Saturday, October 9, 2010

In Praise of Ordinary Things + Photo set

Photoset: "Three Excursions": Click here to open: At top left click on "slideshow" for best viewing

It’s a time of ordinary things – but ordinary things can be spectacular.

1. The dogs and I walked last night in an open space and watched the sun in the half hour before sunset. The great huge sun moved nearer the horizon and then bit by bit it vanished! It was incredible... The air was still, like it was holding its breath. The whole process was so silent! Not only does the sun shine its own light but it gives color to all other things. As soon as the sun was gone, colors quickly fade and it becomes a world of black and gray profiles. (Green objects were visible with the least light). Birds stirred in their treetops to settle in for the night. In the last twilight the crickets started their concert.

2. Fall in California is subtle – We don’t have great eqinoxial storms, no sudden shedding of leaves, and great colorful fall sunsets. I know that summer is past by the ripening of apples and persimmons turning orange. It is the season of orange and black “orb weaver” spiders – each morning I find one or two perfect webs in the garden. White pelicans return in significant numbers, geese become nervous as their departure date approaches. ( Some know a good thing and stay all winter... )Now is the time to visit the coast –there’s no early morning fog and it’s too early for rain. When I walk in the hills I may find tarantulas out seeking a mate. Afternoons, I hear football practice and the high school band is polishing its routine. Evenings come earlier and we need an extra blanket. It’s a time of expectation – it is so long since we have had rain!

3. There is a large fig tree on my regular walking route that has come into its time! The owner is quite willing for those who walk by to pick a fig or two…there are so many! The blue jays have a little different idea of who owns the tree. Figs bear for a long season compared with many other fruits – a few ripen each day– enough for walkers and jays.

4. I planted my winter garden this week– leaf vegetables and lettuce for salads… they all do OK even in the cold days of December and January… I started the seeds in a starting tray sitting inside a south facing window to keep them at a good germination temperature. Now I must wait 10 days for the seeds to “hatch”, and then when the plants are large enough, I will plant them into the soil.