Ah, the week of Fourth of July.  Fireworks, celebrations, kids out of school, students graduating, everyone preparing for vacation.  The summer weather finally fully arrived, waters warm enough to swim, the world is fine and relaxed and happy for another year.  At least around here.  At least if we ignore the distant rumbles of war, and the insistent drone of not so distant poverty, and the incessant reminder that our society and ecology poises on real or imagined brinks of disaster.  But, Hey! This has been an important time for a few hundred years now, and by golly we should enjoy it.

We really should.  Any wonderful day for any reason is worth celebrating.  The flowers are still blooming, the moon still rising, the tides still flowing, the birds still singing.  And through it all I am a year older, and all my family and friends continue to have their own trail of experiences.  Life, for all perceived problems, remains good for many of us.  We should be grateful for that every day, and pay respects to the universe, and do all we can to absorb the wonders that have been given to us.

Whatever boats might be going out this season are pretty much prepped and ready.  This is one of the big weekends _ a kickoff when everyone is still excited about a summer stretching seemingly forever before them.   Many make the forty mile or so jaunt to New York to watch the fireworks from the water, more just go out and party on the water with friends.  The heat and warm bay are cooperating, so far, although storms are always a possibility.

Others have told me I would eventually want a boat.  I never did.  I like walking on firm ground, even if I enjoy watching happenings on sea.  That is not some admirable lack of envy of those who can afford such things, it is just a natural disposition.   Part of it, of course, is just that I’m old and set in my ways and any changes to my comfortable routine are usually more disturbing than exciting.

Another common weed in a neglected patch of parkland.  Common is usually best applied from a distance, since close inspection of anything in our marvelously fractal world quickly reveals that nothing at all is common except our own insufficient categorization.  These flowers are just as magnificent as anything in a botanic garden, and in a way more admirable for surviving on their own where other species fail.

So our own lives, of course.  There is no “common” human.  We are all filled with glorious experiences and handle immense tragedy and go through the world thinking and judging and remembering and wishing and having an outlook on the universe that may even be superior to that of the gods themselves, condemned to know all and be consequently amazed at nothing.


Children these days must apparently be kept busy all the time, or at least their busy parents must be freed to go about their multiply necessary duties.  So as soon as school ends, summer camp begins.  I don’t remember life being quite so frantic when I was young, but then my memory is not what it used to be.

I know for sure, however, that this group will find far less biodiversity and large interesting creatures with their searches than Joan and I did.  The waters may finally be recovering a little, but they were deeply destroyed by forty or more years of neglect.  I only hope the youngsters don’t get too discouraged about disappointing nature.


Tree and bush fruits are maturing rapidly _ I even saw some blueberries newly planted on the roadside work at Halesite.  The early annual flowers are dying back a bit, and from here on it is fun to watch the different competing strategies of the various species.  Some find Darwin’s theories depressing and joyless, but I find that thinking of the l
ife I see in terms of evolution makes it far deeper, richer, and more meaningful than simply believing that _ plop, magic _ something shows up here or there at the whim of the gods.

As for me _ well we all have our own peculiar thoughts about our deeper relation to the universe.  No use burdening you with mine, on this fine day.  Go work out your own destiny!


Queen Anne’s Lace _ don’t know why her clothing was so much in vogue, but many common names are a folklore mystery to me.  These days, of course, you can look anything up quickly on line.  I’m not quite sure that is a gain _ sometimes ambiguous understanding is more full than when it is complete.

I always like these flat-headed white flowers just because they are so different.  Well, many flowers, of course, are if you in inspect them, but for me these pop out even when you are driving along a roadside.  Relative of the carrot, I hear.  Maybe.  I refuse to Google it.  I am too busy and interested in other things.


This nicely encapsulates the ambience of the fourth.  The land of liberty and flags flying, as a chained link fence protects private property from unwanted visitors.  More confusingly, the beach is community property of the landowners, but the line below high tide is by law public (although nobody would ever know it around here) and the water is open to everyone.  Well, open and free as long as you abide by increasingly strict regulations of use.

In fact, for all our blather about following the wisdom of the founding fathers, we actually live in a society like any other that has evolved and adjusted to this exact time, place, and circumstance so that a society can continue and let people get along relatively smoothly.    I admire our culture greatly, but I do not mistake its patchwork of laws and customs for a designed logical edifice build on a foundation of inalienable anything.  At least, for the moment, the sun and air are still free, and the roadside available to all who walk along it.  Good enough for me.


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