Oh Hal!

21st January, 2022 A stretch of water for the geese!

What was it I said?

“A brief afternoon excursion”?

The fact that we would be headed somewhere south of Albany ought to have put me off, but the idea of spending an afternoon feeding laundry into Hal didn’t have much appeal.

Skirting Albany was too close to “civilization” for me.

Grant has a fairly good lay of the land in his head, so instead of following the guidance of his GPS, when we got behind a big truck or a slow driver, he took alternate routes a couple of times.

Which is all very well, out in the stix, but when you venture close to suburbia, not such a good idea.

As we drove through a vast industrial eyesore, I shuddered at the mere thought that it exists just a short distance from my new home.

It put me to thinking negative thoughts.

We are surrounded by many beautiful trees that can really be appreciated in their naked form.

But everywhere you look, you will see power cables and light poles. Usually I try to edit them out of photographs because they offend me.

For example, though this tree is clear, mercifully.

Trees and cables cannot occupy the same space.

Is it the thought, up in these parts, that it is better to lop off a few branches rather than sacrifice a whole tree? Economics?

You won’t see an example of how sad this looks because I can’t bear to photograph one.

To my mind it seems plain disrespectful to savage a tree by cutting back half of its canopy.

It is a distressing sight.

Is there an alternative?

If one could be found, no doubt it would be too costly to implicate. It’s what mankind always does, blunder madly ahead with wondrous new inventions and bugger the consequences.

This excursion was supposed to cheer me up but so far it had just depressed me further.

At one point we passed a work crew who were attempting to fix some power cables. I don’t imagine they felt awfully cheerful either.

At least I was in a warm car.

There is no shortage of people who are worse off.

But knowing this only makes me feel guilty.

Grant’s alternate routing at least gave me the chance to finally get a photograph of this tree that we usually approach from a bad angle. Though we were almost past it before I realized where we were.

Such a poor tour guide.

We think the tree is a sycamore.

But here’s a question: is it one tree or two?

White-barked trees are so beautiful against deep blue skies such as we have had lately.

It was one of those days that I would describe as painfully beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky.

Very cold but still.

A few miles from home suddenly to our right we saw two flocks of birds. Not starlings, we had seen them too. These were small and buff-breasted.

The name Snow bunting came to mind. Maybe I had seen a video at one time. My bird book suggests I may have been right. So pretty.

Near Albany we’d caught sight of a huge gaggle of geese that had found an expanse of open water.

Then for a moment as we sailed past, I had seen what I am almost certain was an owl. Or it could have been a very fat hawk. There were lots of hawks about.

So there were redeeming moments in our too-long excursion. A wildlife sighting will always do it for me.

Then we came home to Hal, the washer-not-so-dryer.

Beep, beep, beep….


3 thoughts on “Oh Hal!

  1. It is a shame when power cables blight a landscape. Here in Beetley, the electric cables are almost all underground. But we still retain old-fashioned telegraph poles for telephone connections.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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