Since last Fall, Dave and I have been making an effort to get outside for a 3-4 mile walk at least once each week, usually on a Saturday or Sunday. For the past couple weeks, Dave has sidelined himself with a sore foot (nothing serious). Not wanting to break the trend, I went solo on the usual walk for the last two weeks, picking from a variety of walking trails in the area.
Last Sunday, the weather was pretty dreary, but warm (mid 40's is warm around here right now) and not raining. That's like hitting the jackpot!
Near the top of my favorite walk spots is one of the many local stretches along the Erie Canal. This section one starts out at Lock 50, about a 10 minute drive from my home.
This particular part of the path along the historic Erie Canal is also a jumping off point for canal boat tours in warmer weather. In the winter, the water inside the nearby boathouse is agitated to prevent damage to the boat and boat house by keeping the water from freezing.
Seeing an opportunity for unfrozen water, a gathering of ducks - mostly mallards and black ducks congregate at the transition between water and ice. It's mildly entertaining to watch them waddle and slip on the ice while they wait for the daily delivery of corn from the proprietors of the small general store in the little complex of historic buildings nearby.
Along with the water in the canal, the trail is also in transition right now. During the no-snow seasons, it's mostly gravel and very popular with walkers, runners, dog-walkers, etc. In the winter, the trail isn't plowed, so it can get a bit rough and uneven with snow for walking. On Sunday, the trail was a mixed bag of squishy mud, slippery ice, and hard-packed slushy snow.
No matter, it was still nice to be outside enjoying the fresh air and the trail. I was grateful for my sturdy walking boots! I can't wait for the trail to start coming to life with that freshest of bright greens of early Spring, still a month or two off.
Since Dave wasn't along for the walk, I listened to a book - The Data Detective by Tim Harford. If you jump over and read the book description, you may think I've lost my marbles. It's about statistics - the stuff of college student nightmares (including my own) - but the book is full of fascinating details, current stories and examples, and strategies to evaluate headlines and statistics that are all around us. All very readable (or listenable on the audio book side of things in my case). His podcast, Cautionary Tales is one of my favorites and just started a new season. Look it up, if you are so inclined.
Back at home, before my sewing time was taken over by secret projects, I managed to make some progress on the scrappy/swirly place mat I started about a week ago. Six blocks done, sashed with a cheerful, bright (almost neon) green. I'll add a border in blue and finish with a faux binding and backing of the bright feathery print at the top of the photo.
When it's finished, I think this place mat will add a welcome pick-me-up to my desk as the season continues to transition. Some days are bright and sunny, some are gloomy, some are somewhere in between.
It's all good!