It is cold outside.
I suppose I should expect that since it is mid-October. The sun is shining, though, and that makes all the difference.
The divots in the lawn are annoying as once again, my friend the skunk has gotten the best of me. I have three Havahart traps that I have accumulated over the years, unfortunately, the largest is not currently in my hands, nor is it readily available. It is complicated. The question is, do I buy another one or not?
Yesterday was especially nice, although especially busy. I removed the pond filter and pump. Note to self: don’t go a whole summer without opening up the filter. It was loaded with beautiful, black sludge that is now on the lawn in its worst places. The filter was so overloaded with it that it deformed the filter material. I am sure it will be quite the improvement for that area. It was very work intensive to clean off the filter components. I still have to change out the UV filter light, which I just realized should be replaced every year. I will do that today.
After I got all the pond stuff cleaned and dried, I put it away, got cleaned up, and we went to Ryerson Woods in nearby Riverwoods. In an estate belonging formerly to a steel magnate, a gorgeous home in the woods with a farm, next to the Des Plaines river, we had a memorable concert situation with a pianist by the name of Dr. Wael Farouk who played a number of pieces: Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Tschaikovsky, to showcase Loss and Hope. The sponsor is the Brushwood Center, which supports Nature and the Arts. We were invited to this event by Vladimir Kulenovic, the former conductor of the now, sadly defunct, Lake Forest Symphony. We were invited while on our way to Door County about a month ago when we received a phone call from him. I had reached out to him after the death of the Lake Forest Symphony. Few real explanations were given for its demise and it most assuredly appears that Vladimir was set up as a target as it fell. In my estimate, although not a musician, he is my all-time favorite conductor. I originally heard of him in a Chicago Tribune article that pointed out that everyone needed to see this up and coming young man, as he would not last long here. When they wrote that, they thought neither of the Lake Forest Symphony’s clearly bad financial moves, nor of the Pandemic. Thankfully, Vladimir is riding out the storm with some quick moves he has made and is working at Brushwood as well as in some other projects.
It is a serious loss to the musical world without Vladimir and a baton. Charismatic, charming, musically gifted, and able to speak individually to people or to groups of people waiting to hear music, Vladimir, seemed to be able to get the most out of those he was conducting. He also was not afraid to give a quick bit of info to the audience before playing. His lack of time on the podium is a serious loss to us all.
The sun is shining, it is cold, my coffee is tepid, and I am off to Zoom. This time a meeting before my ESL group.