April Visitors/Spring Splendor…

April is gonna be the month for visitors. My sister Donna and her beau Andy came last Thursday and left yesterday evening. While they were here, my sister Sue called and said she was going to come this month and my Mom is coming at the end of the month. I’m jonesing to get back in the studio already and although I’d like to jump right in today… I have to do my taxes (I hate doing taxes!) as I’ve procrastinated til the 13th of April. Anyway we had a good time while my sis was in town. I have several pictures but none of my sister Donna… she was born with a rare condition where her hand is permanently fused to her forehead and covers her face. Well, maybe it’s just fused there when I point a camera at her… nevertheless, I didn’t even attempt to get a picture of her. And Mom got mad at me for posting the last picture I posted of her and she was working all day Saturday and Sunday and I’m the one with the camera, so leaves Sofia and Andy. First the airport, the bug couldn’t wait to get on the moving sidewalk and was disappointed yesterday when we dropped them off at the airport that we weren’t going to get out and get on it and the escalator…

It was cool that day when we picked them up and then the weather was dreamy the entire rest of the visit. When we left the airport we went to the Vietnam Kitchen which is down by the airport. I got my fave soup and sugar got a mango shake…

I’ve been trying to ride my bicycle for exercise because of my feet and I’ve been riding the bike that my friend Vern loaned me. It turns out that Andy rides a lot and so I got my old road bike spiffed up enough to use and dug out the clip-on shoes that were in the basement that the mice made their home in during my studio renovation project. So Andy road Vern’s mountain bike and I rode the road bike for the first time in years. I was amazed at how much less resistance the road bike gives because of those skinny 110psi tires and the fact that the gears offer a wider range of… gears. On Saturday, we went to Tommy’s, of course, for pomme frites, coffee and tea. Andy has and endless amount of patience with kids and he spent a good amount of time with Sofia drawing whilst me and sis chatted…

Here’s the bug explaining something very important…

My sister was very happy about being able to see an early spring by visiting and then being able to go home and experience it all over again as the spring in central NY is delayed a bit when compared to KY. The splendor of the spring plants is everywhere and things are popping out all over so we decided to take a trip to Cave Hill Cemetery. This is a very large cemetery in Louisville and is known for, amongst other things, the wide variety of trees, many of which are marked with little green tags to tell the species (common names). There are some relatively famous people buried there but they’re dead so we went straight to the large pond adjacent to the main building where geese, ducks, swans and peacocks roam. The peacocks were not out on this day but the pond was buzzing with fowl… many that were nesting. On our way in a man came up to us with his two daughters and gave us two loaves of whole wheat bread to feed the ducks because it was on sale for a dollar a loaf so he bought enough to feed all the geese in North America… such is Kentucky. Sofia was very happy about an endless supply of duck chow. Unfortunately, these birds have been constantly stuffed by visitors since the weather turned so they weren’t nearly as enthusiastic as was expected. Here’s various action shots of the bug doing her duty, notice the goose poop stains on the knees of her pants…

My favorite part of Cave Hill is the enormous ginkgo tree there. I’ve read somewhere that the cemetery claims it’s the largest one in N. America but after referring to it that way before and weathering the ensuing storm of controversy, I add the caveat that I have no idea really and am not sure how such a thing would be substantiated. Someone interrupted me once when talking about the tree to point out that it couldn’t be over 230 or so years because we’ve only been a country for that long… well, can’t argue with that and we all know that trees wouldn’t grow before we became a nation. Anyway, the cemetery is large and there is quite a labyrinth of small roads to access every part and although I had been to the tree many times before, we drove all over the damn place and couldn’t find it. Finally, I asked a groundskeeper in a golf cart and he led us to it like the pied piper. So here’s the ginkgo biloba in all it’s splendor with leaves starting to burst forth…

I’ve been told that the tree is so big that certain branches have the opposite gender of the main part of the tree but again, I’m only suggesting this is true as I’m not sure and have no idea how such things are substantiated and besides we’ve only been a country since 1776. Of course, if there were ever a tree that called out to be climbed, it’s this beauty with low horizontal branches. I’m sure the cemetery doesn’t want people climbing on it (or the grave markers for that matter) but I did take the liberty of setting Sofia up in the crotch of some low branches…

And here’s Andy and the bug for a bit of scale…

All in all, it was a very enjoyable visit. Plenty of conversation, Sofia loved having Andy to play with, we played a lot of UNO, drank beer and wine and ate some good food… now, if I can just get these damned taxes filled out, pshaw!


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11 Responses to “April Visitors/Spring Splendor…”

  1. Jerry Says:

    Wow, that is a big ginko, but I think we have one here in Frederick, MD that has it beat. If I remember correctly, there is a plaque posted saying that it is largest in N. America. 90 feet tall and 90 feet in circumference I think. I’ll get a pic soon for visual confirmation!

    Good luck on those taxes!

  2. Michele Says:

    Mmmmm, spring. Here in Alberta All is Brown except random blades of grass – you are so lucky to have such a long growing season. And what is with Sofia – she looks so tall in the geese pics! Love the big ginko. And all the green. Mmmmm, green.


  3. zygote Says:

    Life is goooood!

  4. Eugene Hon Says:

    Thank God I paye – once a year I do the trip. Always got a fair amount back. last year I had to pay in – cashed in some leave, higher income bracket. Don’t envy you at all. has to be done. There is a beautiful book out on Trees – from the largest, to the tallest, the widest, the strangest from South Africa. A fantastic book titled remarkable trees of South Africa especially the baobab tree google it.

    • jim Says:

      hi eugene, i’ll have to check it out. i saw a baobab tree in a phoenix, arizona botanical gardens once although i think it was a relatively young one. it was really a remarkable plant

  5. Meredith Says:

    sometimes life is just grand- what a grand visit and the tree- well Yum! You know I am a tree huger.
    But taxes! bleck! Just have to get them done.

  6. Cindy Gilliland Says:

    Visiting with family is always so great. I can understand the camera shy thing.. It’s totally a girl thing.

  7. ang Says:

    hello tree!!

  8. Barbara Edwards Says:

    I recently went with my daughter on my first bike ride in yeeears. i was riding her friend’s heavy bike, working really hard trying to keep up and wanting to enjoy myself more than I was. About 2/3 of the way to our destination she let me ride her road bike (her prize possession). What a difference! Like I was flying, er, almost.
    Have you ever stepped on a gingo fruit? Not something I ever want to do again. Love the shape of that biggest ever one.

  9. Anne Carentz Says:

    I think it must be genetic. I also have that rare condition.

  10. Supersillyus Says:

    The Wild Trees by Richard Preston is a fantastic book about the people who continue to research redwood canopies and searched for and found some of the largest trees in the world including the largest redwood found to date.

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