Tuesday March 20th is the first day of spring and the forecast is for 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow followed by 3-5 more inches on Wednesday (of course I expect them to be wrong as usual).
Ernest Hemingway once said: “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.” He’s probably not the best one to give that kind of advice but let’s go with that.
Yesterday three museums in Lancaster County celebrated Pennsylvania’s 333rd birthday by offering free admission for Charter Day. Charter Day commemorates the charter King Charles II granted Pennsylvania founder William Penn in 1681.
I went back to the Railroad Museum to practice using my 35mm lens. While most people seemed to be enjoying themselves, I heard several bored kids ask their parents when they could go home. The smart ones just used body language.
I’m walking around the park this morning and noticed a dead Carp floating next to a small dock. I thought it would make an interesting abstract with the clouds reflecting in the pond so I started taking some photos.
I felt a little stupid photographing a dead fish but waited for the sun to go behind the clouds and tried different angles and compositions. I wasn’t really finished but when a mother, two kids and a tiny dog came over I walked away.
Not only did they notice the Carp but the mother took a photo with her phone. They seemed genuinely upset and the four of them stood for a moment of silence, probably pondering the meaning of birth, old age and death.
Then the boy asked; “Why did he die mom?” And the mother said; “Because he was old,” which was probably true. But then I thought to myself, I’m old too now! So after they left I stood there for a moment of silence and pondered birth, old age and death.
William Shakespeare wrote: “Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.” I have no idea what that means but I’ll say that the next time I’m photographing a dead carp if anyone asks why. Yes.
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way.” Marianne Williamson
“Who we are has many faces, but these faces are not who we are.” Charlotte Joko Beck
Last night the weathermen were very excited about another Nor’easter heading towards Lancaster overnight and continuing into today bringing up to nine inches of snow and probably a complete apocalypse. School closings were flashing on the screen and then a special notice about vehicles prohibited from major roads, including motorcycles.
I thought that was strange because most motorcycle owners know that bikes don’t handle well in heavy wet snow. Its hard enough on a warm summer day to do 80mph on back roads here without hitting a deer or getting a speeding ticket (with a lawyer and a little luck that ticket can be reduced to 45 in a 40 with no points).
When I woke up it was snowing pretty heavily and I was about to head to my survival shelter but after checking my email and the weather channel I saw that the forecast had changed to an inch or less. This is not the reason I dropped out of my meteorology class in college but if anyone ever asks I’ll say it was.
George Carlin as the Hippy Dippy Weatherman knew how to keep things simple and accurate. He used to say: “Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.” He also said: “Some people have no idea what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.” Touché.
Charles Bukowski used to go to the racetrack as often as possible for something to do during the day, or as he called it: “To murder and mutilate the hours.” In his book The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship he wrote: “It gets boring, even when you’re winning. But where else could I go? An art museum?”
So on this rainy March morning with a high wind advisory and gusts between 40-60 mph I asked myself what am I going to do all day. And for some reason I decided to go to a museum, not an art museum but The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.
It was fairly interesting with many badly lit displays and signs that asked you not to climb on the best things like the fancy dining cars and hundred year old steam engines. There were also a lot of mannequins dressed in period clothing posed in trains, storefronts and working on the railroad.
I walked up the stairs on one of the few locomotives that allowed it and what I thought was a dummy reading the newspaper was actually an old man who wanted desperately to talk to someone, about not suprisingly, trains.
A few minutes later I saw what I thought were costumed workers setting up a new exhibit, but this time it was dummies. I was fooled again, fooled by things because I wasn’t paying enough attention.
Shunryu Suzuki once said: “The kind of life you have is not so important. The most important thing is to be able to enjoy your life without being fooled by things.”
That seems to be good advice although the part about the kind of life you have not being important is a bit confusing. I’ll start off with trying not to get fooled again, maybe even tipping my hat to the new constitution.
I was on the way home this afternoon and couldn’t resist stopping in at Aaron and Jessica’s Amish Buggy Rides to get more practice with my 35mm lens. I didn’t see Aaron or Jessica but there were two horses standing there probably wondering why tourists get so excited about a buggy ride.
I wanted to see how close I could get, the specs say the minimum focus distance is 11.81 inches but I rarely bring my ruler so I had to guess. I was talking to him and even calling him by name but he wouldn’t turn to face me. It occurred to me that there was a distinct possibility that his name was not Mister Ed and for all I knew he only understood Amish.
Finally as another buggy was pulling up he turned around to look at me for a split second and I took this shot. American Horse trainer Pat Parelli once said: “If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong.”
Note to self: Learn Pennsylvania Dutch or at least get the horse’s real name.