Monday, July 12, 2021

Delaware Park in the Dark

Today I went out for my bike ride as usual -- but, NOT as usual, I had trouble finding something to draw.

Perhaps it was that I was having too much fun bike riding. It is a warm night and it felt good to ride and feel the breeze. I also went in a different direction from my usual ride toward Canisius College and Medaille. I drifted toward the old Pierce Arrow plant on Elmwood.

There is an awe-inspiring view of the Pierce-Arrow plant that can be had from the Tapestry School parking lot. The Tapestry School itself is nothing to speak of because it has this terrible new facade, although never say never. Anyway, I loved this view from the back parking lot, and I have drawn it before. However that lot was too deserted. 

There is a balance that must be struck when you draw, particularly if you are a woman. You do not want it to be too deserted. However you do not necessarily want it crowded either! These are things I must weigh as I ride around.

I had in mind drawing the History Museum, perhaps the back side of it. However all these fire engines went roaring past me and it turned out that was where they were heading. My luck, you know? All these neighbors standing around and firemen walking around talking to people. No worries because nothing looked as if it was burning, but there goes that idea.

The clock struck 8:45. I had forgotten my phone so I was telling time the medieval way, from chimes. I decided to head in the direction of home. While I was on my way there I found, finally, a view I liked. It was of the Marcy Casino.

I have drawn the Marcy Casino in Delaware Park on a number of occasions. I put one of those sketches at the top of this post. That was drawn in the daytime. There are these benches you can sit on that give you a nice view.

Tonight I was across the lake. It was as different as, well, as night and day!

The place was strung with white lights and everything was reflected in the lake. If you saw this on vacation you would take pictures and never stop telling your friends about it. It was that beautiful.

Not only that but in front of it and around it, people were creating their own entertainment. A crowd had assembled and Latin music was blaring. Jugglers were juggling torches. Folks were hula hooping with lighted hula hoops. Everyone was just milling around and I am imagining some people were dancing, although from across the lake I could not see that for certain.

There is no Shakespeare in the Park this year and so we must create our own entertainment. The fire jugglers, that was something you would see in the Renaissance. Fire jugglers are not uncommon at the Marcy Casino but tonight they were especially welcome.

Anyway -- I drew a picture but I must work it over to get that night feel and try to get in more of what I remember.

I will work on it and post it!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The view from Vue

My nightly drawing routine is really working! All of a sudden I have all these drawings and I am way behind discussing them.

On Friday I did not get out on my bike -- but I did get out. And yes, in answer to the obvious question, I did remember it was Leonard Pennario's birthday, July 9. I have been working hard on that book, in between doing my drawings. After a number of years it is coming together.

Back to Friday. I toted a sketchbook because I thought, I have to get in a sketch somewhere. And I did! I sketched the view from Vue, the bar at the top of the Curtiss Hotel.

That is a snapshot at left of me working on my composition. This one tangle of buildings appealed to me because it included the Rand Building, with its mighty, magnificent antenna. I planned the picture a little more carefully than I usually do because I wanted to make sure I could fit that antenna on the page in all its glory.

As I drew I sipped a vodka and soda -- my go-to Keto drink -- and I thought back on the one time I was lucky enough to get a temp job in the Rand Building. And up at the top, too! It was for an engineering place called Hatch and Associates. Their secretary was on maternity leave and I took her place. I was typing engineers' papers.

I enjoyed that temp job. There were many I did not enjoy but I liked that one. There was one engineer from South Africa that I remember the other secretaries were afraid of because he was grumpy and fussy. I decided to make that engineer love me and sure enough, he did. While I was there I was the only one who typed his papers.

Everyone should temp at least once in his or her life. There is no experience like it, becoming part of an office for this limited little time. You get to be like Mary Poppins, gone when the wind changes. Poof. Goodbye, Mary! You must get someone else to type your papers now, fussy South African engineer! I think his name was Paul. Everything is stocked away in my head somewhere.

I do remember the view was beautiful from the top of the Rand Building. I wish I had been drawing back then, is all I can think.

Imagine the souvenirs I would have!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Drawing Every Night


Every night I go out and draw something. Typically I get on my old made-in-USA Huffy Harvard Limited and just start pedaling aimlessly and see what I find.

You cannot overthink it or else you will not do it at all. That is what I have learned!

These days with school being out, I am doing a lot of aimless pedaling around the Canisius College and Medaille campuses. I draw this and that, great buildings and ridiculous buildings. Colleges are fascinating, you know? They are often a blend of beautiful old architecture and modern stuff.

Last night I drew the picture up above, of the old St. Vincent de Paul Church on the Canisius campus. It is now the Montante Center although I did not put the banners on the picture. I was afraid they would clutter it up too much.

There was a fountain handy across the street where I could sit.

For years, St. Vincent de Paul was where the city's only Latin Mass was held. My father tried to drag me once when I was a teenager. I mean, he did drag me. I do remember that. But I was oblivious.

As I was telling a friend, my dad certainly got the last laugh!

From looking in Leonard Pennario's diaries I saw that whenever he was in town giving a concert, he would go to Mass at St. Vincent de Paul, no doubt for the Latin Mass. Perhaps he was there when I was sitting there sulking! He was probably next to me in the pew. Who knows?

That is a word you cannot use too often, pew.

Anyway, a lot to think about, as I drew.

There always is!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

My three weeks on the Keto diet


I have been more or less on the keto diet for the last few weeks. I think I could be in, ahem, ketosis because I have kept my carbs super low and I do not get hungry much.

Do not worry, I still eat! I do not have to be hungry to eat.

This brings me however to my difficulties with this diet. You hear so many different things. I follow a few different people on YouTube and I hear different things.

Somebody said, "Do not eat if you are not hungry!"

And so usually I do not bother with breakfast because I am not hungry. However you do want to eat sooner or later, you know? I understand you are burning your own fat but what about all the nutrients you get from a balanced diet?

Speaking of burning your own fat.. Do you not burn your own fat on any diet? When your waist gets slimmer and your belly disappears that fat is going somewhere. Where does it go if you do not burn it? Obviously you do not need to be in ketosis to burn off your fat. It must mean you burn it more efficiently. But still.

Another thing. Some people say that on keto, your diet should be largely fat. Pardon the expression, largely fat. I mean they say it should be 75 or 80 percent.

But then someone else says you can forget about that and just keep your carbs low. You can eat chicken breast and pork tenderloin, very lean meats, and that's fine, you can eat more of them.

If you are eating lean meats and low carbs now we are getting into South Beach Diet territory. There is nothing new here. I like these lean meats. I do not have a problem with them. But does it make a difference with the keto diet if you lower the percentage of fat you are consuming?

It is impossible to find the answer to these questions. It cannot be done.

Here is my experience so far. I have lost 10 pounds.

Wow, you say. That is great! However.

Those pounds came off literally overnight. I mean boom, in one day I lost 10 pounds. That was about three weeks ago.

I was all excited. I thought: Keto is great, I thought. Problem solved! My body has turned into a fat burning machine and it burns up 10 pounds a week. Next week I can take off 10 more, then the next week 10 more, and then I am done. On account of I want to be 130 pounds.

But since then that scale has not moved!

I have not gained back the 10 pounds, is the important thing. However I cannot budge that needle one bit. It sits there, at 150!

Isn't it weird how scales always get stuck at round numbers?

I am not even drinking wine! And I have ramped up the exercise. Nothing extreme, I just get out every day for both a walk and a bike ride. I even count my calories and I log them on LoseIt.

I am starting to think this is a crock. I have lost weight before, not doing this keto diet. I wonder if maybe the keto diet is only good if you need to lose at least 100 pounds. I only need to lose a little. I generally do eat very healthy. I do not have a sweet tooth at all, as you can tell from the photo at the top of this page. I am not a snack or junk food addict. Wine is my one indulgence. 

So I do not think I am the keto diet's target audience. But still.

Darn it.

It should work!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The secret neighborhood

I have a new tradition going with myself. Every evening I go for a bike ride and I sketch.

Those are the only two rules! The bike ride may be long or short. It can be a workout, or not. It can be my own bike, the beautiful Huffy Harvard Limited, or it can be one of those red rent-a-bikes.

About the sketch: I can do one the way I did last night, or I can do three as I did two nights before that. Or more. The important thing is just to do one and -- this is important -- not to sweat it. I want to relax and have fun.

One night I ended up riding 15 miles. Another night it was just a mile or two. That was the night I drew the building up above. The wonders that are in your back yard! That is Medaille College, just around the park.

Medaille College's cornerstone reads 1922. I seem to remember reading that it was originally a convent. Those nuns must have had some money. It is a beautiful place. And I had fun drawing it as darkness was falling.

That night I did a lot of exploring that area on my bike. I noticed that on Agassiz Circle, right there by Medaille College, there is a fascinating little neighborhood. It is hidden. There is a small network of cul de sacs and it is the most enchanting thing. 

It looked so private that I was not sure I could bike into it. Then I thought: I do not see any sign that says I cannot. So I biked on in, on my Huffy.

It was hushed in there with magical houses right on the sidewalk, with shaded front porches. Lights were twinkling on in the yards. Was this really only two minutes from my house?

I cannot believe the secret things I find.

You discover so much when you go out drawing on a bike!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

My mysterious roses

 These are the roses in front of my house!

Here I am, a loser of a gardener, and yet the rosebushes I put in a long time ago have just grown like weeds. My neighbor taught me to prune them a few years ago and so I have been doing a little of that. And maybe it is true that a little goes a long way. Because look at them!

 As I have perhaps mentioned before, these roses are miraculous in their way. For a brief shining week or so, my garden is the wonder of the block. However this year that week has stretched to three weeks. I think that is because Howard cut down this weedy tree that was growing among them. The tree must have been stifling one of the rose bushes, the one with hot pink roses. This year I am seeing a lot more of them.

This week has seen the flowering of the big rose bush in front of the house, the gigantic rambling rose with ice-cream-pink flowers. 



Let me tell you one thing.

Whatever gardening I do these days, I do it proudly!

I walk about the, ahem, grounds with my head held high. Surely people who are stopped in traffic in front of my house, they are looking at me with awe. 

Look, they say. There is the gardener who grew those roses!

They are saying: I wish I had roses like hers!

They wonder: What is her secret?

I wish I knew!



Saturday, May 29, 2021

Domestic goddess, that's me!


I am back to baking. Today I made Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake out of Nigella Lawson's "How To Be a Domestic Goddess." I had some rhubarb Lizzie had given me and I had stuck in the freezer. I thought I had used all the rhubarb but no. And so ...

Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake!

It called for a pound of rhubarb which, I do not think I had that much. But so what. A cake is a cake, the rhubarb is sprinkled in it. 

Today was a scrambled day where I worked too much on other things and could not keep tabs on my baking. I got bread dough mixed up in the morning and then put it in a pan and forgot to bake it. Yikes! It was ballooned all over the place. I might have to make pizza with it.

I made a second loaf of bread in the bread machine and left it up to the machine to bake it. Normally I take it out and bake it in a loaf pan but today I cannot be trusted.

The Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake, too, screwed up at every turn. I mixed everything up in separate bowls the way Nigella instructed. Eggs and vanilla (OK, I used rum) in one bowl. Flour etc. in another. Rhubarb and sugar in another. Then another bowl with the sugar and butter.

However I put them together in the wrong sequence. I just could not get it together today, I just could not.

Things like this though tend to turn out OK, in my very extensive experience. As the cake baked in its springform pan, this incredible aroma filled the kitchen. I mean it was insane. How could this smell so good?

It got a little too brown owing to that I do believe I used a 10-inch springform pan, not a 9-inch. I have a 9-inch springform but for some reason I am incapable of using it, I go for the 10-inch. I think that's what happened. Who knows. But anyway, a browned cake is OK. It is golden brown.

The cake is downstairs cooling now. It still smells amazing.

This one person has the recipe here. A number of blogs have spilled the beans on this recipe but I like this one I just linked to because she does not use too many pictures. I hate it when you go looking for a recipe and all you can find is pictures, pictures, pictures. People take too many pictures and they do not want to let even one go to waste.

Oh well, I should not judge them harshly.

Not everyone can be a domestic goddess like me!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Welcoming the American Mariner

You know me and my preoccupation with Great Lakes freighters. Especially now that I have spent hours over the last few weeks sketching the Maumee.

I have been missing the Maumee since it shipped out. But this evening, my ship came in! My new ship, that is.

It is the American Mariner! This Web log is no stranger to the American Mariner. I have seen it before. When I worked for The Buffalo News I even got to interview its captain.

But tonight I saw the ship as I have never seen it before! 

I went down to the Outer Harbor to get in my 10,000 steps. At about my 6500th step, I hear this big loud horn. It was a foghorn! I did not realize that at the time. I just knew it was a kind of horn I had not heard before and it must belong to a big, big ship.

One woman called her son to ask if he knew about a freighter coming in. I appreciated that her son would know about this kind of thing. But he did not seem to know.

I said, "Well, something is out there. There is a big ship ready to come in."

Sure enough, after a few minutes there it was. This big, graceful shape on the horizon, beyond the breakwall. 

Someone told me it was the American Mariner. That is the biggest ship to come in to Buffalo. I know that because of my story.

Long story short, a whole bunch of us, most of us strangers, wound up gathered on a hill by the lighthouse, watching the American Mariner come in. Here is an amateurish picture I took. I think the phone put on the flash. The pictures my new friends were taking were a lot better, I am sure.

It was so much fun! It was like being in heaven. These people were my people! They knew all about the Maumee which I had been drawing. They recommended websites and Facebook groups that could hip you to this kind of thing. They were as much in awe as I was as we stood on this hilltop and watched the huge ship glide into the Buffalo River. Night was falling and lights were blinking on.

One gentleman marveled that he thought that the American Mariner was flying the Buffalo Sabres flag and the Buffalo Bills flag.

That was when I contributed my one bit of knowledge, going back to my story.

I said: "The captain is from Buffalo!"

And a shout went up as my new friends delighted in that new factoid. I was so proud to have contributed something because they knew so much.

What a wonderful evening -- darkness falling, the city skyline twinkling, the loud hum of this gigantic ship passing by, on its way to the Cheerios plant. Right now it is docked right where the Maumee was. 

I am going to go visit it.

And draw it!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Farewell to Prince Philip

I am saddened to hear of the death of Prince Philip. Howard told me this morning. He yelled down the stairs about something while I was making breakfast and when he does that you know it is something important.

That is too bad. I will miss Prince Philip greatly.

Prince Philip of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gluckberg. I love it how Prince Philip is being referred to simply as a Greek prince, you know? Yeah right.

This web log will not be the same!

Looking around the Internet, a bad thing to do under any circumstances, I am depressed by the people wishing him ill in the hereafter. I know little about the private life of Prince Philip but nobody else knows anything either. I have said a prayer for him and I wish him the best.

Can I have a mass said for Prince Philip?

Why not?

Anyway beset by nostalgia I found myself looking back on his prominence on this site. 

The list of gaffes -- i.e., glaringly politically incorrect things -- that he said.

The times when my mother would be concerned for his health and I would fib confidently: "Oh, Mom, I read that Prince Philip is better." Sure enough he was better! That was what, five or 10 years ago?

The story my friend Stephanie sent me about the island where Prince Philip is a god.

When Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth gave Pope Francis a bottle of whiskey. What a perfect gift. So British. Anyone else would be tied up in knots, thinking, what do I give the pope? A rosary? A statue? No. This was perfect.

There was even the time I noted seeing a portrait of him in Toronto at the Royal York.

So much history we share! How could I have ever become so involved with Prince Philip without ever meeting him?

The poor queen. I feel bad for Queen Elizabeth with him gone. 

Prince Philip was one in a million!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

My Easter chocolate


I love that today was Easter Sunday.

Just the shadow of Lent lifting ... Yesterday I said to my brother George, that is enough for me. I do not need ham nor do I need chocolate. Although today I had both!

The chocolate I had was after Mass. Actually I had two chocolate treats after Mass. One was a milk chocolate cross that my friend Susan was handing out when we were milling about the church afterwards. Susan works in an honest to goodness chocolate shop! And she was handing out chocolate crosses.

The second chocolate was quite the experience. My friend Meghan in choir turned up today unexpectedly -- she is out of town a lot -- and we went after Mass to the Public coffee house, in the Hotel Lafayette. 

At Public I asked at the counter for the most fattening coffee they had. The clerk laughed.

He said: "This must be because of Lent ending!"

I said: "Yes!"

He said other things too but masks make things hard to understand so we will have to leave the conversation at this. Long story short, he guided me in the direction of a rich latte so I got that. Then I saw these chocolate bars. One was 100 percent cacao! And no sugar. None!

I ordered that one! That is it below. It has this great brand name, Raaka.

Meghan and I were sitting on this couch and she ate a breakfast sandwich and then I invited her to sample the chocolate which she did.

We agreed that the chocolate was rather uncompromising. However I just might develop a taste for it. I told Meghan that will be a new identity of mine, chocolate connoisseur. Next time I am at Public I am going to try another bar. It was Bourbon Spiked, something like that.

The chocolate was perfect for me at this point in time because I have been flirting with the Keto diet and it does not spike your insulin, being pretty much fat, as far as I can determine. It sustained me through a long walk on the waterfront, during which I sketched the Maumee again, and then just sat on the docks, watched the geese, feasted my eyes on the water, and just enjoyed life.

Easter Sunday.

The happiest day of the year!

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Adventure of the Seven Churches

Last night I visited the Seven Churches. It is a wonderful and mystical Holy Thursday tradition!

 Typically what happens is, you go to Mass at the church of your choice, and then you visit six other churches. Technically you visit the churches for Adoration although you do end up doing a lot of visiting and chit-chat too, in whispers of course. 

This is the fourth time I have done this. The first time I did the Seven Churches it was with my friend Oscar from church. Like most great adventures it almost did not happen. I had a migraine that day and I had told myself I would not do it. But Oscar caught up with me in the parking lot after Mass and he said if I could not drive him, he could not go. Oscar is a med student at UB and you know these students, they have a way of getting you to do all these things you would not otherwise do. Anyway, I went.

And what a life experience that was! There is just something about doing this, I do not quite understand it. It gets to you. The churches are softly lighted and people are praying and whispering -- and Our Lord is there in the Altar of Repose. Oscar and I knelt at each altar and he sort of led our prayers, in Latin, in English, and in Spanish because that is his native language. People were walking in and out of every church. And here in Buffalo even non-Catholics and atheists like to get on board and visit the churches just to look at them, and they are respectful and somehow add to the mystique and the community feel. I remember that first year as just so beautiful.

I loved it so much I decided that year I wanted to write about the tradition for The Buffalo News -- and the next year, 2018, I did that. I also visited the churches in 2018 and 2019 with friends from church. Our church, St. Anthony's, always has a kind of informal caravan making the rounds.

This year I just ended up going by myself! 

Our Mass was at 6 p.m. and it went late, past 8. This made it a challenge to make it to six more churches because some closed at 9, others at 10, and I do not know who stayed open after that.

So, pedal to the metal. I went to the Cathedral first. I had never included the Cathedral among my Seven Churches and I am happy I did! Their Mass was finishing up and I hung out in the back and waited it out.

Just to see them darken the church, it was haunting. Then my old friend Oscar materialized along with some other friends from church and he shepherded me into the chapel where the altar was. I do not think I would have found it otherwise.

There were candles lighting the way. It was so beautiful. We knelt on the floor and prayed and then we left the church and went our separate ways. I went to St. Michael's, which as you might remember was the scene of my great Confession adventure of 2008.

Leaving St. Michael's, I hastily headed to St. Louis. I heard the church closed at 9 so I had to hustle.

At St. Louis I ran into a group of guys from church who invited me to carpool with them. It was nice of them and I wanted to but I did not want them to have to return me to St. Louis to get my car, so again I went my own way. We set up loose plans to meet in Polonia because rumor had it the churches out there were staying open later.

I drove out Broadway, as they say. The guys were heading to St. Stan's but I saw Clark Street and there was Corpus Christi, at the corner of Clark and Kent, we kid you not. The narrow streets were packed with cars. It seemed half the city was here.

Beautiful Corpus Christi. 

You could just stay there forever, you know? 

But time was flying. A quick prayer and back out into the night I went. Next I did St. Stan's. 

St. Stan's stands out on my list this year because, I realized later, it was the only church where I actually -- well, I hate to say this but I am not sure I ever actually prayed there. I ran into some people I had not seen in a while and I met some new people and I am afraid I just gabbed! Even wearing a mask I can get into all this trouble! Anyway, that was Church No. 6.

One church to go. What to do? What to do??? It was only about 9:30 but those minutes evaporate pretty quickly if you do not have a plan, which this year I absolutely did not have. At St. Stan's I had run into my friend Olivia -- our paths were crossing constantly throughout the evening -- and she said she and another friend, Daria, were headed to maybe St. Adalbert's Basilica. The "maybe" was because not one of us was at all sure where St. Adalbert's actually was. All Olivia knew was on a street called Stanislaus Street, wherever that was. Get this, St. Stanislaus is not on St. Stanislaus Street! But St. Adalbert's is.

Now I made my one strategic mistake of the night. Because I did not know my way to St. Adalbert's, I thought I would follow up on this secret dream I had of getting to Blessed Trinity. That is this stunning massive church where two years ago I remember they had fashioned an altar of transcendent beauty. I got back in my car and headed downtown toward Main Street.

Then I thought: Mary, you can't do this. It was 20 minutes to 10 and Blessed Trinity would be closing at 10. That was what I had read. So I did a U-turn, pulled over, and in desperation consulted my phone about St. Adalbert's. The phone said I was three minutes away! 

It was not easy -- the church was on this narrow dark street, and at first I was waylaid by another church that turned out to be the hulking, reproachful ruins of Transfiguration. I had to circle the block to correct my mistake. But finally, I was there. I saw a bunch of cars, which helped. There were so many people doing the Seven Churches that you could almost just follow the herd. This magnificent Eastern-looking church, St. Adalbert's, suddenly just appeared like something out of the ether. I could almost hear the angels singing. I ran up the stairs and there were these ladies greeting people at the door.

I said, "Church number seven!"

"Good for you!" they exclaimed.

Normally I hate when people say "Good for you" but I was so happy I had pulled this off that I did not care. That is St. Adalbert's at the top of the post. Here is another picture. For most of the churches I snapped just one picture but at St. Adalbert's I could relax because it was my final church.

At St. Adalbert's, by the way,  I ran into the guys from our church who had kindly invited me to carpool. It was not their last church. But I told them, it ain't over till it's over. I think some of these churches were staying open later than they had stated.

I also think however that your chances of visiting seven churches in a time crunch greatly increase if you go solo. You do not have to consult anyone when you need to make a U-turn or change plans. You need not deal with anyone who has his or her heart set on one church or another. And here is another thing, you go with another person, and what do you do when you look at the clock and know you need to move on, but your friend is kneeling deep in prayer? Answer me that.

So I learned a thing or two -- and -- well, as always, the experience was, in a way, indescribable. You have to try it to understand. Good Friday -- today -- blazed with sun, even if the temps were in the 20s. As I was walking around the park this morning, my mind kept going back to last night, and that dark, hushed feeling.

It is haunting!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Back to the Cheerios plant


Today I went back and again sketched the Maumee, which is fast becoming an old friend. I sit with the Maumee in the evening until the ship's lights begin to blink on.

The people around the docks are getting to know me too. One gentleman yesterday told me that the Maumee's presence is a kind of first to him. He said that he could never remember a ship wintering here as the Maumee is doing.

I confessed that I had a thing for these freighters. He asked me about it. He said he was a sailor. Look at me, down on the docks, talking with sailors.

It is the best I can do to draw the back end of the ship, pictured above.

I do like that picture, I have to tell you. I had a nice smooth pen to draw it with. These Microns, they kick around my purse and my car and they do not stay nice for very long. Part of the problem is the caps. The Micron makers blew it with the caps. The caps come off too easily and are lost too easily. 

I lucked out today and had a wonderful time drawing the smooth outlines of the ship, inking in the windows of the Cheerios plant. I was sitting right down by the water, on the steps of the dock.

The beaver, or whatever creature that was, was not in evidence today. I was disappointed.

But I did entertain myself with the drawing. The evening was lovely and as if to welcome me, the Cheerios plant began piping out that sugary Cheerios aroma.

After the drawing above I turned the page and tried drawing the whole ship. It can be done, I can see that. You have to start with a long swipe up, as if you are drawing with a calligraphy pen, and then you just have to take things from there. I have a good start. Tomorrow mayhap I will post what I did.

Mayhap, listen to me!

I am becoming a salt.

Arr, arr, mate!

When I was done I walked back to Wilkeson Pointe and sat down on the beach with my friend Ryan who was already there. Ryan was relieved that the beaver was not there by the river and so he had not missed anything.

The grain elevator lighted up as the daylight disappeared. Again I had the feeling that I hated to see the day end. The ice is melting. One of these days the Maumee will be gone and this episode of my life will be over.

But not yet.

I think I still have a few days!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Mysterious River Creature Down By the Docks

I hated to see the sun set today. That is it up above! I took that picture at Wilkeson Pointe.

I hated to see the sun set because the day was just so lovely. 

Today I returned again to the Maumee. That is the ship wintering on the Outer Harbor by the Cheerios plant.

I was down there drawing and this is what I need to discuss. There is this animal there! I saw this animal the other day while I was sketching. It was swimming around. There is this area by the pier where the boat owners dock their boats...

... and all of a sudden the weeds that covered the water, I saw them moving. Next thing I knew there was this big animal undulating this way and that. It had this big rear and it would splash and dive beneath the surface and come back up but never to the extent that I could see it clearly.

I did know that it was not a snake, I will tell you that right now.

It was also not a fish. That is what I thought it was at first.

Also, it seemed benign. It seemed happy, going this way and that, some fat happy animal.

Today I was back there again. ... 

I was on the docks. I used to draw on the shore but I have graduated to drawing right on the water.

And I turned around and ... there it was! The creature!

It was maybe two yards from me. It was a little bigger than a cat. I went to grab my camera and take a picture but it moved fast and splashed back into the water with a big belly flop.

Then I saw it swimming around. It had these little ears, I do believe.

After conferring later at Wilkeson Pointe with my friend Ryan I do believe it might have been a beaver. That was the closest we came to figuring this out.

Here is a picture of a beaver from the National History Museum. 

This is what the animal looked like although to be honest I did not get a good look at its tail. Which, that would be vital to positive identification.

Here is a video of beavers swimming that looks like what I saw.

They are playing Bach in that video. How about that? Today is the birthday of the great Johann Sebastian Bach! Surely this was all meant to be.

Ryan is going to go with me to the docks, with luck to get a look at this animal in person.

This is funny, no one wants to go with me anywhere to be with me when I am drawing. But bring in some animal, and everyone is into it. They want to see this creature!

As do I!