Smelling the last weekend of the summer break

This roly poly was wondering around on this same piece of cement when I left the office yesterday. It’s a few feet off the ground. There’s an unused, but soil-filled planter on the one side. And off the other, it’s just a wall toward the ground. The planter itself helps frame in an ancient set of stairs. The stairs an artifact of one of the building’s two previous uses. Our building was once the library, and then an administrative building, and now a haunt for crustaceans.

Also a bunch of people work inside, and students build their dreams there, of course. But this guy was wondering around yesterday evening, looking for some food. He was there when I arrived early this morning. Breakfast time for bugs.

I stop by that planter to fish a mask out of my bag, to find my keys in another pocket, to enjoy a few more seconds without florescent lights.

Today I had to be in the office early because of an early event. My presence was requested at this event so that I might say hello, smile behind my mask and point. I also, as tradition would have it, opened a door for someone.

T-shirts were passed out, because t-shirts are still currency on the inside.

My story is giggling at watching everyone wonder about that inverted question mark.

Everyone wonders about that inverted question mark.

I’ve stopped questioning such things. My questions are now directed as this building. You know, I’ve got an opportunity to run a nice little feature and then they stop doing the most obvious work on it a week ago yesterday.

The crew working on it have been doing some stuff at the ground level, and the building’s footprint is surrounded by streets on three sides, and then an alley and a parking deck in the back. There’s most assuredly a good and practical reason for pausing the destruction, if it’s only the debris-management version of moving around the vegetables on your plate.

This is a better drone view of the building, by the way.

At any rate, we’ll put this on pause until they start pulling down more of the building. Someone has to find the lost keys to that orange machine again before long, after all.

I had to stay on campus after hours today as well. Funny how that works. Nothing like a good 10-plus hour Friday to set the stage for the semester. (The semester begins next Monday.) But, with that done, I did leave just before 6:30. I’ve been taking a slightly different bike route this week, and the almost-90 minute difference changed the light to a nice warm golden hue. Some of the smells were different, as well.

At the place where the campus and the residential housing meet there was a vague burnt Texas toast smell in the air, and then some low quality fabric softener. After passing through those two neighborhoods, you cross a big road, and then cut across a strip mall, where you can easily pick up notes of bad marinara. That sticks in your mind until you ride back into the woods. There, the seasons are beginning to change, and your nose is the first to tell you so. There’s the tiniest bit of old leaf and soil in the air. If you had a fire burning, for some reason (it was in the 80s today) you’d have the entire cozy fall feeling.

Back home, the August lily is in bloom. They’ve gotten tall in the last few weeks, and now their long buds have unwrapped, showing a white, sparkling flower. Because the flowers are so top heavy that they’ll droop if someone doesn’t stake them. That clove-like smell turns into something sweetly fragrant to compete with the rose bushes, which are likewise still going strong — ours, here, has done its work for the year — and people that care about blackberry are cutting back the old canes. Even dealing with the blackberry you feel like summer will last forever, and it very surely might.

Me? Here? I’m just watching the trees, willing their leaves to stay green, and spraying water on things on the ground. Maybe I’ll meet some more roly polies.

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