October 22, 2011

Picking up the Sticks

It's Fall here in eastern Pennsylvania, as I imagine it is elsewhere. The leaves are changing, the breeze is blowing and due to all the rain the grass is still growing like crazy. Sunny Saturdays present one of my happiest conflicts. Do I go out and engage in recreation (love it!) or do I go out and work in the yard (love it, too!).
 
Today's Pic of the Day is the perfect setting for some Fall recreation. (Sorry iPhone and iPad users, this one is a Flash animation. No Flash for you.) While I do enjoy golf, I don't have enough time to play and get good. Yes, I'm jealous of my friends who are "picking up the sticks" and "heading out to the course" on a weekly basis. 
 
Well, as far as the chores go, I have my share of "picking up the sticks" to do right outside. The ones that came down in the windy weather all week, that is. Plus, the grass really needs mowing. But there's a yard chore that needs to be done first, and it only has to be done every other year. Can you guess what it is?...
 
Nuts! Walnuts, to be exact. We have one walnut tree and it drops hundreds (if not thousands) of 2" green balls containing the nut on a slope of our yard that faces the street. (Running the mower over them turns the output chute into a semi-lethal rapid fire walnut machine gun, perfect for taking out the side window of a passing car.) You have to pick these nut balls up promptly or else they turn to mush. For some reason buried deep within the genetics of the walnut chromosomes, walnut trees only makes fruit every other year.  I can’t remember what I had for dinner on Wednesday, but a tree can remember what year it is!
 
Dendrology is not my strength, but I am deeply moved every fall by the wonder and drama of all the changing of colors. When I was a lad, I theorized that the color change was an end-of-the-season effort to attract birds and animals to eat (and spread) the seeds, thus perpetuating the species. The "coevolution theory of autumn colors" takes a somewhat opposite position, and says that the vibrancy of the leaf colors keeps away insects that are looking for a winter home, that could potentially weaken the tree.
 
Whatever the reason, when the trees don their fall color it has a magnificence that I would surely miss if I lived in a tropical (or arctic) region. So whether you're picking up the sticks and heading out to the golf course, or picking up the sticks in your yard this weekend, make sure you look around you and soak in the scenery. Enjoy!

Comments:

The backdrop for today's Pic of the Day was shot from the grounds of Shakespeare's Restaurant & Pub overlooking the Olde Stonewall Golf Club in Ellwood City, PA. The photo was cropped and sized in Photoshop, and brought into Flash as a background. The moving flag and the animated bird were created as vector art elements in Illustrator. For the bird, we created different versions of the wings (open and closed) and the head (front view and side view). These elements were then combined in Flash and arranged on the timeline to 'tell the story.' 

Business Tip:

Today's Pic is great for inviting people to (or thanking them for participating in) a corporate golf outing. You can also send it as a "Thanks for the Help" message.
 
 

eCard Category:
Occasions: Invitations

Keywords:
nice birdie, golf, golf course, invitations

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