Thursday, July 4, 2013

siblings, stickiness, and a mole

There. That's my excuse for not having blogged much lately: overcast, gray, crappy light; rain and thunder/lightning in the afternoons. It's lame excuse, but there you are. Basically I spend my time either getting sticky, or trying to get unsticky.

The aerial park is now open seven days a week and as school is out, we're starting to get busy. On Monday morning, a light drizzle was no obstacle to several parties of climbers who harnessed up and scampered through the trees.

Sometimes monitoring a course is a peaceful occupation that allows for capturing whatever's happening in the woods that day.

Other days it's more of a madhouse. By now I've done enough rescues - in which a climber descends to the ground, either via a ladder while being belayed from a platform, or via specialized equipment that lowers them safely to the ground - that I don't get a crippling adrenaline rush at the prospect. People cave in all the time. Sometimes they can work through their fear and continue. Sometimes not. Sometimes they realize they just don't have the innate sense of balance the course requires, like the guy I assisted yesterday.

The other day, an eleven-year old girl had a complete meltdown, and I was all set to lower her down to the ground, but then her younger brother successfully walked the tightrope in question. That was enough to spur her into giving it another go. Sibling rivalry is a powerful motivator.

Speaking of siblings, yesterday three brothers and three of their friends descended in all their hilarity on the park. The brothers and one of the friends were Israeli and called back and forth to each other, sometimes in English, sometimes in Hebrew. One of them was Puck incarnate, a total mischief maker. Another one of them barely made it through the Disks of Despair - he slipped near the end, and wound up sitting on a little disk of wood that you're supposed to be standing on. Only the fact that his brothers had waited on the next platform for him, and were able to haul him up, enabled him to continue. The flip side of sibling rivalry.

All in all, they were a riot. They adopted me as their mascot and insisted on getting a picture once they were all back on the ground.

Today, an old friend of mine in town on business came for a visit, and we spent the morning at the park. I knew that after having coached the guys above through the black course, it was time for me to attempt it myself again.

I nailed it. Whew: credibility maintained!

Discs of Despair.

View backwards of the black course, taken from the last platform.

My friend, on the last platform of the black. The higher up elements shown above are on the black course; the lower ones are a different, easier course. The way you get off the black course is to hook into that gizmo above, and simply step off the platform. Heh heh.

Check out how completely soaked in sweat I am. O Yeah.

On a completely random note, this little one almost caused me to be late for work yesterday:

It's a mole, I believe. Little paddle-shaped front feet. It was squirming in the middle of the road, so pulled over to investigate. I think that's a wound on its right hip. I moved it to the side of the road and it trundled away.

Yeah so...if you were hoping for flowers' naughty bits, sorry to disappoint - it should be sunny the next couple of days...hopefully I'll get out there with the macro the meantime, I'm covered in sweatsalt and feeling my all-American best. Appropriate for the holiday, no?

Happy Fourth!

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