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Daffy Spring

It rained all day today.

It rained yesterday.

And there was snow and sleet the day before.

But when the sun came out for a second

there was another sign of Spring!

 

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Sunrise Blue Ridge

 

In a moment like this

I think there is no finer place to be

than in my own back yard

viewing

the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

 

 

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Pretty Amy

My Friend, Amy

“Huh?”

That’s was my reaction when Amy, said she is going on a mud run tomorrow.

Mud Run?  What is a mud run?

Amy gets into the most interesting things like trampoline jumpology parties, escape rooms, getting a trucker’s license, playing the violin and taking cello lessons, etc!  And she never fails to provide varying subjects for blog posts.

But have you ever heard of the Marine Mud Run in Salem, Virginia?

That is her latest?

23rd ANNUAL
Marine 5k Mud Run/Devil Dog Dare
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Greenhill Park
Roanoke County, VA

The Marine Mud Run will be entering their 23rd year and has become an historical community event. Over the past twenty-two years, more than 30,000 “runners” have participated, generating over $300,000.00 to benefit the Roanoke Toys for Tots Foundation and Camp Roanoke. Both of these organizations benefit underprivileged children in the Roanoke Valley.

 

If you have yet to take the Marine Mud Run Challenge, you’re missing out on the cleanest fun you’ll ever have with a 5K race! As you will see from the pictures on our web site, it’s a pretty muddy affair.
Many folks ask, just how tough is the course? We reply, it’s as hard or easy as you want it to be! We have semi-pro runners down to the neighbor next door that has never entered a 5k race. Devil Dog Dare, Individual and 5 Person Team races and the Devil Pup Dare, a shorter version for kids 12 years and under.

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I have never been able to take a credible photo of the moon.  This little cell phone camera doesn’t have the capacity (or maybe I don’t know what I’m doing?).

But one silvery night when the fog lay in low Virginia hollows and there was a shimmer on surfaces left wet from a creeping mist, I had to try again.

Deck in Moonlight 3

Deck in Moonlight 4

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If I hide my head in these leaves, maybe she won’t see me?

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Rainbow Ridge 3

This has been the strangest summer in Virginia.  It has been cool, then verging on hot and dry, then overcast, and lots of rain more often than not.  Such weird changes have marked summertime until on this day it feels like Fall and friends are airing their expectations for Christmas on FaceBook.

Well, yesterday the Blue Ridge Mountains were shrouded in mist.  Then the sun magnified our ever-green surroundings, and Ahhhhh, just look at that fat happy rainbow too!

I am now calling the view from my kitchen window The Rainbow Ridge.

 

 

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mr-trash-wheel-waterfront-partnership-of-baltimore-3 (1)

We were in Baltimore, Maryland and enjoying breakfast.

Discussing sightseeing adventures might have been a good topic of conversation.

Instead we were concentrating on Naming An Unidentified Floating Object we could see out the window!

The “thing” was a giant water wheel with no familiar or observable purpose.

Being rather shy and reserved people (from the Virginia countryside) we are usually hesitant to ask questions.  But the temptation was too great, so Bill finally asked the restaurant manager, “What is that thing?”

Not being shy or reserved, the manager gave us a mini-history lesson.

l_baltimore-water-wheel29

Inner Harbor Water Wheel, Baltimore, Maryland

“That is a water cleaner, said the Manager.”  It has been here for four years.  People would dump things in the water and it was 80% polluted.  Now it is 40% polluted.  The goal is to make the water in the Inner Harbor swimmable by 2020.  Very young engineers maintain the project and it costs almost nothing to run.”

“Does it have a name?” I asked.

“What is that shell you hold to your ear?….you know – a Conch!” he said.

I decided to look up the conch shell water cleaner when we got home, but couldn’t find a thing until I began looking up Cleaning Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.    If it is called a CONCH, I find no reference to it, but here is what I did find:

The Mystery Barge is called the Water Wheel or Mr. Trash Wheel or officially – The Inner Harbor Water Wheel.  It is a hydro and solar-powered barge parked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor since 2014, slurping up all garbage that makes its way downriver.  And it uses nothing but the current and the sun!

Historic ship manager, John Kellett, was getting sick of watching garbage in the rivers on his way to work, so he invented this giant floating wheel that turns with the current.  It places trash from the harbor onto an on-board conveyor belt which then routes it into dumpsters on board.

The “Wheel” is part of a Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Plan which has a goal to clean up the harbor enough to make it safe for swimming by 2020!

Baltimore Polluted Harbor

Before Mr. Trash Wheel

On April 20, 2015, Mr. Trash Wheel removed 19 tons of garbage in that one day.  And at the end of the first quarter in 2016 it was noted that the Wheel had collected over 1,000,000 pounds of trash since its inception.

The ingenuity of man seems boundless and The Thing in Baltimore Harbor restores my faith in our ability to clean up our own messes and make life pure again.

Now if only we could figure out how to control traffic!

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