1. 27/29. Near the shoreline, the thawing ground has mixed with the sediment from the bottom of the pond. Stepping into the brownie-batter mixture draws up a skunk-cabbage-at-low-tide scent. Lilies have begun to grow on the water’s surface. The sun still sets a few degrees to the left, yet it now stays up a few minutes longer. A beaver swims across the pond. Then, another follows suit. Double-crested cormorant chicks honk from the dead oak on the island a quarter across the lake. The mother sweeps in to deliver the younglings food. Croaks of mud-slumbered toads escape the dense foliage on the ground. Less than a mile around, the pond activates the five senses. New buds feel soft in their pinkish white velvet cover to protect them as they mature. Skunk cabbage can be tasted from the heavy alkaline scent. The backyard offers more than any digital device could deliver. Go ahead. Have a look. 

     
  2. theburninghouse:

    Name: Jimmy Baum
    Age: 27
    Location: Los Angeles, CA / Nouakchott, Mauritania
    Occupation: Teacher
    Website: http://www.jimmymansaray.tumblr.com

    List:

    • Interpretation of the Qur’an
    • iPad Mini
    • Timex Weekender watch
    • Passport
    • Fortress of the Muslim book for du’ā
    • Moleskine notebook
    • Pens and highlighter
    • Misbaha beads for dhikr
    • Snakeskin wallet from Sierra Leone
    • Eyeglasses
    • Beanie made by a friend
    • 2TB external HD

    ***Lay off the Iodine beanie in my friend and traveler Jimmy Baum’s Burning House list. Click over to http://www.jimmymansaray.tumblr.com to see his inspirations from the Qur’an, North Africa, and the classroom he inspires wonder in. As-Salaam-Alaikum, Jimmy. 

    (via jimmymansaray)

     
  3. 26/29. Be cool. Be. Cool. Shake your left foot. Twist your butt. Be Cool. Be. Be Cool. Dana dances to the beat of the radiating heat. The sky is clear. The ground will thaw soon. What is mostly brown now has touches of green in it. Ice is finally melted off the lake. It will only be another month before swimming is possible. For right now, we revel in the break from cold snaps, surprise snow storms, and darkness at 4:00 p.m. Be Cool.  

     
  4. 25/29. They called it a Boy Scout pad, the blue foam roll under Dana’s pack when I bought with two other pads on Craigslist. Her Thermarest is only a 3/4 length, covering shoulders to knees. New England spring nights require an extra layer of warmth and coverage. The quarter inch thick pad guarantees warmth against frost-firmed soil. Fully-packed, we take a final look to the lake of my youth before descending the quick trail back to the Faxon’s for breakfast. We’ll make promises to come back in two weeks, or after Easter, though they’ll never be kept - and that’s understood. Childhood friendships respect those idealistic hopes that the distance between visits grows shorter after a certain age. We will be back. There is no lie in that statement, yet “Not this weekend, but next” will really mean a month if not longer. We will be back. 

     
  5. Around the bend of the wooden trestle by Boston University, the city opens its eyes in full view to absorb the energy of the sun’s last light. Under the old railroad bridge covered over in rust and typical white boy Greek Life graffiti, runners and cyclists grasp one look at the skyline or the retreating sun. Each route provides inspiration, some find it in earthly pursuits, others in earned profits. 

     
  6. Banditos de el Vinendo from André Rober Beriau on Vimeo.

    With cooler weather in forecast and only 24 hours to make the window of clear skies, we set out to bike, camp, skate, and swim on Martha’s Vineyard. The 8:15 a.m. ferry out of Woods Hole brought us to Vineyard Haven. In the end we cycled 40 miles, got in two hours of skateboarding, and camped for free in bandito style - set up at dusk, no fire, directly to sleep. We woke at sunrise, scored a few breakfast sandwiches, and lucked into the 8:15 a.m. ferry from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole. Exactly twenty-four hours.

     
     
  7. 24/29. There is little threat of bears coming out for breakfast at this spot, though this time of year it isn’t a far off possibility. Cliff bars, instant coffee, and tea are in there somewhere. Like the forward thinking, and often too tired campers we are, hanging a bear bag seemed ridiculous this trip - not that we’ve ever hung one before. The morning light cuts a crisp angle across the trees above our cliff. The brightness is less harsh than the cold. Still, deer walk through the lower part of the mountain, high stepping the trees knocked down by heavy snow and high winds during the winter. Each day will now be warmer than the first, though slowly like the rising sun. 

     
  8. Una pelicula nueva este noche a Los Banditos del Viñedo de Martha com @cmarlurks. Http://layoti.tumblr.com #skateboarding #marthasvineyard #bicycles #newengland #massachusetts #camping #banditos #markassgrip #stoke #heavystoke #nodinero #summer (at Martha’s Vineyard Skatepark)

     
  9. 23/29. Condensation builds on the exterior of the rainfly from the exchange of hot and cold air. With the sun at an angle that marks 6:45 a.m. on the edge of the tent, our breath is backlight in the cool morning. The scent of pine sap climbs up the from below the cliff where the lake steams as it warms. Radiation heats our faces. Aside from the water boiling for coffee, there is only the distant buzz of trucks on the highway. The water sizzles, I turn the knob down on the Primus stove and hear the pops of hot aluminum cooling. 

     
  10. 22/29. It can’t be anymore than 100ft tall. There is the “hard” way, and just, “up Mt. Dan.” For 15 years this 100ft mountain, and its counterpart to the southwest, “Little Dan,” served as the jungle gym of our youth. The trail splits behind Dana. To her right, back towards the Faxon’s where we would retreat for breakfast. To her left, Little Dan, where we would wait in pine trees for the sun to disappear over the pond on the other side of the highway. A boy hung himself off the bridge on that pond once. On our side of the road, we hung around the small caves, over turned trees, and rocky outcroppings that almost killed us. Most of those times, I think it helped keep us alive. Out there, only a mile behind the house, we escaped from anything and everything - from chores to the small town politics that dictated rank in our school. On this April afternoon we hid out from the busy city and hung around with a deer who crossed this path at 6:30 a.m., and left to its own hiding place behind the pines.