Sunday, February 21, 2016

Looking for Spring

In the previous post I wrote about having a hip injection. I mentioned insomnia as being a side effect of the cortisone substance and the second night it hit really hard. I woke up at 2:40 AM, and couldn't get back to sleep. The explanation for this that the cortisone causes the adrenal glands to move to the "fight or flight" mode and one's mind becomes overstimulated. At least this time I was expecting this and prepared with books to read and had also adjusted my schedule -- not promising I would do anything for anyone during the coming day. Finally went back to asleep around 6 AM.

Woke up later quite uncomfortable. By then the brief period of a local anesthetic in the hip relieving the pain had ended. And it was way too soon for the pain relief from the cortisone to be present. That doesn't kick in for 10-14 days.

I have also learned when I wake up with what feels like extra pain to grab for my phone. I go to a service provided by the US Arthritis Foundation. One puts in the local zip code and from that the weather for that area is analyzed to provided a pain index. Sorry the picture below is not very good-- lots of light reflections.

Tufts University did a study about 10 years ago to go along with the story many people tell about knowing the weather by the how their joints ache. The hypothesis for the pain is that falling temperatures and fall barometric pressure causes the joints to swell and swollen joints produce more pain. I don't know about the temperature change, but I'm certainly sensitive to the changes in the barometer. Low pressure -- Ouch!!!

So it wasn't my imagination -- Friday was a very high pain day -- and I've lived through a couple of Extreme level days too -- those days are best spent with either good books or good television!

Well, I was rather tired of feeling sorry for myself and so decided I would just take a lot of ibuprofen and go to Como Park, here is St. Paul, and enjoy the flowers in the Conservatory found there. Below is the view of the Conservatory as I walked from the parking lot toward the Conservatory. The picture shows it is still winter, but not too bad.

It's official name is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and it's 101 years old. About 10 years the building underwent a major renovation, particularly repairing glass areas so that it wasn't leaking.

By the time I arrived it was about 1:30 in the afternoon. I had eaten a bagel earlier in the morning, so I was hungry. I was also surprised how many cars were in the parking lot for a weekday afternoon, and how many people were in the restaurant having a late lunch.

My late lunch was a cheeseburger, accompanying by waffle French Fries. 

 After I was finished I walked through a service area and found a way to recycle some things that need to leave my home.

After my lunch I walked first to the Fern Room. I've been there many times, but this time the fern got my attention.

The nearby signs explains it is called a Bird's Nest Fern and it comes from the Hawaii Islands. The signs explains that decaying leaves and water is caught by the leaves on the fern and that is how it gets its nutrition.

With just this small walk my back was hurting and sitting down relieves the pain. While sitting on a nearby bench I noticed how the ceiling from the room reflections in the pond in the room.

After a bit of rest I walked to the next room which is the center of the Conservatory.

In the pond I noticed I noticed a plant that was new to me. Perhaps you readers can see the sign says it is European Water Clover.

In the middle is a fountain.

The sculpture was done is 1925 by Harriett Fishmuth.

Nearby I saw some beautiful orchids.

And I liked this one which looks like it has a pansy face.

I next went to the Sunken Garden. The flowers in this room change with the season.

Below is a  close-ups of one of the flowers in this room. For my readers in other countries, it is called an Amaryllis in English.

I was glad for the benches in this room too to rest the achy back.

I also explored the North Garden. This garden holds plants that make food such as pineapple, pepper, and cacao. I didn't find that this garden had any good things for photo, no flowers, no produce, probably resting -- the area is warm but it is still subject to the limited light during the Minnesota winter.

As I walked out I found the sun shining. And to the left I saw a winter view of a what is called a butterfly garden.
At home I got a good view of the full moon arriving at about 5:30 PM in the afternoon.

And the view to the left shows the sun shining on the afternoon rush hour on the freeways. Doesn't look too busy for I took this picture around 6 PM and the major traffic rush is between 4:00 - 5:30 in this area in the afternoon.

Yes, it this was a better afternoon than laying around and complaining about arthritis pain.

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