Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stopping by Woods on a Sunny Afternoon

Enticed by warm temperatures and sunshine, Garrett and I spent a couple hours getting lost in Houston's own Memorial Park. We encountered other hikers, and even bikers, but still managed to steal some quiet moments of solitude.

I spotted Bigfoot crossing this gully.

I was very amused by the fungi we saw on this trip. These mushrooms were growing on many fallen trees. "Oo!" I said. "They look just like oysters!" Garrett replied, "Yes, that's why they're called oyster mushrooms." That's my mycologist!

Here's a colony thriving on a partially submerged log!

This wet part of the park has been transformed into a swamp!

We made our way to Buffalo Bayou and took in the impressive real estate across the way. This house had what appeared to be miniature horses grazing upon the lawn!

Some of the paths were actually quite steep.

Many of the exposed roots on the path, having been traversed by hikers and bikers, looked buffed or polished from all of the action they've seen.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in Midtown though;
He will not see me stopping here
To take too many photos.

My boyfriend must think it queer
To stop without a landmark near
Between the woods and flowing bayou
The sunniest afternoon of the year.

He gives his pocket watch a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only sound's the sweep
Of pony tail and muddy lake.

The woods are lovely, bright and deep.
But I have blog posts to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fun in the kitchen

The dirty dishes really piled up this week... but so did the clean ones, thanks to Garrett! A modern art display in our kitchen... that turned into a game of Jenga when the dishes had dried.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The SarcMark

When the winky emoticon just isn't enough, try the SarcMark -- the punctuation mark that denotes sarcasm! Perfect for people who don't know how to write well or those who just can't pick up on sociolinguistic cues.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's not just the roads that are bad

There's nothing quite like getting ready for work on a Monday morning, doing one's best to be chipper and optimistic about the week, and then hearing not one, but two, stories on NPR about pollution in Houston.

KUHF reports that a new study from the non-profit, The Environmental Working Group, ranks Houston 95th out of 100 cities when it comes to the quality of drinking water. Over a four-year period, 46 chemicals were detected in the city's water. Yet the amounts of these chemicals did not exceed the limits set by the EPA. Which is more disturbing: the chemicals in the water, or the fact that it's legal to have 46 of them?

KUHF also reports that Houston is trembling in its cowboy boots because it looks like the Obama administration is going to set stricter limits on ozone and other air pollutants. Last year was the first time Houston met the EPA's limit of 84 parts per billion. That might soon change to less than 70. (The World Health Organization, by the way, recommends 51 ppb.) A long-term study detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of dying from lung disease was 30% greater for people living in cities with high ozone levels (Houston, Los Angeles).

I plan to continue to use my Brita water filter... and I might just hold my breath until Garrett finishes his PhD.