Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mini vacation at the Preserve

Yesterday was the first day in weeks that was lovely, perfect 80s, low humidity, little white clouds dancing around the sky, and I had a couple of hours' respite, so I spent them at the Preserve. The Dollivers dogged, or dolled, my footsteps but never mind about them....

Here's the establishing shot showing where the day unfolded. See, I didn't work in public TV for nothing, folks:

There were a lot of birds out enjoying the day, too and the late summer seeds on all the wild grasses and flowers, several goldfinches in full mating fig flying around like bright little aerial dandelions.

The preserve backs up on to what used to be HP's workplace, back when there was a nuclear reactor there, deep in the woods, long since decommissioned. It produced experimental scale isotopes for chemists and various other brainy atom guys to work on, including some of the earliest isotopes used in cancer treatments.

It was what brought us to Plainsboro in the first place. But there was a lot of fear about reactors in the 60s when it was built, so it was kept a bit quiet, just not to alarm people for no good reason. Even though what HP was actually in the business of doing was developing approaches to clean water production for domestic use!

Anyway, it was a remote location, and back in those days we had one car per family, so I would drive in now and then to his work to get the car for the day. And we'd see red foxes now and then sporting in the woods, and one time what looked like an entire field of dandelions, which rose in a flock and whirred away! one of the last big flocks of goldfinches before development closed in on them and now they're a special treat, tempted around with niger seed and special feeders.

But that was then and now we have the Preserve to enjoy and walk in, and generally loll about in. The Dollivers are seen with the Preserve building in the background,

where there are all kinds of classes and specimens and interesting things afoot.

And on the same bench,

looking out over the lake before venturing on a hike. One of them is an amateur photographer who has not got the hang of keeping her face out of the lens.

You look in here? no? can't see anything anyway, oh look that's my face! and she points out that I've been known to take a picture of my thumb the same way.

And a closeup of an insect obligingly sitting for ages on a grass stem.

Possibly a cricket, since they look like that when they do their little flying jumps, or maybe a dragonfly, of which we have many species.

Then in the middle of the steps leading up from the building

to the main trail, on the way to the beechwood, a mature beautiful stand of trees which generates its own climate.

In winter if you walk here, it degrees warmer and cosier even on the bitterest winter day, and in summer it's like natural air conditioning.

Time for a rest before hiking onward, to the lakeside.

Around the lake we have eager beavers constantly felling trees and blocking the paths and the lake and anything else they can get at

so you see one of their artworks, the remains of what was quite a substantial birch tree way back before they gnawed it down.

Then, hats safely stowed in the bag,

they climb in, they say bound and gagged, I say gowned and bagged, for the ride home.

We're all hoping you noticed the addition of a new Dolliver, whose leg you saw in process recently, and who looks remarkably like Bette Davis, and the snazzy new raglan sweater and hat worn by Dreads, from leftover lovely homespun gifted yarn most of which went into a scarf for the Great Me.

And as the sun sinks slowly in whatever point of the compass it sinks in, don't ask me I have no sense of direction, us synaesthetes rarely do.....


Magpie's Mumblings said...

I must admit I totally enjoy your stories of the Dollivers Travels. It looks like this trip was particularly fun.

te_roti said...

Your new Bette Davis lookalike is a very classy looking doll. Other than the boids did you have an audience at all while snapping picks of the Dollivers? I'd love to know their reactions if you did.

The Preserve looks like a lovely place for a stroll and a bit of quiet contemplation. I am lucky to have quite a number of places like that reasonably close by. I must make more use of them.


annie1931 said...

Ah, I'm finally caught up - and Sunday's blog is priceless. How wonderful to have that Preserve close by, and to be able to perambulate without having to look over your shoulder every five minutes. Some cards on the way.

eepy said...

Good to be back on highspeed and able to visit your blog again, and yes, I did notice the new
Dolliver. Very attractive.

My other LizFriend is going to teach me to knit when have our beach vacation. Maybe I'll knit a pet for the Dollivers...