North America

Leaves, Bushy Tails and Witches

You know what works great just after a lengthy run? A cup of coffee with a dash of cinnamon. The sky turned deep blue and I heard the boom and crash of thunder through the music playing in my headphones. Suddenly the dying rays of the sun fell upon a factory, illuminating it and the smoke spewed by a lone chimney, against the smoky backdrop of the sky. It was such a beauteous evening you know, the kind of evening where everything falls in place as you run and feel the brisk air in your hair. The wonky witches upon brooms who smile back at you from their perches upon trees and fences, the macabre lion heads that sit upon wreath-like bodies floating around in tattered shirts upon porches, the sun as it disappears behind a sheath of clouds leaving behind a streak of peach-lavender upon the tranquil waters of the Hudson, the old shop that says Furs by John Keffas and looks quite shut, the old bakery that declares that it has stood there since 1924. Whatever must Bayonne have looked like in the ’20s, you wonder. Did flapper girls walk down these streets looking all posh and hoity toity? I have my doubts but then who knows if one of them stepped into the bakery then and stared greedily at the display window stuffed with cakes that look like they carry a world of sumptuousness within their many layers.

The squirrels have become plumper I notice, elevating their cuteness quotient, and their tails have plumped up accordingly. Adi says they use them to wrap them around their bodies in winter. And lo and behold, today I caught one of them burying nuts in the ground before he scampered away. I zoomed in – because it was engaging, the way he dug with his tiny paws so very furiously and I did not want to scare him away. The result is a blurred photo but I shall take it.

Lately I have been seeingΒ #metoo do the rounds of social media. No I am not about to rant about my experiences because I can really rant and it just uselessly raises my blood pressure even now to think about various incidents in the past. Some things are better left behind I suppose. But in the spirit of it, there was something that bothered me lately. A blogger friend had befriended me on fb and started chatting with me. This was someone who had told me that I was like his daughter. Well, one day the chat took an odd turn and I was hugely discomfited. Now the thing is people know when they are causing discomfort. You know that they know and they know that you shall know it right there and then. It is all about testing out the waters. And I am all for giving someone the benefit of the doubt but I could not for the life of me go with it. I ghosted him. Blocked him from my fb. So yeah, if you are reading this, I would like you to know that I did not accept your friendship request because I wanted to set a honeytrap or because my marriage is a troubled one or that the government supports me in my travels…whatever load of bosh you wrote in your post and which I read. Which by the way vindicated my decision to block you. And this is just to let you know that it is not okay to abuse trust.

Now moving on, I did capture some photos of leaves that I cannot wholly identify. Can you? Are you one of those wonderful tree people who knows sugar maples from beeches and silver maples from elders? Then I would love to know what kind of leaves I photographed today. I often point out trees to Adi when we are driving, identifying them, and he mutters that I am having him on. I have an astute husband. Now I am busy placing the leaves I collected today within the pages of books, waiting for them to turn flat, a deeper shade of yellow and red and pink, and then some of them shall be ready to go on the door outside our apartment. All in the spirit of the season.

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  • Miriam Hurdle

    When I was with my daughter and their new baby last few weeks, I saw a lot of squirrels running around in the neighborhood and in the park. One neighbor said one squirrel got electrocuted. I’m not a leave expert either. I did see a lot of leave changing colors of falling everywhere. Very beautiful leave photos.

  • lifeofangela

    I love squirrels! I would love to see one in real life one day! ?
    As for those leaves, they aren’t favourite part of fall. I dont understand the scientific reasons as to why they change colour, but I love that they do ?

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Apparently the chlorophyll changes colour… it is fascinating is it not? Nature’s effortless style statements. Oh dear, I think I have gotta send you a fat little squirrel somehow. Just have to figure this out, okay? xx

  • thewonderer86

    I would like to be one of those wonderful tree people… but shame, I am not! As my yoga newsletter proclaimed – ‘Autumn teaches you how to let go’. Glad you didn’t need any help with that, and ditched the guy who overstepped the mark. X

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      No worries sistah, we can scoff dreamy scones and sip on tea (daintily perhaps) while others go around identifying them for us πŸ˜‰
      I had to block him from fb for my peace of mind which for a few days was destroyed as I wondered about what was the right thing to do there. Unfortunately one cannot block people from wp. xx

  • crystalsandcurls

    What beautiful images – I love watching squirrels! And that guy sounds like such a creep…I hate men that do that; like you said, it’s all about seeing how far they can get and how much you’re willing to let go to be polite. Disgusting. I’m glad you blocked him!xx

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Thank you love. They just bring joy with their little furry tails, bright eyes and nut chomping selves.
      He is. I am glad I did it too even though my initial thoughts were to not say a word about it. xx

  • Shweta Suresh

    Loved the pictures! But sadly, I can’t identity those leaves. I hate it when people violate our trust. Good thing that you blocked him! I wish they was an easy and correct way to really understand a person right from the first encounter! Would have saved a lot of trouble!

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Thank you Shweta. How have you been?
      The thing is that there might be hints but we try to overlook them thinking we are being too harsh. Nonetheless our instincts tell us, don’t they? πŸ™‚ xx

      • Shweta Suresh

        I’ve been busy. The past few weeks were very hectic. I can’t wait for this semester to be over!
        Oh yes, I know what you mean. Sometimes we feel that the alarm bells are ringing unnecessarily and we tend to ignore it. Yes, it’s better to go with our instincts. But the trick is to do in such a way that we don’t come off as being too harsh, I guess. Moments like these make you wish that life came with a how-to-proceed instruction booklet. ??

        • Dippy-Dotty Girl

          Hear hear…As I grow older, I realise that I cannot and will not care for people who do not know how to respect others. I am sure I was harsh Shweta but I cannot be bothered. πŸ™‚ It is okay. There are enough people who deserve the care though. Hope you tide over the semester soon. xx

          • Shweta Suresh

            Yes, that’s what I’m starting to realize to. Sometimes we have to be harsh. They are enough people who deserve all the love and care. I’m literally counting down the days. ?

  • Marie

    I will be the contrarian. I hate squirrels. If I could, I would send them to anyone who wants them. They invade my attic. They run around like they are on speed making noise all day long. I hate them. Ah. That felt good. πŸ™‚ I think most of the leaves are maple but I can’t swear to it. Happy fall!

  • Sheree

    Beautiful Fall colours, no idea on the leaves and I love your plump squirrel. Here in France they’re much smaller, with almost black fur and look much more like rats with bushy tails. We have a pair which keep us entertained as they swing from tree to tree in the forest behind our apartment.

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Thank you Sheree. The park is inhabited by them mainly. There are like hundreds scurrying around and I can see them from my desk at the window πŸ™‚ It is the most uplifting sight.
      Your pair sound like keepers! I have also noticed that the ones that live around the houses here are way more chubbier than the ones in the park πŸ˜‰ So maybe yours are pretty well-fed too.

  • lexandneek

    Your beautiful photos of the leaves reminds me of one November evening when my mother-in-law hosted a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. She decorated the table with carefully preserved leaves that she had picked up near her house in Oregon. I remember thinking – How lucky! I would have to pay a premium to get these at our local craft store. Perhaps, I could try drying some palm fronds and see if I get the same effect πŸ˜‰ On second thought, No…. Also, I’m so sorry about your “blogger friend”. He sounds horrible and doesn’t deserve your trust or time of day. I hope you don’t hear from him ever again! Take care.

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Thank you Neek. I appreciate your words. Isn’t there such great irony couched in the words blogger friend, in this case… For every sod you meet, there are hundreds of nice people and that is the part that makes life a wonderful journey.
      Your mother-in-law sounds like my kind of a person. There is such beauty in nature… you do not have to go far for inspiration for anything. That Thanksgiving dinner unfolded before my eyes as the perfectly pretty affair. Dried palm fronds have potential, I would love to see them when and if you do go ahead. πŸ™‚ xx

      • lexandneek

        You have such a wonderful attitude and philosophy about life. Yes, indeed you are right! Most people are nice as we have encountered in person and online. As they say, one bad apple shouldn’t spoil the whole barrel of them. Lex’s mom is kind of a Martha Stewart and definitely has style as well as beauty. She puts me to shame! – Neek P.S. Just kidding about the palm fronds, I shudder to think of some relative cutting their fingers on the sharp leaves. Hee Hee!

        • Dippy-Dotty Girl

          I was wondering why you quickly retracted the wish about the palm fronds…since I have not been at the receiving end of their sharpness, I am wiser now πŸ˜‰
          Martha Stewart…he is lucky. And you are so lovely! I am your fan. Those words at the beginning of your comment make me feel warm and happy. Thank you for that. xx

  • kasiawrites

    Those like maples and oaks leaves to me! I’m no expert tho. Good for you for blocking that person. I’ve turned messenger off from my FB page because all I was getting were uncomfortable messages.

  • Mad Hatters NYC

    Fall certainly took its time getting here — it was a little bizarre apple picking in summer weather πŸ™‚ The colors of fall are unrivaled, especially here in the Northeast. We can’t wait to get our fill of fall.

    On a separate note: navigating relationships on the internet can definitely get tricky. I think you made the right decision to extricate yourself.

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      I know right? I kept thinking there would be no colours here but bam they show up now! I am not complaining at all.

      Thank you for the wise words, Lynn. They make me feel better. As always with cases like this I hate the feeling of awkwardness that ensues.

  • Osyth

    I’m horribly behind so am skimming today and will be back in the saddle and commenting properly tomorrow. But I can’t pass this by without remarking that I am SO sorry you had to put up with that odious fellow. I’ve had a few and it infuriates me. Why do people think that cyber-stalking is acceptable? Just because one is polite and friendly it is not an excuse for a man to think he can hit on you. And speaking as a married woman who is entirely disinterested in any other man, and knowing I speak for you too, I find it repulsive. I just need to say that and send you a big friendly hug xx

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      I love the fact that you said this because it makes a world of difference to me. That word ‘repulsive’ is how it struck me as it was panning out and I cannot tell you for the life of me, how upset I was. There is a goodwill upon which we accept such requests. I am sorry you had to go through it and I am sorry I had to go through it and for all the others who go through it too. It is an abomination. A big hug back. xx

      • Osyth

        This makes me so sad and so angry. Good will should not be rewarded with a sniffing dog of the worst sort. It will take intelligent well read and empathetic women (like us, actually she says having a rare and indulgent horn-blowing moment) to change the wheel, but change it we must. Xx

        • Dippy-Dotty Girl

          Ahahaha, you are all of those attributes and way more. I love the inclusion in that wonderful category, so I shall execute a neat curtsey for milady Osyth. I shall allow my instincts more leeway than I usually do. You know how you can feel bullshit radiating from a mile away and yet you tell yourself…oh come on don’t let paranoia overwhelm you. Well maybe sometimes it is not all wrong. xx

          • Osyth

            I totally agree. It is when I shy away from instincts and decide to give the benefit of the doubt or allow kindness to overwhelm what I am feeling that I hit trouble every single time!!! xx

    • TheresaBarker

      Yes, I absolutely agree – just by being friendly does not mean permission for that person to be slimy. There are those who have an agenda and start out seemingly nice, but quickly turn it in the wrong direction, and I’m sorry that happened to you. I’m glad you spoke up about it! Daylighting these issues (telling the story) helps decrease the chance it might happen to someone else! Courageous, Dippy-Dotty Girl! πŸ™‚

      • Osyth

        It’s also a sad fact that these very people force women to shut off their smile in public places and be wary in the terrestrial and cyber world we inhabit. How sad ?

      • Dippy-Dotty Girl

        Thank you Theresa. There was an if about whether I should write but as always when I run my mind goes places and contemplates. I decided I could not let this man off the hook so easily. I appreciate that you came up with words of encouragement because I know it tends to make people uncomfortable. xx

        • TheresaBarker

          Yeah. That individual totally knew what he was doing when he sucked you in, I would guess. I have also been in that place where I’m friendly and outgoing, just to be nice, and then at times someone takes advantage of it for their own agenda. Then you think, “oh, was it me? I was a fool, or I shouldn’t have said …” So what is magical about your telling your story is, others don’t have to question their instincts any more, they can say, “Yeah, that was not my fault. It was the other person exploiting the situation.” Such a relief! πŸ™‚

  • comfykittea

    Thank you for mentioning the FB issue, it is so important to address such behaviour. Anonymously, of course.
    And I think I see beech, oak and maple leaves. But what are those five-pointed leaves?

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Thanks for the words, Nina. The thing is it I was planning to let it go, but I just could not finally…the sheer gall of the person left me annoyed (and it was a little funny too – the honeytrap and other such ludicrous speculations).

      Maple too you think? Now that you have pointed out beech and oak, I shall strut around with my newly-acquired knowledge πŸ™‚ xx

  • TheresaBarker

    Hi! Most of those lovely leaves are maples- the symmetrical 5-pointed leaf type should all be maples (perhaps of different kinds). The other one may be an oak, as your commenter said. Great photos!

  • TheresaBarker

    … and I think, to be fair, identifying a tree just by its leaf might be a hard thing, so it’s not so strange that you feel ignorant. I think the leaf and the bark and the tree shape might all be part of the identification process. A good excuse to enjoy the leaves for their beauty without worrying about what they are! hah!

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Hee hee. I shall keep my eyes open to the possibilities. One of the few trees I can identify with my eyes shut is the eucalyptus. I love it so. We had two trees at my childhood home and all day long the leaves would make swishing sounds in the wind, even on hot days, and make me feel loved. xx

Hit me up, buttercup

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