That title is an introduction to a rare problem that has entered my life in the last couple of years. Namely – Should I take a photograph in the morning or risk arriving a couple of minutes late to my volunteer job? Now, obviously, arriving on time is important, but I always, always, always! plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early no matter where I go. I am one of those freaks who would rather not show up than arrive a minute late. These last two years, I have had a volunteer job and it is not an issue if I arrive a tad late and stay a couple of minutes later to make it up, … or not. I was raised to arrive early and stay late, so my conscience has never adjusted. I commute 32 miles each way and leave the house at 7 a.m. which means that I usually get to see the sunrise. Over the last two years I have collected quite a few photos of gorgeous sunrises (one is my banner on this blog). I love the cool morning air, (except during the winter when it is freezing), and I adore watching the sun rise.
Thursday morning, the median and roadsides were lined with blue wildflowers and white Queen Anne’s Lace from Harrison to Alpena. The farmers were cutting and bailing the hay in the fields and I could smell the freshly cut hay and the dirt that was kicked up in the process. I made a mental note to take photos on the way home since I didn’t want to arrive late to work.
Between Green Forest and Berryville, the roadwork crew were using huge yellow caterpillar machines to break up the granite bluffs along the sides of the road. They are widening the roadway to four lanes. It has been interesting to watch the work progress and I made another mental note to snap a pic of the machine that was drilling the granite into bite-sized chunks so that I could show people how they did it. I had thought dynamite was used to blast through the rocky bluffs to allow roads to be built. It was a free class in Road Building 101 every morning during my commute.
So, on the way home, I got my iPhone ready to take pictures. What I hadn’t counted on were the hoards of drivers behind me, ready to drive up my tail pipe if I slowed down to pull off onto the side of the road. Usually, my commutes are not that busy, so I wasn’t expecting any problems in capturing the moment.
But, …the road crews had finished demolishing the bluffs and had packed up their gigantic drills and parked them elsewhere.
…The blue wildflowers must have been heat sensitive because there wasn’t a blue flower anywhere to be seen. I made a mental note to leave a little early on Monday and take photos then.
…The round hay bales were ready to be snapped, but the drivers behind me were just waiting to see what the inside of my tail pipe looked like if I slowed down a tad. I settled with snapping a few photos through the window of my truck as I barreled down the highway and edited them later.
Although it isn’t exactly what I wanted, it is better than nothing. Next, I want to take pictures of the cows peacefully grazing in the fields. It tells me that all is right with the world if the farmers and their cows are happy.
That left the Monday morning commute with an item on my “To Do” list.
Bright and early monday morning, I was all ready to take my pictures of the gorgeous blue wildflowers. But guess what? Over the weekend, the road crews had mowed the medians and sides of the road from Harrison to Berryville, the entire 32 miles. There wasn’t a flower to be seen. So, I had to dig out a photo of Queen Anne’s Lace that I had snapped a week prior.
Yes, I know it is considered an invasive weed now, but a ‘long time ago’ it had other uses. The taproot can be eaten as a substitute for carrots when it is young and the stem smells like a carrot. This helps to differentiate it from the look-alike poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) whose stem smells gross. In addition, the stem of the wild carrot is hairy while the stem of poison hemlock is smooth. Survivalists might want to key in on the difference here when they are out foraging for food.