hike. It rained just a bit, but only while we were under the canopy, so we barely got wet. It was cool and damp and still. Wonderful.

Writing tomorrow.


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