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                                        -Day One-                                       


Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014


Location: Potter Park and Zoological Gardens


Time: 2:57pm – 6:09 pm


Weather: The sky is partly cloudy, with the sun occasionally peeking out from behind them. It’s approximately 72 degrees currently, and is a little humid from the earlier rain that occurred during the previous days. Slight breezes are noticed periodically.


Mood: Everything seems subtle, very quiet and relaxed. All my surroundings around me are still, and the world feels as if time itself has stopped. Due to this, a very lonesome, yet tranquil vibe is received from the surroundings.


     As I rest in this park, I take leisurely strolls within the zoo, which at the time of arrival, appears to have a feeling of almost abandonment. Everything within the zoo is completely quiet, only broken by a distant chirp every couple of minutes. As I look around, all the animals appear to be asleep, almost as if they already know that the day has nothing special and eventful planned for them. I then go to sit on a bench, wondering where all the people are.  In front of me, seems to be a little crick that flows down a couple of feet and flows into what appears to be a little pond. Next to it, two otters are lying on a fairly flat rock, occasionally dipping into a small pool provided to them in order to cool off. Behind me, two bald eagles lie in a cage, resting on a branch, every now and then raising their heads to observe their surroundings, and quickly sinking them back into slumber. Occasionally, I see some staff member quickly stroll by, doing their rounds for the afternoon. Seeing as I am the only non-employee in the area, I feel as if I may look suspicious sitting on a bench looking around at every detail in their little park.

     After some wait, a mother comes with what I presume to be her children. As she finds the nearest seat, her kids rush towards the otters, and the otters come to life. It amuses me how innocent little ones can be, as the youngest of them assimilated the otter with a dog, and started to bark at it, curiously awaiting a response. One of the older children, sits there with a notebook of her own, and appears to be writing something as well, perhaps it’s just a simple homework assignment, or perhaps she is also curious in her surroundings? I get up for a moment, and upon my return, I see the girl peer over at my notebook, slightly embarrassed that she was reading my unorganized scribbles of everything that is going on.  Shortly after, I see two separate couples arrive to the zoo, both approximately their mid 20’s in age. I try to overhear their conversation, not trying to rudely eavesdrop, yet to hear if there was any tone in their voices, and see if I could detect what emotion they were portraying on such a day. To my surprise, both appeared to be speaking in a foreign tongue, in which I had no knowledge of interpretation, yet they sounded contempt. At this time, a train is heard going by, and a chainsaw is also sounding in the background. To my curiosity, I travel outside of the zoo, and into the park, hoping to find some sort of other human interaction occurring.

            As I walk towards the park, the first thing I notice is another foreign family sitting at a bench, using the park grill and having some sort of family cookout. I have never seen those grills in action, but the smell was a sensation of many spices and herbs of various types. I sat at a picnic bench facing the family for quite some time, and the whole time, I felt that they family was concerned about me, as if I was spying on them in clear daylight. I quickly try to divert my attention, and look to my right, and I notice one of the couples from earlier, sitting on a bench nearby as well, just basking in the periodic rays from the sun. Almost still everyone seemed to sit, and again, time felt as if it was frozen, until interrupted by a child’s laughter. I avert my gaze again, to see a mother pushing a child stroller across the park with one of her little ones walking behind her. Slightly to her left, a playground in the background sprang to life, as a father and his children enjoyed the swings and slide.

     As I reposition for another view, some lovely flowers blossom on the trees, happily flowing in the wind. It appeared that I had not noticed how many there were previously, and my surroundings immediately changed from a neutral green tone, to full of vibrant pinks, purples, reds, and yellows. I slowly move towards another bench, and notice some chickadees chirping and merrily skipping along the ground. At first glance, they almost appeared to be playing as well, as if the whole park was reserved to only them. Moments later, one of the birds lands feet from me, and slowly hops towards me, cocking its neck curiously as I try to sit still. After a little moving to get comfortable, the bird takes off, and rejoins its friends. While readjusting, I notice something small on the trash can next to me that appears to be moving, but in the slightest manner. I quickly lean in to see a single ant, appearing to forage, yet he is alone, slowly using his antennae to observe his surroundings. Shortly after, another ant appears to walk by, stops and backs up, moving towards the previous one. From my perspective, it looked quite amusing, as the ants looked almost as if they were shaking “hands” with their antennae, and then slowly dispersed farther and farther from each other. At one point upon parting ways, both stopped, almost simultaneously, and waved their antennas in a circle-like manner, almost coordinated as if some sort of choreographed dance. They then disappear underneath the bag lining on the can, and I am yet again in the feeling of being alone, with only the family eating in the background still, probably quite confused at my actions so far. I decide that I should leave the area, to avoid the feeling of being judged questionably by the nearby audience.

     As I look behind me, I decide to walk across the abandon parking lots towards the Red Cedar River that flowed nearby, hearing honking from an invisible goose at the time. Approaching the river, I see two geese lying near the side of the river, next to the sidewalk, sleeping just like most of the wildlife in the area, as if a spell was cast upon them. However, as I approach, they quickly arise and move towards the water for safety, and I keep my distance, being as afraid of them as they are of me. Looking to my left and right, I notice that the constant rain that has been received over the past couple days, has severely flooded the river in these parts, as some portions of the sidewalk multiple feet away from the river are flooded as well. Opposite from the direction I was currently looking at the time, I heard a splash, as if a child had thrown a large rock into the river just then. Yet as I turned, no one was there. I move closer to the river, and await a response from nature. All of the sudden, what appeared to be two large fish, in which I presumed to be trout, leaped from the water, trying to swim upstream in a heavier flow portion of the river. Quickly, they managed to overcome the obstacle, and submerged underwater yet again, back to their leisurely stroll upstream. I am at this point near the edge of the river, and look downward. At first very excited, I noticed a baby duckling right next to my feet! Unfortunately, after giving it more observation, it appeared to have passed away from some natural cause, perhaps also an aftermath of the inclement weather that had passed. At this time, the sun appears to dim, and I feel it is time to leave. Another train passes as I leave, and the graffiti on its sides had me halt to observe them for quite some time, as the very long train completely passed. Once the sound of the tracks rattling faded and the train was no longer in sight, I decided to continue on my departure and dismiss for the day.

     From today’s overall outcome, some things that came to my mind for an overall theme were “the calm after the storm,” “the power of two,” and of course, the simplest being
the little things;” notably from the way I found myself observing nature, finding significance in what others may think be typical.






                                        -Day Two-                                       


Date: Saturday, June 21, 2014


Location: 4-H Children’s Garden


Time: 4:02pm – 5:57pm


Weather: Partly cloudy, majority of blue skies. A slight breeze is unnoticed by the touch, but can be noticed by the multiple flowers and plants waving around me. As I look at the forecast, the temperature currently appears to be 79 degrees.


Mood: Very quiet, yet uplifting of a mood is displayed here. Quite tranquil, as would expected from a garden.


     As I first step into the region, I am instantly greeted by a sign. On it, it says in big letters, “Welcome to the 4-H Children’s Garden. Upon arrival, I quickly seated myself at the nearest unoccupied bench, yet out of the way of others, but at the same time trying to catch some vitamin D that has been long due. It appears that individuals are setting up for a wedding that is either to take place or has taken place, as signs are posted with the names of “Christopher and Rachael” are posted with their names next to each other and a sweet poem of togetherness is written underneath them. I see a lot of individuals dressed up very nicely, yet they must be very uncomfortable given the temperature. Periodically some of these well-dressed couples pass by. Birds are chirping from every direction, giving the feeling of being in what one may believe to be a tropical rainforest. Unlike the plethora of birds, there appears to also be just one lone cricket chirping, slightly off to my left somewhere in the brush. Perhaps the little guy is lost?

     Later on, I notice a group of older women walking by, and after averting my gaze approximately fifty feet behind them, I notice what appears to be their husbands slowly straggling behind. Compared to my original visit to Potter Park, this day and location appears to be much more populous. The garden is simply stunning and quaint, and as I dodge the children running around, I observe the surroundings. At this moment, I was very curious of this park, due to it being my first time. As sad as it sounds, the park was only about three blocks away from me for almost four years now, and I yet barely knew of its existence.

     The whole area seems very out of place being in the big city of the busy East Lansing, but for some reason, seems to fit fine. To me, I feel as if I am hiding in a secret area that only few know its actual location. This makes me happy, because as a kid, I always loved finding areas like these.

I notice that every now and then, there appear to be a couple weeds poking out of the sidewalk and in the garden (or at least that is what I presumed they were), but for some reason I do not feel like it would be something that anyone would complain about. In fact, it makes the garden feel even more alive.

A college couple walks by now, and I overhear the boy complain about the amount of bees present. I chuckle to myself, as I have not seen a single bee since I have arrived now. Yet at the same time, I chuckled due to the fact that “of course bees will be near a garden”.

Suddenly, a curious bird sneaks up near me as I lay motionless, and happily chirps a quick verse, then promptly cutting short as if to not alert a nearby predator. Seconds later, it takes off and leaves me be once again.

     Once the bird flew away, a young chipmunk, just at the end of its adolescence scutters by in front of me, only a few feet away from where I am. Everything around me seems to be so tame; it makes the park feel even more at peace.

     The colors around me are very unique, and it can be seen how the park has been made to appeal to children. With all the pastel colors and miniature-sized features, this is made plainly clear. One thing I specifically notice and admire is the four to five foot tall crayon-inspired signs at the very entrance of the park. On each crayon, a name of a flower that the color is coordinated to match is placed, and right underneath of them, the actual flower is featured. It is also noticeable that the whole garden has alphabetized their whole garden by plant. One that particularly stands out to me is a funny plant named the “eyeball plant,” yet it had no indication of appearance of an eyeball whatsoever.

It wasn’t until just now that I noticed the bees appearing. Although, there was a couple, I did not see a single reason to complain about them. If it has been as I have studied and learned previously, the bees must have been located closer to the boy, and have finally moved further in search of more flowers. Conveniently, their new location is located two feet away from me. It amuses me that the how the bees crawl into the flower, disappearing from sight, then emerging later as if a butterfly from its cocoon. It wasn’t until after I left that I realized that a bee farm was placed a little left of my location, just as predicted (which made the reasoning behind the amount of bees people were complaining about much more logical).

     A curious young bee, which appears to be very friendly, lands upon my pages as I write. After lying motionless for a second, the bee quickly flies up to the end of my pencil, landing on top of the eraser bit, undisturbed by the swaying of my pencil afterwards. The little guy takes up no more space than the whole head of the eraser in fact, and I leave it be. And a large cheering from a distance behind the shed in front of me is heard, most likely the wedding crowd who have now left the area of the garden.

A family then enters the garden at this point in time, and I notice their three children. The youngest of the children is a girl, dressed in a little purple fairy dress. She often is straying from the family, but frolicking nearby in sight at the same time. The park that amused me the most was the two twin boys. These young kids were both dressed exactly the same from head to toe to even their haircut, and it was impossible to tell a difference between them, both with their navy shorts, green soccer t-shirts, silver shoes, and spiked up bangs. Everywhere that one of the boys went, the other stuck to him like glue, and I found myself watching them curiously for a long moment of time. Hilariously, the father is also complaining about the prevalence of “thousands of bees.”

     As I start to pack and depart, a train whizzes by the garden, directly behind a fence in which a hidden railroad track appears to be. It passes by loudly, and its horn is deafening as it passes. Shortly after, a police officer strangely appears and strolled through the area, as if trying to locate some sort of reported crime. The sky gets darker now, and I decide to head out.






                                        -Day Three-                                       


Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Location: East Grand River Avenue, near the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum


Time: 5:13pm – 6:46pm


Weather: Currently, the temperature appears to be approximately 68 degrees. The skies are mostly cloudy with momentary parts of sunlight. Humidity is low currently, although the surroundings appear slightly damp. There is also a noticeable slight breeze blowing to the east.


Mood: The area is gloomy, yet for some reason it is satisfactory. The mood feels right, as the day appears to be going slow and groggy, for everyone in the area. At the same time, everything is still in constant busy motion, and it makes it very difficult to capture and take in everything at one moment. As the sun peeks out from in between the clouds, the city seems to become more and less animated.


     Sitting down, I observe the cars in front of me on the road, slowly creeping across as if a slight traffic jam is currently taking effect. The bench that I am sitting on has a short note to Dr. Chester and Merilynn Mackson, and I presume they are the donors of what I am privileged to sit upon. As they pass, the typical whizzing has been reduced to a hum instead As they pass, it appears that a majority of them are white or off white cars, and they give the impression of a herd of zebras, all blending together in plain sight. Laughs between two elderly women are noticed out of sight but nearby. I look down at my notebook for a second to record the date and time, when all of the sudden, a line on my notebook appears to come to life. Shocked at first, I realize that the line I saw was actually a tiny inchworm that somehow peculiarly found its way up the bench onto my notebook. He is quite small, and I try to sneak a picture before he disappears into the reams of my notebook.

     The tree directly in front of me grabs my attention. It looks very old and appears to have been battle-worn. Bark from almost the whole tree is missing, yet it stands strong like any other soldier I could think of. Feet shuffle behind me, and I wait to look behind until after they pass. Some parents appear to be touring the campus the region, and are passed by a biker headed in the same direction. A bus is heard arriving, and the number “24” appears in the lights at the top of it.

The sky seems to be covered in a canvas of gray at this moment, and leaves no promise of the sun returning. The wind at this time also picks up to speeds that one may notice if they were near a lake. Leaves start to ruffle, and sound is only interrupted by another bus labeled “1” after it applies its brakes.

     At this time, I feel I should be worried about upcoming deadlines; however for some reason, I feel completely calm, almost as if these deadlines have been uplifted. It isn’t long until I feel my phone go off. At first, I wished to ignore this ringing, but I realize that with all thus mentioned deadlines to meet, someone may need me, and I briefly respond to their concerns.

Looking back up, my attention is quickly directed towards a neon green color, which quickly associated as a shirt a girl was wearing as she ran by. Looking to my right now, I notice another family that appears to be touring the campus as well. This is made apparent by the woman next to them in a black dress with a Michigan State Green cardigan and name tag talking to them. It appears evident that some event is happening today.

     I look behind me again, and I notice that the bus with “1” on it is sitting there, perhaps still sitting there. At this moment I question if it has actually moved since I have last seen it, and as I wonder this, it finally picks up speed and shuttles off.

The sidewalks turn bare not for a moment and the area became quieter, with the gray mood that has settled. Perhaps everyone has arrived to their destinations for the evening. The grass next to me now keeps me company, and it mesmerizes me as each stalk individually sways in the breeze. At this moment, I see a shiny blue gum wrapper rolled up and thrown into the mulch besides the grass, and I go over to pick it up. I am soon disappointed to see that there is many more wrappers of varius color scattered all over nearby. “It’s the thought that counts” I think to myself.

The cars for a moment have peculiarly changed from the formerly white colors to a stampede of  mainly black ones. A few moments pass until I notice that something has changed. Peering over my left shoulder, the sun peeks out from the clouds once more in the west, as if gasping for air underneath the clouds. Music was now heard of what sounds like the cymbals of percussion to hip-hop coming from one of the black vehicles, and livened the surroundings. This has been the first vehicle since my arrival in which has been playing audible music.

     A person then drags their feet behind me, in which I first presume is due to the sandals they are wearing. As I peer behind me, it is instead a college student dressed up in a purple shirt, khaki pants, and dress shoes. Perhaps he has had a long week too. This is made apparent when seconds later, a white car swings by to pick him off, and drive off. The town is then quiet again, and the mutters of the city are white noise. This is first offset by the sound of running water I hear to my left, through one of the man holes, but it quickly fades, and silence returns. The second time, I notice a person dressed in all red, whizzing down the road on a red motocross vehicle. As he loudly passes, he seems to break all the plain grayscale theme of my surroundings. The sun then shines, and I gather my belongings once more. As I pack, I at first feel dismay because I have not been able to capture much of the constant motion in the city with pictures. Shortly after, I realize that this is not important, and a thought crosses my mind,


“Always be attentive, because the smallest and uncapturable moments that happen are typically the most memorable.”


-Miles Kamaloski



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