While I am pondering what I might next attempt in the way of a serious tutorial, perhaps I can continue these rather personal remarks, more appropriate to a FaceBook page than to a serious blog called "The Philosopher's Stone."
When I was a little boy, one of my favorite books was the very first Dr. Suess title, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. Published in 1937, when I was three and a half, it is the story of a little boy who walks home from school each day along Mulberry Street, in lower Manhattan. Every day, when he gets home, his father asks him what he has seen, and even though it is Lower Manhattan, the answer, which clearly disappoints his dad, is "nothing much." So one day, desperately wanting to have something to tell his father, the little boy starts to imagine what he might have seen, and by the time he approaches his house, he has conjured in his mind a Dr. Seussian extravaganza, with brass bands, elephants, drum majorettes, and all. But when his father asks him the daily question, it all evaporates, and he answers, disconsolately, "a horse and a cart on Mulberry Street."
When I do my early morning walk, I look for anything interesting that I can tell my wife about when I get home. There is a wonderful blue heron that frequents several ponds in our area, and on rare occasions, I see him as I walk past the little pond behind the parking lot, or the larger pond that is part of the golf course past which my walk takes me. I always see squirrels, of course, but there are also two places where, like as not, I will see a rabbit. Once, as I passed the golf course clubhouse and slogged up Mason Farm Road on my way to my turn-around point, Highway 54, three young deer burst out of the woods a hundred yards ahead of me and bounded across the road, one after another. For the most part, though, it is just joggers and cyclists, cars and the HU Express bus, and of course plenty of mockingbirds, this being the South.
And so, as I walk along, sometimes, like that little boy, I conjure up wonders to report to Susie -- a herd of deer, a fox, two herons flying by, a mother and father rabbit with three little ones in tow. But as I cross Meadowmont Village Circle Road and punch in the door code to my condominium building, they evaporate, and I am left with the Chapel Hill equivalent of "a horse and a cart on Mulberry Street."