Vertical

The vertical rise of the morning sun
Carries our hope when the day’s begun.
Though the darkness returns in late afternoon
Then the dreams, those sweet dreams, show the dreamer what's true.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Prompt where Dales offers the theme “vertical”. The top photo looks vertically into the forest canopy. The bottom shows a contrast between the vertical trees and the flat region that has been cut as part of forest management.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. The forest preserve has been beautiful and the weather has provided many opportunities to enjoy it. Even after a rain, I smiled.

Another reason for a smile is that a very short story of mine, “Cliff”, appeared in Whispers and Echoes. I am grateful to Sammi Cox for accepting it.

Contrast Between Vertical and Flat

Shadow Play

It's ominous when shadow play
Deceives and hides the truthful way.
We need good light and strength to seek,
But shadows love to keep us weak.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Prompt where Dale offers the theme of shadow play.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. There is no news on the 3x+1 problem, but the forest preserves have been beautiful. Many, many smiles watching the leaves change and drop in the wind and rain. I think I will go back again today right after posting this.

If you go down in the woods today

Green is fading from the leaves.
Yellows, reds surround the trees.
They seem to know that winter nears
Approaching it with trust, not fears.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “if you go down in the woods today”. These photos were from Friday in Sunset Ridge Woods Forest Preserve.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. I did nothing this past week with the 3x+1 problem. I don’t know if that is something worth a smile, but it did make me smile. The changing forest preserve was clearly worth a smile. I took so many photos yesterday, I used up the battery on my phone. Perhaps that was a sign that I took enough of them. It amazes me that the trees know winter is coming.

I am also linking this to Robin’s Walktober.

Trail in the Forest Preserve

Sunday – 2 PM

I worry now if I'll remember -
"Take a photo, 2 PM."
While wondering about November
I'll take those photos. I'll remember
Then post a few or all of them.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of photographing wherever we are within one hour after 2 PM on Sunday. I set the alarm on my phone and planned to walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden at that time.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. One of my poems, Narrow Trails, appeared in the October 2020 issue of Snakeskin 277. I am grateful to George Simmers for accepting it and thereby giving me something to report for the weekly smile besides the many walks this past week.

Still Green Maple Leaves

Inversions

From summer green to autumn red
To winter white and rest.
Arise from winter's silent bed.
Spring has passed the test.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of inversions. While walking in the forest preserve, I ran into a maple tree that had turned deep red earlier than the others. Unsure of what an inversion was, I thought of this change as an inversion, moving from summer green to autumn red.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. Outside of an email exchange with someone offering a proof of the 3x+1 conjecture, I did not update my program further. So no excuse for a smile from that quarter, but weather was beautiful, I explored new trails in the forest preserve and I enjoyed (online) The Return, the Washington Prayer March on Saturday. Many smiles there.

Another smile arriving this very morning came from listening to Crystal Grimes’ composition Gratitude DSE #9.

Red and Green Inversion

The Everyday Into the Unusual

An ordinary, tiny bug
Lived on a painted wall.
Before he died
He tried and tried
To understand it all.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of turning “the everyday into the unusual”. The photos are of graffiti on top of graffiti but viewed up-close. Although the messages were somewhat confusing even at normal distance the paint made the bridge over the brook in the forest preserve colorful.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. I realized I made a mistake in my algorithm to verify the records in the 3x+1 problem and fixed it. My best time with the incorrect code was 352 seconds as I reported last week. My best time with the new code was 354 seconds. Although I haven’t repeated the runs to find the variance in these timings, I was relieved that the correction did not seem to significantly harm the performance. That was enough to make me smile even though I am still a long way from my 10-second goal.

More Graffiti Detail Under the Train Bridge

As Summer Fades

Slip from summer into fall.
Then winter brings us cold, white days,
But spring, that wonder of it all,
Leads back to summer anyway.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Prompt where Dale offers the theme of “as summer fades”.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. It was raining this past week and so I worked on a puzzle in computational number theory. The challenge was to verify the 3x+1 trajectory-length records by running a different program to find them. Using Python my best time for integers under 670,617,280 had been over 700 seconds. Last week I was able to reduce that to 352 seconds. That made me smile. If I believe what others have achieved, they can do it in under a few seconds. That’s my goal unless it stops raining. Even if I get it below 10 seconds, it is about as significant as solving a 1000-piece jig-saw puzzle, but at least I will be able to verify the larger records that have been found.

First Leaves to Fall

Look to the Skies

Look up. Look down.
Reflecting water shows
The sky as all around.
Morning sunshine grows.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “look to the skies”.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. It’s midnight. Soon it will be Monday morning. I can’t think of a good reason (that I haven’t already reported) why I’ve been smiling this past week. Being able to calmly watch the sun rise over the pond below is a blessing that reinforces the default smile. Although the August wildflowers are past their peak in the Forest Preserve, the forest and trails are still there and sometimes I am as well.

Look up. Look Down. The sky is all around.

An Interesting Perspective

Even pigeons have a view
When looking out on me and you.

Linked to the Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “an interesting perspective”. I chose what might be called the “pigeon perspective” assuming the pigeon is walking on the ground.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. Another week went by. From some perspectives that may seem inconsequential, but the thought that we were all given the privilege to live it made me smile.

Pigeon Perspective Street Lines

Choose Your Masks

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “choose your masks”. I interpreted this as what shows on the surface. That could be trees masking the morning sun or flowers masking the fertile ground.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. The corona virus hasn’t got me yet and so I’m still smiling. Besides that, one of my poems, “Stronger”, appeared in The Lyric and a copy arrived a few days ago. This week I’ll be reading the other poems in the issue and hopefully come up with something else to submit.

Masking the Forest Floor with Yellow and Green