Hepatica. The smallest things matter. To distract an anxious mind. Focus on the normal. I found it challenging to focus on work today, but once again, nature provided a reprieve from the doldrums.
The last time I was at Aunt Molly Trail, the water, the dirt and the dry grass were frozen. I went by myself and then again a few days later with Bhavna, but the cold cut the adventure short both times.
This time we came with Kiran and most of the rainwater had dried up. Wildflowers were in bloom everywhere, covering the space under the high leafless trees with a carpet of yellow.
Along the path, I found spring beauty, and at first, I thought that would be all I saw. But near the end of the loop, I found clumps of Hepatica and the leaves of what I hope will be clumps of trout lily leaves. I found only one flowering specimen.
Last night I had to ask my wife what day of the week it was. I'm losing track of time as each day blends into the other. Regarding Jeff's isolation project, I'm not sure what day this is1, and I'm not strictly following the rules2, but I want to continue using the project as a distraction. Having something to look forward to is helping with my anxiety. I've also decided to write these posts as the day goes along instead of waiting to the end of the day.
The alarm clock sounded off at the usual 6 AM, and I woke up to take my Synthroid3 then went back to bed and slept for another half hour. I'm using the fact that I don't have to commute to get just a bit more sleep every day, which is helpful considering that I'm going to bed late.
I have a regular rotation of breakfast foods which includes either yoghurt (Siggi's is my favourite brand), bagel thins, lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese, or homemade sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, or oatmeal made in the InstaPot. All of these meals are around 30g of carbohydrates, usually less. I find that my blood glucose stays in range more often if I limit my carbs per meal to about 30g.
This morning I wanted to try something different, and for some reason, French toast popped into my head. I thought it would be easy to make, but I searched a recipe for a recipe anyway. To keep the carbohydrates to under 30g, I sprinkled Monk Fruit in the Raw instead of powdered sugar and skipped the maple syrup.
I had my regular endocrinology appointment today. Every six to eight weeks, I do a fasting blood test which the endocrinologist reviews and we discuss and adjust any items to improve diabetes care management. My A1C is down, but I still need to lose some of the weight I gained from the steroids. She wants me to try afrezza. On the drive back home, I stopped on Middleton Road in Plainsboro to capture this photo of people walking along the D&R Canal State Park Trail.
Once I was home, I noticed a group text message started by my friend Angel. We haven't had our regular weekly evening beer at the Brick Farm Tavern. She suggested that we do a virtual drinking session. We kicked around some times and agreed on 7 PM.
Bhavna came home around 2:30 PM, and we decided to enjoy the warm and sunny weather with a hike in the Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve in Hopewell. It had been a while since we had hiked the trail and we got turned around on the path a few times. Kiran remembered that when she was a child, we had attended a session with Sourland Stewards during which she had learned about vernal pools and the amphibians of the Sourlands.
The trail was even more wet and soggy than the Pryde’s Point-Alexauken Creek Trail that Bhavana, and I hiked earlier in the week. I didn't find many flowers, but I did find the early leaves of Trout Lily. I want to return to this area next week. I am still on a hunt for round-lobed Hepatica, the most beautiful flower I have seen in the Sourlands.
We kept misreading the hiking trail signs and had to double back a few times to find the yellow trail around back to the car. We hiked for about an hour and were exhausted by the end of the hike. My favourite bar and restaurant, The Brick Farm Tavern, re-opened offering a limited selection menu for pickup only. Bhavana called ahead and ordered the Wood Grilled Double Brook Bratwurst.
We made it home just in time for me to get a quick shower, pour a teku glass with Beepeeper craft ale from Flounder Brewing, and sit to eat dinner, while on the Zoom session with my friends.
It’s a unit of measure. The stone or stone weight is an English and imperial unit of mass now equal to 14 pounds (6.35029318 kg). My bodyweight (Earth) is approximately 11.4 stone.
Stone also refers to a solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids. Rocks are stones.
It may also refer — in the plural — to the assemblage of English musicians into a rock and roll band or the collection of pages and images into weekly periodically about music and popular culture. Was that a pun?
Stone silence on that question. Wait, that was a pun?
My town of Skillman in Montgomery Township lays at the base of the Sourland Mountain, a 27km long ridge extending from the Delaware River in Lambertville to the western end of Hillsborough Township, through Montgomery Township, and into Hopewell Township.
The Sourland Mountain and the area around it are full of hard igneous rock called diabase. The diabase is a highly erosion-resistant stone known as trap rock.
In the sixteen years that I have lived in Skillman, I have photographed many various sections of the Sourland Mountain, including my favourite spot, the Rock Brook. But there are other areas that I wanted to explore for this photo challenge.
On private property along Rileyville Road in East Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, a series of three large rocks sit on top of another boulder large enough to hold them. Legend claims that many years ago three brothers decided to meet the Devil, overcome him and rid the area of his presence once and for all. But, as it turned out, they were no match for the Evil One who surprised them, turning them into stone on the spot where we still see them sitting today at Three Brothers Rock.
The European’s who settled the area shared a penchant for naming areas after the Devil himself, for example, the boulder fields called Devil’s Featherbed and a collection of huge boulders along the hiking trails in the Sourland Mountain Preserve called Devil’s Half Acre.
Bhavna’s was tired of attending the Bruno Mars concert last night. I was hoping she’ll join me in hiking the eight-kilometre (~ 5 miles) Ridge Trail from the trailhead at Eastern Mountain Road in Hillsborough Township, along Maple Flats and up the boardwalks into Montgomery Township toward Roaring Rocks, then continue along the Roaring Brook trail over the Texas Eastern Pipeline toward Devil’s Half Acre before heading back down to the trailhead.
Instead, I contacted my friend Prasanna, who was happy to get out on a hike with me. We hike hikes for just over two hours. We didn't stick to the planned route. We skipped the outbound trail to Devil's Half-Acre and instead returned to the trailhead via the pipeline. It was just a bit too warm and humid for us. We were sweaty and sticky.