Monday, July 13, 2009

Whatcom Falls Park and Other Ramblings

It is one of the true joys of these summer days that in my six mile bike to work (which I don't do every day, since it is also six miles home with steep hills at each end) that I bike almost four of those twelve miles through Whatcom Falls Park, a gem of an urban forest bisected by a salmon/steelhead stream, and criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails. The morning ride (largely downhill) is crisp and fragrant, and the other morning I saw two deer standing in the center of Whatcom Creek, one lowering its head to drink. Other wildlife spotted include opossums, racoons, beaver, squirrels, rabbits, and numerous birds, including a bald eagle family in and around a nest at the top of the park. This park is the site of Bellingham's infamous pipeline explosion in 1999 and I ended up riding through a tour commemorating the 10th anniversary several weeks ago. Returning in the afternoon is an uphill affair, replete with sweat and the shouts of kids swimming in the creek. This ride makes it worth going to work.

Lydia Davis had a lovely line in her recent book Varieties of Disturbance. The book is comprised of numerous short vignettes, and in some cases aphorisms, witticisms, and so forth. This particular line is from a short piece entitled "Kafka Cooks Dinner" and goes like this: "But at other times I sit here reading in the afternoon, a myrtle in my buttonhole, and there are such beautiful passages in the book that I think I have become beautiful myself."

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