Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Petrichor and Wormucking

It was a lovely spring day yesterday, the lush green grass and burgeoning leaves adding a richness of color to the mottled gray skyline. Fat, heavy drops of rain exploded on the pavement and made the bushes outside droop under the downpour. Worms are streaming across the parking lot from wet to wetter, many giving their gooey all under the uncaring crush of tire and heel. I love the smell of freshly mushed worms. Or is that geosmin? Probably that. ******************* Here in Grand Rapids, we have a weather ball. It's a nostalgic device that sparked up many memories of a very different downtown, with crowded streets and Depression-era construction, exposed structures and odd angles. The stainless-and-neon beacon sat atop a tower mounted on the roof of Michigan National Bank (which has been bought and re-bought a brazilian times since then) for decades. It came down as I was graduating high school because it was wrecking its building, which wasn't designed to support a 64-ton sail rocking in the wind. It shined upon a generation with a vaguely remembered poem about what the colors meant. A local TV station resurrected the weather ball and mounted it next to its main tower at the intersection of I-96 and US-131, and includes a live shot of it (with the rhyme) in all its forecasts. Thought I'd share, since all y'all probably don't have one. What local landmarks do you have? More reading, for the insatiably curious: GR Business Journal History WZZM TV 13 Restoration Color Key (will resize your browser window)


kenju said...

Landmarks? I'll have to take some pics first, but I could do a looooong post on that one!

Rick said...

In Seattle? Skip the Space Needle, the Monorail, the Flying Fish, Mt. Rainier, and the ferries. Make your way to the Fremont Troll.

Sparky Duck said...

Oh, I want my town to get a weather ball. But will have to make due with the Liberty Bell and the Constitution.