While On A Walk

I went for a walk yesterday. It went a little something like this...

When I walk around with my camera, I always start off a little self conscious. Really. I was dressed to run (and tried to after my first lap around Holmes Lake... epic fail. More on that below), and had arrived on the trail headed counterclockwise at the same time as a large family with two adorable dogs. Every time I would kneel down to take a picture or pause to scan the grasses around me, I felt encroached upon. I appreciate solitude in my midmorning walks. It was horrible timing. I felt rushed, especially when their dogs (both of which were on leashes, but were allowed to run free dragging them behind their tiny bodies. And this makes sense how?) would run up to me and sniff my feet or yip. I'm all for a cute dog, but keep it with you.
Anyways. So I departed the path for a bit when I discovered these little gorgeous flowers, all three of which are the same type. How beautiful are they, seriously. There had to have been thousands of them growing in little color clusters along side of the road leading to a golf course. It was so perfect.
I especially like these soft pinks. Some of them were more peach than others, but they were farther back into thicker high grasses. I was already running the risk of ticks and didn't want to go deeper into the grasses. My running attire consisted of ankle socks and loose running capris, so I was pretty exposed. Not too exposed to hang out with these beauties for a bit, though.
There were also a lot of these huge poofs. Like, dandelions on steroids.
I have noticed these flowers everywhere here in Lincoln. They grow much like dandelions would all over someone's yard back home. A few days ago my preschool class went for a walk outside and every. single. child. felt the need to leave the sidewalk and collect as many of these as they could from the yards we passed. It was so cute. The path along Holmes Lake hosts small bunches all over the place, especially atop the dam.
This makes me want to get married all over again. Look at how lush those leaves are! I am a sucker for healthy looking greens.
Here are those same small wildflowers, only these have a symmetrical pink design on the outside. The way the grasses were blowing on the top of the dam was so refreshing. At this point, it was probably 11:30. The clouds were thickening and a small pre-rain breeze was blowing. If there is one thing in Nebraska that I will miss, it will be the ever present breeze. There is little here to inhibit air flow, and nearly every day whatever the weather, there is an accompanying breeze. It is wonderful. The sides of the dam are covered in high grasses and they were blowing in soft waves.
Talk about perfect texture...
We are in serious need of rain. The lake is low by several feet and the stagnant water is turning green with algae and other water plants. The stench isn't too bad yet, but I hear it can be horrible. I guess that is something we have to look forward to? I am a little bummed out about this every time I go there to run. It is one of the few places I actually enjoy in Lincoln. It is always so quiet, and when it is not, it is still so rejuvenating. I remember a summer in Gettysburg where the drought was so bad that the lake smelled for weeks on end.
What amazes me about the lack of rain here is that it is natural to the Nebraskan climate for this part of the year. Chris and I are amazed at people's resistance, however. Everyone waters their lawn daily. Everyone. And they look at you like you have fourteen eyes if you tell them you don't, or that your sprinklers are broken, or that you think its silly. I cannot imagine what their water bills are like. Chris told someone from the congregation that in PA, we just let our lawns die, and she about fell over. I don't know. I think you should embrace the climate you live in and adjust. It seems like such a waste to me.

These leaves are so beautiful. I am always looking for new textures and ways of using shape and line in my own artwork. Leaves are some of my favorite places to find these interesting elements. Asymmetrical or nearly perfect, it doesn't matter which. Of course there are a few plain, standard leaves that aren't always worth mentioning. But here! Here is the excitement. 

Look at those points! Count the asymmetry! Appreciate the voluptuousness of the body! Gush.

These make me think of shells, whales and scallops.
This awesome orange flowering plant was in a maintained bed by the point among all sorts of very straight and vertical grasses. It was so obviously showing itself off, hanging over the side and whatnot. It is so different!
I am sad that we didn't get the kayaks in this year. We got them out here and they have been in the deck closet since the day we put them there last August. I would use them over the next two weeks in the mornings, but I can't bring myself to use them here anymore. I miss kayaking the lake at home in the brisk morning wearing nothing but my suit and a cover up. I miss dreaming of the interior of the lake houses and what the people inside might be eating for breakfast or whether they are watching TV or reading a book or playing with their children. I always loved the few times that people were sitting on their docks with their coffee and they would chat with me about the lovely morning weather as I drifted by. I cannot wait to go home. Stillwater kayaking is where its at. I remember one evening I went out with a book and read in a cove while the sun set across the lake. It was so still... until a speedboat when by and created a TON of wake, haha. I get carsick really easy... and what do you know?! I get kayak sick, too. I had to put my book down and wait for the waves to calm.
These were also by the road to Holmes Lake Golf Course. They went on for probably a quarter mile and the strip was probably five feet wide. These too were blowing in the breeze. By this point there had been several short but intense cloud bursts. That steady breeze continued, however. The movement across this strip was so dynamic!
It is so pretty there. I love to focus on the grasses and think about them growing.
Holmes Lake is one of the few places in Lincoln I will miss visiting. It has always been a relaxing place for Chris and I to get away from our homesickness and recenter our spirits. Maybe because it is like Lake Heritage, our home. Maybe it is our affinity with water. Maybe it is the smell of pine that so sweetly blows along my favorite part of the path.
One of the few hills worth photographing (I'm sure there are more, but this one is so pretty). I like the areas of grasses that the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Dept. leave wild. The perimeter of the lake is nearly all high grasses, reeds and other water loving plants. To the outside of the path on this section by a small cove, this hillside wraps around the back part of the golf course and a small observatory. I once watched a snake slither from the lake into this meadow. There are always birds taking off and landing with dry grasses and worms hanging from their beaks.
More evidence that we could use a few good heavy rainstorms...
So, after walking around the lake while maintaining enough distance from the company of a large family with two curious dogs, I decided to run. After all, it was cloudy, kind of rainy and for once, not above 90 degrees. As I finished my first quarter mile and was atop the dam, the weather laughed and waged its battle. The clouds literally vanished, the humidity spiked as the rain from 30 minute before began to evaporate, my reliable breeze died and the temperature rose with that. I wanted to die. Ever resolved to complete my second lap, I pressed on. By the time I got a third of a way around I gave a big internal "fuck you!" to the heavens and walked. I was drenched. I am not cut out for a mid afternoon heated run. My intervals after that were lousy and I was as red as a beet. I'll stick to my early morning routine from now on.

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