Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween Heath


Well, the weather wasn't as bad as I feared it might be yesterday -- in fact in the afternoon we even had some sun. I wound up taking Olga to the Heath. That's Golders Hill Park, above, which is looking quite autumnal. You can see the arc of Wembley Stadium on the horizon, center-left.

But before I got out with the dog, I wrestled with a few projects. I packaged up and mailed some Christmas presents for my nieces, and that wound up being an odyssey that required a shopping trip for packing peanuts and tape, and then a schlep down to the post office in Swiss Cottage. (Both of our local post offices are closed on Saturday, for some reason.) It cost me about £35 to mail the box, and if I'd added tracking it would have been another £15 -- so I didn't. I may regret that. The clerk said it would take three weeks to arrive, so I told my brother to expect it in six.

Then I got the broken screen on my iPhone replaced. I'm not sure where I broke it, but it's been cracked for ages, and I'd hesitated to replace it because I thought it would cost a fortune. (When I had my phone screen replaced at the Apple Store back in New Jersey I think I paid something like $100.) I took it to the local computer repair shop and he only charged me £5! If I'd known it would be that cheap I'd have done it months ago.

Finally, I tried to buy one of those scandalous books I mentioned the other day -- "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison. Not only did my local bookshop not have it, but apparently even the publisher is out of stock, as is Amazon. See what I mean about censorship boosting sales?


Just before lunch I trimmed back a lot of dead overgrowth in the garden, and filled two yard waste bags. Then, after eating, Olga and I headed out. We walked all of the West Heath and Sandy Heath, and briefly ventured onto the Extension. I was worried she'd push herself to go too far and suffer for it later, but she seemed fine and enthusiastic about the squirrels, as usual.

With all this damp weather the mushrooms are out in profusion.


Can you see that crescent of white mushrooms in the leaves? A fairy ring, I believe it's called.

On Sandy Heath, someone was having (or already had) some kind of Halloween event. There were pictures of ghosts and evil-looking pumpkins tacked to the trees, and this spray-painted onto the ground...


Maybe it was a ghost party, because I didn't see any people around. Hopefully someone will come back and take the signs down, at least.

Oh, and of course, I found a few interesting things on our walk, including an old brown glass Schweppes bottle and a potted prayer plant that someone had discarded. The bottle cleaned up well -- I'll try to remember to photograph it for a future post. The plant is a bit bedraggled but I think with some recovery time it will bounce right back. (Wasn't I just saying we have too many potted plants?)

So, all in all, it was a good day and I got a lot done. Tonight, as is our custom, Dave and I are laying low to avoid trick-or-treaters (even though we never get any).

46 comments:

  1. Nothing I particularly want to remark on, just a nice post to read.

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  2. I replaced the screen on an iPhone once to save money. Never again. I got it done but it was so nerve wracking that I might destroy many hundreds of dollars worth of electronics with one stupid move.

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    1. And if it only costs £5 to have it professionally done, why not just pay? I wouldn't want to try it myself either.

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  3. I can understand why it’s called a fairy ring. There’s something quite magical about the mushroom trail. The top photo is painterly, elegant and beautiful! SG just received a padded envelope from a friend in Minnesota. It took 8 weeks to get here. But legal papers (sent snail mail, argh) from NYC only took 16 days.

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    1. Ah, the eternal mysteries of the post office!

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  4. I hope you will not mind me giving you some helpful advice Steve. As you frequently find random discarded items on your dog walks, it would be wise to invest in a shopping trolley - the kind that little old ladies are often seen pulling. You could put the "found" items in it. I suggest that the outer covering of your trolley should be some sort of red tartan design - perhaps Royal Stewart.

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    1. You have advised me in the past to buy one of those trolleys, but it's hardly something I could lug to the Heath! I could definitely use it on my Homebase outings, though, when I'm lugging home a gigantic bag of garden compost.

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  5. You could get the book on Kindle if you have it!

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    1. We have the e-book in our library, so I could read it that way, I suppose -- but I kind of want to buy it just to support the author and tweak the opposition.

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  6. I am set for trick-or-treaters with 2 big bags of candy so I should have enough. It is a nice day here so we might get a lot of kids!

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  7. I'm glad you and Olga got out for a nice walk.
    Prayer plants are quite hardy. The one you found will probably recover nicely. Mushrooms are rather magical, aren't they?

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    1. I'm not 100 percent sure it IS a prayer plant, to be honest. I'll post a picture at some point.

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  8. We're having really nice weather. Now all I need is a place like the Heath to take the dog. I've never lived anywhere where got a lot of trick or treaters. Not a single one out here and even when we lived in the city, had kids, decorated the yared we would only get a handful if that.

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    1. I'm surprised you didn't get more in the city. Maybe parents just don't allow trick-or-treating anymore.

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  9. I always enjoy your photos and mention of anything to do with Golders. I always imagine my great grandparents there long, long ago.

    I don't understand banning books. It always backfires as you say. My parents never censored anything I wanted to read or watch thank goodness.

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    1. Oh yeah, I forgot your ancestors lived there! Campaigning against books never works. It's the most counterproductive activity possible.

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  10. That first photo is so beautiful, Steve. It's like a painting. I love it.
    I blame all the mail problems on the Postmaster General here. He's a total Republican schmuck.
    We're going to hide from the trick or treaters here. Lights out, pretending no one is home, hoping no one rings the bell. We live on a busy little cut-de-sac for candy-hungry monsters.

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    1. Is the postmaster STILL a Republican? I would have thought Biden would replace him. It's funny how so many adults cower from the children on Halloween! LOL

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  11. I really like your first photo.

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  12. Good to hear Olga was in fine form for you walk yesterday. That first photo reminds me of scenes painted by old pastoral masters.

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    1. When the sun came out I knew right away it would be a good shot!

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  13. I like trick or treat at this housing development. We don't get massive amounts of trick or treaters, but we get enough to feel like a holiday. Since it's still warm here, we sit outside and wait for them.

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    1. It's great that you get some. I guess in a small neighborhood or development there's enough sense of community that people feel like they know each other.

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  14. The plant prayed that you would take it home -
    The mushroom photos look witchy, just right for a poison stew. (cackle cackle)
    Good to see Olga looking so fine, bless her little doggie heart.

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    1. I really understand why mushrooms and spiders play such dominant roles in stories of witchcraft and other Halloween-type tales -- they're all over the place at this time of year!

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  15. I'll look forward to seeing a photo of the new prayer plant. Have you checked EBay for the books? Just a thought. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I haven't checked eBay! That's an idea, but I don't want to pay more than the list price. I think I'll just wait until more come in stock. I think this is a temporary shortage caused by all the news coverage.

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  16. Olga Girl Is So Dang Cute - What A Gal - Enjoy The Causal Evening

    Cheers

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  17. That first photo is really good. Good dog Olga for the long walk.

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  18. I love photographing mushrooms (but not eating them) and I'm impressed with the masses of them around the tree! I've never seen anything like that! I do love fairy rings.

    Wonderful photos all around! (sweet Olga)

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    1. Those little orange ones pop up in rotting wood at this time of year. I also photographed a fallen log that's covered with them.

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  19. We had three bags of chocolate, and stood at the end of the driveway to hand it out. The trick or treaters are a lot of fun.

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    1. You must have very specific times for your trick-or-treaters, to stand out and wait for them! Glad it was fun for you.

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  20. My gosh you had a busy day. I feel like a bit of a slug in comparison. I love the view in the top photo. The park is looking beautiful.

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    1. I was in one of those "I'm-making-things-happen" moods.

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  21. That top photo is particularly idyllic. I felt my blood pressure drop just looking at it!

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  22. I would love that park. Thanks for the Olga fix.

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    1. It's a nice park, and it has lots of paved paths and is quite accessible.

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