Possibly the best tonic for disappointment and weariness after New York is walking around my familiar old neighborhood, back home. On Franklin a medium-sized Norway maple had been chopped down since I left, and big hunks of trunk were piled at the street awaiting pickup. I paused to look and counted the rings: 48. That makes me think the much bigger trees on my own street must be at least 70 years old. Without putting too fine a point on it, I noticed the rings got wider with age. Open to the hopeful possibility that things grow bigger and better with years, I took a grateful deep breath and walked on.
Mallard couple in Gilkey Creek, muddy and full after recent rains -- a sign, perhaps, of the improving health of the watershed.